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Labour Parliamentary candidate Todd Foreman this week visited the SWALLOW charity in Midsomer Norton and Radstock, North East Somerset.  SWALLOW provides a range of support services for residents of North East Somerset with learning disabilities, including supported housing, social activities, work skills training and health and fitness. 


Todd attended an art class in Midsomer Norton, visited supported housing and enjoyed coffee at the SWALLOW Community Café, based at St Nicholas Church Centre in Radstock.


Commenting on the visit, Todd Foreman said:


“I am grateful that staff and members of SWALLOW made me feel so welcome, and the chance to spend time with SWALLOW allowed great insight into the services that they provide.  The art class was fantastic, and as an amateur mosaic artist myself I enjoyed the chance to speak with SWALLOW members about their own art projects.  At the supported housing facility in Midsomer Norton we had a great dialogue with SWALLOW members and staff about the importance of voting and government policy with respect to public services. My favourite stop of the day was at the SWALLOW Community Cafe in Radstock.  Aimee who works at the cafe made me feel extremely welcome, and it was great to see that the cafe was doing a brisk trade when we visited.


“SWALLOW provides a fantastic service to people with learning disabilities and their families, and empowers people with learning disabilities to reach their full potential. And activities such as the Community Cafe benefit not only SWALLOW members, but also the wider community in Bath and North East Somerset. I'm looking forward to supporting SWALLOW's activities in future.”



1.           Todd with staff member Aimee at the SWALLOW Community Cafe in Radstock

Todd visits charity supporting people with disabilities

 “Jacob's repeated actions on the Bedroom Tax show a complete disregard for people with disabilities or carers” - North East Somerset Labour Candidate speaks out regarding vote of Tory MP against exempting carers

On Tuesday the House of Commons voted to exempt households from the Bedroom Tax if a member of the household is entitled to carers allowance, and also widened exemptions from the tax to households where a person needs overnight care. 


The motion was passed by 204 to 8 - one of the eight MPs voting against the measure was North East Somerset's current Tory MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg, who in September led an unsuccessful effort in Parliament to detail new exemptions from the Bedroom Tax for people with disabilities.  
Todd Foreman, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for North East Somerset said:


“The Bedroom Tax is a crude, ineffective measure that isn’t solving the problem of a lack of affordable housing.  In Bath & North East Somerset there are 868 families who have been affected by the Bedroom Tax, and approximately two-thirds of families affected by the Bedroom Tax include at least one disabled family member.
“I find it difficult to imagine that Jacob has not heard from residents of North East Somerset whose lives are being made a misery by this policy, and I am extremely disappointed that he continues to go out of his way to oppose reforms to the most unfair aspects of the tax.  
“Jacob's repeated actions on the Bedroom Tax show a complete disregard for the impact of the measure on people with disabilities or carers, as well as the impact that the tax is having on villages across North East Somerset where the supply of social rented housing is very limited.  He is failing to stand up for the interests of his constituents, and indeed he seems determined to go out of his way to stand up for unfair treatment of carers and people with disabilities.”  

  1. Today's debate and vote in Parliament:
  2. Jacob Rees-Mogg previously led an effort in Parliament to derail exemptions from the Bedroom Tax for peole with disabilities.  See story at page 12:
  3. A Freedom of Information request to B&NES Council on 13 July 2014 revealed that 868 families in Bath & North East Somerset have been targeted for reduction in financial support in the year since April 2013.
  4. Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) have drawn attention to the effects of the Bedroom Tax on countryside communities. A report by Ipsos MORI and the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research, commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions, found a lack of smaller properties and affordable homes in rural communities making it difficult for residents to downsize. More information on ACRE and the report here


Jacob's repeated actions on the Bedroom Tax

 “Jacob's repeated actions on the Bedroom Tax show a complete disregard for people with disabilities or carers” - North East Somerset Labour Candidate speaks out regarding vote of Tory MP...



North East Somerset Labour Parliamentary Candidate Supports Anti-Fracking Rally at Party Conference

Todd Foreman, the Labour Party's parliamentary candidate for North East Somerset, took part in an anti-fracking rally organised by Friends of the Earth at the Labour Party's annual conference in Manchester on 21 September.  The rally was headlined by the former environment minister, Rt Hon Michael Meacher MP,  Barbara Keeley MP (Worsley and Eccles South) and other Labour campaigners. Speakers highlighted the environmental risks of fracking, the practical downsides for communities where shale gas exploration has taken place, and also made clear that proponents of fracking have overstated any positive impact on energy prices that fracking in the UK would bring.

Commenting on the event, Todd Foreman said, “It was great to be a part of the well-attended and spirited anti-fracking rally at Labour Party Conference. There is a very real risk that fracking could take place in North East Somerset in the near future, as 165 fracking sites have been identified across the constituency, including in the close to proximity to Chew Valley Lake and the undergrounds springs at Bath Spa, and in the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  Bath and North East Somerset Council has clearly said that North East Somerset is not an appropriate place to conduct fracking, and I strongly support that position.

“I was particularly interested to hear about the experience of Barbara Keeley MP in her own constituency of Worsley and Eccles South. Barbara described how exploratory drilling has already begun within her constituency. This activity is having a negative impact on local house prices, with some residents living near drill sites finding that they are unable to sell their homes.  Residents are also having trouble obtaining home insurance. Payments of around £100,000 that communities are receiving to allow fracking locally are not necessarily directed at those who are suffering, and are a drop in the ocean compared to costs to affected homeowners.

“I will continue to be a voice against allowing fracking in North East Somerset, in contrast to North East Somerset's current Tory MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg, who is a strong supporter of the fracking industry.  Our priority should be to promote clean and renewable energy sources that don’t have the environmental risks and negative impact on homeowners and communities that fracking brings.”


  1. Details of sites identified for fracking in North East Somerset can be found in this report by Frack Free Chew Valley:
  2. Bath and North East Somerset Council has reached a cross-party consensus against allowing fracking locally:  See
  3. The current MP for North East Somerset Jacob Rees-Mogg is a strong proponent of fracking: See

Candidate Supports Anti-Fracking Rally

    North East Somerset Labour Parliamentary Candidate Supports Anti-Fracking Rally at Party Conference

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