Bishop of Rochester asks Government about housing affordability and homelessness

On 17th & 18th October 2017 the Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, received answers to two written questions on housing affordability and homelessness:

The Lord Bishop of Rochester:

(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of the private rented sector is affordable to those on Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the freeze on Local Housing Allowance on levels of homelessness in England. Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester asks Government about housing affordability and homelessness”

Bishop of Chelmsford – Channel 4 should stay public, must invest more in diversity, programmes for children

On 17th October 2017 the House of Lords debated a Report from the Lords Communications Committee, A privatised future for Channel 4? (1st Report, Session 2016–17, HL Paper 17). The Bishop of Chelmsford, Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, a member of the Committee, spoke in the debate. He focused on the need for proper diversity in public service broadcasting and for Channel 4 to invest more in programmes for children and young people. He also joined others in resisting calls for privatisation and questioned the logic of relocation from London:

The Lord Bishop of Chelmsford: My Lords, I, too, am a member of the House of Lords Communications Committee. We normally meet on a Tuesday afternoon, so it is nice to have our meeting through the medium of this debate, in which members past and present can speak to each other. I thank other noble Lords for joining in as well. I also want to pay tribute to the noble Lord, Lord Best, for the wise and winsome way he chaired the committee for three years and, in particular, for helping us to produce this report, which we dare to think has made a bit of a difference.

To put it simply, there is nothing quite like Channel 4. I realise that some people may think that bishops arrive fully formed, like ships in full sail, from a production line over the river at Lambeth, but all of us have other lives both past and present. In my early 20s ​I worked for several years in the film industry and saw at first hand the huge boost that was made to British film by Channel 4. Continue reading “Bishop of Chelmsford – Channel 4 should stay public, must invest more in diversity, programmes for children”

Bishop of Norwich asks Government to support initiatives to bring together Christian and Muslim communities

On 17th October 2017 Baroness Warsi asked Her Majesty’s Government “whether they have a definition of Islamophobia; and, if so, what it is.” The Bishop of Norwich, Rt Revd Graham James, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Norwich: My Lords, does the Minister agree that, whatever our definition of Islamophobia, one of the most effective ways of preventing it is by good relationships between the different faith communities, exemplified by the new church/mosque twinning programme promoted by the Christian Muslim Forum? That is already established in Oldham, Rochdale, Walsall and Wolverhampton. What can the Government do to encourage those local community initiatives, which can transform the way in which a local community views Muslims in their midst? Continue reading “Bishop of Norwich asks Government to support initiatives to bring together Christian and Muslim communities”

Bishop of Norwich raises need for integrated health and social care service

On 16th October 2017 Lord Dubs asked Her Majesty’s Government “what is their estimate of the number of people currently in hospital waiting to be discharged to care homes when places become available.” The Bishop of Norwich, Rt Revd Graham James, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Norwich: My Lords, since the difficulties of hospital patients awaiting discharge to care homes is but one of a number of bottlenecks in the present system, does that not suggest that we need a fully integrated national health and social care service and that, until we achieve such integration, these problems are bound to recur—as the National Audit Office report in February this year so clearly and vividly illustrated? Continue reading “Bishop of Norwich raises need for integrated health and social care service”

Bishop of Leeds asks Government about economy, infrastructure and devolution in the north and Yorkshire

On 16th October 2017 the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, received written answers to five questions about housing, immigration, the economy and devolution in the north and Yorkshire:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds:

(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of large housing developments with insufficient infrastructure and amenities on community cohesion, social capital, and social inclusion.

(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what estimate they have made of the level of immigration required, if any, to support the Northern Powerhouse.

(iii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in addition to their devolution programme for cities, what steps they are taking to promote the rural economy.

(iv)  To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the report by the Institute for Public Policy Research, Time for Change: A New Vision for the British Economy, what assessment they have made of the potential for the Northern Powerhouse to restructure the national economy.

(v) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the Yorkshire councils’ “coalition of the willing” to secure a single devolution deal for Yorkshire.

Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds asks Government about economy, infrastructure and devolution in the north and Yorkshire”

Week in Westminster, 9th-13th October 2017

Parliament returned from recess this week. In the House of Lords bishops spoke in debates on housing and prison reform, responded to the Government’s statement about its race disparity audit and asked questions about military action against Daesh. Bishops also spoke on the Government’s Data Protection Bill and voted on an amendment to the Armed Forces (Flexible Working) Bill. In the House of Commons the Second Church Estates Commissioner answered questions on LGBT support and the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation in Europe. Downing Street announced that the former Bishop of London, Rt Revd Richard Chartres, would be made a Crossbench (independent) Peer. Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 9th-13th October 2017”

Former Bishop of London to become life Peer

From the website of the Archbishop of Canterbury:

Thursday 12th October 2017

The Archbishop of Canterbury has warmly welcomed the announcement by 10 Downing Street that the former Bishop of London is to be made a life peer.

Bishop Richard, the 132nd occupant of the see, retired in March of this year after almost 22 years in the post. He will sit in the House of Lords as a crossbench member. Continue reading “Former Bishop of London to become life Peer”