News giant is slammed over 'notorious' Bournville jibe

PUBLISHED: 10:00 28 January 2012

Archant

SKY News' televised description of the Bournville estate in Weston as 'notorious' has outraged a well-known South Ward councillor.

A report aired on the satellite channel on at 10pm on Monday included the comments about the Bournville estate as part of a story about plans to cap benefits.

In the broadcast, reporter Isabel Webster said: “The Bournville estate in Weston, a notorious council estate where poverty makes life tough.”

She went on to state that residents were four times more likely to be unemployed than the national average and that a third are claiming benefits. She also said parts of the estate are bottom of the national deprivation list.

Angry South Ward councillor Ian Parker, who represents the Bournville on North Somerset Council, said: “I was outraged at that introduction of the Bournville on national TV. It was a disgrace to slag the estate off like that.”

He said the remarks undermined the hard work being put 
into the area by councillors and residents to improve its image.

Bournville resident Nigel Lindores said: “When I first moved here 12 years ago, I did think ‘what the hell have I come into?’

“But a lot has been done to improve it, especially through Alliance Homes and the Healthy Living Centre.”

However, Mark Evans, head of home news for Sky, said: “The language used in our broadcast was entirely appropriate.

“The report highlighted the problems being faced on the Bournville estate - which national statistics prove - but at no stage do we lay any blame at the door of the people who live there.”

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