This film is part of Free

Taskforce Chappletown

With low job prospects and poverty on the rise, the govt. steps in to aid the inner cities, generating scant enthusiasm from those living there.

Documentary 1986 25 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


The Tory government has just started a project to set up task forces to help create jobs, and here we get to see just what this might mean. This YTV documentary shows an admirable desire to allow those living in the deprived Chapeltown area of Leeds an opportunity to speak their minds, such as black DJ Mikey Dreadlocks. With clear sympathy for their plight, we are given a fascinating insight into the inner cities of 1980s Britain – with some wonderful film of the local blues club.

The initiative to set up eight inner-city task forces was announced in the Commons by the Employment Minister, Kenneth Clarke on 6 February, 1986. Not unexpectedly, it received a poor reception from the Labour Party: Labour MP for Central Leeds at the time, Derek Fatchett, viewed the task force and the urban development corporation as part of a larger agenda to subvert Labour controlled city councils, take the initiative away from local campaigning, and demobilise their social movements. They worked alongside Urban Enterprise Zone, established from 1981 – an idea that was resurrected by the Cameron Government in 2012. Disc jockey Mikey Dreadlocks is not to be confused with Reggae pioneer Mikey Dread.