Betting firms should be forced to take drastic action to protect children from ads says Bishop of St Albans

On 14th September 2017 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Chadlington, ‘That this House takes note of the effect of gambling advertisements on children.’ The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I too add my thanks to the noble Lord, Lord Chadlington, for introducing this important debate, which has such implications for young people in our country.

Gambling-related advertising poses a substantial risk of harm to children.

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Bishop supports Bill to raise legal age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12

On 8th September 2017 the House of Lords debated the Age of Criminal Responsibility Bill [HL], a private members’ bill from Lord Dholakia that would raise the age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales from 10 to 12. The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, supported the Bill:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I add my thanks to those of other noble Lords to the noble Lord, Lord Dholakia, for his tireless work in this area, bringing it before the House. These issues have been debated pretty exhaustively and many of the main points have already been raised, so I will not repeat them. The criminal offending of children is of course a gravely important issue that has profound implications for the child and their future but also more widely for the victims, and of course we have to balance that, as has been pointed out, with their communities. Continue reading “Bishop supports Bill to raise legal age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12”

Bishop of Southwark asks about increasing funding for Children’s Hospices

southwark-20feb17On 5th September 2017,  Baroness Walmsley asked the Government “how they intend to implement the NICE guideline End of life care for infants, children and young people with life-limiting conditions: planning and management.” The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, as the Minister has already intimated, the key to delivery of end-of-life care to children and young people is the work of our children’s hospices. Given the 22% figure, will Her Majesty’s Government follow the lead of the Scottish Government and agree to work towards funding 50% of children’s hospices’ charitable costs, to the benefit of the patients concerned, rather than allow the proportion to decrease? Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark asks about increasing funding for Children’s Hospices”

Bishop of Newcastle raises concerns around mental health in schools

On 17th July 2017, Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon asked “Her Majesty’s Government when they intend to bring forward proposals to reform Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services as outlined in their 2017 manifesto.” The Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Rev Christine Hardman followed up with a question on mental health in schools. 

Newcastle 8

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Bishop of Truro raises issue of children with mental health conditions being placed on adult wards

On 5th July 2017 Baroness Massey of Darwen asked Her Majesty’s Government “what progress they have made in addressing (1) the concerns of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, and (2) that Committee’s recommendations for changes in the implementation of measures to enhance child welfare.” The Bishop of Truro, Rt Revd Tim Thornton, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Truro: In the report, published in 2016, it states that 202 children suffering from mental health issues were placed in adult wards in 2015-16, despite this being made illegal in 2010. Can the Minister comment on this? Continue reading “Bishop of Truro raises issue of children with mental health conditions being placed on adult wards”

Bishop of Ely on importance of life skills and character education

On 29th June 2017 the House of Lords held the final day of debate on the Queen’s Speech. The Bishop of Ely, Rt Revd Stephen Conway, spoke in the debate about countering extremism and the importance of character education.

The Lord Bishop of Ely: My Lords, like many in this House, I am sure, the events of the past few weeks have been very much on my heart and in my prayers, and in the aftermath of the terror attacks in London and Manchester, it is unsurprising that the Government have placed such an emphasis on counterterrorism and counterextremism measures in the gracious Speech. The Government are right to look at reviewing specific measures to tackle extremism and the places where extremist ideology is able to spread, but stopping extremist ideology where it already exists cannot be all that we do. Although we in this House may divide debates into topics and the Government into departments, as we know, in reality society is not just a series of policy areas, it is a rich fabric of connected life experiences of which education is formative for all. Its value in developing and defining the kind of society we want to become should never be underestimated. Continue reading “Bishop of Ely on importance of life skills and character education”

Bishop of Durham asks Government about number of affected and poverty impact of two-child limit on benefits

durham-230117On 24th April 2017, the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, received written answers to two questions on Child Tax Credit and Universal Credit: 

The Lord Bishop of Durham:

(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many families will be affected by the introduction of the two-child limit on Child Tax Credit and the child element of Universal Credit in (1) 2017–18, (2) 2018–19, and (3) 2019–20. [HL6344]

(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what projections they have made of the effect of introducing the two-child limit on Child Tax Credits and the child element of Universal Credit on the number of children in poverty, according to the income-based measures used in the official Households Below Average Income statistics. [HL6345] Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks Government about number of affected and poverty impact of two-child limit on benefits”