Don Foster MP

Don Foster MP - 36/267 - Bath's #1 Supporter

Changing obstructive live music licensing regulation receives overwhelming support - Foster

January 20, 2024 by admin in Don in Parliament, News

The Live Music Bill is within touching distance of becoming law as it successfully passed through its final stage in the House of Commons today.

Having been approved in its Third Reading, the Bill will now go back to the House of Lords to have the final Commons amendments approved. With the biggest hurdles now overcome, the Bill will reduce the crippling effect that red tape and bureaucracy has on small venues in Bath and across the country. By removing unnecessary licensing restrictions it will help struggling pubs and clubs and boost the UK’s grassroots music scene.

The Live Music Bill was tabled in the Lords by the Liberal Democrat peer, Lord Tim Clement Jones. Don Foster is the Bill’s sponsor in the House of Commons.

Commenting, Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Don Foster said:

“Private Members’ Bills are rarely passed, and it’s even rarer that they do so with the unanimous support of every MP as happened today.

“The current system has had a deadening effect on the performance of live music in small venues. At the moment, the landlord of a small pub could face a big fine and imprisonment for letting a customer play a piano without a licence.

“The support received this afternoon from all MPs from all political parties just goes to show how important live music is in our country and the overwhelming support for changing our obstructive licensing laws.

“We’re now only one step away from the Bill becoming law and creating an even more vibrant and successful live music culture. This will benefit hundreds of small pubs, restaurants, schools, churches and community halls, and strengthen the British music scene immensely.”


Don Foster pressures government to promote Arts in school curriculum

January 19, 2024 by admin in Don in Parliament, News

Speaking in the House of Commons on January 16, Don Foster strongly voiced his concerns that preserving arts and creative education in schools.

Questioning John Hayes, Minister of State at the Department for Education, Don Foster asked:

“What steps he is taking to promote arts and creative education in schools.”

The Secretary of State replied:

The Government believe that children’s education is enriched through their connection with the beauty provided through the arts. To support this mission, we invited Darren Henley, the managing director of Classic FM, to undertake a review of cultural education in schools and he is due to report shortly. As you know, Mr Speaker, in November we published a national plan for music education worth £200 million over three years.”

Don Foster remains concerned about the government’s new curriculum initiatives that do not highlight the important role of creative education and arts in a child’s education.

In a response to the Secretary of State, Don Foster replied:

“I am sure the whole House is looking forward to the Henley review, but does the Minister acknowledge that the expert panel on the curriculum review are concerned that the role of cultural and creative subjects in a broad and balanced curriculum is in danger of being lost? Given the significant reduction in postgraduate certificate in education art and design places and the lack of any cultural subjects in the English baccalaureate, are they not right to be concerned?”

The Minister replied:

“The right hon. Gentleman will know that the E-bacc-the core curriculum that we are developing-is sufficiently small to allow space for all kinds of other activities, including those relating to music, art and culture, as well. Certainly, it is the view of the Secretary of State and the whole Government that enriching a child’s education through their experience of art, music and culture is at the heart of good education.”

Don Foster will continue to pressure the government for arts and creative education to be promoted in the new curriculum.

Don Foster MP says clocks change could save lives and create jobs in Bath

January 19, 2024 by admin in Don in Bath, Don in Parliament, News

Bath MP Don Foster is backing a bill to objectively look at the benefits of moving the clocks forward by one hour.

Don is backing the Daylight Saving Bill which receives its Third Reading in the House of Commons on Friday 20th January. The bill calls on the Government to conduct a comprehensive review of the costs and benefits of putting clocks forward an hour throughout the UK, resulting in lighter evenings every day of the year.

Supporters argue that lighter evenings would save lives on our roads by making more of our busiest evening rush hours occur in daylight, create jobs by boosting the tourism sector, and make many people especially older people feel safer going out in the evenings for longer. Lighter Later, the group coordinating the campaign for change, says support for the cause has never been stronger.

Commenting ahead of tomorrow’s reading, Don Foster MP said:

“The arguments in favour of clock change are compelling. This one simple low-cost policy could bring wide ranging benefits to the whole of the UK including saving lives on our roads, creating much needed jobs in the tourism sector and reducing the fear of crime on dark evenings.

“This has the potential to be fantastic for Bath’s economy as well as making us all safer”

Daniel Vockins, manager of the Lighter Later campaign added:

“The Daylight Saving Bill is supported by over 90 national organisations from The AA to SAGA and The FA backing lighter evenings. On the year the Olympics comes to Britain, this would be a brilliant legacy for our young athletes”