Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French presidential election: Over 40% remain undecided

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

ICC orders Congo warlord germain Katanga to pay victims

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trumpcare Falls Before First Hurdle

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Westminster Attack, Abadi in Washington (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Obamacare, Europe's Unholy Alliances, Martin McGuinness (part 2)

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Export bans hit Brazil amid tainted meat scandal

Read more

#TECH 24

Inside Netflix's war room

Read more

FOCUS

French Catholic voters remain faithful to scandal-hit Fillon

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Growing ambitions: The forces driving India's economy

Read more

REPORTERS

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. And you can watch it online as early as Friday.

Latest update : 2011-12-13

United Kingdom: public services for sale

In Newcastle, in the North East of England, one in three workers is a civil servant. The city has been particularly hard hit by the economic crisis and resulting cuts to public services. In this city already affected by unemployment due to the collapse of traditional industries, FRANCE 24 went to meet locals who are steeling themselves for even harder times ahead.

“It’s all gone to waste,” laments Derek as he revisits the site of his first job at a shipyard on the river Tyne. He was 16 when he left school and went in search of work. Now 39 and unemployed, he says it’s tough finding work in a region where traditional industries have collapsed.

The North East of England has long born the brunt of hard times in the country.

Now, as the British economy stagnates, the fear is that the Tyneside region is again in the firing line.

In a city centre famed for its hedonistic nightlife, some pubs and bars are closing their doors for good. “People don’t want to spend money on nights out when they need it for their bills,” says 22-year-old IT worker James.

He tells us government cuts are making his job with the local authority harder and harder. On November 30th, he joined hundreds of thousands of public sector workers in the biggest strike action in decades, as unions took to the streets against pension reform.

The government says that it has no option but to save money and attack the deficit. But in a region where one in three workers hold public sector posts, there’s a feeling ordinary people are paying for the excesses of the bankers.

For nurse and union activist Maddy, the strike is about more than just pensions. She’s angry at decades of creeping privatisation in the National Health Service. “What are we going to leave for our children?” she wonders.

France 24’s Chris Moore and Alix Le Bourdon travelled to the area around Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, to sample the atmosphere at a time of strikes, cuts and vanishing job opportunities.

By Christopher MOORE , Alix LE BOURDON

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2017-03-23 Europe

Video: Crimean dissidents silenced by Moscow

Three years after the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, Russia has deployed all the tools at its disposal, in the police and the justice system, to silence...

Read more

2017-03-16 Americas

Canada’s indigenous people determined to improve their lives

Although Canada regularly tops international rankings for its quality of life, the daily existence of the country’s indigenous people, also known as "First Nations", has more in...

Read more

2017-03-09 Middle East

Iraq's lost children: Victims of post-traumatic stress

In Iraq, thousands of civilians are fleeing the battle of Mosul against the Islamic State group jihadists. Many of the displaced have reached IDP camps in the north of the...

Read more

2017-03-03 Africa

Libya: Six years on, what remains of the revolution in key city of Zintan?

Six years have passed since the outbreak of the revolution that led to the ouster and killing of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi. With the country divided between rival clans,...

Read more

2014-03-14 Bashar al-Assad

Syria’s chemical attacks: the inside story

A chemical weapons attack targeted the suburbs of Damascus in August 2013. The West threatened air strikes in response, and Syria agreed to destroy its chemical arms stockpile....

Read more