Real Estates is a Documentary programme.


Real Estates

This four-part documentary series monitors the impact of the Government's plans for social and economic regeneration on two deprived estates in Salford.

When Labour came into power in 1998, Tony Blair announced that he didn't want any "forgotten people" in the Britain he wanted to build. For the past three years Real Estates has been following the lives of people living in Lagworthy and Ordsall, two estates in Salford, to see how, or if, the government's plans are making any difference.

In the first edition "Juvenile Crime and Education" Steven, a 14 year old, won't go to school. He's already given up on his future: he wants to be a fireman but expects to be a cleaner. His parents say nothing they do will make him go. Can educational welfare or anyone else persuade him to return to school for his own sake?

Billy is a 16 year old and a persistent offender. His mother is in despair. Will the government's new Youth Offending Team help Billy change his way of life?

In the second edition entitled "Health" Mary is 16 years old and pregnant. She's wanted to have a baby since she was 12 and is one of thousands of girls who become teenage mums in this country. In fact, Britain has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in Europe and the Government want to cut the number of pregnant teenagers by 50% in 10 years.

This is just one of the challenges facing health workers on the Ordsall and Langworthy estates in Salford, which faces a raft of problems. Here, the death rate is 58% higher than the national average, heart disease is 24% higher and lung disease is 60%.

Another resident, Olive, is waiting to see a consultant about her knee. She's already been waiting 18 months and, in the meantime, her knee has become worse. She's had to take a pay cut at work and now fears losing her job altogether.

One of the Government's five pre-Election pledges was to reduce the NHS waiting list. Olive's doctor says over 30% of his patients come to see him to find out how much longer they have to wait.

Are any of the Government's reforms improving the health of this area?

In the third edition "Employment" Shane is 23 years old, has never worked and has been in prison. Now his girlfriend is pregnant and he wants to turn his life around.

John is in his fifties and, for over 20 years, he had a good job in engineering. When his plant was shut down, John found he had to struggle to find work. He's on yet another government course to get him back to work and wants to know if this one will reap rewards.

Getting 250,000 people under the age of 25 back into work was one of the Government's five pre-election pledges. Salford's unemployment rate has now fallen down below the national average, but can the New Deal scheme help Shane and John get back on track?

In the final edition entitled "Regeneration" Steve and Alison Thorpe are desperate for a better life for their young children. But they are trapped on a run-down housing estate and can't afford to move away. Their home was once worth £28,000, but the value has now plummeted to about £5,000.

Langworthy, their estate in Salford, is in a state of poverty, crime is high and one in five houses is boarded up as those who can have already moved out.

John Herring is in his 90th year. He and his wife Doreen, are trapped aswell. John's health is deteriorating due to the stress of living there. Two years ago, their council won £25,000 from the Government to regenrate the area but, so far, little appears to have changed.

This series look at what the Government is doing to bring back life, and hope, to these rundown inner-city areas.

This series was produced by : Emma Worthington.

Genre: Documentary

Running Time: 40 minutes (approx)