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Todd Foreman, Labour's parliamentary candidate for North East Somerset, welcomed the Labour Party's announcement that it will replace the unelected House of Lords with an elected Senate that properly represents the towns, cities and regions that make up the UK.
Speaking on the proposal, Todd Foreman said:
“I warmly welcome Labour's proposal to replace the unelected House of Lords with a fully elected upper chamber.  I am a strong believer in democracy and democratic accountability, and an unelected legislative body, including some members there by  hereditary privilege, has no place in a modern democracy.  I hope that as many people as possible in North East Somerset will take place in the upcoming conversation about how an elected Senate should work and how it can best represent us.
“Labour's plans for increased democracy and representation are in sharp contrast to the views of North East Somerset's current Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg.  Jacob supports putting more hereditary peers in the House of Lords, and has even argued that creating more hereditary peerages will be a tool to promote social mobility.  I consider Jacob's arguments regarding hereditary peers to be bizarre, undemocratic and out of touch with the views of the vast majority of people in North East Somerset.” 
(1)       Details of Labour’s proposals can be found in the attached email.  
(2)       In a debate in Parliament on 28 February 2014, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP said, “I think that a viscountcy is appropriate for a life peerage, because it is one step up in the peerage and it is also hereditary rather than for life. That would be a fine thing for families to have. It would also, importantly, continue the tradition of creating hereditary peerages, which I am in favour of, not because they can sit in the House of Lords, but because if we want to allow people throughout society to rise and advance themselves, the highest posts in the land should be open to everybody. By freezing the hereditary peerage we create a tighter class structure than when that peerage is open.  ...If social mobility is a good thing—I think most Members in this House think it is—people should be able to rise to the top. A viscount is not quite the top, but it is jolly near the top.”  Rees-Mogg's remarks are available in full here:

Todd welcomes proposal for elected Senate replacing unelected House of Lords

Todd Foreman, Labour's parliamentary candidate for North East Somerset, welcomed the Labour Party's announcement that it will replace the unelected House of Lords with an elected Senate that properly represents...


The North East Somerset Labour Party has welcomed an announcement by bus operators First West of England  that a new “Bath outer zone” has been created, along with a suite of tickets, which will cut the cost of travel between the Midsomer Norton-Radstock area and Bath.


Labour has in recent months been leading a campaign for cheaper bus fares and attended a public meeting organised by First in Midsomer Norton in September. First told NE Somerset’s Labour Parliamentary Candidate Todd Foreman that the new zone was being introduced “in direct response to some of the comments we received from you and other residents when we met.” 

Speaking about the fare cut, Todd Foreman said:

“It's great news that First has listened to feedback from the campaign led by the Labour Party for lower fares. 

“Public transportation is of crucial importance to Norton-Radstock and the surrounding area, and this decision will benefit many commuters, travellers and local businesses. This is a small but important step in helping the local economy and helping residents make ends meet. 

“We look forward to continuing to work with First and other bus companies, as well as B&NES Council, to ensure that bus service is as affordable, accessible and reliable as possible.” 

Jonathan Barnard, General Manager for First in Bath, Wells and Weston-super-Mare, added:


"The introduction of the Bath Outer Zone, which comes partly on the back of feedback we received from local residents, is good news for bus users.  It will make it cheaper to travel to and from Bath from places such as Midsomer Norton and Radstock, along with a whole host of other places.  We'd like to thank the local residents in the Somer Valley for sharing their views with us when we met in September." 

The introduction of a new Bath Outer Zone means that people travelling within 12 miles of Bath will have access to reduced priced fares. Instead of the current Day, Week, Month and Year tickets covering travel across the West of England (an area including Bath, Bristol, Weston-super-Mare and Wells) they will be able to buy Bath Outer Zone tickets - which will cost less and cover travel in and around Bath.  There will also be a new 10 Journey ticket  - offering 10 single journeys for use within three months. This will be ideal for infrequent travellers, who wish to make savings on the cost of single journeys.


The changes to the fare structure will be implemented on 2 November 2014. 

Editor’s Note:

1.        Photo of North East Somerset Labour Party campaigners celebrating bus fare cut. Left to right: Eleanor Jackson (current B&NES Councillor for Radstock and B&NES candidate for Westfield ward); Chris Dando (B&NES Council Candidate for Radstock); Anne Marie Jovcic-Sas (B&NES Candidate for Radstock); North East Somerset Labour Parliamentary Candidate Todd Foreman; Ryan Maher (B&NES Candidate for Midsomer Norton North) 

Labour welcomes bus fare cut in response to community campaign


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 learning disabilities

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