Don Foster MP

Don Foster MP - 3/267 - Bath's #1 Supporter

Foster welcomes New Homes Bonus funding for Bath

December 11, 2023 by Don Foster MP in Don in Bath, News

Don Foster has welcomed the third allocation of the New Homes Bonus for Bath and North
East Somerset Council.

The allocations will total £661million for English local authorities - £199million for the third year 1 instalments, £232million for the second year 2 instalments, and £230million for this year, bringing the total amount of funding awarded under the New Homes Bonus to almost £1.3billion.

The New Homes Bonus is a powerful, simple and transparent incentive for housing growth. It
is a key part of the housing growth focus of the national housing strategy. The Bonus is
based on the council tax of additional homes and those brought back into use, with a
premium for affordable homes and paid for six years. It ensures that those local authorities
which promote and welcome growth can share in the economic benefits, and build the
communities in which people want to live and work.

The New Homes Bonus provisional allocation for Bath and North East Somerset Council will
total £1,977,235. This includes the third year 1 instalment of £611,349 the second year 2
instalment of £606,839, and £759,048 to be paid in 2013-14. This year 3 instalment will be
paid for 6 years. It includes an affordable homes premium of £95,550.

Commenting Don said:

“For years, developers found themselves at loggerheads with communities unconvinced that their plans for growth would benefit them. But the New Homes Bonus will help turn this around in Bath and across the country.

“The £1.3 billion paid out to councils to date has meant that now local people are able to see the rewards of new developments in their area. Here in Bath this will pave the way for much-needed, locally-supported homes to be delivered.”

All provisional allocations can be found at

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg visits Bath to urge businesses to support young unemployed

Earlier today, Don Foster MP welcomed Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to Bath as he met with business leaders to promote a flagship government programme.

Rotork’s Peter France informs Don and the Deputy Prime Minister about actuators.

Business leaders heard directly from the Deputy Prime Minister about the Youth Contract, a £1bn programme to tackle youth unemployment through new jobs and training.

The Youth Contract includes a wage incentive of £2,275 for employers who recruit an 18-24 year old through the Work Programme or Jobcentre Plus. It also creates additional work experience places and apprenticeship grants. The Deputy Prime Minster heard from businesses in Bath who are already supporting young unemployed people through the Youth Contract as well as speaking to employers and local business leaders to encourage them to follow suit.

Commenting on his visit, Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, said:

“I’m determined to tackle youth unemployment and am urging businesses in Bath to come on board and join me in doing so. Business has a huge role to play in supporting young unemployed people and getting them earning or learning.


“I’m grateful to the businesses in Bath who came along today and look forward to hearing about how the Youth Contract is progressing in the area.

“If you’re under 25 and unemployed then the message today is also clear. We are putting the money in to get you earning or learning through the Youth Contract. If you want to work or train, then we – together with businesses – will help you. If you haven’t already done so, I urge you to get along to your local Job Centre today to ask about the opportunities available to you.”

Commenting, Don added:

“Youth unemployment is an economic waste and a slow-burn social disaster. If young people are out of work, the consequences of that will be felt for decades afterwards. We need to ensure young people here in bath and across the country do not have a false start.

“As a Liberal Democrat, I am proud that the Coalition Government is working with business to do the right thing to prevent another lost generation.”

The meeting was held at Rotork plc, a global company headquartered in Bath that is the recognised leader in their field within the flow control industry. Since the company began Rotork has supported young people with an award winning apprenticeship programme and these apprentices have developed into senior managers within the company. Rotork is also engaged with local schools, colleges and universities as part of the Bath Education Trust that focuses on developing employability.

After the meeting, the Deputy Prime Minister went on a tour of Rotork, to see its manufacturing processes, during which he met with apprentices and staff.

Peter France, Rotork’s Chief Executive, commented:

“We are very proud of our apprentice scheme with the programme designed to develop each individual in order for them to progress to their full potential. Each year we take on new apprentices and we currently have 23 apprentices in the United Kingdom.”

Nationwide, more than half a million young people are set to benefit from the Youth Contract over a three year period.

The key elements of the Youth Contract are:

  • 160,000 wage incentives worth up to £2,275 each for employers who recruit an 18-24 year old through the Work Programme or Jobcentre Plus
  • An extra 250,000 work experience or sector-based work academy places
  • An additional 20,000 Apprenticeship Grants for Employers
  • Additional adviser support through Jobcentre Plus
  • An opportunity to have a careers interview with the National Careers Service
  • Around £120m to help the most disengaged 16/17 year old NEETS (not in education, employment or training) in England back in to education, training or a job with training.

Photos courtesy of FT Publicity

Don Foster MP announces Matthew Childs from Beechen Cliff as Bath winner in national school manufacturing competition

December 6, 2023 by Don Foster MP in Don in Bath, News

Don Foster MP was delighted to announce Matthew Childs from Beechen Cliff School as the winning pupil from Bath in the local round of the We Made It! competition, a national competition aimed at getting young people thinking about careers in manufacturing.

Hundreds of young people across the country have been busy designing gadgets and gizmos as part of an exciting competition which will see two lucky winners turn their idea into a real-life prototype.

We Made It!” invited 13 – 16 year olds throughout the UK to let their imagination run wild and design a brand new product, whether it be a gadget to help with homework or a piece of sports equipment to make PE more fun.

The idea behind the competition is that the children get to see that manufacturing is about design and creativity as well as hands-on making of the products. From fashion and video game consoles to cars and airplanes, there are many varied industries with manufacturing at their heart and in which exciting career opportunities exist.

Matthew won the constituency prize for best design in Bath with his nifty plan for a phone case that had a waterproof shutter and an inbuilt stand to allow the phone to be propped up and viewed hands free.

While it did not make the final shortlist of 6, Matthew’s entry was one of 32 shortlisted entries selected from over 360 entries, with local Members of Parliament choosing their winning entry to go through to the next stage of the competition. Matthew has now been invited to an exclusive awards reception in the Houses of Parliament on 29th January 2013 to see the finals and meet with other entrants.

Commenting on the competition and the reasoning behind their selection, Don said:

“We had so many fantastic designs from young people across Bath, but I felt Matthew’s phone case design struck the right balance between innovation and practicality. As someone who is reliant on my phone, I’d really like a case like that for myself!”

“I’d like to thank all the entrants that entered and encourage them to think about future careers in manufacturing and design”

The winning entry will also be put before a panel of manufacturing experts, who will whittle the shortlist down and select two overall finalists, with the chance to help prototype their designs at the UK’s first Fab Lab, a digital fabrication laboratory based in Manchester.

The ‘We Made It’ competition, is a project run by Dods Engagement in association with its manufacturing partners: Boeing, The Manufacturing Institute, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Finmeccanica, the Confederation of Paper Industries, Renewable UK and Lloyds Banking Group.

For more information about the competition visit