Your comments: BBC Panorama documentary on Blackburn's Shadsworth estate (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Your comments: BBC Panorama documentary on Blackburn's Shadsworth estate
10:20am Wednesday 12th September 2012 in News
Last night's BBC Panorama documentary looked at problems of poverty, drug use and unemployment on Blackburn's Shadsworth estate.
The programme attracted a huge reaction from Lancashire Telegraph readers - some agreeing with its tone, others angry at the way the area was portrayed.
Here's a selection of the best comments posted on the Lancashire Telegraph website after the programme was aired:
- Still can afford mobile phones,game consoles,and 40" tvs despite saying we are struggling to buy food etc allan1957 Wow I vote Alwyn for the next supernanny! She doesn't endorse school but smokes weed & wants her kids to know about drugs...this is why shads being portrayed as it is!!!
- Did i hear right ? Mother of 2 on £1100 a month on benefits . Beats working .
- Ah yes lets keep foaming at the mouth about "benefit scroungers", lets not look at the benefit scrounging bankers,who pocketed hundreds of billions in corporate welfare,lets not turn our anger on tax dodging billionaires and mega corporations who've dodged billions in tax.We should be screaming like hell about the wars, the funding of Syrian "rebels",government `corruption and cover ups,but we dont because we get angry/scared about thing like benefit scroungers. That's a bit 1990s isn't it? now that there's no hiding place for the scrounging bankers, the benefit scroungers have no carcass to hide behind. You can forget trying to side-track the discussion about garbage benefit swindlers on either side by bringing nonsense about Syria in to it. It's a non starter that those hiding behind their Giros wish would conceal their duplicities.
- And MP Jack Straw said: “Shadsworth is improving and I have visited far, far worse estates elsewhere in the country.” Is that the best you can do, Jack? Pathetic.
- The environment is not bad. Any problems stems from the selfish, low iq adults. The kids their are fine, it is the negative adults who are the problem.
- It was such a shame as well to see children being influenced by their 'parents' to lead the lives they are doing - where do social services come into this? Footage doesn't lie, and neither do first hand testaments. A real real shame.
- Im thinking I may have to work more than my full time hours to pay more tax to keep the likes of Alwyn in the life she is accustomed to .... she cant possibly get up early to go to work!!
- 'I wanted to be a firefighter but I ended up being an arsonist'....classic!!
- I watched it and it made me cry by how truthful it were.
- The entire estate is a no go area these days its been like that for many years now, the estate has had this reputation for a long time. some 95% of people living in this gheto seem to like this stigma that comes with the place after all the council provided very good houses but the clientel in the homes have ruined the estate. People who have little education & also have a bad attitude towards anything thats out of there comfort zone simply creat hell for others. the mind set for a lot of people is to simply collect there handouts from the government with little hope of them making any effort to contribute to society like it or not people shall come out with every excuse in the book not to do the right thing. Its not only shad thats in this position look at Green Lane, Intack, Hill Hill Higher Croft & more.
- I watched the programme tonight and although fully aware of the difficulties within that community feel sad that everyone within that community should have to put up with all of that unease. Total dismay and anger but little surprised as to how poorly the leaders of Blackburn with Darwen council have dealt with these problems over the years. It’s not as though they are strangers to these facts is it?The now happily retired Jack Straw and his politically favoured crew should do well to take a walk or even a taxi to see for themselves what little they have done for the people who live there. Those very well paid people can blame nobody but themselves and little wonder few of them actually live in Blackburn. They are a total disgrace!
- I Live on the Shasworth estate lived here for 11 years and i found this documentary quite gloomy, There are a lot of decent people on the Shadsworth estate that do look after their homes and go to work.
- So hang on I'm working 37.5 hours a week to EARN £1200 and Olwyn gets £1100 for sitting on her lazy posterior?! I'm expected to run a house from my wage yet, all her housing / decorating etc needs have already been met and DON'T even come out of the £1100?!
I get abuse telling me to go 'back to my own country' yet my taxes are paying for the lazy likes of Olwyn and the rest of the 16-30 year olds on that estate without a job! Unbelievable! Its a real shambles! Absolutely disgusting, it makes me sick!
- Let us examine the facts contained in the broadcast:
1. Drugs: I dare say you'll find just as many small-time drug dealers operating in and around even the more affluent suburbs of Northern towns and cities. I trust the local police force (service?) will target those persons captured on film.
2. Anti-social behaviour: children being loud, gathering in groups, drinking, misbehaving. Hardly the stuff of nightmares nor isolated to sink estates, though I do worry for the future of some of those kids given their obvious social and communication problems.
3. Work-shy: we were presented with a 'single mother' who cannot or will not work (prescription drug dependency owing to and/or perpetuating her depression), a two-parent family struggling but powering through (the father was working), a third family of varying and forgettable qualities, and a handful of rather under-motivated young men. It is difficult to adequately judge an estate and its 2,000 strong community (too strong a word?) by such a small cross-section, but clearly those specific young men could and should be working, and (easy as it may be to state) it might benefit the lady's mental and physical health to take one of the jobs on offer, quit smoking and where possible reduce the amount of medication she was administering.
4. Cleanliness: boarded up shops, grafitti, rubbish in the streets/alleyways; rather nicely fits the template of the 'run down estate' doesn't it. However, take heed of the current economic 'climate' which has also affected many supposedly/relatively affluent areas across England and beyond. It should go without saying that one should respect one's environment, and particularly one's home. The prevalence of litter and poorly maintained gardens and driveways will certainly have an effect on the residents of any street/estate/town/city, and only serves to perpetuate or exacerbate any existing perceptions of despair. People should have some pride in their home and area, and should feel personal shame if they cannot be bothered to modify their own or their offspring's behaviour.
And so, the programme ended without fanfare or promise of improvement - merely a grim tale of human woe. We all had a chance to feel a bit sympathetic for an hour, and be thankful we don't live in or very near that or any similar estate. One thing is stark: a person working is a person contributing; a happier/healthier person (one hopes); a person with some aspirations; a person with hope. Once the hope has gone, the rest follows, and in its wake come the vices.
Having said all that, and in the mean spirit, knee-jerk barbaric sensationalism of 'today's society' - and with a heavy dose of irony - of the lesser residents of Shadsworth, I don't know whether to cry with sadness, or shoot the lot of 'em.
- Ask yourself some questions.
1 - would you like to live there?
2 - would you open a shop there?
3 - would you park your car there overnight?
- Such a shame to see. It ignored many positive aspects of the people who live there. I grew up there in the 70's. People had jobs then, and took pride in their community. We left in 78 as it was "getting rough".
- Typical BBC - Full of Lies!!!
- Twin Valley Homes should have ZERO TOLERANCE of drug misuse and antisocial behaviour in their properties and evict those responsible instead of giving those people multiple chances which they abuse(and they should be blacklisted once evicted so NOBODY wants to house them. That would solve the problems.
- It is a shame because I'm sure there are far more hard working and well behaved families on the estate who have to watch day after day the foolish Council teams and Police spending both a disproportionate amount of time and money dealing with these "troubled" families and yuffs!!!! Waste or time and money, spend it on the families who actually would benefit from the money and have already shown they can be part of Society!
LT readers also took to Twitter to express their views on the documentary:
- Confirmed that our decision to leave Blackburn many years ago was the right one. Not a good advert for Blackburn, very sad.
- Sadly that's today's society. Scroats brought up never seeing a parent ever work have no work ethic themselves, sad!!
- same as any other estate in the country I know I've worked in worse places. Luton is the worse place ever @alodge28 did it really show the real Shadsworth? Or that of a small minority?
If parents have no aspirations or motivations then no hope for the kids? No matter where u live parenting is the key!
- Shadsworth looked ok despite BBCs attempts to edit it in a bad light. Paradise compared to moss side / wythenshawe etc.
- How on earth a species that can send men to the moon also produce such foul mouthed vulgar idiots is beyond me.
- my guess is its not totally representative but 'its not worth going to work because of benefits' is worrying and disgusting @catherinesprest Not the Blackburn i know not the Shad I know, southern based journalists grim up north angle.
- Could be any deprived town in Britain. No mines or cotton mills, no industry, no work, thriving drug culture.
- 1,000's of estates like this in UK not just Blackburn. need to break this cycle.
- why did #panorama not look at STREETSuk project or people who campaigned hard to save the leisure centre?
- my dad's been the milkman on shad for years. Bad families are not reflective of alot of the decent people on that estate @FGBen Shad is not all bad, sad negative portrayal. Will do nothing to raise aspirations and will stigmatise those from there.
- The estate is very deprived, but despite there being many problems, there are good things going on!
- it's not all doom. Big Local board are local residents working to improve the area
- I blame the parents for these troubled kids. They've no role models.
- It's very one-sided. Some good folk up there being painted with this brush. No doubt there ARE problems though.
Finally, Blackburn Council leader Kate Hollern criticised the programme:
- Very biased and not a true picture of Shadsworth which has a great community spirit.
Did you see the documentary? What did you think of it? Leave YOUR comments below.
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