Newham Green Party co-chairs slam council over Wendy's ads
- Credit: Jon King
Newham Council has been accused of hypocrisy after ads for fast food giant Wendy's appeared on town hall property.
Banners advertising the global chain hang from lampposts in Maryland and Stratford where an eatery is due to officially open on Friday, August 27.
But Danny Keeling and Nate Higgins, co-chairs of Newham Green Party, have described the ads as "thoughtless and tone deaf" to the climate emergency and public health crisis exposed by the pandemic.
Mr Keeling welcomed Wendy's arrival in Stratford and the jobs it creates, but said: "There are better ways of filling the council's coffers."
Newham Council has not responded to a request for comment.
In a letter to the Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, the co-chairs express sympathy with the financial hit caused by Covid-19, but say putting money before people is wrong.
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"Using council property to blanket Stratford and surrounding areas with advertisements for Wendy's is thoughtless and tone deaf to the current issues we are facing," the letter says.
It describes as "reckless" the decision to allow "intensively farmed junk food advertising" at a time when they say the focus should be on improving people's health.
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A further claim industrialised beef production is the "single biggest cause of deforestation globally" and contributes to climate-warming gas emissions leads the party co-chairs to accuse Newham of hypocrisy.
The Greens also claim the ads undermine the council's ambition to shape the types of food outlets on Newham's high streets.
A Wendy's spokesperson said the chain offers "great-tasting, fresh, high quality food at affordable prices" using British beef and locally-sourced produce.
"We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response to our restaurant opening in Reading and look forward to opening in Stratford," she added.