ANGER is growing ahead of a public meeting tonight hosted by the makers of controversial TV documentary Immigration Street.
The production company behind the Channel 4 programme currently being filmed in Southampton is hosting what is expected to be a heated showdown.
Love Productions is offering people the opportunity to air their views ahead of the forthcoming sequel to the highly controversial Benefits Street, focusing on multicultural communities living in Derby Road, Newtown.
But, as exclusively reported by the Daily Echo, senior politicians and community leaders have led a backlash, claiming the show will create “racial tensions” among communities. The show’s cast have defended the production, with Portuguese-born dad-of-four Rui Teixeira, who allowed the cameras into his home, claiming it will put immigration in a positive light.
Benefits Street, filmed in Birmingham, received nationwide condemnation for presenting the city’s working class negatively.
Now activists from Newtown Residents’ Association have led a rallying call for people to attend the meeting and tell the producers exactly what they think.
Association chair Nazrul Chaudhery released a statement saying: “Our neighbourhood is diverse and harmonious. We get on regardless of ethnicity, where people were born is not an issue.
“The filming of immigration is a very emotive subject and will draw strong opinions from all sides, which is always the case. However, we don’t want our neighbourhood being portrayed in the manner that is not true. “From the Stone Age to the Vikings, Normans and Romans, the city has always adapted to new people and new ideas.
“We have also been a gateway for many to start a new life in other countries such as the United States, Canada, South Africa and Australia.
“Today Southampton is very vibrant with multicultural festivals, community events and a coming together at a time of need.
“If you walk down Derby Road today, you will see how immigration has brought about community cohesion – something that everyone has embraced.
“It’s a great shame that Southampton and Derby Road’s rich history is not being celebrated in a positive light.”
The meeting takes place from 6pm at Maytree Primary School in Derby Road.