Childcare Bill – Speech by Bishop of Durham

“On behalf of the well-being of the children themselves, if we are going to make this increase in provision, which I am sure we will and indeed should, let us try to ensure that all the regulations that follow place the child at the centre, not the adults, whether those adults be the parents, the providers or the politicians.” – Bishop of Durham, 16/6/15

On Tuesday 16th June 2015 the House of Lords debated the Government’s Childcare Bill. Details about the Bill can be seen here. The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, spoke in the debate, raising concerns related to funding, capacity, pay and putting the needs of children first. The full text of his speech is below, with extracts from the Minister’s reply, and can also be watched on the Parliament website here

14.06.10 Bishop of Durham 5The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, in welcoming the general intent of this Bill, I wish to raise a number of concerns. It seems to me that there are already several common threads in what is being said. It may well be that they will be addressed—they will need to be—in the secondary legislation, but to be able fully to support the Bill I believe this House needs some assurances regarding these concerns. In raising them, I wish to point out that I have consulted some who are engaged in this work already, and also those for whom it is intended to be a benefit—parents and, indeed, grandparents. Continue reading “Childcare Bill – Speech by Bishop of Durham”

Bishop of Derby highlights role of Church in providing childcare

On 18th March 2015 the Bishop of Derby, Rt Rev Alastair Redfern, spoke in a debate on affordable childcare, in which he focussed on the private, voluntary, and independent sectors. His speech is below, along with the related section of the Government’s response.

Bishop of DerbyThe Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I, too, congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Sutherland, on chairing the committee, on introducing this debate and on enabling us to have TS Eliot as a frame alongside the pragmatism that we need in looking at this important issue. I rise with some trepidation, because I am perhaps the first speaker who was not a member of the committee, so I speak without that expertise behind me.

Continue reading “Bishop of Derby highlights role of Church in providing childcare”

Bishop of Leicester speaks about challenges facing young people leaving foster care

“We know that transitioning to adulthood is challenging and demanding for all young people today, but how much more so for care leavers” – Bishop of Leicester, 12/3/15.

On 12th March 2015 the Bishop of Leicester, Rt Rev Tim Stevens, spoke in a debate tabled by Baroness Eaton, “to ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to help young care leavers not able to “stay put” in foster care to make a successful transition to independence.”

Leicester Continue reading “Bishop of Leicester speaks about challenges facing young people leaving foster care”

St Albans- Forced Marriage (Written Answer)

On 11th February 2015, the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, received an answer to a written question on the Government’s collection of data on forced marriage.

Bishop of St AlbansThe Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to gather data on the number of girls under the legal age of marriage who had married abroad and have been brought back to the United Kingdom, as part of the work of the Forced Marriage Unit.

Baroness Anelay of St John’s – Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office): The Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) provides a range of support and assistance in cases where British nationals are at risk of forced marriage abroad. In 2013, the FMU gave advice or support related to a possible forced marriage in 1302 cases. Where the age was known, 15% of cases involved victims below 16 years and 25% involved victims aged 16-17. Where a victim is repatriated back to the UK, this is individually recorded on case notes.

(Via Parliament.uk)

Bishop of Truro leads debate on local welfare assistance for those in crisis

On 10th February 2015, the Bishop of Truro, Rt Rev Tim Thornton, led a debate in the House of Lords on local welfare assistance schemes and help for those in crisis. The full text of his speech is below, followed by those of Peers who participated. The Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Rev Christopher Foster, also spoke in the debate towards the end.

Welfare Assistance Schemes

Question for Short Debate

7.30 pm

Asked by The Lord Bishop of Truro

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure that local welfare assistance schemes provide effective support to people in crisis and will continue to be able to do so.Bishop of Truro 20.6.13

The Lord Bishop of Truro: My Lords, I am very grateful indeed for this opportunity to raise a very important issue by putting some questions to the Government on, and raising matters relating to, local welfare assistance schemes. In doing so, I declare my interest that I am chair of the Children’s Society, a national charity which has conducted quite a lot of research in this area and to which I shall refer. Continue reading “Bishop of Truro leads debate on local welfare assistance for those in crisis”

Early Years Intervention – Speech by Bishop of St Albans

On 8th January 2015 Peers debated a motion in the name of Baroness Massey of Darwen, ‘that this House takes note of the case for early years intervention in breaking the cycle of deprivation and promoting social mobility’. The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Rev Alan Smith, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans:

Bishop of St AlbansI, too, thank the noble Baroness, Lady Massey, for pressing this very important issue. It is, as has already been noted, an extremely complex one. We are talking about nothing less than a profound culture change in many local communities if we are to break the cycle of deprivation and increase social mobility. Continue reading “Early Years Intervention – Speech by Bishop of St Albans”

Bishop of St Albans presses Government on child poverty strategy (Written Answer)

On 11th December 2014, the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, received an answer from the Department for Work and Pensions to two written questions on child poverty.

Bishop of St AlbansThe Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have carried out any forecasts of the level of child poverty between now and 2020; and if so, whether they will be made public.[HL3230]

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have calculated the impact on child poverty of the combined tax and benefit policy changes announced to date since May 2010.[HL3231] Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans presses Government on child poverty strategy (Written Answer)”