Bishop of Winchester asks about prison staff shortages and training needs

18.03.20 Winchester 3On 29th October 2019 Lord Lee of Trafford asked the Government “what plans they have to replace Victorian-era prisons with more modern facilities.” The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, asked a follow up question: 

The Lord Bishop of Winchester: I am sure that many of us will have watched some of the programmes in the “Crime and Punishment” series, which featured Her Majesty’s Prison Winchester, a Victorian prison. The programmes highlighted problems of building maintenance, staff shortages and a large number of attacks on staff—441 in the year 2018-19. Can the Minister confirm what action Her Majesty’s Government will take to address the staff shortages and training needs among prison officers generally, in addition to the prison improvements announced in recent days?

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Bishop of Durham asks about immunity for illegal migrants who can identify traffickers

Durham040219On 28th October 2019 Lord Bethell repeated a Government Statement about the tragic  deaths of 39 migrants in Essex. The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a follow-up question:

Lord Bishop of Durham: While I understand that the Minister does not wish to speculate, it is possible that there are people already in this country who may have been illegally trafficked here and will know the identity of those people when it emerges. In order to fully understand the depths of the depravity that leads to this kind of evil, will consideration be given to offering immunity to those who are here illegally at present who can offer good, solid evidence that will help us to understand and bring people to justice? Will immunity be considered for those who are already here, perhaps illegally?


Lord Bethell (Con): The Secretary of State has spoken in another place of her determination to track down the perpetrators of this crime. When asked a similar question, she communicated her determination to use whatever routes or opportunities she had, including the kind described, in order to achieve that objective.

via Parliament.uk

Bishop of Durham asks about funding for language learning for migrants

19.04.24 DurhamOn the 28th October the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, received a written answer to questions about English for Speakers of Other Languages.

The Lord Bishop of Durham:

(i) HL90 To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether any of the funds pledged to the Integration Areas Programme in the September spending round will be used for the provision of childcare services for English for Speakers of Other Languages participants.

 (ii) HL91 To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much of the funds pledged for the Integration Areas Programme will be used for English for Speakers of Other Languages provision.

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Bishop of Durham questions government about its new national strategy to support teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages

19.04.24 Durham 2On the 24th October the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler received a written answer to his question about the new national strategy for teaching English language learning. 

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Bishop of St Albans asks Government about bus companies and zero emissions

St Albans 2On 24th October 2019 Baroness Randerson asked the Government “what plans they have to encourage more people to travel by bus”. The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith asked a supplementary question about public transport and air pollution:

Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, in welcoming the strategy, I am aware that we have seen numerous stories this week about levels of pollution, particularly along school runs, so we should do everything we can to get children on to buses where appropriate. However, many buses are still very poor in terms of the pollution they create, which might take some years to go through. Is there any way in which the Government can help bus companies move more rapidly to zero emissions?

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Bishop of St Albans asks Government about access to cash withdrawal services in rural areas

On 22nd October 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked the Government “what assessment they have made of the impact on rural communities of the decision by Barclays Bank to end cash withdrawal services from the Post Office”. The bishop then asked a follow-up question:

Lord Bishop of St Albans: I beg leave to ask the Question in my name on the Order Paper and declare my interest as president of the Rural Coalition.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Northern Ireland Office (Lord Duncan of Springbank): My Lords, the Government are disappointed by the withdrawal of Barclays from the renegotiated banking framework. None the less, the new banking framework will enable customers to access their cash from 27 high street banks. The Government will continue to ensure that communities receive support and have choice about how they manage their finances.

Lord Bishop of St Albans: I thank the Minister for his reply. Rural communities rely on access to finance, but in many rural areas where there is poor broadband or weak mobile signal, online banking is impossible. This is a fundamental issue for our rural areas. What representations have Her Majesty’s Government made to Barclays Bank, and what will we do if other banks decide to follow its lead? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about access to cash withdrawal services in rural areas”

Bishop of Salisbury asks Government about taxation of fuel for air travel

Salisbury231018bOn 21st October 2019 Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb asked the Government “what plans they have to (1) ban or (2) restrict frequent flyer “airmiles” schemes.” The Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, asked a follow-up question:

Lord Bishop of Salisbury: Can the Minister explain why the gap between aviation fuel being untaxed and road fuel being taxed as it is, is so great? If the answer is the difficulty of getting international agreement, why are UK internal flights not taxed to get some parity between different methods of transport?

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