Bath Liberal Democrats select Steve Bradley as candidate to replace Don Foster

 Steve BradleyAt the weekend, Bath Liberal Democrats selected Steve Bradley as their parliamentary candidate in place of Don Foster who  has been the city’s Liberal Democrat MP for 22 years.

From the Bath Chronicle:

More than 180 local party members met yesterday afternoon at the Salvation Army hall in James Street West to debate, discuss and vote from a shortlist of six contenders.

After a lengthy five-hour event they selected Mr Bradley, who is a a former Lib Dem councillor in Lambeth.

Mr Bradley, who first moved to the city in 1991 as a student at the University of Bath, said: “I am immensely proud and humbled to have been selected by local Liberal Democrat members as their candidate for the 2015 General Election.

“Don Foster has been a tremendous champion for this city for 22 years. I look forward to working closely with him in his remaining year as our MP.

“And I hope the people of Bath will place their faith in me to continue Don’s hard work in parliament on their behalf.”

Don Foster MP said:

I am delighted for Steve.

He is a hard-working, energetic and determined individual who I am convinced will be an exceptional candidate, especially given his local links and campaigning experience.

I look forward to working closely with Steve and wish him success in the future. I have every confidence that, if elected, Steve would be a fantastic MP for Bath.

This brings the selections in seats where MPs are standing down to a close. The others selected in those seats are:

Gordon (Sir Malcolm Bruce): Christine Jardine

Berwick on Tweed (Sir Alan Beith): Julie Pörksen

Hazel Grove (Sir Andrew Stunell): Lisa Smart

Mid Dorset and North Poole (Annette Brooke): Vikki Slade

Somerton and Frome (David Heath): Sarah Yong

Brent Central (Sarah Teather) Ibrahim Taguiri

North East Fife (Sir Menzies Campbell): Tim Brett

 

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25 Comments

  • And born in Northern Ireland too. Good luck Steve!

  • Charles Rothwell 12th May '14 - 10:31am

    Good Luck! It sounds from what is said above that you have got everything needed to retain this key seat.

  • Helen Dudden 12th May '14 - 11:20am

    One thing you are going to have to explain to him about is the “bedroom tax” he knows nothing about the subject.

    I hope he has an interest in housing, I am at present still resolving housing issues, that Don could not do. Not even my energy supply was correct.

    I did like the local lady Manda Rigby, a very pleasent person. She even rang me to check I was OK, when I lived in a terrible flat in the city. Thick ice on the inside of the windows in that very cold spell. Pensioners we are a pain.

    Well Manda, they lost a real chance with you, I am sure that you could have brought the feminine touch to the Commons, we need more women.

    I do not vote for the Lib Dems anymore, but Manda would have got my vote when I return to the city to live in the future.

  • It has been my pleasure to have met Steve Bradley at various Libdem events over the past few years. I can’t think of anyone better suited to campaign for this long held Libdem constituency. He is professional, determined, capable and diligent in his approach and if, as I expect, proves successful in retaining this seat, he will make an excellent addition to the parliamentary team.

  • MICHAEL PROCTOR 12th May '14 - 3:03pm

    A quote from STEVE’S campaign literature “P.S. I have real credibility with the crucial 16,000 student voters in Bath.We need their support to win here.” I do not doubt this credibility at all; however, I wonder how crucial are the Bath voters suffering the “bedroom tax” to win the seat?

  • MICHAEL PROCTOR 12th May '14 - 3:14pm

    Should have added Steve will no doubt to quote the boxer Muhammad Ali ” Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee” to fight for the BATH seat GOOD LUCK !!! However, concerning the ” bedroom tax” in Bath I think he will always Float like a bee and sting like a butterfly.

  • Helen Dudden 12th May '14 - 5:19pm

    Not to forget the subject of children who are hungry and suffer with Rickets, add those too. Why not get rid of the “bedroom tax” now, Why the wait?

    There is not enough housing in Bath, I waited years in a run down damp cold flat, that I how I got to Manda. She was only one who showed concern for me. As I said, not the best way for a pensioner to live.

    Massive high bills that were not even correct, another factor. I had no one to help me.

    Most certainly, I would never vote for something that I do not believe in. Why were there no chances that a woman had the ability to do the job? You have very few women in Westminster.

    The student vote is not going to be a safe vote, they were very upset with Don, I can remember it well. Don even stood up for the “food banks” and I can remember the very stormy meeting on the NHS.

    No, I think things could change, UKIP for one is gaining ground, but that is another story.

    It seems Bath is a safe seat, how sad.

  • MICHAEL PROCTOR 12th May '14 - 5:58pm

    Mr Duncan-Smith’s policy of charging a penalty for the so called under-occupancy of social/council housing forgets the very essence of why this housing was built in the first place. After fighting in two world wars, the working class demanded better living conditions, including housing. Their housing needs had, for centuries, been at the mercy of rich unscrupulous landlords; who provided sub-standard accommodation that was tied to their tenants’ jobs. If the tenant couldn’t work for any reason, they and their families were thrown on to the streets or moved to the workhouse.

    At the time when council housing was built all over the country, the working man was able to earn a decent living wage at a rate that meant he could pay his council rent and provide for his family. For the first time in our history, the working class had security. If he fell ill, died or was disabled in any way, he and/or his family would still have somewhere to live. Even though the property would never be ‘his’, he was at least able to work hard to make the place decent; spending time, effort and what little money was spare to keep the property up together. This investment by many tenants has surely saved the social landlords a small fortune over time. We are now living in an age where successive governments have sold off our social housing, without building any more with the money raised – tantamount to treason in my opinion! We also live in an age where the working man or woman can no longer earn a decent living wage. Even if he/she has a job, it is likely to be low-paid, part-time, self-employed or on a zero-hours contract; meaning they have to rely on benefit top-ups to survive.

    This means the need for social housing is more vital than at the time it was first brought in!!!!!!!

    When people are allocated social housing, their ‘needs’ are carefully assessed beforehand. On taking up an assured tenancy, there is absolutely no understanding that the property must be given up as soon as that ‘need’ alters in any way. If that was the case, then many of the council homes sold off under the ‘right-to-buy’ scheme, may have been sold under false pretences. The tenants may have had one or more ‘spare’ rooms at the time the property was sold to them, and should therefore have been moved to an adequate sized property before buying.

    We all know why Mr Duncan-Smith and his colleagues in the Conservative party voted for this policy. As there are very few smaller social housing properties for tenants to downsize into, the tenants will be forced to take private rented accommodation instead. With the Conservatives also voting not to cap private rents (only rent benefit), this means more and more private landlords getting rich at the expense of the poor and our benefits system. It is extremely difficult for a poor family to get private rented accommodation, especially in a university town/city. Students or foreign workers can be charged more per room than a family. The landlord will also require a substantial deposit and rent up front which a poor family will be unable to pull out of a hat. Most private tenancies are also relatively short-term, which does not suit the needs of a family. A family needs to be secure and put down roots; establishing itself within a community. The insecure nature of short-term tenancies means that tenants have to move when the landlord decides he/she no longer wishes to rent out the property. It is often at relatively short notice. It may mean moving away from a whole support system. The tenants’ jobs may have been nearby, their children at a local school, they are registered with local doctors/dentists, etc. They may be unable to get accommodation in the same area, meaning the children are no longer in the school’s catchment area, they are no longer in the area covered by doctors/dentists and may have a far more expensive or time-consuming journey to and from work. Moving house is already one of the three most stressful things anyone does without it being forced upon someone simply because a child has grown up. A family may well be forced into these moves repeatedly as their circumstances change. The upheaval caused will undermine the mental health of many people, a fact that the government may well regret a few years down the line.

    I find it extremely difficult to understand how educated and supposedly intelligent people have come up with a policy that fails so completely in every aspect of its purpose.

     If the policy is supposed to save money, I would be interested to know how? With more people having to downsize into private rented accommodation where the rents are at least doubled, if not more; rent benefit will go up considerably. Also, if people fail to pay the penalty, they will be taken to court and evicted. A process, which I am sure, is both expensive and time-consuming.
     If the purpose is to stop overcrowding, again I fail to see how. The policy quite clearly tells people on benefits that if you wish to get a bigger social housing property, then have more children. Also, once you are in an adequate sized property, keep having more children when the older ones reach 18, so you can ‘keep’ the property and not be downsized yourself. The benefits system pays for all these extra children, once again increasing the pressure on itself. Many of these children will not be wanted in their own right, but purely as a way of getting/keeping a home. Isn’t this the very message that the government wanted to put a stop to?
     If the purpose is to stop people relying on benefits and to make working more attractive, yet again I fail to see how. In today’s economic climate there is a slim chance you may be able to get a job, earn a wage and pay your own rent – much easier to do if the rent is for social housing. If the rent is to a private landlord, even if you get a job, the wage is unlikely to cover your rent let alone living expenses. How does this encourage people to work?

    And finally, private landlords are often using the rent they receive for letting the property to pay the mortgage. If the tenants are in receipt of housing benefit, then the benefits system (and ipso facto, the tax payer) is funding their mortgage. Isn’t this against the rules? It is my understanding that if a person has a mortgage on the house they are living in and then loses their job, the benefits system is not allowed to fund their mortgage. So, the system allows benefits to fund a mortgage indirectly, but not directly. There appears to be a huge juxtaposition here. The taxpayer is happy to fund an increase in property ownership for a few multiple landlords, but is unhappy to fund the rent for a disabled person to have a spare room for equipment or a poor couple to keep a room for visiting grandchildren or taking in an elderly relative.

  • My home town was Bath. I now live in Cheltenham, both won by the Lib Dems in 1992. I wish Steve all the best in 2015.

  • Helen Dudden 12th May '14 - 8:02pm

    One more thing, not all social housing is in the sort of shape it should be, far from it, mine was not.

    My MP Don Foster would not listen, I had an electric bill of £1000 and it seems totally wrong, and I must admit it was so worrying. A charity is helping me resolve the situation. There were problems with a meter, and I was being charged for gas, I was not using. My meter was capped and I had signed up for dual fuel with EDF. You are charged a standing charge even if the meter has been capped and no longer in use. I was not helped to understand.

    I moved in January of this year, and it is still is not resolved, after several years.

    It would have been nice if someone had listened several years ago, but then it is not a problem housing, good or bad for an MP to spend his time on.

    I never thought life could be so difficult when I was retired.

  • Helen Dudden 12th May '14 - 8:04pm

    Manda Rigby, was the only one that showed concerns. She was the councilor for the area.

  • peter tyzack 13th May '14 - 8:42am

    it’s a pity that this has been dominated by two people, perhaps they should be invited to write thought provoking pieces for LDV rather then venting their angst on someone else’s thread in this way. The idea is surely to discuss with short comments..

  • I know Steve and I urge everyone in Bath to vote for him.

  • Helen Dudden 13th May '14 - 2:42pm

    @peter tyzack. But would you listen, I doubt it. In Bath things need to change. Housing, bus gates, social issues like vulnerable children, issues with international child access and contact. Not to forget the Bedroom Tax should go now.

    We are told it is a safe seat. Democracy is freedom. I have kept my reply brief.

  • Steve Bradley 15th May '14 - 11:08pm

    Thanks to everyone for the comments.

    Helen – if you fancy meeting for a coffee some time to get the measure of me as a person and/or politically, you’d be very welcome.

  • ”Steve Bradley 15th May ’14 – 11:08pm
    Helen – if you fancy meeting for a coffee some time to get the measure of me as a person and/or politically, you’d be very welcome.”

    Oh my goodness – online dating here on LDV!

  • Shirley Campbell 16th May '14 - 12:25am

    I cannot contain my itching fingers any longer and I must ask why the so-called and much sung Liberal Democrats in “safe” seats are so detached from the anxieties of their constituents.

  • MICHAEL PROCTOR 16th May '14 - 7:54pm

    Steve Why no LIB /DEM Logo over your name?

  • MICHAEL PROCTOR 16th May '14 - 8:50pm

    Helen Dudden Just seen your comments on the Inside Housing website.Well said HELEN !

  • Helen Dudden 25th May '14 - 5:20pm

    No I do not live in the city anymore, no interest in the subject of politics.

    Also, I do write for “inside housing” love to add my comments, also to the NHF.

  • Steve Bradley 26th May '14 - 2:27pm

    Helen – you’ll forgive me if I point out that for someone with no interest in the subject of politics, you do spend a lot of time on political threads & websites discussing politics ! :o)

    The offer is there should you wish to get a measure of my politics & personality.

  • Helen Dudden 9th Jun '14 - 7:35am

    @Steve Bradley, I think they call it democracy, the right to have an opinion.

    I no longer live in the city, I moved to be housed.

  • I am sure we all hope that Steve Bradley will be elected MP for Bath next May. Don Foster will be a hard act to follow but Bath is lucky to have a candidate of the calibre of Steve Bradley.

    Indeed in the present circumstances of Clegg’s leadership breakdown many constituencies trying to find anyone at all to put themselves forward as a Liberal Democrat candidate would grab someone like Steve Bradley with both hands.

    So, looking beyond Bath we now have information of 8 MPs standing down in 2015 and 8 people ready to ask the voters to put their trust in another Liberal Democrat in a seat “where we are strong”. One assumes that all eight of these seats are in the list of the 37 chosen few, where Clegg HQ are hoping we win in 2015.
    But which are the 20 seats which currently have MPs where Clegg HQ think they should be thrown to the wolves ?
    I guess this is a closely guarded secret.

    I cannot help noticing that this thread has repeated comments from two individuals who seem intent on making points about the bedroom tax. Whatever else we can credit Steve Bradley with, as someone who has only just been adopted as a prospective candidate he cannot be blamed for that. I suggest they take their complaints to the two Liberal Democrat members of The Quad, Danny Alexander and Nick Clegg who could have stopped the bedroom tax. Indeed as Danny Alexander is an MP for a seat in Scotland where Liberal Democrats have already voted to scrap the bedroom tax maybe they should concentrate their efforts on Nick Clegg. But be quick because he might not be there much longer.

  • Helen Dudden 9th Jun '14 - 5:52pm

    @ Steve Bradley, a message was left for you at the office in Bath.

  • Helen Dudden 11th Jun '14 - 6:26am

    Steve, I have offered to meet you as per my telephone conversation to the office in Bath. I would not discuss on line times or places, but the offer remains.

    So, be aware, the offer is there.

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