Don Foster MP

Don Foster MP - 5/267 - Bath's #1 Supporter

Don Foster MP chairs “seagull summit” in Parliament

Don Foster MP has hosted a “seagull summit” for MPs and local government representatives from areas affected by the problems faced by urban seagulls.

Peter Rock from Bristol University, and a well known expert in the field, outlined the problems caused by urban seagulls that are faced by many communities; from damaged to property and noise to increases in vermin caused by pecked open rubbish sacks.

Mr Rock pointed out that data on the size of the urban seagull population was now very out of date but he estimated that there were now well over 100,000 pairs and that the numbers were increasing rapidly. He and others present discussed the methods currently in use to reduce the problems. However, with graphic photographic evidence, Mr Rock was able to demonstrate that techniques such as netting, spikes, bird scarers, imitation birds of prey and egg replacement had little of no effect.

The meeting concluded that there was an urgent need for research into what makes the urban gull so successful; research that would use GPS tracking devices on a sample of gulls over a period of up to 3 years to get detailed information about their behaviour.

Don Foster pointed out that his previous efforts to persuade the government to fund such research (which might cost up to £400,000) had failed and he was not optimistic there would be a change of mind.

It was agreed that affected councils, Business Improvement Districts and major companies (like supermarkets) may be willing to contribute towards the cost of the research.

It was agreed that Don would convene a further meeting of MPs to plan how this approach should be progressed in the near future

Commenting, Don said:

“For far too long we have been unable to find a solution to curb the growing problem of urban seagulls. In Bath and other areas people are being terrorised by these birds and the current control methods are simply not working.

“The problems are getting worse, and unless we understand what it is that makes the gulls so successful we will make no progress. Hopefully, by bringing interested councils and businesses in to fund research we will be able to find a lasting solution that can be used countrywide”

Bath Christmas Market another “roaring success” - Foster

December 3, 2023 by Don Foster MP in Don in Bath, News

Visiting Bath’s famous Christmas market this week, Don Foster, MP for Bath described the event as yet another “roaring success” for Bath.

Accompanied by Nick Brook-Sykes, Chief Executive of Bath Tourism Plus, Don was able to chat to vendors and even get a few Christmas present ideas along the way.

Commenting Don said:

“The Christmas market has become renowned across the country which is a testament to the organisers at Bath Tourism Plus for their hard work year on year”

“I always enjoy coming here to speak to the traders, scope out some present ideas and this year I got to sample the hot local cider which is always a bonus!”

Nick Brook-Sykes added:

“Bath’s Christmas Market, which is organised by Bath Tourism Plus, is one of the highlights of the city’s events calendar. It is eagerly awaited by businesses and visitors alike. With over 350,000 visitors spending some £11million in the city, its economic impact is widely felt. Bath Tourism Plus is working hard with partners across the city to make sure that the benefits of the Christmas Market are maximised.”

Don Foster encourages schools to take part in autism challenge

November 30, 2023 by Don Foster MP in Don in Bath, News

Bath MP Don Foster is supporting a nationwide charity challenge to help raise awareness of issues affecting pupils with autism and is calling on all Bath’s schools to take part.

The Anderson Schools Challenge is a joint campaign between The National Autistic Society (NAS) and the Anderson Foundation, which is challenging schools to complete 50 fun and easy tasks in celebration of the NAS’ 50th Birthday.

Don champions the autism peer awareness lesson

The tasks, which range from fitting 50 items into a Smarties tube to holding an autism-awareness assembly, can be undertaken by 50 individual pupils or a whole class, unless any pupils fancy taking on all 50! The money raised will help the NAS to provide much-needed services and support for people affected by autism across the UK.

Commenting, Don said:

“I’m more than happy to be supporting the Anderson Schools Challenge and am calling on all local primary schools to do their bit and help raise awareness of autism. School can be a real struggle for many children with the condition, but better understanding among teachers, school staff and other pupils can make a real difference. This is a fun and easy way to improve awareness of autism and raise vital funds for the NAS, so that it can continue to support individuals and families across the UK.”

Mark Lever, Chief Executive of the NAS, said:

“We’re thrilled that Don is championing this important challenge and encouraging as many schools as possible take part. Autism is more common than most people think – around 1 in 100 people have the condition and it touches the lives of over 500,000 families in the UK. Raising awareness and providing vital support can make a world of different to people with autism and their families.”

To sign up to the Anderson Schools Challenge visit www.autism.org.uk/schoolschallenge