On 11th July 2022, the House of Lords debated the Child Vulnerability (Public Services Committee Report). The Bishop of Chichester spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, I am glad to follow the noble Lord, Lord Davies, in this debate. I am immensely grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Armstrong, and all those who have produced this outstanding report. One of the most impressive things about it is that one hears the voices of those who are so often not heard.
I think that the move from Sure Start to family hubs is a model for how we respond. The challenge of looking at the poorest and most vulnerable in our society today is such an important focus for us. The model of the family hub is absolutely invaluable, because in lengthening the time over which a person might need encouragement and help beyond the formative years of nought to five, we remind ourselves that being human is not a problem that can be solved with a quick fix of investment. It is actually a long-term story of investment and hope, of failure and recovery. That perspective, looking at nought to 19, is a really important one. I was also very encouraged by seeing the recognition of the needs of 18 to 25 year-olds, as people move into young adulthood, which is still a very important area.
The Bishop of Chichester asked a question during a discussion on the Broadcasting Sector White Paper on 11th July 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, the Government’s Up Next policy paper claims that
“public service broadcasters … develop skills and talent, drive growth right across the creative industries”.
Will the Minister undertake to widen the Government’s vision for broadcasting to ensure that we also hear how skills and talents will be developed among pupils, students and young performers and designers when at present curriculum incentive and public investment are so often lacking in this area in our schools, colleges and universities?
On 15th June 2022, the House of Lords debated the Schools Bill (HL) in committee. The Bishop of Chichester spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Chichester: 59: Clause 29, page 23, line 23, leave out “of its maintained schools” and insert “maintained schools in its area“
Member’s explanatory statement: This amendment makes the language in this section consistent with language used elsewhere in legislation relating to maintained schools in a church context.
My Lords, I rise to speak on behalf of my colleague, the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Durham, who regrets that he cannot be here to move the amendments in this group tabled in his name. I declare his interest as chair of the National Society.
Firstly, I shall say a brief word about Amendment 59, which is a small effort to ensure consistency of language used throughout the legislation relating to maintained schools in a church context. The particular amended line in Clause 23 removes the wording that assumes control of all maintained schools and replaces it with language that is applicable in a church context.
On 13th June the House of Lords continued to debate the Government’s Schools Bill in committee. The Bishop of Chichester spoke in the debate, on behalf of the Bishop of Durham, introducing and responding to a number of amendments:
The Lord Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, I speak on behalf of my colleague, the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Durham, and declare his interest as chair of the National Society.
On 9th June 2022, the House of Lords debated the issue of travel disruption at UK airports and ferry ports. The Bishop of Chichester spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Davies, for initiating this important debate. I speak from the experience of working to support the chaplaincy of Gatwick Airport—I was glad to hear the Minister speak so positively of her experience of coming through it recently. However, like so many other parts of the aviation industry, the airport was dealt a harsh blow by the Covid pandemic. Many staff who were foreign nationals, though receiving furlough payments, went back to their home countries and have not returned to work in the UK. This affected the security department, hospitality industry and the hotels especially, and it has had a devastating effect on the economic life of the town of Crawley, which was already in receipt of investment from the towns fund as part of the Government’s levelling-up programme.
The Bishop of Chichester asked a question during a debate on support services for victims of domestic abuse on 8th June 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, we know that domestic abuse can be experienced across the gender divide and in every part of society, and that includes clergy households. Can the Minister say what steps Her Majesty’s Government are taking to address the needs of those who suffer domestic abuse and who, like clergy, live in accommodation tied to their post, thus making their future material well-being more perilous if and when they leave the family home?
On 7th June 2022, The Bishop of Chichester asked a question on the support available for Ukrainian students and other temporary UK residents in light of the war in Ukraine:
The Lord Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, what assessment have the Government made of the number of Ukrainians currently here on economic or student visas who may soon be at risk of overstaying their visa and may be unable to return home, and of the sort of support that they might require and be given?
The Bishop of Chichesterasked a question on 6th June 2022, during a debate on supporting access to electric vehicles:
The Lord Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, can the Minister indicate whether the Government will pay particular attention to promoting access to electric vehicles in rural areas, which are already disadvantaged by a lack of adequate public transport?
The Bishop of Chichester asked a question on government plans to tackle higher levels of disability and poor health in coastal communities on 10th February 2022, during a debate on the National Disability Strategy:
The Lord Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, last year, the Chief Medical Officer’s annual report focused on health in coastal communities, noting higher levels of deprivation and disability in these locations. What will the Government do to tackle the levels of multiple need and disability in these communities?
Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con): My Lords, I cannot say specifically, but I will certainly write with the answer. Across the whole of this country, there are areas where disability is more of an issue than in others. That is why we have this cross-government strategy, and why we will deliver on it.
The Bishop of Chichester asked a question on the role of the Anglican Communion in supporting international development on 8th February 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, parishes across England have links through the Anglican Communion with international communities where the issues of poverty, conflict and disease are most clearly felt. Those are shared by the people in our congregations in this land. As the bishops from the Anglican Communion gather for the Lambeth Conferencethis summer, I hope the Minister will enable us to present something about our nation’s international strategy for international development that will address some of the most crucial issues. First, there are the ways in which human rights are trampled on, particularly in the context of persecution of people for their faith—both Christian and other faiths. Secondly, there is the use of opportunities for partnership with the Anglian Communion in that strategy. Thirdly—
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