Bishop of St Albans asks about energy costs for farming businesses and alternative fuel users

The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answers on 17th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Benyon on 31 October (HL2654), what specific provisions the Energy Bill Relief Scheme contains to support farming businesses; and what estimate they have made of the impact of that scheme on farming businesses.

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Bishop of St Albans asks about cold weather payments

The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answer on 16th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Stedman-Scott on 27 October (HL2653), on what basis they can provide for the Cold Weather Payment being £25; when they undertook their last review into the appropriateness of that figure; and what assessment they have made of the efficacy of a one-off payment for those eligible for the Cold Weather Payment.

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Bishop of St Albans asks about economic challenges to agriculture in the Lee Valley

The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answers on 9th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the economic challenges facing vegetable growers in the Lee Valley due to increasing energy prices.

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Bishop of St Albans asks about support for community warm spaces on the Isle of Man

The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answer on 31st October 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the Community Warm Spaces Fund in the Isle of Man; and what plans they have to implement a similar scheme in England and Wales.

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Bishop of St Albans asks about energy and food costs for farmers

The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answer on 31st October 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to support British farmers (1) with the increasing cost of energy, and (2) to ensure food security.

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Bishop of St Albans asks about cold weather payments

The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answer on 27th October 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government what plans they have to review the Cold Weather Payment given increased energy costs.

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Bishop of Oxford asks about pre-paid energy meters

The Bishop of Oxford received the following written answers on 26th October 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Oxford asked His Majesty’s Government what estimate they have made of the number of (1) forced prepay energy meter installs, and (2) forced prepay energy meter switches, that will take place this winter.

Lord Callanan (Con): The Government does not make an estimate of the number of prepayment meters installed or switched. The energy Regulator, Ofgem, has reported that the number of prepayment meters installed for debt under warrant in 2021 was 49,552.

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Bishop of St Albans asks about support for warm hubs

The Bishop of St Albans asked about government support for warm hubs on 20th October 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask His Majesty’s Government what steps they will take to support the establishment and maintenance of warm hubs in England.

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Energy Prices Bill: Bishop of Manchester raises concerns on heating churches and the need for clarification of terms

On 19th October 2022, the House of Lords debated the Energy Prices Bill in its second reading. The Bishop of Manchester spoke in the debate, welcoming the bill whilst raising several points of concern:

The Lord Bishop of Manchester: My Lords, I am pleased to speak on this important and urgent piece of legislation. I declare my interest as deputy chair of the Church Commissioners’ board of governors. We own stocks in energy companies. In the light of today’s developments in the other place, I should perhaps also declare that I regularly eat tofu.

It is clear that the ongoing cost of living crisis and energy insecurity necessitate swift and comprehensive action. It is estimated that this will adversely impact up to 100,000 households in one of my local authorities, Manchester, this winter. A report published in August by the University of York predicted that more than three quarters of UK households—53 million people—will have been pushed into fuel poverty by January next. It is therefore very welcome that the Government are taking action to help the public and businesses survive the coming winter. It is also good to have the clarity set out in the Bill on the energy price guarantee and the energy bill relief scheme.

However, welcoming the Bill does not mean that I, or my colleagues on these Benches when they are here, believe that it is a latter-day Mary Poppins—practically perfect in every way. While we fully recognise the urgency of this legislation, we hope that His Majesty’s Government will take seriously the calls to amend certain of its details before we reach Committee next week.

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Votes: Social Housing (Regulations) Bill 2022

On 18th October 2022, the House of Lords debated amendments to the Social Housing (Regulations) Bill in the report stage. Votes were held on two amendments to the bill, in which Bishops took part.

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