On 17th December the Bishop of Durham asked a question in the |Lords during exchanges on the Office for National Statistics latest findings on life expectancy:
The Lord Bishop of Durham [V]: Given the ONS recent findings that the lowest regional life expectancy for both male and female children at birth in 2017-19 was observed in my area of the north-east of England, when will Her Majesty’s Government commit to a full-blown strategy to eliminate the obstacles disproportionately facing children in poverty here in the north-east?
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On 16th December the Bishop of Salisbury responded to a Government statement in the Lords about the Energy White Paper:
The Lord Bishop of Salisbury [V]: My Lords, I very much welcome the energy White Paper.
One thing we have learned during this pandemic is the importance of the local. What assessment have the Government made of the further potential of local solar, wind and micro hydro energy schemes and of what finance might be needed to facilitate their collectively enormous potential?
Given the comments in the other place about the lack of rural infrastructure for energy, might the Minister find it helpful to consider the possibility of churches being places for siting bidirectional charging points for electric vehicles?
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On 16th December the Bishop of Southwark asked a question in the House of Lords during exchanges following a question about prisoners with Covid-19:
The Lord Bishop of Southwark [V]:
Your Lordships will have heard me mention that there are five prison establishments located within my diocese. In respect of one of them, will the noble Baroness join me in paying tribute to the governor of Her Majesty’s Prison Wandsworth, Graham Barrett, who was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his sterling efforts during the Covid pandemic in keeping infection rates so low in the jail—and indeed to all Prison Service staff recognised in this way for achieving so much in such challenging circumstances?
As the noble Baroness is aware from the previous supplementary question, out-of-cell activity in many establishments is now limited to one hour or less in 24. Can she assure the House that such provision will not slip beyond the 24-hour period into longer periods of confinement, which happens when the 24-hour period is variable?
Will any priority be given to rolling out the vaccine to inmates and staff?
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On 16th December 2020 the Bishop of Durham received a written answer to two questions of Government on making permanent the temporary increase to Universal Credit and legacy benefits:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what factors they will consider in their review of whether to make permanent the temporary Universal Credit uplift; and when they plan to announce the outcome of that review. [HL11202]
The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the statement by more than 60 organisations and bishops on 29 November on the Universal Credit uplift and legacy benefits; and what plans they have to extend the uplift to legacy benefits. [HL11203]
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On 16th December the Bishop of Gloucester received written answers to questions on pregnant women and mothers in prison, and the impact on families of the remand backlog:
Prisoners on Remand
The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the remand backlog on (1) prison overcrowding, and (2) the health and wellbeing of prisoners, including children and young people held on remand. [HL11119]
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On 16th December the Bishop of St Albans received answers to two written questions on fly-tipping of electronic and hazardous waste:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park on 6 February (HL944), what progress they have made on the introduction of a mandatory electronic waste tracking system to combat fly tipping. [HL11049]
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On 15th December the Bishop of Southwark asked a question during exchanges on the the impact of Covid-19 on the cultural and arts sectors:
The Lord Bishop of Southwark [V]:
My Lords, will the Minister please comment on what is being done to support the huge supply chain of talent, materials and suppliers for live events and performances?
As the Minister is doubtless aware, there are decades of expertise within these sectors, which also support film production, television and festivals—everything from catering to lighting, scenery, special effects, equipment hire, publicity and venue hire. These are all in danger of being wiped out and will be extremely difficult to re-establish if businesses and freelancers are not supported at this stage.
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