Crackdown on East End’s illegal Ramadan food stalls

TOWER Hamlets Council will be showing the red card to any illegal street traders in Whitechapel during the month of Ramadan, it has said.

Illegal street traders sell food and other products to Muslim worshippers in the evening after their fast is broken and the council says that with evening prayer attracting up to 5,000 worshippers, this causes problems regarding noise and disturbance.

The council is working with the East London Mosque to put a stop to the illegal money-making practices which cause health and safety issues, including blocking fire exits and walkways and unhygienic food preparation.

Councillor Shahed Ali, Lead Member for the Environment at Tower Hamlets Council, said: “Ramadan is an important time for Muslims. We want to ensure that worshippers are not enticed to waste their money on these illegal stalls.

“With such a large number of people in the area it’s important that we manage the situation carefully.”

The council’s market officers will be targeting the area outside the East London Mosque on Whitechapel Road and traders who continue to flout the law will be prosecuted for illegal street trading.

The council has worked with the East London Mosque during Ramadan to combat illegal traders since 2007.