Don Foster MP

Don Foster MP - 41/267 - Bath's #1 Supporter

Business backing Youth Contract - Foster

January 10, 2024 by admin in Don in Bath, News

Business leaders have backed the £1bn Youth Contract, announced by Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg in November, which aims to ensure that all jobless young people are earning or learning again before long-term damage is done.

In the South West, 15,000, 18 to 24-year-olds are currently in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance and would stand to benefit from the Youth Contract.

Britain’s four biggest employer organisations, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), have formally backed the Youth Contract and will also urge their members to back the initiative.

Starting next April, the Youth Contract will provide at least 410,000 new work places for 18 to 24 year olds into work over the next three years. This includes 160,000 wage subsidies and 250,000 new work experience placements.

A new programme to will help 16 and 17 year olds who are not in employment, education or training (NEETs).

This will help the most disengaged of the 15,000 in the South West get back to school or college, onto an apprenticeship or into a job with training.

In addition, there will be at least 20,000 more incentive payments to encourage employers to take on young apprentices in England.

Commenting, Don Foster said:

“Youth unemployment is an economic waste and a slow-burn social disaster. If young people are out of work, the consequences of that will be felt for decades afterwards. We need to ensure young people do not have a false start.

“That is why it is excellent news that Britain’s four biggest employer organisations are backing the scheme. I look forward to working with local employers to make sure the Youth Contract is a success so that we won’t lose the skills and talent of our young people - right when we need them most.

“As a Liberal Democrat, I am proud that the Coalition Government is working with business to do the right thing to prevent another lost generation.”

Commenting further, Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said:

“Supporting people into work is my priority for 2012 and helping young people get proper lasting jobs is especially important.

“The Youth Contract will make sure every unemployed young person starts earning or learning again before long term damage is done.

“But government can’t do this alone, we need businesses to play their part too. That’s why the support of the Confederation of British

Industry, British Chambers of Commerce, British Retail Consortium and Federation of Small Businesses is such good news.”

Extra social care funding means better help at home for people in Bath and North East Somerset

January 6, 2024 by admin in Don in Bath, News

An extra £457,275 for social care in Bath & North East Somerset will mean people can leave hospital earlier and receive better care at home.

This comes from an extra £150m announced by the Coalition Government this week to be spent on shortening hospital stays across the country during the busy winter period.

Thanks to the Liberal Democrats, the cash can be used to access various preventative services such as better home care support, crisis response teams and specialist equipment for people in B&NES.

This is on top of the £648m already given to Primary Care Trusts this financial year to support social care services, and the cash is due to savings made in the Department of Health’s budget.

Commenting, Don Foster MP said:

“At this time of year it is of particular importance to do everything we can to ensure people are cared for at home in a safe and familiar environment, with their family and friends close by.

“The Coalition is already doing the right thing and providing an extra £7.2bn in social care funding over the next four years. This extra cash for Bath further shows how the Liberal Democrats recognise that we all prefer to be out of hospital, receiving care in our own home.”

Welcoming the news, Cllr Simon Allen, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing added:

“This additional winter funding is very welcome. It will provide people in Bath and North East Somerset with the support they need and get them out of hospital in a timely way.

“Liberal Democrats, both in Government and in Bath and North East Somerset Council, have long argued for integrated services in Health and Social Care. This additional money will encourage this even more and support people to be cared for in the way that is best for them.”

Commenting further, Liberal Democrat Health Minister, Paul Burstow said:

“By reinvesting these savings in social care we can offer more help more support to older people leaving hospital.

“It is absolutely crucial that the NHS and local authorities work together to help people leave hospital when they are ready. The benefits are on all sides - patients get to go home with the support they and their families need, and hospital beds are freed up.

“This money will help cut the delays in getting the equipment and adaptations that people can need to enable them to live independently at home - saving them from an unnecessary stay in hospital or going into residential care.”

Don Foster pushes for answers about use of tear gas in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

December 21, 2023 by admin in Don in Parliament, News

20 December 2023

Alistair Burt MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

King Charles Street





I enclose a letter and an article which I have received from one of my constituents, Mr xxxxxx, of xxxxx,Bath.

The death of Mustafa Tamimi is another example of people suffering from the misuse of tear gas in Israel and The Occupied Palestinian Territories. We have witnessed a series of deaths and injuries in recent years from tear gas canisters being fired directly at crowds. Tristan Anderson of Oakland California is suffering from brain damage, paralysis and seizures after he was hit in the head by a canister at a 2009 demonstration[i].

The Israeli army has described Mr Tamimi’s death as an ‘exceptional incident’[ii]; sadly we know this to not be the case. IDF regulations prohibit firing tear gas directly at people. It would appear though that the military regularly violates its own regulations at Palestinian demonstrations in the West Bank. In April 2009, Bassem Abu-Rahmah, from the village of Bil’in, was killed by a tear gas canister that struck him in the chest[iii]. B’Tselem has been warning officials about security forces’ fire tear-gas canisters directly at persons during demonstrations for some time now[iv].

I would urge you therefore to raise this issue at the next possible opportunity with the Israeli authorities. To my knowledge no soldier or commander has ever been arrested for firing tear gas canisters directly at people. This lack of accountability only entrenches the problem.

I would be most interested in your thoughts on this matter so I can best respond to my constituent reassuring him that this is an issue the British government is taking seriously.

I look forward to your response.

Don Foster MP

Please reply to31 James Street West,Bath,BA1 2BT

Tel: 01225 338 973 Fax: 01225 463 630