Don Foster MP

Don Foster MP - 18/267 - Bath's #1 Supporter

Parliamentary award for Bath restaurant Rajpoot

Rajpoot in Bath was named the best South Asian restaurant in the South West in the Tiffin Cup Grand Final, the competition to find the best South Asian restaurant in the country. The Final of this annual competition took place at Bellamy’s restaurant in the Houses of Parliament with a competitive cook off by the 12 finalists from across the country. Rajpoot prepared their signature dish – Achari Golda Chingri which received very high marks from the judging panel.

The winners were announced by the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon John Bercow MP, who also presented the finalists with their Tiffin Cup chef’s hats and jackets.

The competition, now in its seventh year, is organised by the Tiffin Club of MPs who invited their colleagues to nominate the best restaurants from their constituencies. This year the competition received a record 89 nominations.

The judging panel was made up of a number of special guests such as celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott and restaurant owner Sanjay Anand MBE, who marked each contestant’s specialties. All proceeds from the event went to the charity World Vision.

Rajpoot was nominated by Don Foster, MP for Bath, who said:

“This is such a prestigious award and I am sure everyone in Bath will be delighted for Ahmed and the team. Rajpoot is an institution in the city and it’s always great to see our restaurants receive national recognition. Long may it continue.”

Manda Rigby, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Abbey added:

“This is well deserved. For many years Rajpoot has been a wonderful restaurant and a firm favourite for tourists and locals.”

Chair of the Tiffin Club Keith Vaz MP said:

“Curry has joined roast beef and Yorkshire pudding and fish and chips as one of Britain’s best loved dishes.

We are delighted that Rajpoot has been named the best restaurant in the South West in the Tiffin Cup 2012. It is testament to their expertise in the kitchen and skill of their chef.

This competition just keeps getting busier and better and is becoming recognised in the industry as a standard-bearer for excellence in South Asian cooking.

This competition does not just celebrate excellence in cooking; it is also an opportunity to mark the contribution that the South Asian community makes to the UK and to champion our vibrant, multi-cultural society.

I for one, cannot wait until next year’s competition!”


EDM Update - 25th June-6th July

In the last two weeks Don has signed seven Early Day Motions in relation to a variety of causes. A notable EDM he has backed considers Intellectual Property and the Hargreaves Review, but details of all the EDMs Don has supported since the 25th June are below.

EDM 284 – Intellectual Property and the Hargreaves Review

That this House notes the publication of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee’s report on The Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property: Where next?; recognises that intellectual property law underpins the livelihood of millions of musicians, authors, actors, designers, small businesses, technicians, writers, producers, performers and all those in the UK who rely on creativity for their employment; calls on the Government to ensure that any reform of intellectual property law reflects the economic contribution they make and the loss they may suffer should those laws be weakened; and further calls on the Government to ensure that any proposed changes to copyright law do not have unintended consequences for UK business across the different industry sectors.

EDM 262 – National Motorsport Week

That this House welcomes National Motorsport Week, which is running from 2 to 8 July 2012; recognises the importance of the motorsport industry to the UK, supporting 40,000 employees and providing 6 billion of turnover for the UK economy; notes the pre-eminent position enjoyed by the UKwithin international motorsport and the success of British drivers around the world; further recognises the important role that motorsport can play in facilitating advanced technology transfer to the road vehicle market and high performance engineering sector; and further welcomes the ongoing efforts of the Motor Sports Association to use motorsport events to have a positive impact on local economies and effectively communicate road safety messages.

EDM 260 – National Association of Youth Theatres

That this House recognises the groundbreaking work done by the National Association of Youth Theatres (NAYT) in supporting the work of 1,300 groups around the country which reach out to around 65,000 youngsters; commends the work done by NAYT in broadening the way that young people interact with theatre giving them the opportunity to gain experience in professional environments; believes that youth theatre gives young people the opportunity to mix with people from different social backgrounds and allows those from disenfranchised backgrounds to find positive role models; notes that the NAYT has had its funding withdrawn by the Department for Education and Arts Council England and is seeking new sources of funding through individual memberships to enable it to continue its work with young people; and calls on the Government to provide a strategyfor the arts so that young people are not disenfranchised.

EDM 181 – Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking)

That this House believes a moratorium should be placed on onshore and offshore exploration, development and production of shale gas via the withdrawal of UK petroleum exploration and drilling licences at sites utilising hydraulic fracturing (fracking) processes, at least until the publication of a detailed environmental impact assessment into the practice; notes that hydraulic fracturing can contaminate local water sources such as aquifers, which provide about 30 per cent of the UK’s drinking water; further believes the production of hard to reach fossil fuels is not compatible with efforts to achieve the UK’s statutory carbon budgets; and therefore urges the Government instead to give greater support to the generation of energy from renewable sources.

EDM 149 – Rwanda’s Role in Democratic Republic of Congo

That this House is gravely concerned by the UN report that the recent rebellion in the Democratic Republic of Congo is being fuelled by recruits and support from neighbouring Rwanda; recalls that in December 2008 Sweden and the Netherlands revoked aid to Rwanda because of its support to militia gangs killing and raping in Congo; acknowledges that without foreign aid Rwanda cannot continue to finance its deadly but highly profitable wars in Congo; supports Save the Congo’s call on the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to unilaterally adopt tough measures against any government, individual or corporation supporting militia gangs in Congo; and urges the Government to fully examine Britain’s military and financial support to Rwanda and report to the House on this matter on the earliest possible occasion.

EDM 76 – Rté London Bureau Closure

That this House notes with concern the proposal of the Irish public service broadcaster, RT (Radio Telefis ireann), to close its London bureau and cease operations from September 2012; pays tribute to the illustrious record of service provided by the bureau and its staff in keeping Irish viewers informed about British economic, political and cultural life, contributing to the peaceful resolution of conflict and promoting increasingly close relations between the people of our respective islands, while recognising the dramatic fall of broadcasting revenue at a time of economic hardship; further notes the concerns of the Irish community in Britain for the loss of this link; believes that on-the-spot access and public engagement of Irish-based media is important to the vision of future British-Irish relations as set out by the Prime Minister and Taoiseach in their joint statement of 12 March 2012; further notes that a motion supporting the maintenance of the RT service was adopted with cross-party and cross-jurisdictional backing at the 44th Plenary of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly held in Dublin on 14 and 15 May 2012; and urges the Government to support the case for retention and assist in the search for alternatives to closure.

EDM 47 – Reducing Fuel Bills Through Energy Efficiency

That this House recognises that energy bills are causing immense financial hardship, with one in four households struggling to heat their homes; believes that cold, badly insulated homes damage the health of the most vulnerable, including older people, children and people with disabilities, costing the NHS almost a billion pounds a year; further believes homes can be made warm and cheaper to heat with high quality insulation and energy efficiency measures, that this is a cost-effective, fair and permanent way to reduce fuel bills and tackle fuel poverty, and will generate many thousands of jobs and cut carbon emissions; and so calls on the Government to use revenues raised from the European Emissions Trading Scheme and the carbon floor price to provide additional resources for policies to deliver energy efficiency in homes, especially those housing the fuel poor.


For a full record of the EDMs that Don has signed go to:

Don welcomes Culverhay School for Houses of Parliament tour

A group of students from Culverhay School were given a treat this week when they visited The Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London. The visit organised by Mark Gunning, Community Liaison Officer for Culverhay in conjunction with Leader of the Council, Cllr. Paul Crossley, Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr. Nathan Hartley and Cllr. Dine Romero, gave students a vivid insight into the political workings of the heart of London.

Don gives Culverhay delegation a behind the scenes tour

The students were given a very informative tour of the palace in which they visited the House of Lords and House of Commons chambers. The students were clearly enthralled and mesmerised by the grandeur of the building and several notable MPs were also spotted during the visit.

Welcoming the Bath delegation in London, Don joined the students and gave them a ‘special’ behind the scenes tour to parts of the Palace of Westminster the public does not cover. This included the ‘Portcullis’ building and the terrace overlooking the famous River Thames.


After the tour, students were given a whistle stop tour of a selection of the main areas of interest in the capital city including St James’ Park, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly before catching the tube and beginning the journey back to Bath.

Commenting on the trip, Mark said the students were “buzzing” all the way home and “relished” the amazing opportunity they had been given.