>Reel News Tour: Newcastle

>The Reel News tour hit Newcastle last night at the wonderful Star and Shadow cinema, the second day of the tour.

During the day we headed over to Hebburn to look at the proposed site for a new Tesco supermarket, the largest Tesco superstore ever dreamed.

And the above shots are the proposed site. It is currently home to some 400 families, 90 percent of whom are in social housing programs. The Tesco project will see them moved out with a “promise” of returning when the project is finished. But there will only be 200 built and only 25 percent – the legal minimum – will be allocated to social housing.

On Thursday morning I headed over to the Excelsior Academy with a local youth worker. The Academy is sponsored by Lord Laidlaw, who was supposed to have stepped down from his role at the school after his sex addiction confessions.

If Laidlaw had not sponsored the Academy it would have come under the control of the Vardy Foundation.

The youth worker said although the cosmetics of the school were complete the infrastructure appeared rushed through just to get the school operational by the beginning of term this September.

He went on to explain the layout of the school – the “schools within schools” system – describing it as “bland” and “like a prison”, with high fences and electronically operated security gates that close at 8.30am and only opens again at 3.45pm. The school has been open three weeks and already reports are abound that the pupils are regularly trying to escape the school by scaling the fences.

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All material on this blog – stills, video and print is (c) Jason N. Parkinson 2008. All Rights Reserved.

Please contact the AUTHOR for access to any material and the extensive four-year video archive.



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