Palace at Bath and Wells: Church Commissioners’ Written Answers

Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, answered two 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 consideration the Church Commissioners gave to the historical or other interest of the residence at the Bishop’s Palace at Wells before planning alternative accommodation for the bishop in accordance with section 4 of the Episcopal Endowments and Stipends Measure 1943.

The Palace at Bath and Wells (picture courtesy of bishopspalace.org.uk)
The Palace at Bath and Wells (picture courtesy of bishopspalace.org.uk)

Sir Tony Baldry: Section 4 of the Episcopal Endowments and Stipends Measure 1943 applies only where the Commissioners propose to exercise a power conferred by that Measure—that is to say, to transfer a house to the diocesan authority, convert it for use for other purposes, sell, let or otherwise dispose of it, or demolish it or part of it. The Commissioners have not exercised any of those powers in relation to the Palace, as the intention is that the Bishop will continue to work and worship there. Continue reading “Palace at Bath and Wells: Church Commissioners’ Written Answers”

Egypt: Written Questions from Bishop of Coventry

On March 18th 2014 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Rev Christopher Cocksworth, received answers to two written questions about Egypt: election monitoring and the suspension of export licences for equipment that could be used for internal repression. Continue reading “Egypt: Written Questions from Bishop of Coventry”

Bishop of Winchester on teacher training, education and social mobility

“I question whether the Government’s policies for improving the quality of teaching have been fully effective and will enable social mobility. I am particularly concerned about the School Direct programme. In fact, I suggest there is an urgent case for rethinking arrangements around initial teacher training before a crisis develops.” – Bishop of Winchester

The Bishop of Winchester gave a speech in a House of Lords debate on 13th March 2014, tabled by the Education Minister Lord Nash.

The debate title was: ‘that this House takes note of the role of primary and secondary education in improving social mobility.’

The Lord Bishop of Winchester:13.05 Bishop of Winchester

My Lords, I, too, am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Nash, for the opportunity of this debate. I shall focus on the impact made by initial teacher training on social mobility. Continue reading “Bishop of Winchester on teacher training, education and social mobility”

Bishop of Newcastle on role of education in improving social mobility in the north-east

“…she went away to university but then, crucially, returned to give back to the wider community the benefits of the education that she had received. We need more people like her—people not using their education to escape from the area, but realising that with well trained minds and warm hearts they have much to give for the common good..” – Bishop of Newcastle

The Bishop of Newcastle gave a speech in a House of Lords debate on 13th March 2014, tabled by the Education Minister Lord Nash.

 The debate title was: ‘that this House takes note of the role of primary and secondary education in improving social mobility.’

The Lord Bishop of Newcastle:

14.03 Bishop of NewcastleMy Lords, I, too, welcome this debate about the role of primary and secondary education in improving social mobility, and I want to speak from my experience as a bishop in the north-east of England for the past 16 years.

Continue reading “Bishop of Newcastle on role of education in improving social mobility in the north-east”

Immigration Bill – Bishop of Newcastle raises concern about potential for discrimination by landlords

During the committee stage of the Government’s Immigration Bill in the Lords on 12th March 2014, the Bishop of Newcastle drew attention to the potential impact of measures in clause 16 that require nationality checks on potential tenants by private landlords. The Bishop asked the Minister whether the need for private landlords to have regard to a code of practice was in itself robust enough to prevent discrimination against migrants or those of foreign name or appearance.14.03 Bishop of Newcastle

The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, perhaps I may also ask for some clarification. One of my concerns about this part of the Bill is that many landlords will simply not rent to anyone who seems to be foreign or who does not hold a British passport for fear of getting it wrong and being fined. I am afraid that that will inadvertently result in further racial discrimination and provide a charter for those unscrupulous landlords who are racist.

In response to the consultation, the Government accepted that the new rules might provoke landlords to discriminate against people they perceive to be foreign rather than to conduct proper checks. They also recognised the risk that vulnerable people might be impacted. So, in relation to the code of practice and the associated guidance which will make it clear that the checks do not allow landlords to act in a manner inconsistent with the UK’s equality legislation, is that in itself sufficient? It simply requires landlords to read the code and adhere to it without any redress at all if they do not. Continue reading “Immigration Bill – Bishop of Newcastle raises concern about potential for discrimination by landlords”

Votes – Offender Rehabilitation Bill / Antisocial Behaviour etc Bill

House of Lords Division LobbyBishops took part in two votes in the House of Lords yesterday (11th March), on amendments to two separate Government Bills, which were at the final stages of their parliamentary progress.

Continue reading “Votes – Offender Rehabilitation Bill / Antisocial Behaviour etc Bill”

Archbishop of Canterbury Raises Concern About Conflict in Central African Republic, South Sudan

Updated: The Archbishop of Canterbury asked three written questions of Government, on conflict in the Central African Republic and on sexual violence and war crimes in South Sudan. They were responded to on 10th and 11th March 2014 by the Foreign Office Senior Minister of State, Baroness Warsi.  The questions and their replies are below.

Central African Republic

(via Parliament.uk)

ImageThe Archbishop of Canterbury: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to support the stabilisation of the conflict in the Central African Republic, particularly in ensuring that sectarian violence does not develop into inter-religious conflict.

 The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): We are greatly concerned by the situation on the ground in the Central African Republic (CAR). The UK provided £15 million to the humanitarian appeal and a further £2million to the African Union to cover some of the African-led International Support Mission to CAR (MISCA)’s operation. Continue reading “Archbishop of Canterbury Raises Concern About Conflict in Central African Republic, South Sudan”