Dan Norris, the Labour Mayor for the West of England, is spending £8 million on a transport publicity stunt, all whilst nearly 80% of city roads are in “need of repair”. The costly new policy, which starts in July, will give people free bus travel in the Bristol area throughout their birthday month. However, passengers are in for a bumpy ride, as Bristol’s pothole-ridden roads have been described as the “worst in England”. With £8 million going to birthday bus rides, you’d think Labour would cough up at least as much to make the roads usable. They have, in fact, provided just £2.5 million.
It is expected that today Boris will announce an end to compulsory face masks from July 19th. However, not everyone is happy to see face coverings go; Labour mayors Sadiq Khan, Andy Burnham, Dan Norris and Steve Rotheram all seem reluctant to bin the masks. As such it’s unclear whether masks will continue to be mandated on public transport – which is under the remit of mayors. If Khan had his way, Guido suspects that no one would be boarding the freedom train any time soon…
Unite the union are also calling on ministers to keep face masks mandatory on public transport, writing that optional face coverings would be “an act of gross negligence by the government”.
Boris is expected to advocate people exercise their own judgement. However, Huw Merriman, Tory Chairman of the Commons Transport Committee has slammed the government’s “confusing” policy arguing that scrapping mask laws whilst simultaneously recommending they be worn is a “cop out.” He says guidance should be scrapped in its entirety…
Guido couldn’t noticing David Schneider also weigh in on the great mask-debate. Hardly surprising to hear he enjoys restrictions…
The West of England’s self-proclaimed “more visible” Metro Mayor, who mysteriously vanished from public view as soon as he was sworn in, has revealed what he was up to after he got elected and became invisible. Following Guido’s campaign to find Dan Norris after he was elected, a Freedom of Information (FoI) response confirms the rumours over what happened to the Mayor during his unexplained disappearance. He stayed online and went on holiday.
Despite Norris claiming he’d be a mayor who would “gets things done“, and his press team insisting he had a “packed diary” (a diary of meetings which they also initially refused to reveal), the FoI shows a remarkably light schedule for a man who made such bold promises during his campaign:
Monday, 10 May
TV interviews with Good Morning Britain, and then local ITV and BBC in the evening. The Mayor also spoke to Radio Bristol. Was officially sworn in and attended a legal briefing.
In addition he met with Combined Authority staff via Zoom.
Tuesday, 11 May
He made phone calls and replied to correspondence.
Wednesday, 12 May
He met with the three local Council leaders.
He didn’t actually meet them, it was a conference call:
Today's #BristolMayorAgenda 📆 includes:— Marvin Rees (@MarvinJRees) May 12, 2021
– #Covid19 city leaders call
– Weekly interview on @BCfmRadio
– Call with @VoteDanNorris, @WestOfEnglandCA
– Call with @CllrKevinGuy, @BathNES
– Call with Cllr Don Davies, @NorthSomersetC
Thursday, 13 May
He attended a “Meet the Mayor” Stakeholder Event via Zoom.
Certainly a few phone calls and Zoom meetings, all of which can be made from any sunny locale in the British Isles. The meeting with “the three local Council leaders” might’ve given Norris a decent alibi – had the tweet from Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees not completely blown his cover…
Guido is relieved to report that Labour’s new Metro Mayor for the West of England, Dan Norris, has at last been found safe and well, after his mysterious disappearance last week following his mayoral victory. Fantastic news for all his constituents, who were no doubt perturbed by the rumours that he had immediately gone on holiday after being sworn in…
It’s also reassuring for Guido, who even issued a missing mayor report after noticing Norris’s conspicuous lack of social media boasting all of last week. Thankfully, the Mayor was straight in front of the cameras on Monday after his unexplained public sabbatical…
Guido was told he didn’t do any of this last week because he was just too busy ‘getting things done’. With all this work he’ll soon have to take some well-deserved time off…
Earlier this week, Guido reported on the strange disappearance of the West of England’s newly-elected Metro Mayor. Since being sworn in on Monday, Labour’s new mayor Dan Norris hasn’t been seen in public anywhere – a bit odd given his promises to be ‘more visible‘ than his predecessor and to ‘get things done‘. Now that it’s the end of the week, and the Mayor still hasn’t been found, Guido’s decided it’s time to issue a missing person notice in the hope of assuring his safe return to his mayoral desk. Guido is told that the West of England Combined Authority is incredibly concerned, and that the Mayor definitely isn’t on holiday…
Guido has been paying close attention to the newly-elected mayors over the last week, and as expected, almost all of them have been out in front of the cameras after their victories. Ben Houchen, Andy Street, Andy Burnham, Tracy Brabin, and Sadiq Khan have all been out at public engagements since the weekend, which led Guido to ask: where’s Dan Norris? Labour’s new Metro Mayor for the West of England, who mocked his predecessor Tim Bowles for being “invisible“, hasn’t been seen in public since being sworn in. His social media is devoid of the selfies and photo ops that other mayors have shared. Despite claiming to be “a more visible Mayor who gets things done”, Guido hasn’t seen him anywhere…
Having won the top job, Norris seems to have decided to “get things done” by immediately taking the rest of the week off. When Guido asked Norris’s team where the Mayor had gone, they simply said “it was a ridiculous question” and that he has “a packed diary“. A diary they then refused to reveal… is the new Mayor, as rumoured, taking some time-off after a gruelling election campaign?