On the 9th of March the House of Commons debated the Government’s Enterprise Bill at its Report Stage. Debate focused on proposals to allow Local Authorities in England Wales to deregulate Sunday Trading in their areas. Several amendments were tabled to the bill, including one from David Burrows MP to remove those clauses altogether.
The Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, Second Church Estates Commissioner, spoke in the debate and drew attention to a compromise amendment that she had tabled (though not in her capacity as a Church Commissioner). Her amendment was not voted on as the House accepted by 317 to 286 votes the amendment from David Burrowes to remove the clauses on Sunday trading from the bill.
Her speech in the debate is below and can also be watched here Continue reading “Enterprise Bill: House of Commons rejects Sunday trading plans”
On the 29 February 2016 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Mrs Caroline Spelman, briefly contributed to a debate on the Funding Order for the Churches Conservation Trust.
Mrs Caroline Spelman (Meriden) (Con): Early in his remarks my right hon. Friend the Minister mentioned the fact that a few of the churches are isolated, with no natural community around them. Does he agree that the Churches Conservation Trust provides a wider benefit to the local rural community by creating jobs that bring people in to repair and maintain these precious buildings?
Mr Evennett: I thank my right hon. Friend for her question. Before I answer it, I congratulate her on her superb work as a Church Commissioner. She is always hard at work on such matters. I totally agree with her: we want to bring new life into our rural communities, and if we can use churches to do that, we should. I mentioned earlier the innovative champing initiative. In a rural area that might be just what is needed. I welcome my right hon. Friend’s comments. We would warmly welcome and encourage any developments that bring tourism, jobs and opportunities to rural areas.
On the 29th February 2016 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, answered three written questions from Rt Hon Frank Field MP regarding the deceased former Bishop of Chichester, George Bell.
Frank Field: To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, whether the settlement the Church Commissioners made to the complainant against George Bell was made directly in relation to allegations against Bell, or on the basis that a complaint made under a subsequent Bishop, was not handled in a way which would be expected today. Continue reading “Church Commissioners: Bishop George Bell”
On 23rd February 2016 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from David Hanson MP about pay for male and female employees of the National Church Institutions.
Mr David Hanson (Delyn): To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what the average hourly earnings for their (a) female and (b) male (i) full-time and (ii) part-time employees was in each of the last five years.
Mrs Caroline Spelman: The following information relates to employees of the Church of England’s National Church Institutions (NCIs). Senior salaries, gender and race information are published each year in the annual reports of Archbishops’ Council, Pensions Board and Church Commissioners. Continue reading “Church Commissioners – levels of pay”
Mr Mark Hendrick(Preston): To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, on how many occasions buildings or parts of buildings have been made available by the Diocese of Blackburn and churches within its boundaries to (a) Christians Against Poverty and (b) other organisations providing debt counselling and employment services or campaigning against poverty. Continue reading “Written answer: Debt and poverty campaign groups, Blackburn diocese”
On 4th February 2016 MPs put questions to the Church Commissioners in the House of Commons.
Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, Second Church Estates Commissioner, was asked questions on the Queen’s 90th Birthday, street pastors, ethical investments and tax avoidance, women and BME clergy and credit unions. The transcript is below.