Don Foster MP

Don Foster MP - 21/267 - Bath's #1 Supporter

Don signs EDM 201 - Support for Community Sports Clubs and the CASC Scheme

June 20, 2023 by Don Foster MP in Early Day Motions

Don has signed EDM 201 welcoming the work of the Community Amateur Sports Club, which has increased its membership of registered clubs. This supports the participation of more people in amateur sport.

Below is the text of the EDM:

That this House congratulates the Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) scheme on its success in registering 6202 clubs; welcomes the financial benefits of the CASC scheme particularly in terms of rate relief and Gift Aid in this difficult economic climate; recognises the central role of CASC-registered clubs in growing and sustaining participation in community sports clubs nationwide; notes the role that community sport plays within the legacy for the 2012 Games; and urges the Government to continue to support the scheme in order for a greater number of clubs to benefit and for community sport to thrive during this memorable year for sport.

Bath MP & Council Cabinet Member protest unfair cystic fibrosis prescription charges

June 1, 2023 by Don Foster MP in Don in Bath, News

Don Foster, MP for Bath and Lib Dem Cllr. Simon Allen, B&NES Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, are campaigning to have cystic fibrosis (CF) added to the list of medical conditions that are exempt from prescription charges.

Currently, the Department of Health’s exemption list includes a range of conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy and cancer treatments but does not extend to the relatively small number of CF sufferers in the UK.

Don and a number of MPs from all parties have signed Early Day Motion (EDM) no. 1 that states “people with cystic fibrosis should not have to pay prescription charges”.

Commenting, Don Foster MP said:

“Having seen firsthand the terrible effect CF has on sufferers in Bath, I firmly believe that the condition should be on the list of conditions exempted from prescription charges. The debilitating impact CF has on sufferers is comparable in many ways to those with conditions currently on the list, so I see no reason why it should remain excluded.”

Cllr. Simon Allen added:

“Bath and North East Somerset Council are committed to reducing Heath inequalities across our community and fully support this campaign to add those who experience CF to the list of those who don’t have to pay prescription charges. CF has a significant impact on a person’s life and it makes no sense at all that this group of people should be excluded from these exemptions.”

Claire Francis, Policy Manager at the Cystic Fibrosis Trust said:

“There are around 3000 people with CF in England who have to pay for their prescriptions. A small amount compared to the number of people with conditions that do not have to pay for prescriptions, like diabetes. The CFT is therefore calling for the condition to be treated on an equal basis with the other debilitating illnesses on the exemption list and urges the government to bring England in line with the other devolved nations and give free prescriptions to people with CF.”

Don urges Govt to protect Bath from dangers of “fracking”

Following a meeting with the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, Ed Davey MP, Don has written to the Energy Secretary urging the Government to protect Bath from the potential dangers of fracking.

Dear Ed

Further to our meeting on Monday 21st May I am writing to give further details about the concerns that the Council and I have in relation to possible hydro-fracturing operations surrounding Bath.

Both Bath and North East Somerset Council and I are extremely concerned about the potentially damaging impact that proposals to extract shale gas or coal bed methane may have upon the continued flow of the Bath Hot Springs. Attached, as an appendix to this letter, is a summary of the issues which I consider to be of concern here.

It is my understanding that both Reservoir Resources Ltd. and UK Methane Ltd. have been given licenses to explore by your Department within the catchment area of the hot springs. The Council has recently commissioned a study by the British Geological Survey in which they confirm that shale gas operations within the catchment area could have a damaging effect upon them.

I feel the Council has employed the very best advice on this matter and has up until now been unable to gain any assurance that gas extraction operations will not damage the deep water sources supplying the hot springs in Bath. In point of fact the very nature of the Hydro-fracturing process is designed to fracture the underground structures that result in the thermal waters arising in Bath. The greatest concern is that once damage is done it will be permanent and irretrievable.

As a signatory to the 1971 UNESCO World Heritage Convention, the UK Government has committed to ‘identify, protect, conserve, present and transmit’ such places to future generations. Whilst daily management is delegated to local authorities, this overall commitment remains the responsibility of Government as the ‘state party’.

Additionally, should the springs be affected this could have a lowering effect on the ground water levels and pressures in and around the springs, which would potentially cause disastrous subsidence in the historic buildings in their vicinity, particularly the Roman Baths.

I hope I can rely upon you to take account of these concerns and apply appropriate controls upon this process. Further, when licencing this kind of exploration in future I hope that special regard will be given to the unique circumstances of Bath to ensure the protection of this special asset for the country.

Yours sincerely

The Rt Hon Don Foster MP