Don Foster MP

Don Foster MP - 80/267 - Bath's #1 Supporter

Bunfights in Birmingham

September 23, 2023 by admin in News

The conference rally — which is, in my view at least, the real start of conference — will be getting underway shortly. The Liberal Democrats have been blessed with a disproportionately high number of very funny MPs (Tim Farron and Don Foster are two of my favourites), and tonight it’s the turn of Alistair Carmichael to amuse the gathered crowd.

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War Crimes cover-up raised in Parliament by Bath MP Don Foster

September 23, 2023 by admin in News

On 16th October 1975, two British television newsmen were murdered by the Indonesian Military, along with three Australian reporters, at Balibo in East Timor. For many years the British, US and Australian governments declared that the newsmen died by accident, and refused to hear any evidence to the contrary. Why?

This is the question that Don Foster MP has been asking in the House of Commons since 1997. Ten years on, an Australian-based inquest was opened into the murder of Bristol-born journalist Brian Peters; and then in 2009 the Australian Federal Police finally announced a War Crimes investigation into the deaths of the men who became known as the ‘Balibo Five’.

On Friday 30th September at 8:00pm the Bath Amnesty Group is screening ‘Balibo’, the movie, at The Little Theatre Cinema, Bath. Based on the true story, the thriller uncovers the truth behind the murders of the five journalists. Don Foster will be speaking about his 14-year campaign for justice, and the British Government’s role in the cover-up.

Commenting, Don said: “Throughout the world, journalists and bloggers are subject to assault, imprisonment and murder for their attempts to expose the truth. As an MP and a member of Amnesty International I am glad to be able to stand up for those who are forcibly silenced. We should never forget the value of our right to freedom of expression, and to use it wisely.”

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Caroline Butler

B&NES schools to benefit from doubled Pupil Premium funding

September 23, 2023 by admin in News

Liberal Democrat Children and Families Minister, Sarah Teather announced at Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference that the total funding available for the Pupil Premium will be doubled to £1.25bn in 2012-13.

This is a rise from £625m in 2011-12, and will rise again each year until 2014-15 when it will be worth £2.5bn. Schools decide how to spend the extra funding so that it best supports children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Commenting, Don Foster, MP for Bath said:

“It is shocking fact that pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are three times less likely to achieve five good GSCEs than their more well-off classmates.

“Education is the best way to end the underachievement of disadvantaged pupils, we need to support children comprehensively from early years straight through to secondary school.

“That is why Liberal Democrats have ensured that this Government has extended free early years education and in the coming school year, Bath and North East Somerset is expected to receive £976,950 as part of the pupil premium.

“Sarah Teather’s announcement means that next year this amount should double. This will make an even bigger difference for schools in our area.”

B&NES Council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Nathan Hartley, who is also the Cabinet Member for Early Years, Children and Youth, welcomed the news:

“This extra investment in our local schools is fantastic news. This money is being used to ensure that children from some of the most disadvantaged families in our council area receive extra help and support throughout their years in education.”

Commenting further, Sarah Teather said:

“The amount the Government is making available through the Pupil Premium will double next year and I am delighted to announce this increase. It shows this Government’s commitment to reforming funding for schools to make it fairer for the most deprived children.

“It is our responsibility to close the gulf in achievement. This extra funding to schools is vital to help them tackle inequality and make sure thousands of children get the extra support they need to succeed and reach their potential.”