Petition against Benefits Street being filmed in Stockton gathers pace

A petition against Benefits Street being filmed in Stockton has gained more than a 1000 signatures.

The campaign was started on change.org by two Stockton mums Charlotte Hall and Di Hewitt little over a week ago and has been shared across social media.

In total 1,409 people have signed the petition on the site – which is the world’s largest petition platform – against the show being filmed on Kingston Road at Tilery, Stockton.

They took to Stockton High Street today to collect yet more signatures.

Their Twitter account @StocktonSaysNo also has more than 500 followers – and Twitter users have joined discussion of the topic using #NoBenefitsStreet.

Once the pair have finished collecting signatures they will be delivered to both Channel 4 and the production company Love Productions.

Social worker and mum of two Di, who lives in Eaglescliffe, said:

“Through my work, I’m impressed by the strong community spirit in the North- east and feel that it is important that outsiders see this rather than negative stereotypes.

“I’m not originally from Stockton, I moved up from the East Midlands 22 years ago and think that Stockton is a fantastic place to live and raise children.

“I want my kids to feel that Stockton is a good place to live and work and that there are endless opportunities for them.”

Carer and mum of two Charlotte, from Stockton, said:

“I was born in Stockton and have lived here all my life.

“Only a few weeks ago after enjoying SIRF and attending the 1245 Sunflowers events I was saying how far Stockton has come and how there’s so much to get involved in.

“I don’t want to see that hard work ruined by our town being associated with a stigmatising programme like Benefits Street.”

Chris Flanagan, from Stockton, said on the petition page:

“Sixth best place to live one week…Benefits Street the next!”.

Emma-Bliss Harding, from Norton, said:

“I live in Norton and heard they were filming at the duck pond which is near my house.

“I don’t want the area that I love in displayed in a bad light.

“This programme is nothing but negative.”

Hayley Garland, from Stockton, said:

“We are proud of our town, our heritage, arts, culture and thriving independent shops.

“Take your sensationalist TV somewhere else!”

Christine Thompson, from Stockton, said:

My hometown is starting to get back on its feet and I fear that this will be a big backward step.”

Source –  Middlesbrough Evening Gazette,  04 Sept 2014

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