This week in the House of Lords bishops tabled a question on the social harm of fixed-odds betting terminals and spoke and voted on changes to free school meal entitlement for those on low incomes. Bishops spoke in debates on domestic abuse, the Commonwealth, the EU Withdrawal Bill, and paid tribute to a former Leader of the House of Lords. They asked questions about modern slavery, and religious persecution, and took part in votes on a Private Member’s Bill on hereditary peer by-elections. Five Church of England Measures were debated and approved by the House of Lords.
In the House of Commons the Second Church Estates Commissioner answered a question on wi-fi and broadband and use of church buildings. Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 19th – 23rd March 2018”
On 23rd March 2018 the House of Lords considered the House of Lords (Hereditary Peers) (Abolition of By-Elections) Bill [HL] in committee. This was a Private Member’s Bill. Two votes were taken on amendments to the Bill and the Bishop of Peterborough took part: Continue reading “Votes: Hereditary Peers (Abolition of By-Elections) Bill”
On 22nd March 2018 Baroness Lister of Burtersett asked Her Majesty’s Government “what plans they have to support survivors of domestic abuse and to prevent future abuse.” The Bishop of Derby, Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I, too, thank the noble Baroness, Lady Lister, for introducing this important debate. It is crucial that we hold together support for victims and prevention. To get value for our investment we need to push back against the space that allows this crime to happen. I want to offer one or two thoughts about the framework within which resources need to be spent, and about the challenge to the Minister and to local authorities in the complexities that we are trying to deal with. The smaller the budget, the greater the odds against anything working. Continue reading “Bishop of Derby on need for focus on funding, relationship education and reformation as ways to tackle domestic abuse”
On 22nd March 2018 the Bishop of Rochester introduced five Church of England Measures for debate and approval in the House of Lords. The full text of the debate on each Measure is reproduced below and the House gave approval to each. The Measures were: the Legislative Reform Measure, the Mission and Pastoral etc. (Amendment) Measure, the Pensions (Pre-consolidation) Measure, the Statute Law (Repeals) Measure and the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and Care of Churches Measure. Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester takes five Church of England Measures through House of Lords”
On 22nd March 2018 the House of Lords debated a motion from the Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, “That this House takes note of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018.” The Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, the Anglican Communion extends significantly beyond the nations of the Commonwealth. Nevertheless, for obvious reasons of history, there is a very substantial Anglican presence in many Commonwealth countries. I am therefore pleased to speak from these Benches in this debate—and I, too, look forward to the maiden speech of the noble Lord, Lord Geidt.
Within the Anglican Communion we have a rich network of companion links between dioceses in different parts of the world, whereby most Lords spiritual will have an active engagement with the life of at least one Commonwealth country. The nature of the Commonwealth as a network of autonomous free nations also has some parallel with the life of the communion, wherein each province is autonomous yet links together through what one might call family likeness, and the position of honour granted to the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury. Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester on importance of Commonwealth in building partnerships”
On 22nd March 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a qurstion he had tabled about the social costs of fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs). A transcript of his question and those of other members in response, is below:
Gambling: Fixed-odds Betting Terminals
The Lord Bishop of St Albans, To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the social costs of fixed-odds betting terminals.
Baroness Chisholm of Owlpen (Con): My Lords, the consultation on gaming machines and social responsibility measures closed on 23 January, and all responses are currently being considered. An impact assessment was published alongside the consultation in October and any additional evidence submitted, including on social costs related to FOBTs, will be taken into consideration. It was made clear at consultation that the stakes on FOBTs would be reduced, and the final position will be published in due course.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, these particular machines are a modern-day scourge which create misery and deepen poverty. Unemployed people are more likely to play these games than any other group. Citizens Advice has shown that, for every addict, six to 10 other adults are directly and adversely affected. The children and families of addicts are simply bewildered at the Gambling Commission’s suggestion that a stake of up to £30 might be acceptable. Will the noble Baroness assure the House that the needs of the vulnerable will be placed above concerns about either tax revenue or the gambling lobby, and that a £2 stake is the only answer? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans calls on Government to reduce stakes on ‘modern scourge’ of fixed-odds betting machines”
On 21st March 2018, Peers debated the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill on its ninth day at Committee Stage. The Archbishop of York, the Most Revd John Sentamu, spoke during debate on an amendment relating to the powers of devolved assemblies. It can be read in the wider context of the debate here