Bishop of Gloucester asks Government about cell sharing, shielding and deaths from Covid-19 in prisons

On 16th June the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester, received  written answers to three questions on Covid-19 in prisons.

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: HL4969 To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many prisoners (1) meet the criteria for being considered clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19, and (2) are currently following shielding guidelines, broken down by prison. Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester asks Government about cell sharing, shielding and deaths from Covid-19 in prisons”

Bishop of Derby says Covid-19 recovery strategy must consider needs of children and families

On 11th June 2020 the House of Lords debated a motion from Baroness Hayman, “that this House takes note of the case for post-COVID-19 recovery strategies that will contribute to a fairer, cleaner, and more sustainable economy.” The Bishop of Derby, Rt Revd Libby Lane, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Hayman, for securing this vital debate. The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the life of every child in this country. Many of their households face reduced income, irregular working hours, increasing debt, greater risk of online harm, growing concern over mental health and well-being, and increased prevalence of domestic violence. Already vulnerable children have been made all the more at risk. Continue reading “Bishop of Derby says Covid-19 recovery strategy must consider needs of children and families”

Bishop of Oxford calls for post-Covid economy with fast, affordable internet access for all

On 11th June 2020 the House of Lords debated a motion from Baroness Hayman, “that this House takes note of the case for post-COVID-19 recovery strategies that will contribute to a fairer, cleaner, and more sustainable economy.” The Bishop of Oxford, Rt Revd Steven Croft, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, I warmly welcome this debate. The country faces the triple challenge in the next decade of the threat of climate change, the deepest recession for generations and the health challenges of Covid, all of which will exacerbate existing inequalities. I support much of what other noble Lords have said and will focus my remarks on the vital theme of digital inclusion.

Continue reading “Bishop of Oxford calls for post-Covid economy with fast, affordable internet access for all”

Bishop of Carlisle asks Government about routine health checks for over 75s

On 10th June Baroness Kennedy of Cradley asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of the impact of cancelled medical operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic”. The Rt Revd James Newcome, Bishop of Carlisle asked a follow up question, focusing on routine GP health checks for those over 75.

The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, given the disproportionate effect of Covid-19 on those aged over 75 and the likely knock-on effects of cancelled operations, will the Minister take steps to encourage ​the reintroduction of routine GP health checks among people in this age group which, understandably, have been largely suspended during the pandemic?

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Bishop of Worcester asks Government about debt cancellation for poorer nations

On 11th June the Bishop of Worcester, the Rt Revd John Inge, asked Her Majesty’s Government “what steps they are taking to ensure that G20 countries cancel any debt owed to them by the poorest countries”.

Baroness Penn responded to his question: My Lords, the Government are concerned by debt vulnerabilities in developing countries, which Covid-19 has amplified. The Chancellor and his G20 counterparts agreed a historic suspension of debt repayments from the world’s poorest countries. This will see official creditors provide up to $12 billion of cash-flow relief to help countries respond to the health and economic impacts of Covid-19. It also provides time to assess what further assistance these countries may need as the full economic impact becomes clearer.

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Bishop of St Albans asks Government about a review of business rates

On 9th June Baroness Quin asked Her Majesty’s Government “what discussions they have had with the Local Government Association on how national and local government can work together to promote economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic”. The Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, asked a follow up question, focusing on business rates for large online retail companies and small high street shops.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I declare my interest as a vice-president of the Local Government Association. What discussions have taken place about reviewing business rates, so that large online retail companies, which perhaps have no actual shops and many of which pay relatively small amounts of tax, do not have an unfair advantage over our small shops in our high streets which are under threat at the moment?

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Church Commissioners’ Written Answer: Reopening Churches

On 9th June 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered a written question on the reopening of churches, from Dr Luke Evans MP.

Dr Luke Evans (Bosworth): 53638 To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps he is taking to ensure that places of worship can open for (a) private prayer and (b) active worship in compliance with social distancing measures as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Andrew Selous: The Government has announced that from the 15th June Church of England places of worship may be opened for individual prayer, alongside those of other faiths.

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Bishop of Gloucester asks Government about Covid-19 levels in immigration removal centres

On 9th June the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester, received a written answer to a question from Baroness Williams of Trafford on immigrants displaying Covid-19 symptoms.

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: HL4966 To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many residents of immigration removal centres (1) have displayed, or (2) are currently displaying, symptoms of COVID-19; and of those, how many have been tested. 

Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester asks Government about Covid-19 levels in immigration removal centres”

Bishop of Rochester asks Government about Covid-19 infections in prisons

On 9th June the Rt Revd James Langstaff, Bishop of Rochester received a written answer to a question from Lord Keen of Elie on the number of prisoners who have had coronavirus and what proportion have been tested.

The Lord Bishop of Rochester: HL5097 To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many prisoners (1) have displayed, or (2) are currently displaying, symptoms of COVID-19; and of those, (a) how many, and (b) what proportion, have been tested.

Lord Keen of Elie: As of Friday, 29 May our management information shows that there were 162 prisoners currently showing symptoms of Covid-19. Of those, 85 (52%) had been tested. Our records show that a further 3450 prisoners had previously displayed symptoms of Covid-19 where cases are now closed. Of those, 1447 (or 42%) had been tested.

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Bishop of Chelmsford calls for vision of economy and society where everyone has a future

On 4th June 2020 the virtual House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Eatwell, “to move that the Virtual Proceedings do consider (1) the economic lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, and (2) the measures necessary to repair the United Kingdom economy.” The Bishop of Chelmsford, Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, spoke in the debate.