Bishop of St Albans asks about investment in women’s centres as an alternative to prison

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”

Bishop of St Albans responds to government statement on Taylor Review of modern working practices

On 7tStAlbans161117h 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”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about plastics recycling

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”

Bishop of St Albans asks government about unaccompanied asylum-seeking children

St Albans 2On 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”

Archbishop asks government about income inequality

york-170117-bOn 31st January 2018, Baroness Lister asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘whether they have a policy goal to reduce income inequality; and if so, what is their strategy for achieving that goal.’ The Archbishop of York, Most Revd John Sentamu, asked a follow-up question: 

The Archbishop of York:  My Lords, does the noble Lord agree with Wilkinson and Pickett in The Spirit Level that equal societies, in terms of income, are much happier societies and that income inequality leads people not to be happy? Does he further agree that being in work does not mean that you have income equality? We have a lot of hard-pressed families on poverty wages, hence the food banks. What are the Government going to do to create this income equality, where we can all become happier people? Continue reading “Archbishop asks government about income inequality”

Bishop of Coventry asks Government about repatriation of Rohingya people

On 31st January 2018 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received a written answer from Government about the Rohingya people in Burma: 

The Lord Bishop of Coventry:To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the governments of (1) China, (2) Laos, (3) the Philippines, (4) Russia, and (5) Vietnam, regarding the announcement on 16 January that Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed to repatriate Rohingya people; and what was the outcome of those discussions. Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry asks Government about repatriation of Rohingya people”

Week in Westminster, 22nd-26th January 2018

This week in Parliament the House of Lords gave a Second Reading to the Bishop of St Albans’ Bill to reform the marriage registration process, including to allow mothers’ names alongside those of fathers on marriage certificates. Bishops spoke in debates on cancer care, the NHS winter crisis, access to water in developing countries, and a private members’ bill on conscientious objection. They asked questions about the effect on families of the two-child limit and benefit cap, anonymity for those accused of serious offences, prisons, development aid to Burundi, and food imports. In the House of Commons, the Second Church Estates Commissioner answered questions from MPs on marriage registration, vocations, gay conversion therapy, Christians in the Middle East, counter terrorism measures at religious premises, fracking and religious education. Continue reading “Week in Westminster, 22nd-26th January 2018”