Don Foster MP

Don Foster MP - 15/267 - Bath's #1 Supporter

EDM Update - 9th July-20th July

July 20, 2023 by Don Foster MP in Early Day Motions

In the last two weeks Don has signed seven Early Day Motions in relation to a variety of causes. You can read about the EDM that Don signed to show his support for British Cycling’s comprehensive justice review (EDM 407) in more detail by going to the EDM tab under News on the top menu bar. However, brief summaries of all the EDMs Don has supported since the 9th July are below.

EDM 407 - Victims of Road Accidents

That this House notes that many victims of road accidents do not feel that the criminal justice system adequately protects or supports them in the aftermath of their case; further notes that it is important that those who have suffered traumatic incidents are given effective and sympathetic support as they attempt to rebuild their lives; welcomes the work of British Cycling and other groups, including CTC, Sustrans, London Cycling Campaign, The Times, Cycling Weekly, RoadPeace and Brake to raise the profile of the issue; and calls on the Ministry of Justice to review carefully the evidence they have submitted and undertake a comprehensive review of each part of the criminal justice system, from crash investigation standards through to sentencing guidelines, to ensure that it is fairer for cyclists, pedestrians and other road users who are hurt or seriously injured on the country’s roads.

EDM 363 – Youth Select Committee

That this House welcomes the founding of the Youth Select Committee, a pilot initiative enabling young people to hold inquiries into issues it considers to be important; offers its strong support to the Committee; recognises the importance of the Youth Select Committee in inspiring young people to have an interest in politics; further welcomes the decision to consider public transport including the challenges faced by young people in accessing services and travelling safely; notes that its representatives are all elected and aged between 12 and 18; further notes that the Committee’s inquiries reflect issues prioritised by the British Youth Council, the UK Youth Parliament and a national poll of 65,000 young people; and looks forward to the Committee’s report and recommendations.

EDM 296 – Kesri Lehar Petition

That this House welcomes the national petition launched by the Kesri Lehar campaign urging the UK Government to press the Indian government tosign and ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the UNConvention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which encompasses the death penalty, with the result that India would abolish the death penalty and lift this threat from Balwant Singh Rajoana and others.

EDM 280 – Report of Inquiry into Palestinian Children in Israeli Military Custody

That this House welcomes the publication of the report Children in Military Custody published on 26 June 2023 following the independent inquiry by senior UK lawyers into the treatment of Palestinian children under Israeli military law, which has found Israel to be in breach of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on at least six counts and of the Fourth Geneva Convention on at least two counts; thanks the Rt Hon Sir Stephen Sedley, the Rt Hon the Baroness Patricia Scotland of Asthal QC, Frances Oldham QC, Marianna Hildyard QC, Judy Khan QC, Jayne Harrill, Jude Lanchin, Greg Davies and Marc Mason for their thoroughness; and, in welcoming HM Government support for the inquiry through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, asks the Foreign Secretary to make a statement to the House setting out his proposals for persuading Israel to comply in practice with international law relating to the treatment of children.

EDM 217 – British Chambers of Commerce’s Business is Good for Britain Campaign

That this House recognises that business is good for Britain and welcomes the fact that businesses are the engines of growth and creators of jobs; further recognises that entrepreneurial spirit, talent and innovation make business good for Britain; welcomes the British Chambers of Commerce’s Business is Good for Britain campaign; and understands that businesses play a crucial role in national recovery, local communities and in the lives of people.

EDM 200 – Cervical Screening Awareness Week

That this House notes that the UK is fortunate to have a cervical screening programme that is estimated to save 5,000 lives a year; further notes that despite cervical cancer being a largely preventable disease, 20 per cent of invited women do not attend cervical screening and there are worries that screening uptake is at a 10-year low; congratulates the work of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust; and supports its call during Cervical Screening Awareness Week 2012 that everything possible should be done to ensure and encourage women toattend cervical screening when offered the opportunity to do so, including investment in targeted education and awareness campaigns, encouraging companies to allow employees to attend screening during working hours and for GP surgeries to provide flexible and innovative opportunities for women to be screened.

EDM 96 – Trident Replacement

That this House notes the findings of the National Security Strategy that a nuclear weapon threat from another state is oflow likelihood; further notes a procurement costof 25 billion and an estimated lifetime cost of over 100 billion for the replacement of the Trident nuclear weapon system; believes that there are greater spending priorities both at the Ministry of Defence and acrossother departments; and urges the Government to cancel plans to replace Trident.

 

For a full record of the EDMs that Don has signed go to: https://www.parliament.uk/edm/2012-13/3294/don-foster

Ambitious scheme to help young people find jobs or training in the South West launched

July 20, 2023 by Don Foster MP in Don in Parliament, News

A pioneering scheme to give young people who are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEETs) opportunities to get back on track is launched in the South West today.

The scheme is targeted at the estimated 5390 of 16-17-year-old NEETs in the South West (4.7%) and is part of Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg’s Youth Contract.

Today the charities and business that will provide the service in the South West were announced. They have had to show a track-record in getting young people into education, apprenticeships, training or work with training and will be paid by results.

The programme, to take place over the next three years, will focus on at least 55,000 16-17 year old NEETs with no GCSEs at A* to C, who are at the highest risk of long-term disengagement.

Commenting, Don Foster, MP for Bath said:

“Sitting at home with little to do when you’re so young can knock the stuffing out of you for a very long time. It is a tragedy for the young people involved and a ticking time bomb for the economy and society as a whole.

“Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government are doing the right thing by supporting young people in Bath and across the South West who have had difficulty finding a job or training and are at risk of becoming damagingly disengaged.

“Today’s announcement will ensure they receive personal, targeted support from experts to help them develop the confidence and skills that the need to stay in education or find a job.

“Youth unemployment is a slow burn social disaster so it’s right that although money is tight, the Coalition Government is prioritising investment on NEETS as part of the Youth Contract so our children can get the necessary skills for a lifetime of work by earning or learning.”

Commenting further, Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said:

“Young people who have fallen through the net need tailored support to get back on track. We can’t treat them like round pegs being forced into square holes – if you’re young and have got to the point where you feel on the scrapheap, you need extra help to succeed in life.

“Disengaged young people often have complex problems that act as a barrier to getting them learning again, which the Government alone can’t deal with. But very often local charities and businesses know what’s going to help them.

“That’s why we’re unlocking funding for these organisations to be as creative and innovative as they can, to do whatever it takes, to get the young people who need it most back on their feet. In exchange for this freedom, all we ask is that they get results. It’s a win-win for young people and the organisations involved.”

Foster welcomes Government’s £9billion commitment to rail travel

Don Foster MP has welcomed the news that rail passengers in the South West are set to benefit from £9 billion pounds worth of investment in the rail industry.

The package announced by the Coalition Government represents £4.2 billion of new investment in 2014-2019 on top of the £5.2billion already committed to rail in the 2014-19.

Major upgrades and improvements that will benefit the South West include:

- Changing the fleet mix for the InterCity Express Programme (IEP) electric trains from eight carriages to nine carriages, meaning more seats for passengers on the Great Western Main Line.

- A new rail link to give direct western access to Heathrow Airport, which will reduce congested routes into Heathrow. Passenger journey times to the airport from the South West could typically be reduced by around 30 minutes.

- £200m for station improvements across the rail network with £100m of this for Access for All improvements that benefit older and disabled passengers and those with small children.

Commenting, Don Foster MP said:

“This is the biggest expansion in railways in over 150 years and it’s fantastic that Bath and the South West will benefit directly from this investment.

“While the Coalition inherited a deficit greater than any in our nation’s peacetime history, we knew that we had to give the country the boost it needs, to build great railways and make journeys better for the millions of hard working people who use the train every day.

“As a Liberal Democrat looking after the environment is a priority, so the opportunity to dramatically expand rail, a greener form of transport than aviation or road is very exciting indeed. This investment will help people to choose trains over cars, reduce carbon emissions and provide a rail system that is faster, more reliable and greener.”

Transport Secretary, Justine Greening, said:

“Investment across the Great Western Main Line shows how this coalition government is focused on delivering an affordable, reliable and fast-moving railway network that drives jobs and growth.

“These plans to increase capacity and shorten journey times on intercity, commuter and freight services are, alongside our plans for high speed rail, absolutely key to securing prosperity in the South West in the decades ahead.”