Bishop of St Albans asks Government about meetings with stakeholders on betting machines

On 25th July 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question on meetings held by civil servants and ministers with stakeholders on fixed-odds betting terminals:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans:  To ask Her Majesty’s Government what meetings civil servants and ministers had with stakeholders between 1 January and 11 July about the reduction in stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals from £100 to £2; and what were the (1) dates, (2) locations, and (3) attendees, of each of those meetings. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about meetings with stakeholders on betting machines”

Votes: Lords recess length

On 24th July 2018 the House of Lords voted on a motion from Lord Adonis “that, notwithstanding the announcement by Lord Taylor of Holbeach on 17 April (HL Deb, cols 1074–5), following the adjournment on this day the House do next sit on Monday 6 August. Continue reading “Votes: Lords recess length”

Press notice: Bishop’s Bill calls on MPs to add mothers to marriage certificates

The following appeared on the Church of England website on 24th July 2018:

The House of Lords today passed a bill from the Bishop of St Albans to end the historic inequality of excluding mothers’ names from marriage certificates. The Registration of Marriage Bill, which would also introduce electronic marriage registers, passed its final stage in the House of Lords today and now moves to the House of Commons to be considered by MPs. It is the first time a Bishop’s Private Member’s Bill has proceeded to the House of Commons in more than 20 years. Continue reading “Press notice: Bishop’s Bill calls on MPs to add mothers to marriage certificates”

Registration of Marriage Bill: passes Third Reading and completes Lords stages

On 24th July 2018 the House of Lords passed the Bishop of St Albans’s Registration of Marriage Bill at Third Reading. The Bill has now completed its Lords stages and passes to the House of Commons. Continue reading “Registration of Marriage Bill: passes Third Reading and completes Lords stages”

Bishop of St Albans asks about full-fibre broadband coverage

On 24th July 2018 Lord Fox asked Her Majesty’s Government “how they intend to deliver full-fibre broadband coverage, and what will be the cost to the taxpayer for these improvements.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I am grateful for the ambitious targets that Her Majesty’s Government are setting. I am concerned, however, because the commitment to get universal coverage for full fibre does not seem to fit with the statement on page 8 of the review:

“In areas where it may not be cost effective to get fibre all the way to the home, even with additional funding, other technologies … can also deliver gigabit connectivity. Bidders will be encouraged to explore innovative solutions”.

How does that fit with Her Majesty’s Government’s commitment? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about full-fibre broadband coverage”

Bishop of Leeds asks Government about investment in north of England railway links

On 24th July 2018  Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty’s Government “when they intend to update the cost estimate and business case for HS2 Phase One.” The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, would the Minister agree that there is a problem if you can get up north 20 minutes quicker but you cannot get anywhere once you get there, and that any business case will have to take on board massive infrastructure improvements in the north of England? Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds asks Government about investment in north of England railway links”

Bishop of Leeds warns of ‘dishonest language and rhetoric’ in Brexit debate

Leeds 300418 bOn 23rd July 2018 the Government held a debate ‘To move that this House takes note of the preparations and negotiations connected with the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.’ The Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, spoke in the debate:

The Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, other noble Lords will be addressing the details, which leaves me to take a step back to look at culture. At the committee stage of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill I spoke about matters such as the corruption of the public discourse, asking that we in this House do not lose sight of the end to which Brexit is supposed to be the means. ​I tried to pose the existential questions of who we think we are and for whom we are doing what we are doing. However, the debate has coarsened, the ideological divide deepened and poor use of language worsened. What I have to say has nothing to do with leave or remain but where we are now and what shape we might be in in the future.

Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds warns of ‘dishonest language and rhetoric’ in Brexit debate”