Bishop of Durham asks about inequality in Rwanda

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Bp Durham June 2015 bOn 16th September 2016 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received a written answer to a question on aid to tackle inequality in Rwanda:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assistance they are providing to the government of Rwanda to tackle levels of inequality there.

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Bishop of Durham asks about humanitarian aid to Burundi

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Bp Durham June 2015 bOn 16th September 2016 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received a written answer to a question on aid to Burundi:
 The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what contingency plans are in place to provide humanitarian aid in the event of a poor harvest in Burundi. Continue reading

Bishop of St Albans calls for more home building, less land banking

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St Albans 2On 15th September 2016 Lord Kennedy of Southwark asked Her Majesty’s Government “what action they are taking to reverse the decline in home ownership.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, while the price of land continues to increase so rapidly, landowners have much less incentive for immediate development, particularly if they are negotiating with local authorities over their desire for more affordable housing requirements. Will Her Majesty’s Government take further steps to tackle land-banking, so that we can get more houses up more quickly? Continue reading

Bishop of Rochester asks about extremism vetting process for prison chaplains

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Bishop of RochesterOn 15th September 2016 the Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, received a written answer to a question on vetting of prison chaplains:
The Lord Bishop of Rochester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the publication of the review of Islamist extremism in prisons and the probation and youth justice services, in what ways they plan to change the vetting of prison chaplains and build on existing good practice, including vetting to counter-terrorism level.

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Bishop of St Albans asks if Brexit will lead to cheap and low quality food imports

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St Albans 2On Wednesday 14th September 2016, Lord Taverne asked the Government “whether, in their negotiations to leave the European Union, they will seek to preserve the United Kingdom’s membership of the single market.” The Lord Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a supplementary question.

Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, many parts of our country are deeply concerned about the negotiations, not least the farming community, as evidenced by the Back British Farming demonstration going on outside. We produce food of the highest quality, by environmental and welfare concerns, of almost anywhere in the world. For the sake of our health, our livestock and the environment, can the noble Lord assure the House that Her Majesty’s Government will be very careful to ensure we will not be flooded with cheap imports of food produced to much lower standards than that which our excellent farming industry produces? Continue reading

Bishop of St Albans asks about growing pension deficits of FTSE100 companies

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St AlbansOn 13th September 2016, Lord Haskell asked the Government whether the Pension Protection Fund will be able to meet its obligations to pensioners. The Lord Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question.


The Lord Bishop of St Albans: Perhaps I may push the Minister a little more. I totally accept that the value of pension funds goes up and down according to a number of factors, but recent statistics show that 56 of the FTSE 100 companies had a combined pension deficit of £42.3 billion, which was up from £25 billion in the previous year—so growing fairly steadily. Just last year those FTSE companies were able to pay out dividends of £53 billion—a sign of their success. Does the Minister think that those companies have the balance right between shareholders and employees? If not, will the Government consider doing something about it to ensure that their responsibilities are taken more seriously? Continue reading