Stockton-on-Tees residents fight back over Benefits Street series

Benefits Street series one caused Channel 4 to be accused of making 'poverty porn'. Locals in Stockton-on-Tees, where series two is set, are determined to show another side to the story

benefits street
James Turner St in Birmingham, aka 'Benefits Street'. Photo: REX

The second series of the controversial documentary TV programme Benefits Street aired last night on Channel 4 (Monday, 11 May 9pm).

This time the programme follows local people living in Kingston Road on the Tilery Estate in Stockton-on-Tees. But locals aren’t taking the potential negative publicity lying down. Instead, they have launched the Positively Stockton-on-Tees (psst…) campaign backed by Stockton-on-Tees Council.

Benefits Street is made by Love Productions, so the theme for the campaign is to set out “a lovelier production” to depict the borough.

Their argument is that local communities have a choice about how they see their area and the images that portray it.

The community response aims to show what a great place the borough is through a Chinese Whispers campaign culminating in a video called “The Loudest Whisper”.

Their message is that many quiet voices can make a lot of noise.

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