Live updates

Local MP 'deeply disappointed' in Benefits Street filming

Alex Cunningham, Labour MP for Stockton North, where the second series of Benefits Street is being filmed has said he is "deeply disappointed":

There is no doubt this is about exploiting vulnerable people in order to make money.

I know they will say it is about trying to give people a voice, but all they will do is expose them to the full glare of the national media.

– Alex Cunningham

He is joined by James Wharton, Tory MP for Stockton South - the neighbouring constituency to where filming is happening:

Lots of great things are happening in Stockton and I worry this programme will ignore that and reflect badly on the town.

I don't want them here making a programme which will show people in the worst possible light and potentially do such huge damage.

For the producers it's easy ratings for a few weeks, but the damage they do can last much longer.They should think again, not just about coming here but the whole nature of the programmes they make.

– James Wharton


Benefits Street to be filmed on Teesside

Filming for the second series of the television show Benefits Street has begun in Stockton, Teesside, despite opposition from local MPs, residents' groups and the local authority.

The first series of Benefits Street, filmed in Birmingham, set out to depict a close-knit community where many of the residents received benefits.

Ofcom received 900 complaints and critics of the show claimed it exploited the participants and branded it "poverty porn".

In April 2014, researchers for the programme were spotted on Teesside and we asked you Would you watch a North East Benefits Street?

The response via twitter and facebook was overwhelming, with some people calling the decision "disastrous".

Now, the second series has begun filming in Kingston Road, Stockton, and Stockton Council leader Bob Cook has voiced his concerns that the show will damage his town:

I am deeply disappointed to learn that the programme-makers have chosen Stockton despite the local residents' associations, residents, MP and council all making it clear that they aren't welcome.

They have ignored us in pursuit of their own needs and I am extremely concerned about the way in which the fantastic people who live and work in Stockton Borough will be portrayed by this programme. The vast majority of people know that the programme plays to negative stereotypes and I'm certain it won't reflect the amazing sense of community we have here in Stockton.

– Stockton Council Leader, Bob Cook

Could this be the next Benefits Street?

Channel 4 is considering a road in Stockton on Teesside as a potential location for the next series of the controversial show Benefits Street.

The reality series follows the lives of people living on benefits. The first series was criticised for stereotyping those looking for work.

Dan Ashby assembled a group of different people from the area, including a jobseeker, businessman and the local MP, and asked them how they felt about the idea:

Would you watch a 'Benefits Street' in the North East? Let us know what you think via Twitter @itvtynetees or on our Facebook page.

Your view: should 'Benefits Street' be in the North East?

Do you agree? Let us know what you think via Twitter @itvtynetees or on our Facebook page.


Benefits Street in Stockton - what do you think?

These people around Dixon Street in Stockton gave us their views on the possibility of the reality TV show Benefits Street coming to the area, after researchers for the programme visited to scout for the next location.

Let us know how you would feel about a 'Benefits Street' in the North East on our Facebook page ( or via Twitter.

Channel 4 looking for new "Benefits Street"

Channel 4 have confirmed they are looking for new locations for the second series of the programme Benefits Street. However, they said they have not decided on a where the filming will be yet. Researchers were spotted doing initial research on Dixon Street in Stockton.

"Love Productions are in development and researching potential new locations for a second series of Benefits Street around the country.

"The first series ignited an important debate about the welfare system and we are interested in seeing if we can revisit this through the experiences of residents of a street in a different part of Britain.

"Benefits Street was a fair and balanced observational documentary series filmed for over a year on a street where the majority of households receive benefits. It was a sympathetic, humane and objective portrayal of how people are coping with continuing austerity and cuts in benefits.”

– Channel 4
Load more updates