On 11th February 2015, the Bishop of Worcester, the Rt Revd John Inge, spoke during the Report Stage of the Deregulation Bill. He spoke in favour of an amendment prohibiting parking on pavements and verges. Following assurances from the Minister, the amendment was withdrawn.
The Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, I support the amendment, whose importance has been ably and eloquently demonstrated by the noble Lords, Lord Low and Lord Tope. It is quite clear that the present situation is costly and complex, as has been said. I should like very briefly, given the hour, to demonstrate how in Worcester—one of the few cities in the UK that has tried to tackle the problem of pavement parking —there have been difficulties because of the current situation.
The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke on amendment 11 to the Deregulation Bill, which concerned the extension of the liberalisation of Sunday trading laws to garden centres. The Lord Bishop of St Albans spoke out against this amendment, arguing about the importance for human health and wellbeing of protecting the seven day week cycle. He said that if Sunday trading laws were to be liberalised to this effect, it would be a thin-edge-of-the-wedge effect, and so such considerations should be made in a separate bill, rather than this amendment.
“In general, the question of whether or to what extent a particular type of economic activity is a legitimate driver of economic growth is a moral one that should not just be subsumed under a catch-all principle that regulators should promote economic growth. The prevention of damaging or unjust economic activity, surely, is equally germane to their mission.” – The Bishop of Truro, 07/07/14
On 7th July 2014, the Bishop of Truro, the Rt Revd Tim Thornton, took part in the Second Reading debate on the Government’s Deregulation Bill, led by Lord Wallace of Saltaire. In his speech he welcomed many of the measures, but raised concerns about two areas covered by the Bill – the work of employment tribunals and provisions that would require regulators to have regard for promoting economic growth.
The Lord Bishop of Truro: My Lords, I think that I need to begin with an apology. I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Stevenson, for drawing our attention to matters relating to dog collars. I was not going to refer to them but I will make sure that one of my colleagues does when we get to Committee.
I have no more interest than any other Member of this House in regulation for its own sake. In fact the New Testament, on the principle that,
“where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”,
On 19th June 2014, the Second Church Estates Commissioners, the Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, spoke during the weekly debate on the Business of the House. In his brief remarks, he called on the Government to resist amendments to the Deregulation Bill (debated 23rd June) that would deregulate Sunday trading. The Leader of the House of Commons gave assurances that the Government does not support a change in the Sunday trading rules.
Sir Tony Baldry (Banbury): Next Monday, the House will debate the Report stage and Third Reading of the Deregulation Bill. My right hon. Friend will have noted that our hon. Friends the Members for Shipley (Philip Davies) and for Bury North (Mr Nuttall) have tabled a number of new clauses which, if passed, would completely deregulate Sunday trading. I must tell my right hon. Friend that any such move by the House would be seen by the Church of England—and, I am sure, by many other faith groups—as an act of bad faith on the part of Parliament. The present Sunday trading arrangements arose from a series of compromises that were agreed in the mid-1990s to strike a balance between keeping Sunday special and enabling more stores and shops to open on Sundays. I should welcome my right hon. Friend’s reassurance that if you, Mr Speaker, select any of the new clauses for debate, they will be resisted by the Government.