Church Commissioner Written Questions – Church Buildings & Solar Power

Caroline Spelman
On the 22nd June 2015 The Rt Hon. Caroline Spelman MP answered two written questions on behalf of the Church Commissioners, relating to solar power on church buildings and community energy generation.

Continue reading “Church Commissioner Written Questions – Church Buildings & Solar Power”

Sustainable Development Goals – Bishop of St Albans calls for a new moral vision

“I believe that the time is ripe for a new moral vision of the one world in which we all live, not just because it is morally right that we should do that but because, frankly, it is in our interests.” – Bishop of St Albans, 16/6/15

On Tuesday 16th June 2015 the Lords debated a motion by Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale “to ask Her Majesty’s Government what are their priorities for the Sustainable Development Goals to be agreed by the United Nations in September.” The Bishop of St Albams, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke in the debate.

Bishop St Albans June 2015The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord McConnell, for securing for us this opportunity to debate this important area.

As we mark the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta this week, we are reminded that some ideas, initiatives or visions take a long time to come to fruition. Sometimes, all that one generation can do is to plant the acorn and it is for subsequent generations to appreciate the fully grown oak tree. Continue reading “Sustainable Development Goals – Bishop of St Albans calls for a new moral vision”

Bishop of Salisbury makes first speech in the House of Lords – Environment and Climate Change

“Every parish priest and bishop knows what it is to care for the whole community. It is a great aim for the Government, as set out at the start of Her Majesty’s gracious Speech, to, “legislate in the interests of everyone in our country” and, “adopt a one-nation approach”. The success of that will be one of the measures by which the Government are judged.

The role of the Lords spiritual is distinctive and, we hope, helpful to the workings of this House. We are non-partisan in a political process. Our underlying concern is with the integration of beliefs and values that guide what we do, make our spirituality and animate us as human beings. We take the long view when the pressures are often to the short term.” – Bishop of Salisbury, 2/6/15

On 2nd June 2015 the Bishop of Salisbury spoke for the first time in the House of Lords. In his address, which came during the debate on the Queen’s Speech, he spoke of his background in the Church of England, his diocese, and his interest in the environment, climate change and energy. The full text is below and can also be watched online here.

Salisbury

Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury makes first speech in the House of Lords – Environment and Climate Change”

Bishop of Chester welcomes the new single use carrier bags charges

14.03 Bishop of ChesterOn 4th March 2105, the Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster spoke in a debate on the new Single Use Carrier Bags Charges Order. The Bishop spoke to support the Government in their plans to introduce a charge for single use carrier bags. Bishop Peter also asked why the Government did not propose to introduce a similar scheme to those which already existed in other parts of the UK. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Lord De Mauley responded for the Government during the debate and address the Bishop’s questions. The full reply can be found below.

Continue reading “Bishop of Chester welcomes the new single use carrier bags charges”

Bishop of St Albans – Flood Control (Written Answer)

On 29th January 2015, the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, received an answer to a written question on flood control.

Bishop of St AlbansThe Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to ensure long-term support and funding for flood prevention schemes. [HL3997]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord De Mauley): This Government has developed a six-year programme of work, involving over 1,400 projects, to improve defences throughout the country between 2015 and 2021. This has been made possible by our record level of commitment by investing £2.3 billion in improving defences over the coming six years. Efficiency gains will ensure this funding goes even further. This work is projected to reduce the risk of flooding or erosion to at least 300,000 households by 2021, and avoid around £30 billion in economic damages.

(via Parliament.uk)

Bishop of St Albans – Written Answers (Egypt, prostitution and the Somerset Rivers Authority)

On 15th January 2015, the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, received answers to written questions on the subjects of religious freedom in Egypt, prostitution and the Somerset Rivers Authority.

Egypt

Bishop of St AlbansThe Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Egypt on behalf of Mohammed Hegazy. [HL3910]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns): We are concerned about the case of Mr Mohammed Hegazy, who converted to Christianity in 1998. We raised Mr Hegazy’s case at official level with the Egyptian Embassy in London on 7 January. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans – Written Answers (Egypt, prostitution and the Somerset Rivers Authority)”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about progress made at UN Climate Change Conference

On 7th January 2015 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Rev Alan Smith, asked an oral question of Government about the recent UN Climate Change Conference. The exchanges, including supplementary questions from Peers, are below:

Climate Change: UN Conference

Question

Asked by The Lord Bishop of St Albans

Bishop of St Albans

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the agreement reached at the United Nations climate change conference in Lima in December 2014. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about progress made at UN Climate Change Conference”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about air pollution and asthma

On 6th January 2015 Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘what plans the National Health Service has to reduce the number of premature deaths caused by the combined impact of nitrogen dioxide and fine particles emitted by diesel engines’. The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Rev Alan Smith, asked a supplementary question:

Bishop of St AlbansThe Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, with 4.3 million adults and 1.1 million children suffering from the effects of asthma-related conditions, does the Minister agree that we need to look closely at the World Health Organization’s recent news that an increasing number of British cities are now breaching the safe air pollution levels? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about air pollution and asthma”

Infrastructure Bill – Division

On 10th November 2014, the Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill, took part in a division of the House of Lords, on an amendment to the Government’s Infrastructure Bill.

House of Lords Division Lobby
House of Lords Division Lobby

Amendment 113G

Labour Peer Baroness Worthington moved amendment 113G, to insert the new clause Underground access: environmental protection, which sought to create new regulations for the extraction of oil and gas through the process known as fracking.

The Bishop of Lichfield voted ‘not content’. No bishop voted ‘content’.

There were Contents: 141 | Not Contents: 237 | Result: Government Win

(via Parliament.uk)

Bishop of St Albans calls on Government to uphold its commitment to zero-carbon homes

On 5th November 2014, the Bishop of St Albans tabled an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill, during its Report Stage, which sought to hold the Government to its commitment to a zero-carbon homes strategy as originally envisaged, including removing exemptions for small construction companies and allowing construction companies to buy themselves out of their obligation to build zero-carbon homes. Following the debate on the amendment, assurances were given tat consultation on the commitment were ongoing, and the Bishop did not press it to a division of the House.

Bishop of St AlbansThe Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, in speaking to Amendment 108A, I should like to thank the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, for co-sponsoring it. I bring forward this amendment out of concern that the standard proposed in the Bill is significantly lower than that already agreed through cross-industry consensus. I fear that an excessive focus on off-site carbon savings will undermine the effectiveness of the proposals and that an exemption for small sites will create confusion by causing the emergence of a two-tiered regulatory system. It is essential that housebuilders meets the carbon compliance standards that have already been agreed through cross-industry consensus. This was endorsed by the Government back in 2011 and strongly supported by around 70% of those responding to their consultation. I am therefore troubled by the proposal of a new on-site energy performance standard for zero-carbon homes that is lower than the one already agreed. It is not clear why this reduction is necessary. The proposed exemptions from the standard for homes built on small sites and for starter homes would also serve to undermine the main purpose behind the zero-carbon standard: namely, that of prioritising carbon reduction. It is to address the lack of measures necessary to realise the Government’s stated commitment to carbon neutrality that I have tabled this amendment which requires the previously agreed carbon compliance standard to be met on-site before allowable solutions can be undertaken. It also requires all homes to meet that standard, ensuring that no exemptions are allowed. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans calls on Government to uphold its commitment to zero-carbon homes”

%d bloggers like this: