Bishop of Worcester asks Government to support communities in case of shipyard closure

Worcester281117On 26th November 2018, Lord West of Spithead tabled an Oral Question ‘To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the importance of the Appledore shipyard as part of the United Kingdom’s future shipbuilding strategy.’ The Bishop of Worcester, the Rt Revd John Inge, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, having been vicar of the parish in which the Swan Hunter shipyard was when that yard went into the hands of the receivers a number of years ago, I am acutely conscious of the devastating effect that such closures have not just upon individuals but upon whole communities. The Minister has acknowledged that. Will he undertake, if the yard does go under, to provide necessary assistance both to individuals and to the community, which will suffer terribly? Continue reading “Bishop of Worcester asks Government to support communities in case of shipyard closure”

Bishop of St Albans calls for new social contract to address low pay and poor working conditions

On 11th October 2018 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Haskel, ‘To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of proposals for greater employee shareholding and participation in corporate governance.’ The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I thank the noble Lord, Lord Haskel, for securing this debate. With such limited time, I shall make just a few comments about the purposes of business in general and then to make one or two observations about the very specific themes raised in the debate.​

All too often, business and commerce are viewed as though their main aim was simply to make the most money possible. This rather reductionist view of business fails to take into account wider questions raised in Christian theology, as well as by many others, such as how everyone can contribute to the common good, issues of justice and fairness, and particularly the sort of values we wish to celebrate and promote as a society. The best businesses, I believe, are those that balance the need to make money with a high priority on the flourishing and thriving of their workforce and a concern for human dignity. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans calls for new social contract to address low pay and poor working conditions”

Bishop of Oxford on importance of lifelong learning and skills in response to technological change

Oxford 5718bOn 5th July 2018 Baroness Bakewell led a debate on the motion “That this House takes note of part-time and continuing education, and in particular the future of the Open University.” The Bishop of Oxford, Rt Revd Steven Croft, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, like others, I warmly welcome this debate and thank the noble Baroness, Lady Bakewell, for introducing it so ably. Student numbers in part-time education are moving dramatically in the opposite direction to the one I am sure we all want to see, potentially with really dangerous consequences for our economy and society. Continue reading “Bishop of Oxford on importance of lifelong learning and skills in response to technological change”

Bishop of Winchester asks about apprenticeships for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds

On 20th February 2018 the Bishop of Winchester, Rt Rev Tim Dakin, asked a question he had tabled to Government about apprenticeships for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The exchange with the Minister and subsequent questions from other Members are below:

Bishop of St Albans responds to government statement on Taylor Review of modern working practices

On 7tStAlbans161117h February 2018, the Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Lord Henley made a statement regarding the Taylor Review of modern working practices. The  Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, a number of things are to be welcomed in the Government’s response to the Taylor report but perhaps I may pick up on one small thing. One recommendation is that the Government should develop a free online tool to provide individuals with an indication of their employment status and rights. However, do the Government not realise that a large proportion of the workers who are most vulnerable to exploitation are the very ones who will have least access to that sort of digital connectivity? Will the Minister make a commitment that the question of how more vulnerable people can access this information will be looked at closely when implementing this recommendation? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans responds to government statement on Taylor Review of modern working practices”

Bishop of Durham asks about impact of Universal Credit on families with children

On 19th October 2017 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received a written answer to a question about families with children on Universal Credit:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of Universal Credit on the employment outcomes for families with children and other new claimants in full service areas. Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks about impact of Universal Credit on families with children”

Queen’s Speech 2017: Bishop of Durham highlights opportunities and risks facing north east

durham-230117On 26th June 2017, the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Rev Paul Butler contributed to the Queen’s Speech debate on business, economic affairs, energy, transport, environment and agriculture. He argued for the importance of investment in the North-East of England and including all groups in discussions around Brexit, the Northern Powerhouse and the Industrial Strategy.

Bishop of Durham: My Lords, perhaps I may add my welcome from these Benches to the noble Lord in his role as Minister. I also look forward to hearing the maiden speeches of the noble Lords, Lord Colgrain and Lord Mountevans, which will be made during this debate.

Since arriving in Durham, I have been struck that life feels more precarious for many in the north-east than it does elsewhere. There are lots of reasons for hope, not least the social regeneration in my home town of Bishop Auckland, but the sense of precariousness persists due to deep structural disadvantages that the region has faced for decades, even centuries. It is against this backdrop that some of the changes to welfare in the last Parliament felt particularly acute and remain of very deep concern. It is also against this backdrop that the uncertainty of the Brexit negotiation is felt. Continue reading “Queen’s Speech 2017: Bishop of Durham highlights opportunities and risks facing north east”