Film maker Ken Loach backs Respect's Paulette North for Bristol Mayor

Internationally renowned local filmmaker Ken Loach has given his full backing to Paulette North the Respect Party's candidate for the forthcoming Bristol mayoral election.

Ken Loach whose latest film is up for yet another prestigious award and whose other films include Kes, Looking for Eric and The Wind that Shakes the Barley, had this to say about why he backs Paulette North, "I am pleased to support Paulette. She would work for the ordinary people of Bristol. She would defend them against the vested interests of big business and central government. She would be the 'people's Mayor'!"

Paulette North said of the support of Mr Loach. " I am delighted that someone whose films are so inspirational, speaks so highly of me. But most of all it's an endorsement of the values and principles we both share".

Paulette North has made it clear about what she believes would make Bristol a better and fairer City, preferring straight talking to the usual bland vagueness of other politicians.

She has stated: "It is a disgrace that Bristol can be both so prosperous yet have some of the most deprived areas in the country.

Bristol should aspire to be a City of full employment. We can start by bringing all the empty housing stock back up to a living standard. It is wrong that we have thousands of empty houses whilst we have people on the waiting list and others are homeless. And at the same time there are unemployed construction workers, bricklayers, plumbers and electricians. That's ridiculous people in work pay taxes and will spend their money in the stores and shops in Bristol, making it right for everyone.

The council should bring work back 'in house' using direct labour with apprenticeships at proper rates of pay. Top quality support must be provided by the council to our elders. The cuts made in community funding must be restored. The Educational Maintenance Allowance [EMA] must be restored to give hope to the young people of Bristol. Schools should be under council control.

Privatised bus and rail transport has been a disaster - high fares, overcrowded trains and inadequate service. They need to be under the control of the council. Council tax should be replaced by a local income tax based on people's ability to pay and big business should be contributing much more."

Jerry Hicks Bristol Respect convenor said "Paulette [North] is unique in that she would not take any six figure salary but instead only accept the average working wage as Mayor. She is determined not to burden council tax payers with the costs of another layer of bureaucracy and would rely on existing council staff to support the work of the Mayor".