The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answer on 14th November 2022:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government what plans they have to grant more overseas workers permits for work in food production in the Lee Valley.
Lord Murray of Blidworth (Con): Our skills-based immigration system enables us to treat people from every part of the world equally. We have broadened the eligibility of Skilled Worker visas from graduate jobs only to include jobs skilled to RQF level 3 and lowered the salary threshold to £25,600, making more overseas worker eligible to enter the UK. There are already a range of occupations in the agri-food sector which are eligible under our immigration system, if English language and salary requirements are met. Our immigration system is not regional and therefore available to all employers (including those in the Lee Valley area).
The Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich received the following written answers on 9th November 2022:
The Lord Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich asked His Majesty’s Government what help they are giving to ensure that farmers can access the water they need this winter to give them confidence to plant next year’s crops.
The Bishop of St Albans asked the following question on 21st July 2022:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked: My Lords, it is right that we think about the effect on human beings, but these high temperatures have a huge effect on our agricultural sector, particularly on livestock. Extreme heat reduces milk yields from cattle, for example, and reduces fertility and increases the number of miscarriages.
What work is being done by government scientists to prepare our agriculture industry if this continues, and what advice is being given in the short term to help our first-class British agriculture sector adapt and continue to provide the food as it does so well?
The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answers on 25th May 2022:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked Her Majesty’s Government, further to the report by the National Farmers Union Growing our agri-food exports to 2030 and beyond, published on 27 April, what plans they have to match Agricultural and Horticulture Development Board levy contribution funding to help grow British agricultural exports.
The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answer on 26th April 2022:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to address the shortfall of workers in the agricultural sector.
Lord Benyon (Con): Defra continues to work closely with industry and other Government departments to understand labour supply and demand, including both permanent and seasonal workforce requirements, and to ensure there is a long-term strategy for the food and farming workforce.
The Bishop of Exeter received the following written answer on 5th April 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Exeter asked Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of (1) inflationary, and (2) supply chain, pressures on British farming exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; and what consideration they have given to pausing the phasing out of direct payments to farmers for two years to enable them to adjust to these changes in the market.
On 17th June 2021 MPs put questions to Andrew Selous MP, Second Church Estates Commissioner. Text of the oral and written answers is below.
Martin Vickers (Cleethorpes) (Con): Whether the Church of England plans to support online and in-person communal worship as covid-19 restrictions are lifted. (901321)
The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Andrew Selous): The Church of England is strongly encouraging churches to support both in-person and online communal worship, and training has been given to thousands of clergy to enable this. It is up to local churches to decide how best to do this.
On 8th December the Bishop of St Albans responded to a Government statement on its Agriculture Transition Plan:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans [V]: My Lords, I declare my interest as president of the Rural Coalition and pay tribute to the Minister, who has worked so hard on getting this through.
In the ELMS policy discussion document, Her Majesty’s Government recognised the bureaucratic burden that the CAP had placed on farmers and administrators. We were optimistic that the rollout of rural broadband would help a great deal, although the comprehensive spending review seems to have drawn back, and many people in rural areas are deeply concerned about how these new processes will be worked through.
Can the Minister outline the plans for the ELMS application process and how it is intended to reduce bureaucratic constraints? Can he assure the agricultural community that there will be adequate helplines staffed by those who have been fully trained in these new processes?