Bristol council bans sale of cheese toasties in park in bid to stop anti-social behaviour

Local residents fear Monks Park could see the return of motorbike gangs and late-night drunken disturbances if a hot food van is allowed 

Toyin Owoseje
Wednesday 09 January 2019 13:19 GMT
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Cheese toasties are out under plans to dissuade anti-social behaviour, but cold food will still be allowed
Cheese toasties are out under plans to dissuade anti-social behaviour, but cold food will still be allowed (iStock)

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Cheese toasties have been banned from sale in a Bristol park amid fears a proposed hot food van could invite anti-social behaviour.

Officials made the decision after local residents, a ward councillor and the headteacher of a nearby secondary school opposed the vendor’s application, saying Monks Park could see the return of motorbike gangs and late-night drunken disturbances if a hot food van was allowed.

Claire Hiscott, councillor for the Horfield area of the city, said the van, which would operate between 9am and 6pm, could “lure” teenagers into absconding from school.

“It’s right next to Orchard School, which is a challenging school that sometimes has a problem with keeping kids in school,” she said.

”They have to have patrols of staff to make sure kids don’t walk off site. The lure of a food concession may encourage kids to take a little walk.”

She went on to argue that it could also hamper the school’s efforts to promote healthy eating, adding: “We have problems with childhood obesity.”

Ms Hiscott said anti-social behaviour in the area was a concern for residents.

“Historically we had antisocial behaviour, not just motorbikes, from young adults gathering with alcohol and causing a disturbance,” she said,

”Anything that’s going to be a gathering place is likely to bring that back. We’ve managed to eradicate that. It’s a nice quiet park.”

Councillors granted a provisional licence to the vendor to sell cold food, such as ice cream, and drinks but rejected its application to sell the hot snack.

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Councillor Richard Eddy said the conditions “meet a lot of the public’s concerns”.

Planning and development officer Sue Long told the meeting: “We’re very mindful of what will work within a park.”

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