Lord Hunt of Kings Heath asked Her Majesty’s Government why they have discontinued the annual survey of mental health spending.
The Bishop of Leicester asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of Leicester: My Lords, between 2011 and 2012 home support services saw a decrease of some 5.5% in expenditure. Can the noble Baroness tell us what impact this is likely to have on the mental well-being of people living with dementia and their carers? How can this impact be monitored if detailed spending figures are not yet available?
Baroness Jolly: Dementia services are delivered jointly with social care. The Government will be working with NHS England through clinical commissioning groups to make sure that the joint strategic needs assessments that are set out in local plans include provision for people living with dementia. My honourable friend in the other place has set up pioneering groups that are looking at integration of services. All that is very high on the agenda.
Lord Harries of Pentregarth asked Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the current situation in Georgia
The Bishop of Wakefield asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of Wakefield: My Lords, I begin by declaring an interest as the Church of England’s lead bishop on Georgian affairs. Last year, I had the good fortune to meet the outgoing President Saakashvili and, independently, some of his associates. I then met a number of members of the present Government. The antagonism could be felt in both directions and was seriously affecting stability and development. The previous Government had done some good work on corruption, tax collection and so on. If the economy is to prosper, the next thing that needs to happen is a building up of the infrastructure. Can Her Majesty’s Government assure noble Lords that the new Government will do that?
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: My Lords, on my last visit to Tbilisi I had lunch with MPs from both the governing party and the opposition party. That would not have been possible in Armenia or Azerbaijan. One has to put these things in perspective. Yes, of course we are assisting with developing the infrastructure in Georgia. The European neighbourhood partnership is putting a lot of money into Georgia and, of course, BP and other foreign investors are also assisting with the development of the country.
Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP answered a written question on fracking.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, whether any applications for licences for fracking been made on land owned by the Church of England.
Sir Tony Baldry: The Church Commissioners believe that the Government has awarded a number of Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences (PEDL) which cover wide geographical areas and these include some interests held by the Commissioners. To date no approaches have been made to the Commissioners and no applications have been received from any potential Licensors.
Baroness Falkner of Margravine asked Her Majesty’s Government what assistance they have given to the people of Gaza over the last three months.
The Bishop of Wakefield asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of Wakefield: My Lords, following Egypt’s closure of the tunnels, which has already been referred to, will the Minister give an assurance that the Department for International Development will adjust its aid package accordingly, to try to address some of the terrible suffering to which we have already heard reference?
Baroness Northover: The United Kingdom and the EU are putting in a massive amount of assistance, which is much needed in Gaza for the reasons the right reverend Prelate has given. Gaza has suffered a lot from the closure of the tunnels. However, the tunnels themselves help to fund Hamas and this is an opportunity to encourage Israel to open the borders there and to support the moderate elements in Gaza. Certainly, at the moment, the international organisations are saying that the underlying causes of the problems need to be addressed. The immediate shortages are being dealt with adequately.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to mitigate the additional cost of heating for rural households not on the gas grid.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma): The Government believes that domestic consumers living off the mains gas-grid should have access to secure and affordable fuel supplies to heat their homes.
Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, answered five written questions from Tessa Munt MP on the Church Commissioners plans for the Palace at Wells.
Tessa Munt: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, what heirlooms of the see there are in relation to the Bishop’s Palace at Wells.
Sir Tony Baldry: The Palace at Wells contains many heirlooms of the Bishop of Bath and Wells including the Coronation cope worn traditionally during the Coronation ceremony by the Bishop. These and other heirlooms of the Bishops of Bath and Wells will remain in the palace for the foreseeable future.
In a wide-ranging debate, the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds focused his remarks on the need for a clear and coherent national strategy for responding to natural disasters such as the recent extreme flooding in parts of the country. He also urged the Government to link such a strategy with a long-term and international strategy for tackling climate change. He also commented on the role of the Church of England in education and its commitment to ensuring that there is adequate provision as the population grows.Continue reading “Bishop of Ripon and Leeds uses final speech to speak about economic and climatic challenges in the UK”