Levelling Up & Regeneration Bill: Bishop of Exeter supports amendments prioritising emergency services in infrastructure planning

On 3rd May 2023, the House of Lords debated the Levelling Up & Regeneration Bill in committee. The Bishop of Exeter spoke in support of amendments to the bill tabled by Lord Greenhalgh, seeking to ensure that emergency services are considered during planning and reform:

The Lord Bishop of Exeter: My Lords, I rise in support Amendments 324, 329, 342, 346, 347, 351, 352 and 360 in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Greenhalgh, and to which I have added my name. They concern planning reform and the emergency services.

A robust and effective planning process is essential for the flourishing of our communities. A key aspect of this is to ensure the adequate provision of emergency services. I welcome the fact that the Bill has included emergency services in the definition of infrastructure under Schedule 11, but, historically, this has not always been the case. It remains the fact that local authorities are not obliged to take into account the views and concerns of the emergency services.

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Bishop of St Albans asks about emergency services

The Bishop of St Albans asked a question regarding ministers of religion attending scenes of serious injury alongside emergency services on 26th April 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, this is a delicate area, especially when we are dealing with crime scenes or potential crime scenes. Nevertheless, do Her Majesty’s Government have any plans to ensure how this information will be rolled out in training people who are going to be in charge of these scenes? Is there going to be any monitoring to ensure that this is available? The sacrament of the last rites is a fundamental religious principle for many people. Can we have some assurance that this is going to be monitored?

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