On the 25th February 2016 the House of Lords voted on an amendment to the Government’s Scotland Bill. The Bishops of Bristol and Chester took part.
On 23rd February 2016 the House of Lords considered the Government’s Trade Union Bill during its committee stage. The Bishop of Bristol, Rt Revd Mike Hill, intervened during a speech by Lord King on clause 12. The clause, and clause 13 that followed, related to facility time and check off. The intervention is below and the full debate on the clause can be read here. Continue reading “Trade Union Bill: Bishop of Bristol raises concerns about proposals on facility time”
On 14th December a statement from the Secretary of State for Transport on Airport Expansion was repeated in the House of Lords. The Bishop of Bristol, the Rt Revd Mike Hill, asked a follow-up question.
The Lord Bishop of Bristol: My Lords, can the Minister comment on the remarks made by the chief executive officer of International Airlines Group, who said that as far as the airlines are concerned there is basically no business case at all for the extension of Gatwick? Continue reading “Bishop of Bristol asks about case for airport expansion”
On 11th December 2015 the House of Lords considered in Committee the Online Safety Bill which had been tabled by Baroness Howe. The Bishop of Bristol, Rt Revd Mike Hill supported the Bill and spoke favourably to an amendment, later withdrawn, by Lord Morrow on filtering of adult content and age verification policies.
The Lord Bishop of Bristol: My Lords, I do not want to add too much to the way that the noble Lord, Lord Morrow, has framed his amendment today, but his point is worthy of serious scrutiny, simply because children living in households that are not serviced by the big four ISPs surely require the same level of protection as those in homes whose services are provided by the big four ISPs. Everyone in your Lordships’ House agrees that every child matters; I think that it is not at all controversial to say that.
It is a little confusing that the Prime Minister should seem so robust in his statement in the other place on 28 October, suggesting that the Government wanted to introduce legislation, yet the Minister—unless I misunderstand her—seems very happy to continue with a kind of voluntary regulation. I am not quite sure how that squares up. The point—and the noble Lord, Lord Morrow, makes it well—is that whatever we come up with cannot apply only to some children; surely it must apply to them all. Continue reading “Online Safety Bill – Bishop of Bristol supports aims and amendments”
On 10th December 2015 the House of Lords debated a motion from Baroness Wheeler “That this House takes note of the quality and viability of the residential care sector in the light of the Government’s decision to delay the implementation of the care cost cap.” The Bishop of Bristol, Rt Revd Mike Hill, spoke in the debate, calling for Government to give more priority to residential care standards and funding.
The Lord Bishop of Bristol: My Lords, I join other Members of your Lordships’ House in thanking the noble Baroness for securing this debate. I admired her high-paced delivery of a lot of information without losing any clarity. Like the noble Baroness, I hope that this will not become a debate where we just trade statistics across the House, because in the end, as the noble Lord, Lord Filkin, has just drawn our attention to, this is about people and their lives, and therefore it is a matter that should be, and is, of great concern to us all.
If I stand in my bathroom and look out across the fields in north Bristol, I see the shell of Winterbourne View standing there as a testimony of what can go wrong with residential care when the business model is bust and the whole thing falls apart. It pains me to look at that building day by day. Continue reading “Bishop of Bristol calls for greater priority on standards and funding for residential care”
On 7th December 2015 Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Her Majesty’s Government “what progress they have made to implement the Prime Minister’s pledge to settle 1,000 Syrian refugees by Christmas.” The Bishop of Bristol, Rt Revd Mike Hill, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Bristol: My Lords, I return to a question I previously hinted at, and in the light of the rather high profile reportage of the plan of the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury to house refugees in a cottage in the grounds of Lambeth Palace. Given that we understand there is some necessary bureaucracy associated with the proper placement of refugees, have we got the balance right? It is not just a question about the Archbishop, but about the good will shown by a good many people, which seems to be turned back by unnecessary bureaucracy.
On 26th November 2015 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Crisp, “that this House takes note of the case for building a health-creating society in the United Kingdom where all sectors contribute to creating a healthy and resilient population.” The Bishop of Bristol, Rt Revd Mike Hill, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Bristol: My Lords, I, too, am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Crisp, for introducing this debate and this very big idea into the Chamber. Already we start to see that the breadth of material that needs to be thought about in relation to creating a healthy society is indeed vast. I sat here for some of the debate thinking were I the Minister—God forbid—how I might respond to such a plethora of concerns that have been articulated. I wish him well with that.
Of course, what we cannot do, as several noble Lords have noted, is expect the Government to solve this on their own, although I think there is a major challenge involved in this for government. That is what I would call the alignment of policy—how do you align policy over a very wide range of areas in life in such a way that human well-being emerges from it? Continue reading “Bishop of Bristol highlights the effect of loneliness on health and wellbeing”
On the 5th November 2015 the Bishop of Chester led a Lords debate “That this House takes note of the impact of pornography on society.” Rt Revd Mike Hill, Bishop of Bristol, spoke in the debate on how pornography impacted on the way adults and children formed relationships. The Bishop of Chester’s opening speech can also be read here.
The Lord Bishop of Bristol: My Lords, I join those congratulating my noble friend the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Chester on bringing this debate into your Lordships’ House. I also commend his detailed knowledge of DH Lawrence. I recall that when I was in school there were merely three pages of his book that captured our attention.
Despite what my noble fiend Lord Giddens has said—and there is much sense in what he said—there is a general anxiety in our society about pornography and its impact, not just on our children and young adults but also on adult behaviour. Continue reading “Bishop of Bristol speaks in debate about impact of pornography on society”
On 27th October 2015 Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Her Majesty’s Government “what plans they have to ensure that they meet the Prime Minister’s objective that 1,000 Syrian refugees should be brought to Britain by Christmas.” The Bishop of Bristol, Rt Revd Mike Hill, asked a supplementary question.
The Lord Bishop of Bristol: My Lords, I detect a kind of frustration at the moment around the fact that a good many people are very happy to help and willing to give homes to these refugees but find the process of working that out a little opaque and, frankly, at times overbureaucratic, while recognising that there need to be some bureaucratic safeguards. Will my noble friend comment on what the Government propose to do to make the process transparent and easily accessible to those who want to give genuine care to those in great need?
On 13th October 2015 the Bishop of Bristol, Rt Rev Mike Hill, received answers to two written questions of Government on Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.
The Lord Bishop of Bristol: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the appointment of Saudi Arabia to head a panel at the UN Human Rights Council. Continue reading “Bishop of Bristol asks Government about Saudi Arabia’s human rights record”