Don Foster MP

Don Foster MP - 61/267 - Bath's #1 Supporter

Don visits Bath Hindu Community for Diwali celebrations

November 1, 2023 by admin in Don in Bath, News

Don visitedBath Hindu Community at Twerton Park on Friday 28th October to join in the city’s Diwali celebrations.

Diwali the Indian “Festival of Light” is celebrated all around the world. Bath Hindu Community described the period as “the celebration of the inner light, in particular the knowing of which outshines all darkness (removes all obstacles and dispels all ignorance), awakening the individual to one’s true nature”

Bath residents urged to support their local for British Pub Week

October 31, 2023 by admin in Don in Bath, News

Don Foster MP is calling on all Bath residents (over the age of 18!) to turn out and support their local pubs in honour of British Pub Week.

Running from Friday 28th October to Saturday 6th November 2011, British Pub Week has a simple yet crucial aim - to unite the nation in celebrating the great British pub and getting as many people as possible to see all that it has to offer.

Kicking off events in Bath on Friday night, Don visited The Volunteer Riflemans Arms with Leader of the Council, Paul Crossley and Cllr Doug Nicol, Licensing Committee Member, to savour a pint or two of the pubs own brew - The Volunteer Riflemans Best Bitter.

Commenting, Don said:

“British Pub Week is so important in recognising such a great British institution. Pubs such as The Volunteer Riflemans Arms are central to communities throughout Bath.

“In Bath we must ensure we do all we can to support these fantastic institutions that are so valuable to the city.”

Cllr Douglas Nicol, Chair of B&NES Gambling and Licensing Sub-Committee, added:

“Pubs are a key aspect of our culture, history and modern society; however they are increasingly under threat with approximately 39 pubs closing every week across the country. It is particularly worrying that in the Kingsmead ward alone, 2 pubs have closed in the last month.

“Given the challenges facing the industry, we must work to ensure that great British pubs remain at the core of our local communities.”

Don visits the Democratic Republic of Congo with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy

October 31, 2023 by admin in Charity support, News

Earlier this month, Don visited the Democratic Republic of Congo as a representative for the Westminster Foundation for Democracy. With the DRC preparing for a free and fair election at the end of November, during his 3 day stay in the city of Kinshasa, Don helped some of the main parties prepare for the forthcoming elections:

Upon his return, he was asked to submit a few thoughts to the FreeFairDRC website based on his visit…

In Kinshasa, you can buy almost anything from the seat of your car while stuck in the traffic jams. Water bags and bottles, soft drinks and cigarettes top the list as far as I could see. But the most bizarre sight was the success of a young lad who was selling photocopied lists of the candidates for the, hopefully, up-coming Presidential and parliamentary (general assembly) elections. It wouldn’t happen in the UK!

Evidence in the capital that there may be elections at the end of November is clear. UN and EU election observer mission vehicles and people abound. But, as I discovered during my very recent - and first ever - trip to DRC, the logistics of getting everything in place in time is a nightmare.

The figures are stark. There are 400 different political parties although almost none have a nationwide reach and most are confined to activity in very small areas. But it’s still 400 parties. Between them, for the 500 or so seats in the National Assembly, they have registered 18,000 candidates. That’s an average of approaching 40 candidates per seat. So imagine the ballot papers; forty candidates’ names, party logos, photographs and spaces for voters to place a cross. They will be huge. (There are those who question whether, when folded, the ballot papers will get through the slots in the ballot boxes.)

But these ballot papers and ballot boxes aren’t even in the country yet; the printing is still underway in South Africa and the ballot box construction is still taking place in China. Once ready they have to be distributed to 62,000 polling stations across the vast country that is DRC; and distributed to many places without roads and during the rainy season.

I can’t imagine it happening; but then I couldn’t imagine that anyone would buy photocopied lists of election candidates. Maybe, once again, the DRC will exceed expectations.