A SOUTHAMPTON residents association is to boycott a private meeting being held tonight with the makers of a controversial TV documentary.
Community leaders had been invited to meet with producers of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street tonight.
Newtown Residents Association, which called a meeting last month in Derby Road to discuss the filming with programme makers Love Productions, was one of those organisations which had been invited.
But this morning committee members met and announced that they will not be attending.
A spokesman said: “As community representatives we do not feel that another meeting without the attendance of the community will be productive so therefore we have declined the invitation.”
The residents association represents about 3,000 residents in St Mary's including those living in Derby Road.
Vice-chairman of the five-person committee, Pat O'Dell added: “It wouldn't be productive to make arrangements for without the community being involved. We can't make decision with them being there “It has to be all open and above board, not behind closed doors so that there is no comeback. We have got to be open and honest. The people deserve that, it's their lives we are talking about.”
Both David Roath, a representative of the Tegh Bhadar Sahib Gurdwara in St Mark's Road, and Mohammed Khan from the Muslim Council of Southampton and secretary of the Abu-Bakr Mosque in Argyle Road said they would be attending.
No representative of the Southampton Council of Faiths, whose committee members represent the major faiths in St Mary's, was able to attend.
A spokesman for Channel 4 said tonight's meeting would still go ahead at 6.30pm at the Holiday Inn in Western Boulevard but would provide no further comment.
Cllr Kaur said: “They've decided not to have the meeting in the area. Surely they could find somewhere to hold it. To be honest I don't know what game they are playing, but it does seem like a game.”
Immigration Street is the sequel to the heavily-criticised show Benefit Street which was aired on Channel 4 earlier this year.
The sequel will be aired next year.
Filming has been underway for more than a month but already there has been a backlash against the production with members of the crew getting pelted with eggs and flour in Derby Road.
Last month the residents association called a heated meeting at Maytree School where residents voiced their opposition to the documentary to creative director of Love Productions Kieron Smith.