Bishop of Gloucester asks about updating domestic abuse guidance to include the definition of immigration abuse

The Bishop of Gloucester asked a question on immigration abuse on 1st December 2022, during a debate on violence against women and domestic violence:

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: My Lords, do the Government plan to include the Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s definition of immigration abuse in policy and guidance on domestic abuse?

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Bishop of St Albans asks about data from NHS Gambling Clinics

The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answers on 1st December 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Markham on 16 November (HL3261) and 17 November (HL3260), why they do not have the data requested; and what plans they have to collect such data.

Lord Markham (Con): The information requested is currently collected by service rather than by clinic. In 2023/24, NHS England plans to report data from all National Health Service gambling services through the Mental Health Services Dataset.

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Bishop of Southwark asks about delayed resolutions to asylum applications

The Bishop of Southwark received the following written answer on 1st December 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark asked His Majesty’s Government, following the publication of figures by the Refugee Council on 14 October, how many applications for asylum have not had an initial decision reached for more than five years; and what factors have led to delays of that length.

Lord Murray of Blidworth (Con): The Home Office is unable to state how many applications for asylum have not had an initial decision reached for more than five years because the Home Office does not publish this information.

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Bishop of Gloucester asks about school development

The Bishop of Gloucester asked a question about government plans to implement parts of the Schools Bill, during a debate on improving the education system on 30th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: My Lords, the Schools Bill was partly intended to remove barriers to enable church schools to fully embrace the journey towards academisation. Given that there has been no further progress on that Bill, what plan do the Government have for introducing the legislative parts of that Bill that were broadly agreed and are needed to secure the development of all schools?

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Bishop of St Albans asks about Russian drone attacks against Ukraine

The Bishop of St Albans asked a question on the government’s assessment of Russia’s use of drone attacks in Ukraine on 29th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of Russia’s use of drone attacks against Ukraine.

Baroness Goldie (Con): My Lords, Russia’s forces are resorting to striking Ukraine’s critical national infrastructure, especially the power grid. It should be noted that these facilities have no direct military role, but the impact is multiplying the misery of ordinary Ukrainian citizens. Notably, these strikes are partially being conducted by one-way-attack unmanned aerial vehicles—so-called kamikaze drones. These weapons are being provided by Iran, another sign of the strategic degradation of Russia’s military.

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Bishop of London asks about funding for social care

The Bishop of London asked a question about sources of funding for care on 24th November 2022, during a debate on adult social care:

The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, the Archbishops’ commission on social care, which will be publishing its report next year, is also concerned about the inequitable funding when funding is raised through council tax. Can the Minister indicate how central money will reduce this inequality to accessing care and whether the Government are doing any evaluation of that?

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Public Order Bill: Bishop of Manchester supports amendments related to access to abortion clinics and to curtailing excessive police powers

On 22nd November 2022, the House of Lords debated the Public Order Bill in the second day of the committee stage. The Bishop of Manchester spoke regarding two sets of amendments: firstly, in support of amendments to Clause 9, pertaining to access issues around abortion providers, and secondly in opposition to clauses remaining in the bill which would grant excessive police powers, particularly regarding the right to protest.

The Lord Bishop of Manchester: I rise to address Amendments 85 to 88, 90 and 92, to which my right reverend friend the Bishop of St Albans has added his name. He regrets that he is unable to be in his place today. I also have sympathy with a number of other amendments in this group.

It is a heated and emotive debate on this clause, and it was heated and emotive when it was added in the other place. The danger is that we get dragged into debates about whether abortion is morally right or wrong. Indeed, I have had plenty of emails over the past few days, as I am sure other noble Lords have, tending in that direction. As it happens, I take the view that the present law on abortion strikes a reasonable balance; in particular, it respects the consciences of women faced, sometimes with very little support, with making deeply difficult decisions.

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Bishop of London asks about preventing homelessness for at-risk renters

The Lord Bishop of London asked a question about government support for renters at risk of homelessness during a debate on the Renters Reform Bill on 22nd November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, rents in London are up to double the level of rents elsewhere in the UK. Crisis has warned that the number of people sleeping rough in London has risen by a quarter in just one year, and more than half of those spotted on the streets are sleeping rough for the first time. What are the Government doing to prevent those who are struggling to pay their increasing rents from falling into homelessness?

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Bishop of Southwark asks about debts owed by Zambia

The Bishop of Southwark received the following written answer on 22nd November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: To ask His Majesty’s Government, further to the recent loan provided by the International Monetary Fund to the country of Zambia, what discussions, if any, they have had with (1) the government of China, and (2) private western lenders, about cancelling debt owed by the government of Zambia.

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Bishop of London asks about living wage for social care workers

The Bishop of London asked a question about establishing a living wage for social care workers on 21st November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, Enabled Living in Newham has become the first London-based social care provider to pay its workers the real living wage—the first such employer to do so. We have heard that social care workers are among the lowest paid, with one in five residential care workers living in poverty before the cost of living crisis, according to the Health Foundation. What assessment have the Government made of the real living wage and the impact that it could have on retaining valuable social care workers?

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