On 19th February 2018 the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Rev Paul Butler, received answers to three written questions on Child Tax Credits. The questions were originally tabled on 5th February 2018, and were following up questions asked by the Bishop of Durham in January.
The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bates on 25 January (HL4634), with reference to their commitment to publishing statistics relating to exceptions to the limit on Child Tax Credits support to two children, what is their criteria for “sufficient cases”. Continue reading “Bishop of Durham receives answers to written questions on Child Tax Credits”
On 19th February 2018 the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, received an answer to a written question on the Democratic Republic of Congo. The question was originally tabled on 5th February 2018.
The Archbishop of Canterbury: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their response to recent reports of civilian deaths and arrests following the crackdown on peaceful Church protests by the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Lord Ahmad: The Government released statements on 3 January and 23 January following the deaths of protestors on 31 December 2017 and 21 January 2018. The statements called on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) government to investigate and hold accountable security force members who fired on civilians or ordered the use of lethal force. The UK continues to pressure the DRC government to open political space and allow peaceful demonstrations.
The Bishop of St Albans was on duty in the House of Lords throughout the week and asked questions on unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, plastics recycling, the Taylor Review of working practices, and women’s centres. Parliament rose for recess and will return on 20th February. Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 5th-9th February 2018”
On 8th February 2018 Lord Lee of Trafford asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of the size of the prison population and conditions within prisons.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question about women in prison:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, research by the Ministry of Justice shows that women’s centres have a statistically significant effect on decreasing reoffending rates, are substantially cheaper than keeping women in custody and often allow families to stay together. Will the Minister use his department’s evidence to invest in women’s centres that treat women holistically as the best way forward for many women? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about investment in women’s centres as an alternative to prison”
On 7th February 2018, the Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Lord Henley made a statement regarding the Taylor Review of modern working practices. The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, a number of things are to be welcomed in the Government’s response to the Taylor report but perhaps I may pick up on one small thing. One recommendation is that the Government should develop a free online tool to provide individuals with an indication of their employment status and rights. However, do the Government not realise that a large proportion of the workers who are most vulnerable to exploitation are the very ones who will have least access to that sort of digital connectivity? Will the Minister make a commitment that the question of how more vulnerable people can access this information will be looked at closely when implementing this recommendation? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans responds to government statement on Taylor Review of modern working practices”
On 7th February 2018, Baroness Neville-Rolfe asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘what action they are taking to reduce the use of plastic and to ensure that the maximum amount of plastic can be recycled.’ The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, last year the Environmental Audit Committee recommended a legislated deposit return scheme for plastic drink bottles, which has proved extraordinarily successful in the US, Norway and Germany in improving collection rates and reducing littering. When do the Government plan to do the same in this country? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about plastics recycling”
On 5th February 2018, Lord Roberts asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘whether they intend to ensure that every failed asylum seeker, and anyone facing removal from the United Kingdom for whatever reason, has access to adequate legal advice.’ The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, research by the Children’s Society shows that unaccompanied and separated children are particularly vulnerable. Only 12 grants for exceptional case funding were made in 2015-16, fewer than 1% of the expected number of cases under the previous system. Hundreds of children are being left without a legal safety net. Can the Minister confirm that the situation of these children will be specifically considered within the review of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks government about unaccompanied asylum-seeking children”