Don Foster MP

Don Foster MP - 52/267 - Bath's #1 Supporter

Foster’s Bill to boost live music in Bath

November 29, 2023 by admin in Don in Bath, Don in Parliament, News

Don Foster MP has welcomed his Live Music Bill becoming one step closer to law. The Bill, which will free small venues from red tape when showcasing live music and make it easier to stage events in school and village halls, has successfully passed its second reading in the House of Commons.

The Live Music Bill was tabled in the Lords by the Liberal Democrats. Don Foster is the Bill’s sponsor in the House of Commons.

The aim of the Live Music Bill is to reduce the crippling affect that red tape and bureaucracy had on the live music industry across the country but specifically in Bath’s pubs. The Bill will remove unnecessary licensing restrictions that are currently in place for unamplified music, and for amplified music performed to audiences of fewer than 200 people.

Commenting Don Foster said:

“If this Bill passes its remaining parliamentary stages, it will help reverse the decline of live music events in smaller venues.

“By removing unnecessary red tape it will help struggling venues such as pubs and clubs and preserve our world class grassroots music scene.

“It is significant that not one MP objected to the passage of the Bill. Across all parties, MPs agree that the red tape on our live music must go.”

Alan Morgan, founder of the Bath based brewery, Abbey Ales and Inns, was delighted by the news:

The Live Music Bill will be a great help to the pub industry in Bath as it will allow our small venues to put on music without the hassle of red-tape”

“Music goes hand in hand with British pubs but existing licensing laws make it nigh on impossible for small pubs to put on live entertainment”

“Hopefully, the Live Music Bill will become law as this will be great benefit to us at the Assembly Inn where live music will be a regular feature.”

David Jackson, Head of Marketing at Bath Tourism Plus also welcomed the news, adding:

“Anything that removes regulation for small businesses is a very positive thing, particularly for a city like Bath which has an active arts, cultural and live music scene”.

Coalition plans will ensure breaks for carers in Bath Foster

November 28, 2023 by admin in Don in Bath, News

The Coalition Government has announced plans to make sure carers are able to get a break.

Last year, Liberal Democrat Care Minister, Paul Burstow announced an extra £400m for Primary Care Trusts to allow carers to take a well-earned break, but a recent study has found that many PCTs are not spending this money on carers.

The Coalition Government has now announced a new framework to ensure that by September next year, the local NHS must have plans in place to support carers and must publish these plans.

Commenting, Don Foster, MP for Bath said:

“In difficult times Liberal Democrats are doing the right thing and making sure we help those who need it most.

“The new framework will make life a little bit easier for carers in Bath who are some of the most unsung heroes we have.

“This is a manifesto commitment that the Liberal Democrats are delivering in the Coalition Government.”

Locally, the move was welcomed by Carers Centre Bath and North East Somerset who offer support to carers across the region. The service provides the latest information and advice on issues such as carers’ rights, assessments, respite, breaks, aids and adaptations, benefits and lifelong learning.

Cllr Simon Allen, cabinet Member for Wellbeing added:

“Carers are very often the unsung heroes of our communities providing support for those that need it most. It is the right thing that publicly accountable plans are published to ensure that carers receive the support they deserve and in Bath and North East Somerset we will be doing just that!”

Commenting, David Harris, Operational Manager of Carers Centre B&NES said:

“This is welcome news as having a break is essential in maintaining the quality of the carers own life and ensures they are able to maintain their caring role.

“That’s why the Carers’ Centre Bath and North East Somerset offers information and advice on breaks to the 16,000 carers who live in the area.”

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

“We know that most people who need care would prefer for it to be provided by a loved one and that personal touch can make the world of difference to their lives.

“Family carers contribute billions of pounds to the economy with the amount of care and support they give, driven by nothing but a selfless desire to help those they love, reducing the need for local authorities and the NHS to step in.

“It is only right we try and reward those carers with a few days off here and there, or a short break away, to alleviate them of the day-to-day pressure that comes with caring.

“That is why we have asked the NHS to work closer than ever before with local authorities, to pool their money, to agree plans and to make sure carers get the break they all deserve.”

Foster welcomes Liberal Democrat clampdown on unexpected bank charges

November 25, 2023 by admin in Liberal Democrats, News

The Coalition Government has announced measures to clamp down on unexpected bank charges following a review of consumer credit and personal insolvency. Don has welcomed the news and released this comment:

We’ve all been there. A direct debit comes out days before pay day and pushes you ever so slightly over your overdraft limit, so you get whacked with a massive penalty fee by your bank. You step into a high street shop and are given the hard sell for a store card, you’re tempted by the discount and end up saddled with a stonking great interest rate you didn’t even realise you were signing up to.

For too long, too much power has been in the hands of banks and big companies and too little information gets to you, the customer.

The Liberal Democrats have long campaigned to give consumers more power, more choice and more information. I’m proud to say that Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government have now taken action.

The Liberal Democrat business minister Ed Davey has announced that unexpected bank charges and introductory store card offers are a thing of the past.

What’s more, you will now get the option of receiving a text message or email from your bank if you’re close to going into the red.

The announcement follows long discussions and negotiations between the Coalition Government and industry, looking at all aspects of consumer credit and personal insolvency.

The Liberal Democrats fundamentally believe in independence, individual freedom and equality of opportunity. Where we see concentrations of power, whether in the banks, big business or the state, we want to break them up and give that power back to individuals, where it belongs.

For all the lofty ideals, I accept tackling unexpected bank charges might seem small beer compared to fighting to abolish slavery or give women the vote, but the same motivation that drove Liberals then drives us now - giving people power and choice.

It’s why Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government are making sure the Income Tax threshold is raised so that you keep more of your own money, a policy straight from the front page of our manifesto to your back pocket.

It’s why Nick Clegg and Vince Cable fought to ensure that banks are hit with a new tax to the tune of £2.5bn a year.

And it’s why the Coalition Government is reforming the benefits system to make sure that work always pays.

Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government are tackling big problems and making difficult decisions every day, because we believe in doing the right thing, not the easy thing.

We know that we can’t give people the power and freedom we want unless we get the economy growing and jobs created. We inherited a mess from Labour but we are fighting every day to turn it round.

But amid all the economic doom and gloom it is worth remembering there are things the Liberal Democrats are doing to tip the balance back in favour of individuals. Ending unexpected bank charges and introductory store card offers is just one small piece of that puzzle.