One in five local pupils in class sizes over 30

The number of Bath and North East Somerset pupils in class sizes of over 30 has soared to one in five pupils

There are now 1592 more pupils in over-large classes than in 2010. 

To tackle these inequalities, Labour has launched a new ‘Bright Future Taskforce’ to deliver a long-term strategy for children’s recovery and ensure every child has the chance to fulfil their potential. 

Dan Norris said: 

“As Metro Mayor I am determined that our young people will go on to get decent jobs and that all starts with a world class education. But over the last decade the Conservatives have made the wrong choices for local children, overseeing an increase in class sizes and failing to tackle the gap in learning which is holding children back. It’s time for new leadership.”

Chocs Away

There was more bad news for jobs as Thorntons announced it was closing its store in Cribbs Causeway.

Dan Norris said: “Whether you’re partial to some milk chocolate or can’t resist Thorntons Special Toffee this is an unhappy day for people with a sweet tooth. Sadly it’s also another blow to the local economy in a sector that’s been hammered by the pandemic. My heart goes out to everyone who has lost their job at such a difficult time. I believe we urgently need action on jobs and a plan for the retail sector. I pledge to be a ‘Jobs First’ mayor and, unlike the current invisible Conservative Metro Mayor, I’ll ensure every penny of the High Street fund is spent.”

Dan’s dog leads paws-itive dog theft awareness day zoom call

Dan Norris’ Cocker Spaniel Angel (and the Metro Mayor candidate himself) are backing Dog Theft Awareness day as figures show not only a large rise in demand for canine companionship during Covid lockdown but also an increase in the reporting of missing pets.

They are not letting sleeping dogs lie and hosted a special ‘Dogs Zoom meeting’ event for local dog owners to raise concerns and give them ‘paws for thought’.

The Stolen And Missing Pets Alliance’s (SAMPA) report that Doglost, the ‘lead’ in missing pets website saw a 170% increase in reports in 2020.

Dan Norris said: “The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns have caused many people to turn to man’s best friend as a source of support and mental wellbeing. The loss of a companion and family member, especially at this time can be devastating. I know I’d be as sick as a dog if Angel was stolen.

“Fortunately you can teach an old dog owner new tricks and we can all take simple steps to reduce the possibility of theft in this dog-eat-dog world including walking at different times of the day; varying your route; keeping your dog in sight at all times; not  wearing headphones or talking on your phone and checking your home and garden security.”

Angel added: “Woof!”

Dan Norris welcomes Labour Leader to meet Filton key worker heroes

Labour Metro Mayor candidate Dan Norris welcomed Labour leader Keir Starmer to the South West Ambulance Trust’s base in Filton.

The Labour duo met paramedics and other ambulance staff stationed there and heard about their tireless work throughout the pandemic.

But Metro Mayor candidate Dan Norris said that he was “very sad” to hear that these key workers heroes felt “let down and insulted” by the one per cent pay rise the Government plan for NHS staff.

The 1% increase will mean paramedics take home £3330 less pay than in 2010, when adjusted for inflation.

Mr Norris said: “NHS key worker heroes told me about the huge impact of the pandemic, the pressure and the extra shifts they’ve taken on. They are so proud to be a part of our NHS but covid has had a huge impact on them and their families. I’m afraid the mean-spirited one per cent pay rise the government has suggested is an insult. If ever there was a time to say thank you and show we value key workers it is now. It’s time for new leadership.”

Time for Chew Valley to get connected

Data reveals that nearly one in twenty people across the Chew Valley, Bishop Sutton & East Harptree are unable to receive decent broadband.

In contrast across England as a whole 99.4% of homes and businesses meet the Universal Service Obligation –  able to receive 10 Mbps download speed or 1 Mbps upload speed, which Ofcom regards as necessary components of ‘decent broadband’.

There is no doubt that broadband is an essential part of day to day life, and the pandemic has accelerated this, yet there was no mention of rural broadband in the Chancellor’s budget speech last week. 

Metro Mayor candidate Dan Norris said: “Whether it is businesses finding using the latest technology difficult, creating educational setbacks or the inability to stream TV, poor broadband is holding our area back.”

If elected Mr Norris has pledged to commission a review into digital connectivity, identifying areas with poor internet coverage and creating a plan for rapid broadband rollout; work with local schools to invest in better technology, such as laptops for students and to provide training for the elderly population to learn digital skills.