Betting firms should be forced to take drastic action to protect children from ads says Bishop of St Albans

On 14th September 2017 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Chadlington, ‘That this House takes note of the effect of gambling advertisements on children.’ The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I too add my thanks to the noble Lord, Lord Chadlington, for introducing this important debate, which has such implications for young people in our country.

Gambling-related advertising poses a substantial risk of harm to children.

Continue reading “Betting firms should be forced to take drastic action to protect children from ads says Bishop of St Albans”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government when housing strategy will be implemented

On 14th September 2017 the Bishop of St Albans asked a question he had tabled to Government about the Government’s housing strategy. His question and follow-up are below, as are the follow up questions from other Members of the House:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to implement the recommendations contained in the Housing White Paper, Fixing our broken housing market.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government and Northern Ireland Office (Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth) (Con): My Lords, housing is a priority for this Government. We are committed to ensuring radical and lasting reform to get homes built now and in future, and are delivering the changes needed to make that happen. For example, we have already launched a £2.3 billion ​fund, which we committed to in the White Paper, to provide essential infrastructure to support up to 100,000 new homes.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, the consultation on the housing White Paper was published on 2 May and, as we know, it contained urgently needed measures to address the critical shortfall of housing here in the UK. When does the Minister expect the results of that consultation to be ready, and when can we expect a revised National Planning Policy Framework? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government when housing strategy will be implemented”

Introduction of Bishop of Lincoln, Rt Revd Christopher Lowson

On 14th September 2017 the Bishop of Lincoln, Rt Revd Christopher Lowson, was introduced to the House of Lords and took his seat. The Bishops of Gloucester and Newcastle acted as his supporters. Here is a description of the ceremony of introduction:

Continue reading “Introduction of Bishop of Lincoln, Rt Revd Christopher Lowson”

Bishops raise concern about cutbacks to local authority welfare assistance schemes

Seven bishops signed a letter to the Guardian newspaper, printed on 14th September 2017, voicing concern about cutbacks to local authority welfare assistance schemes. Four of the signatories were Lords Spiritual:

Local welfare assistance schemes are a vital lifeline for people who find themselves in a crisis and without basic essentials, such as food, electricity, or a working oven. It is therefore very worrying that most of these schemes have been cut back considerably in recent years and that 26 local councils have now closed them altogether, including in many areas that we represent (English councils’ local welfare schemes in ‘meltdown’, 12 September). Continue reading “Bishops raise concern about cutbacks to local authority welfare assistance schemes”

Bishop of St Albans letter to The Times on Government review of fixed odds betting terminals

On 14th September 2017 The Times newspaper published a letter from the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, about the forthcoming Government gambling review and the need to address the issue of fixed odds betting terminals:

Problem gambling

Sir, It is encouraging to read that the prime minister is putting her weight behind the reduction in stakes for fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) (“Treasury backs down on fixed-odds betting curbs”, Sep 12). The present maximum stake of £100 for an FOBT looks like an anomaly compared with the stakes permitted in other licensed gaming machine categories, which range from £1 to £5. The £100 stakes allow FOBTs to wreak disproportionate harm. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans letter to The Times on Government review of fixed odds betting terminals”

Lords questions on cats and dogs – Bishop of Chester responds

On 13th September 2017 Lord Black of Brentwood asked Her Majesty’s Government “what steps they are taking to address concerns about the breeding of dogs and cats.” The Bishop of Chester asked a follow-up:

The Lord Bishop of Chester: Do the Government have any concerns about the breeding of those Members of your Lordships’ House who wear dog collars? Continue reading “Lords questions on cats and dogs – Bishop of Chester responds”

Church Commissioners’ answer – Cathedral entry charges

On 13th September 2017 Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, Second Church Estates Commissioner, answered a written question from Matthew Offord MP about admission charges for cathedrals and abbeys:

Dr Matthew Offord (Hendon): To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment she has made of the effect of admission costs for cathedrals and abbeys in England on the ability of UK families to visit such places. Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ answer – Cathedral entry charges”