Displacement in Syria – Written Answer

Written answer, received on 14th May 2014

13.10 Bishop of CoventryThe Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the displacement of people from the Syrian town of Kessab.[HL6832]

Baroness Northover (LD): According to UN sources, approximately 1,500 to 1,600 families have been displaced from the city of Kessab.

(via Parliament.uk)

Iran – Written Question

On 13th May 2014, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry, received an answer to a written question on Iran.

13.10 Bishop of CoventryThe Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the question of human rights and freedom of religion and belief was amongst the range of international issues discussed by the Foreign Office’s Political Director, Sir Simon Gass, when he met senior Iranian officials whilst visiting Iran in April.

Baroness Warsi: Human rights were not amongst the issues discussed by Sir Simon Gass on his visit to Iran in April: his interlocutors did not have responsibilities in this area. However, the UK’s non-resident Chargé d’Affaires discussed human rights with a range of Iranian government officials during his visit to Iran on 12 March 2014. He raised the use of the death penalty, freedom of religion and the workings of the criminal justice system. Prior to that, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), raised Iran’s human rights records with Iranian foreign minister Zarif at the UN General Assembly on 23 September 2013.

(via Parliament.uk)

Energy, Consumer Credit Advertising and Iran – Written Questions

On 13th May 2014, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, received answers to written questions on petroleum gas and oil, consumer credit advertising, and Iran.

 

14.03 Bishop of St AlbansEnergy: Petroleum Gas and Oil

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they intend to ensure the continuing affordability of liquid petroleum gas and oil for those households which are not on mains gas supply.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma): Her Majesty’s Government is acutely aware of the difficulties people have experienced with the price of liquid petroleum gas and heating oil. The price of LPG and oil is influenced by a range of factors, including crude oil prices (the major factor), refinery capacity, stock levels, distribution costs and retail margins.

Continue reading “Energy, Consumer Credit Advertising and Iran – Written Questions”

Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure passes in Lords – debate

11.12.15 Bishop of OxfordOn 13th May 2014 the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure was passed by the House of Lords. A transcript of the short debate, led by the Rt Revd John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford, is below. More information about the measure can be found here.

 

Lord Newby: My Lords, I have it in command from Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales to acquaint the House that they, having been informed of the purport of the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure, have consented to place their prerogative and interest, so far as they are affected by the Measure, at the disposal of Parliament for the purposes of the Measure.

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Bishop of St Albans receives answers to written questions on benefits, electricity and housing

On 12th May 2014, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, received answers to three written questions on benefits, electricity and housing.

Benefits

14.03 Bishop of St AlbansThe Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the financial impact on people on low incomes of uprating most cash benefits and tax credits by one per cent from April 2013 rather than in line with inflation.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): For 2013/14, the main rates of working-age benefits, statutory payments and tax credits were up-rated by one per cent in the Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2013. The Welfare Benefits Up-rating Act 2013 provided for the one per cent increase to apply for 2014/15 and 2015/16. Both of these were accompanied by Impact Assessments.

As part of his ongoing public sector equality duty under the Equality Act 2010 to monitor impacts on “protected groups”, the Secretary of State continues to monitor the impacts of the Welfare Benefits Up-rating Act 2013 in light of any changes to the underlying rate of inflation. The underlying rate of inflation for increases in 2014/15 is similar to that forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility and used in the Impact Assessment. It is therefore likely that the impacts on affected households will be broadly similar to those detailed in the Impact Assessment.

(via Parliament.uk)

Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans receives answers to written questions on benefits, electricity and housing”

Vote – Immigration Bill

On 12th May 2014, the Rt Revd John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford, took part in a division on the Government’s Immigration Bill, during the ‘ping pong’ stage of the Bill.

House of Lords Division Lobby
House of Lords Division Lobby

Labour Peer Baroness Smith of Basildon moved Motion B1, as an amendment to Motion B, to leave out from “House” to end and insert “do insist on its Amendment 18.” The amendment sought to refer the question of when and how the citizenship of a naturalised British citizen can be withdrawn to a Joint Select Committee. The amendment had originally been tabled by Lord Pannick and passed during Report Stage in the House of Lords.

The Bishop of Oxford voted ‘content’ with Baroness Smith’s motion. No bishop voted ‘not content.’

There were Contents: 193 / Not Contents: 286. Result: Government Win

(via Parliament.uk)

Bishop of Oxford asks for Government assurances on nurse / patient ratios in NHS

On 12th May 2014 Baroness Kennedy of Cradley asked Her Majesty’s Government “what steps are being taken to ensure adequate levels of nursing staff in the National Health Service.”

The Bishop of Oxford asked a supplementary question, drawing parallels between staffing obligations and the situation of Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group, which had been warned about disregarding NICE guidelines on another case:

11.12.15 Bishop of OxfordThe Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, given the court ruling last week against  Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group, saying that it was obliged to follow NICE guidelines unless a special factor could be determined that would justify departure, will Her Majesty’s Government give an assurance that the same test will apply to NHS trusts in regard to the ratio of nurses and patients?

Earl Howe: The guidance issued today by NICE on staffing ratios, to which I think the right reverend Prelate is specifically referring, is in draft, but the deputy chief executive of NICE has stressed that there are no floor or ceiling numbers on the required number of nursing staff that can be applied either across the whole of the NHS or in a particular ward setting. What the profession is seeking, and what NICE is looking to give it, is a reference tool or guideline that will enable it to judge correct staffing levels in accordance with the particular circumstances of a ward and the skill mix of the staff on that ward. It is a guideline rather than a mandatory prescription.

(via Parliament.uk)