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Don Foster MP - Bath's #1 Supporter

Bath community groups recognised by Community Fund

November 26, 2014 by Don Foster MP in Charity support, Press

Don Foster, MP for Bath, is pleased to learn that six local community groups are set to benefit from the Lloyds Bank Community Fund after a cumulative total of 1.5 million votes were cast across 350 communities in the UK.

Lloyds Bank Community Fund LogoThe Community Fund is part of Lloyd Bank’s ‘Helping Britain Prosper Plan’ which aims to bring communities closer together and help them thrive. Each of the 350 communities contained four good local causes, with banded prizes for those finishing between first and fourth.

Commenting, Don said “I am delighted that not four, but six local causes have been recognised in Bath for the outstanding contribution they make to the local community. The funding provided by Lloyds Bank will help these community groups benefit an even wider group of people than they already serve.”

The community groups from Bath to receive an award are:TraumaRecoveryCentre

  • Mentoring Plus  £2000
  • Trauma Recovery Centre  £3000
  • Bath Opportunity Pre-school  £3000
  • Percy Community Centre  £1000
  • Bath FoodCycle  £2000
  • Larkhall United Reformed Church  £500

The Community Fund will help support groups to cover overheads and provide resources to assist the economic activities of the individuals they serve. Many of the groups in receipt of the Fund in Bath have already been recognised for their innovation and hard work nationally. However, the cash injection provided by the Community Fund is arguably more important and will help groups such as Bath FoodCycle to guarantee free meals well into the New Year.

Don added “These groups epitomise the meaning of community spirit. All those who dedicate their valuable time to help others in the community should be very proud of what they have, and continue to, achieve.”

Lib Dems stand up for tenants

Don Foster, MP for Bath, is pleased that Liberal Democrats are seeking to put an end to revenge evictions thanks to a new Bill that is making its way through parliament.

Tenancy BillLast year over 200,000 people suffered from revenge evictions and Lib Dems want to put an end to this. The Tenancies (Reform) Bill, which was put forward by Lib Dem MP, Sarah Teather, will have its Second Reading on 28 November.

The Bill will protect tenants from retaliatory evictions and from rogue landlords, ensuring that tenants in the private sector get the same level of protection as those in social housing. Lib Dem Communities Minister Stephen Williams has also indicated that the Government supports the Bill too, meaning that it stands a very good chance of making it into law in the near future.

Commenting, Don Foster said: “The fact that over 200,000 people last year alone were evicted just for asking for basic repairs is appalling. I’m really pleased of the progress Lib Dems are making in ending revenge eviction and I look forward to supporting Sarah Teather MP’s Bill next Friday.”

Whilst the vast majority of landlords offer a good, professional service, a small minority of landlords use the threat of eviction to prevent tenants from simply asking for essential repairs to be made.

Lib Dem MP for Brent Central, Sarah Teather, said: “It’s fantastic to have the Government’s backing for my Bill, which I believe will make a real difference to renters in Brent and across the country if it becomes law.”

Currently, landlords can carry out no-fault evictions – where they don’t have to give any reason – under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. Sarah Teather’s Bill will make a small tweak to this legislation that would prevent landlords from evicting a tenant for no reason within six months of receiving an improvement or hazard awareness notice

Commenting, Lib Dem Minister for Communities Stephen Williams said: “Our private rental sector is a vital asset, providing a home to nine million people across the country. So I’m determined to root out the minority of rogue landlords that give it a bad name. That’s why we’re backing Sarah Teather’s Bill to outlaw revenge evictions once and for all – ensuring tenants do not face the prospect of losing their home simply because they’ve asked for essential repairs to be made.”

Bath charity in final of ITV “The People’s Millions” competition

November 20, 2014 by Don Foster MP in Charity support, Health, News, Press

Don Foster, MP for Bath, has welcomed news that a local charity is to appear on ITV’s The People’s Millions competition, where charities from across the UK go head-to-head in a bid to win Big Lottery funding for their community projects.

Andrew, who the charity supports at Barron Winnicott care home, being filmed by the ITV crew

Andrew, who the charity supports at Barron Winnicott care home, being filmed by the ITV crew

On Tuesday 25 November, “Growing Together”, developed by charity Action for Hearing Loss in Bath, will be up against Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust during ITV’s West Country East evening news. Residents from across Bath and the West Country will determine which project wins the prize money through phone votes, which close at midnight.

“Growing Together” will build on the charity’s 75 years of work in the area and hopes to develop a holistic, therapeutic garden with creative arts studios, a sensory ‘snoezelen’ pod and renovated greenhouse in the grounds of the Poolemead House (BA2 1RN), a complex of six residential care homes, nursing home, supported living accommodation, and day care centre for adults who are deaf and have additional complex needs such as autism, learning difficulties or physical disabilities.

Commenting, Don Foster MP, said: “This is a great charity doing amazing work in Bath and getting this funding would allow them to do even more. They’ve done really well to get this far. I wish them the best of luck and I urge everyone in Bath to get behind this worthwhile cause.”

The “GrowingTogether” garden would provide outdoor space for the 150 residents and service users of Action for Hearing Loss in Bath and will also be open to the community as a whole to increase awareness of the issues that deaf people face and to broaden community understanding and acceptance of disability through work with local groups such as those from the local secondary school, The Prince’s Trust and scouting movement.

Roy Woods, Action on Hearing Loss’ Head of Services for the South West, said: “Growing Together” is so much more than a garden project for the 150-plus people who we support at Poolemead: it will allow greater interaction and opportunities with the dozens of local groups that visit and support us through the year and create a comforting environment, enabling communication outside of the formal spoken or written processes that are not available to many of the people who use our services; hopefully breaking down the barriers and stigma, which many deaf people must face on a daily basis.”

The People’s Millions 2014 takes place at the end of November when six groups from the South West will appear on ITV West Country East. Each night two community groups will make their cases for viewers’ support to take home up to £50,000. The public then have until midnight to cast their phone votes to determine who wins the prize. In the nine years The People’s Millions programme has been running, they have made a total of 523 awards worth almost £28 million.