On 7th July Lord Lilley asked Her Majesty’s Government “what advice they give to British travellers to the United States of America on the risks of eating (1) chicken which has been subject to a pathogen reduction treatment, and (2) hormone-fed beef.” The Rt Revd James Newcome, Bishop of Carlisle, asked a follow up question focusing on the use of antibiotics amongst beef farmers in the United States.
The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, I am grateful for what the Minister just said. Can he tell us whether Her Majesty’s Government have conducted any assessment of antibiotic use among beef farmers in the United States? If so, what might be the potential implications for public health of beef imports following any future trade deal?
On 6th June Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of the likelihood of an increase in COVID-19 infections as a result of lifting the restrictions in place to address the pandemic.“ The Rt Revd James Newcome, Bishop of Carlisle, asked a follow up question focusing onCovid-19 outbreaks in meat-processing plants and abattoirs.
The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, given the incidence of outbreaks of this virus in meat-processing plants and abattoirs in a number of countries, including our own, and the fact that many workers at such plants are often poorly paid and belong to ethnic minority communities, and frequently live in accommodation in multiple occupancy, what advice are Her Majesty’s Government giving to the managers of such plants to mitigate the spread of the virus?
On 3rd July 2020 the Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, received a written answer to a question from Baroness Barran on gambling.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: HL6028 To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the statement by Lord Ashton of Hyde on 2 July 2019 (HL Deb, cols 1344–6), and in the light of the pledge made by the Betting and Gambling Council’s five largest members this week, whether the announcement made in the July 2019 statement is now null and void; and if not, where the money has been distributed; what involvement Her Majesty’s Government had in the announcement by the Betting and Gambling Council; and why is the money no longer being distributed by the committee launched by Lord Chadlington.
On 6th July the Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, received a written answer to a question from Baroness Stedman-Scott on social security benefits for children.
The Lord Bishop of Durham: HL5845 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the call by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Save the Children to increase the child component of Universal Credit and Child Tax Credits by £20 a week, following their research showing that 7 in 10 families with children in receipt of Universal Credit are cutting back on essentials as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On 2nd July an answer to an Urgent Question in the Commons on the Lammy Review was given in the House of Lords. The Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, asked a follow up question focusing on data analysis.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, one of the important ideas found in the Lammy report is the use of relative rate index analysis, which provides important data on the way decisions at various points of the criminal justice system take place. This is the sort of tool we will need if we are to address this deeply embedded problem. Will the noble and learned Lord tell the House whether this relative rate index analysis has been a repeated and whether the lessons are being implemented?
On 2nd July Baroness Barker asked Her Majesty’s Government “what steps they are taking to ensure that mental health services are available in (1) acute, and (2) community, care settings (a) during, and (b) after, the COVID-19 pandemic.” The Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry, asked a follow up question focusing on the role of faith communities in supporting those with poor mental health due to Covid-19.
The Lord Bishop of Coventry: My Lords, at least one of the churches in my diocese recently set up a mental well-being centre, providing support groups, a helpline and signposting to professional services. Has the Minister considered inviting churches and other faith communities, with their knowledge of, trust within and connections to the local community, including networks of young people, to participate in the response to the mental health needs caused by Covid-19?
On 1st July a statement was given updating the House of Lords on the Covid-19 situationin the UK. The Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry, asked afollow up question focusing on data sharing.
The Lord Bishop of Coventry: My Lords, the Minister said that data required by local authorities is given to them, but I am told by the leader of Coventry City Council and our director of public health that, although data sharing has improved over the past two weeks, it still comes from different sources and does not include data on workplaces and other settings that people regularly visit or, as we have heard, on ethnicity. Can the Minister provide further assurances that local authorities will be supplied with the full data that they need to respond to local outbreaks in a streamlined form and at an early point?
On 1 July Lord Berkeley of Knighton asked Her Majesty’s Government “what is their response to reports that orchestras and cultural venues are facing permanent closure as a result of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” The Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, asked a follow up question focusing on performing music during Covid-19.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, it is not just the performance venues that are suffering but many churches and halls rented out for rehearsal space. Will the Minister update the House on the progress of research undertaken into singing and playing woodwind and brass instruments, to see how these activities might be safely undertaken while minimising the risk of spreading Covid-19?
On 1st July Lord Bradley asked Her Majesty’s Government “what action they are taking to address the impact of theCOVID-19 pandemic on mental health”. The Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, Bishop of London, asked a follow up question focusing on mental health care for care workers.
The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, the Government are providing NHS staff with free access to online therapy and group counselling sessions, among other things, which is much needed and very welcome. Can the Minister say whether the same quality of care, recognition and access to mental health support is being given to parts of the social care sector such as nursing homes, care homes and home care workers, who have faced similar traumatic experiences to those of NHS staff?
On 30th June there was a repeat of an Urgent Question in the House of Commons on support and accommodation for Asylum Seekers during Covid-19. The Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry, asked a follow up question focusing onsupporting vulnerable people with wrap around care.
The Lord Bishop of Coventry: My Lords, vulnerability assessments are so important. There are questions about when they happen and the need for them to be ongoing and serious. There is also a question about how. Is the Minister satisfied that the vulnerability assessments are sufficiently tuned to the experiences and needs of asylum seekers in their extremity, and take into consideration the whole person and the impact of the ongoing experience of lockdown?