Bishop of St Albans asks about access to debt advice

Debts: Advisory Services – written question Asked by The Lord Bishop of St Albans. Answer received 20th May 2021.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the findings in the Christian’s Against Poverty’s Our Story, Client Report 2021, published in April, that 45 per cent of clients did not initially know where to access help to manage their debts, what plans they have to better (1) signpost, and (2) raise awareness of, debt advice services as part of the recovery from COVID-19. [HL93]

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Bishop of Manchester calls for clampdown on antisemitism on university campuses

On 18th May 2021 the Bishop of Manchester asked a question about antisemitism on university campuses, following a spate of attacks targeting Jewish people.

The Lord Bishop of Manchester [V]: Is the Minister aware that the Union of Jewish Students has raised serious concerns that Jewish students and societies are now being targeted with really quite disgusting anti-Semitic abuse due to the conflict in the Middle East? Will he reassure Jewish students that the Government will clamp down on all forms of campus anti-Semitism and encourage all universities not just to adopt but to implement the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism?

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Bishop of Durham asks Government to include faith and voluntary sector in new coronavirus inquiry

On 13th May 2021 the House of Lords heard the repeat of a Government statement on a Coronavirus Inquiry.

The Lord Bishop of Durham: The pandemic has highlighted the vital role that the faith and voluntary sectors play in our society, particularly in the poorest communities, but initially our engagement was not as well done as it could possibly have been. Will the Minister comment on how the Government intend to include the faith and voluntary sectors in the inquiry so that their role is guaranteed in the future?

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Bishop of Durham asks about security of local jobs following Hitachi train defects

On 13th May 2021 the House of Lords considered the recent train delays caused by defects in the Hitachi stock.

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I declare an interest as a regular LNER user—indeed, I experienced disruption to the service on my trip down from Darlington. While it is essential that the defects are addressed, I am very aware of the jobs and investment brought to County Durham by Hitachi. Can the Minister confirm that this issue will not impact the investment in the region and the security of the jobs?

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Bishop of St Albans asks Government to make developers pay to remedy work not meeting fire safety standards

On 12th May 2021 the House of Lords questioned Government on fire safety and cladding, following a recent fire in east London.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans [V]: My Lords, the Government have said that it is not right for the taxpayer to bail out leaseholders, but taxpayers’ money through the building safety fund could be bailing out developers for building substandard developments. What plan do the Government have to investigate whether developments met fire safety regulations at the time of construction and, in those cases where regulations were not met, to apportion remedial liability to the developers, so that those responsible actually pay?

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Bishop of Worcester raises need for more family foster care provision

On 8th March 2021 the Bishop of Worcester asked a question he had tabled of Government on teenagers and older children in care.
The Lord Bishop of Worcester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the quality of provision for teenagers in the care system.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Department for International Trade
(Baroness Berridge) (Con): My Lords, throughout the Covid-19 crisis, the Government have worked closely with local authorities to help ensure that they continue to meet their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people in care, with particular regard to their education, health and well-being. Some £4.6 billion of funding has been made available to support councils, with a further £1.55 billion announced as part of the spending review.

The Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness for her Answer and for the good work that has been done. However, I am concerned that Barnardo’s declared a state of emergency in June last year as a result of a 44% increase in the number of children needing foster care referred to it. According to one investigation, more than 8,300 children were placed in unregulated, semi-independent accommodation last year. Many of those—more than one-third—were outside their local authority area. What steps are the Government taking to ensure that teenagers and older children in care are offered family-based provision, where they are more likely to thrive?

Church Commissioners written answer: worship numbers during pandemic

On 8th March the Second Church Estates Commissioner responded to a written question from Jim Shannon MP on worship during the covid-19 pandemic:

 Jim Shannon: [162605] To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment he has made of whether the online broadcasting of services during the covid-19 outbreak has increased the number of people participating in worship.

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Bishop of Worcester calls for targeted sanctions against those responsible for military coup in Myanmar

On 8th March 2021 the Bishop of Worcester received a written answer to a question on targeted sanctions against the Myanmar regime:

The Lord Bishop of Worcester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to imposing targeted sanctions against those responsible for the military coup in Myanmar. [HL13549]

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Bishop of St Albans asks Government about social, health and economic effects of gambling

On 8th March 2021 the Bishop of St Albans received a written answer to two questions on the links between gambling and financial, social and health outcomes:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the finding of the study in the Nature Human Behaviour journal The association between gambling and financial, social and health outcomes in big financial data, published on 4 February, that increased gambling correlates with lower financial planning, missed mortgage payments, and increased bailiff interaction; and what assessment they have made of the potential for affordability checks in gambling to produce long-term secure financial outcomes for individuals. [HL13496]

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the finding of the study in the Nature Human Behaviour journal The association between gambling and financial, social and health outcomes in big financial data, published on 4 February, that increased gambling is associated with lower levels of socialisation and spending on local amenities; and what assessment they have made of the impact of online gambling on the local economy. [HL13497]
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Bishop of St Albans asks Government about action against forced marriage

On 8th March the Bishop of St Albans received written answers to two questions on forced marriage:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many people were (1) charged, and (2) convicted, with (a) forcing someone to marry, and (b) breaching a forced marriage protection order, under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, in (i) 2016, (ii) 2017, (iii) 2018, (iv) 2019, and (v) 2020. [HL13499]

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