Bishop of Chester calls for review of operation of the Abortion Act in light of abortions on the grounds of gender

On 10th October 2013, Baroness Knight of Collingtree asked Her Majesty’s Government what steps they intend to take to ensure that medical professionals offering to perform abortions on the grounds of gender are prosecuted. The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, asked a supplementary question:

14.03 Bishop of ChesterThe Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, does not this case, and in particular the letter from the Director of Public Prosecutions, taken together with the overall fact that, I believe, nearly a quarter of recognised pregnancies are deliberately ended in the womb, call for a comprehensive review of the operation of the Act in its entirety?

Lord Wallace of Tankerness: My Lords, I am certainly cognisant of the strong views that are held about this Act and its operation. One of the clear things emerging from this case is the great need to have clearer guidance for doctors on how to carry out their functions and the tests that are set down in Section 1 of the Abortion Act. I am confident that that will now be addressed. Certainly, the Crown Prosecution Service stands ready to assist in any way to provide that clarity.

(via Parliament.uk)

Bishop of Chester speaks in support of development of domestic microhydro power capabilities

On 30th July 2013, the Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, took part in the Committee Stage debate of the Government’s Energy Bill. He spoke in support of an amendment to the Bill tabled by Lord Cameron (moved by Lord Roper), which related to the regulation of domestic microhydro power. Following the debate on the amendment, it was wirthdawn by Lord Roper.

14.03 Bishop of ChesterThe Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, I very much support the amendment. This may well be the last time I speak in this Committee and I thank the Minister for the way in which she has conducted herself and for writing to me with answers to some previous questions that I raised.

In addition to the reasons which have been so clearly enunciated, I would like to inject into the discussion the issue of culture, because much of what we are about in energy policy in this country is working on a change of culture. It has become a fashionable word. The Second Reading of the Financial Services Bill was all about changing the culture of banking and financial services, and that is absolutely right. However, the same applies in the energy realm. The sort of installations that we are talking about are relatively small in themselves but speak more widely. Continue reading “Bishop of Chester speaks in support of development of domestic microhydro power capabilities”

Bishop of Chester asks Government for update on Green Deal project

On 25th July 2013, Lord Empey asked Her Majesty’s Government whether they have plans to reduce VAT on the retrofitting of existing buildings to encourage energy saving and job creation. The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, asked a supplementary question:

14.03 Bishop of ChesterThe Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, the Minister has twice referred to the Green Deal as the Government’s policy response to the issue. Can he tell the House how the take-up of the Green Deal is progressing in relation to the hopes that were expressed?

Lord Newby: My Lords, the Green Deal is a new project with a 20-year life ahead of it. Up to the end of June, some 44,479 assessments had been made and 3,500 installations had received cashback payments. In addition, 78% of people with a Green Deal advice report said that they had, were getting or would get energy-saving measures installed, which demonstrates a very high level of consumer interest.

 

(via Parliament.uk)

Vote – Local Audit and Accountability Bill

On 24th July 2013, two bishops took part in divisions on the Government’s Local Audit and Accountability Bill, during its Report Stage.

House of Lords Division Lobby
House of Lords Division Lobby

Labour Peer Lord Wills moved amendment 1, which would allow auditors to access documents from significant private contractors that a local authority has used.

The Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Revd David Urquhart and the Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, voted ‘content’. No bishop voted ‘not content’.

There were Contents: 172 | Not Contents: 191 | Result: Government Win

(via Parliament.uk)

Continue reading “Vote – Local Audit and Accountability Bill”

Bishop of Chester speaks about energy security during Energy Bill debate

On 23rd July 2013, the Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, spoke during the Committee Stage of the Government’s Energy Bill. He spoke during a debate on an amendment to develop the interconnectedness of European energy and electricity markets, focussing his remarks on the question of energy security.

14.03 Bishop of ChesterThe Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, when I am in a really tedious meeting I sometimes flick to my iPhone if I succumb to the temptation. The Energywatch organisation has a splendid app which tells you exactly what electricity generation is going on at any particular moment. I can tell your Lordships that at this moment we are depending upon supplies from overseas of 7%, or 3 gigawatts. Wind is producing at the moment less than one sixth of that. Over time, I am struck by just what a significant proportion of our electricity already comes in that way. Three gigawatts is not nothing; it is a very significant amount.

When the Minister responds, it would be helpful to give some indication as to what security there is. I belong to those who have some anxieties that in three or four years’ time, if economic activity picks up and some outages occur at a couple of big stations that we are not expecting, and if the weather is very cold and the wind is not blowing, we are going to depend upon electricity coming from these interconnectors. We can depend on it only if we know that they will be available. If the weather is also inadvertent in other countries, what security do we have that the electricity will be available from other places? I am entirely with the view that we should have a European electricity market. That is absolutely right but it has to be with certain guarantees for supply in this country, especially when supply gets tight in a few years’ time. Continue reading “Bishop of Chester speaks about energy security during Energy Bill debate”

Vote – Intellectual Property Bill

On 23rd July 2013, the Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, took part in a division on the Government’s Intellectual Property Bill, during its Report Stage. 

House of Lords Division Lobby
House of Lords Division Lobby

Lord Stevenson of Balmacara moved amendment 4, which opposed the introduction of penalties for unauthorised copying of registered designs.

The Bishop of Chester voted ‘not content’. No bishop voted ‘content’.

There were: Contents: 153 | Not Contents: 233 | Result: Government Win

(via Parliament.uk)

Vote – Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill

On 8th and 10th July 2013, a number of bishops took part in divisions on the Government’s Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, during its Report Stage.

House of Lords Division Lobby
House of Lords Division Lobby

8th July 2013

Lord Mackay of Clashfern moved amendment 1, which proposed to seek to refer to same sex marriage as ‘marriage (same sex couples)’, and opposite sex marriage as ‘marriage (opposite sex couples)’.

The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, voted ‘content’. The Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Tim Stevens, voted ‘not content’.

There were: Contents: 119 | Not Contents: 314 | Result: Government Win

(via Parliament.uk)

Continue reading “Vote – Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill”