Channel 4 has ordered a new series from The Garden Productions going inside one of the country’s biggest public landlords, Southwark Council, to tell the story of council housing in the 21st Century.
Council House Britain (6×60) will meet the people working to keep the 55,000 properties running as well as the tenants who have made their home in the shadow of the Shard and flanked by London’s luxury flats. With 10,000 people on the waiting list for housing and only five new homes available each week the responsibility felt by council decision-makers is huge.
Fozia Khan and Madonna Benjamin, Commissioning Editors said: “Council House Britain offers a timely and eye-opening insight into what’s involved in managing one of the biggest and busiest boroughs in the country. With access to both council workers and their tenants, the series is bursting with characters and their stories. It provides a warm, uplifting and at times jaw-dropping glimpse into what it takes to find and keep a place to call home.”
Cllr Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council, said: “It’s incredibly exciting that after two years of scoping and filming, we are about to share this documentary with the world. Council officers are often the unsung heroes of the public sector, but just as COVID-19 has revealed the important work our rubbish collectors and social care workers do, Council House Britain will show the country how passionate and committed our housing teams are. I’m grateful to The Garden and Channel 4 for shining a light on the challenges councils and residents are facing after years of austerity and celebrating the many wonderful and unique people who call Southwark home. Welcome to Southwark – we hope you enjoy your visit.”
John Hay, Chief Creative Officer at The Garden said: “As the saying goes: there are as many stories as there are people, and the huge variety of stories behind Southwark’s front doors made this series a pleasure to make. We were moved, impressed, surprised, fascinated, made to laugh and brought to tears, and learned more about pest control than we ever thought possible. Many thanks to Channel 4, Southwark Council and the people of the borough for letting us share their lives.”