Don Foster MP

Don Foster MP - 24/267 - Bath's #1 Supporter

Don shares his favourite childrens book for Bookstart 20 celebrations

May 11, 2023 by Don Foster MP in Don in Bath, News

Don Foster MP joined has joined up with Bookstart and B&NES Council urging readers of all ages to share their favourite books as part of the Bookstart 20 campaign.

Bookstart 20 invites everyone to celebrate the early years reading programme’s 20th anniversary by making a simple pledge to share 20 books in 2012. This can be by sharing books with children of family or friends or by sharing books with children in a school, pre-school or library.

The pledge can be made on a postcard, available in all of Bath & North East Somerset Council’s libraries, or online at

Local people are also being asked to name their favourite picture book and to say why it is their favourite. A “Top 20” of picture books will be compiled as the year progresses.

Don named ‘But Where is the Green Parrot’ by Thomas and Wanda Zacharias as his favourite: “My children and grandchildren have all loved this timeless classic. It’s a great way to engage even the youngest children in the excitement of books.

Councillor David Dixon (Lid-Dem, Oldfield), Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “It’s never too early to start sharing books with your baby and give them a head start in life. Bath & North East Somerset Council’s libraries provide a valuable resource to families, with more and more under-fives joining their local library every year. Programmes such as Bookstart play a large part in helping the Council to encourage children to enjoy reading from an early age.”

Cllr David Dixon will be joining local picture book author Kathryn White and Don Foster, MP for Bath, to help launch the Bookstart 20 campaign at Bath Library at 11.30 am on Friday 11 May.

Cllr Dixon said that ‘Dear Zoo’ by Rod Campbell is his favourite. “It’s the first book that I have read over and over again to both of my children,” he added.

People can join in by nominating their favourite picture books at any Bath & North East Somerset Council library, online at www.facebook/Bathlibraries, or on the Council’s Twitter feed @bathnes with the hashtag #bookstart20.

The Bookstart 20 campaign celebrates everything that the early years reading programme has achieved since it began in 1992. Over 64,000 free books have been given in Bookstart packs to the children of Bath and North East Somerset since the programme was launched here in 2005.

Marking 20 years as an MP - Don reports back on a busy month in Bath and Westminster

I begin by thanking my friends and colleagues of Bath & North East Somerset Liberal Democrats who organised the extremely enjoyable 20th Anniversary celebration in the Guildhall. It was wonderful to see so many people who have played a part in my life as Bath’s MP over the past 20 years. Watching some of Ben’s amazing video was, however, a painful reminder of weird spectacles, fluctuating waist line and greying hair.

On 17th April, the Speaker hosted a dinner for all those MPs who arrived in 1992 and are still in the House. It was an anecdote strewn evening

April and the beginning of May were intended to be relatively quiet on the culture, media and sport front. My new parliamentary researcher had just started and I wanted her to have a gentle introduction. But then a range of DCMS related stories hit the headlines leading to numerous un-planned meetings and media appearances.

However, normal parliamentary business also continued and for me included speaking at the Bingo Association AGM, attending the Sky Arts awards and meeting with numerous organisations (the “Kids in Museums” and Youth Sports Trust meetings stand out as especially useful). I sponsored various parliamentary events ranging from BBC’s launch of plans for Olympic Coverage to a celebration of my Live Music Bill organised by UK Music.

My membership of the Olympic Board means lots of 2012 related activities from Board meetings to attending the opening of the International Inspiration exhibition in London Museum.

In Bath I have had the opportunity to meet with – and whenever possible provide support for – many different organisations including;

  • Holiday Inn Express
  • Bath Abbey
  • Big Bath Buggy Push
  • The Prostate Cancer walk
  • “Think Jessica” and students from Bath Spa
  • Bath Gardeners’ market
  • University of Bath Pharmacy Dep.
  • Green Visions Kitchen
  • Woodland Grove Nursing Home
  • The “Min”

Outside Bath I have visited to speak or campaign in a number of constituencies, attended and spoke at the Regional Conference and even managed to watch some rugby.

Protection of Freedoms Act landmark achievement in fight for civil liberties – Foster

A landmark move to roll back Labour’s surveillance state has this week become law.

The Protection of Freedoms Act will:

  • stop councils snooping
  • end the storage of DNA of innocent people
  • reduce the bureaucracy of CRB checks
  • end 28-day detention
  • stop schools deciding on their own to take fingerprints of children
  • Make stalking a criminal offence
  • End wheel clamping on private land
  • Delete historical convictions for men who have had consensual gay sex with someone who was over 16

Liberal Democrats have long campaigned for this piece of legislation, proposing a “Freedom Bill” more than four years ago when Nick Clegg was the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesman.

Commenting, Don Foster MP said:

“This is a milestone in the fight to claw back our civil liberties. Under the Labour government, our civil liberties were steadily eroded by increasingly over-bearing security state.

“Liberal Democrats have done the right thing by ending these shameful practices with the Protection of Freedoms Act. It builds on the scrapping of the ID card scheme and the destruction of the National Identity Register and is a leap forward in bringing Labour’s surveillance state to an end.

“This Act will stop councils from putting CCTV cameras everywhere to snoop on residents without good reason, ending Labour’s laws that allowed them to spy on us whenever they wanted.

“The Freedoms Act will also help boost to volunteering in Bath by ending overburdening requirements to get a CRB check. The new regime will be more targeted and sensible, for example by allowing CRB checks to be transferred between jobs to cut down on bureaucracy.”