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Anger mounts at public meeting over Benugo contract decision in Hampstead Heath cafes

PUBLISHED: 10:42 07 April 2016 | UPDATED: 10:46 07 April 2016

Heath cafe meeting at Brookfield School 06.04.16.
Save Parliament Hill Cafe campaign team

Heath cafe meeting at Brookfield School 06.04.16. Save Parliament Hill Cafe campaign team

Archant

Hampstead Heath bosses were delivered a strong message by a packed-out crowd last night – don’t axe family-run cafes in favour of a food chain.

Heath cafe meeting at Brookfield School 06.04.16.
Packed meetingHeath cafe meeting at Brookfield School 06.04.16. Packed meeting

So many people came to the public meeting, where there was standing room only, that the venue had to be changed at the last moment.

It was held at Brookfield School because of the huge response.

Holburn and St Pancras MP Sir Keir Starmer was among those who called on bosses at the City of London Corporation to reverse the decision to award contracts to Benugo to run the Parliament Hill and Golders Hill cafes.

Bosses at the corporation decided last month to award the contracts at a behind-closed-doors meeting, saying it would increase the money they could invest in the Heath.

Keir Starmer MP, Cllr Sally Gimson, Save Parliament Hill Cafe Campaigner Kirstie McKevitt and Andrew Dismore London Assembly MemberKeir Starmer MP, Cllr Sally Gimson, Save Parliament Hill Cafe Campaigner Kirstie McKevitt and Andrew Dismore London Assembly Member

But the move sparked an outcry, and more than 23,00 people have signed petitions calling for the decision to be reversed.

Actor Tom Conti was among the crowd, believed to be more than 250 strong, to show support for the family-run businesses.

Representatives from the City of London faced angry calls to halt the process.

No one from Benugo attended the meeting.


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