On 20th October the Bishop of St Albans received a written answer to a question he had asked Government about the restoration of wood pasture:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what scheme they intend to establish to replace Natural England’s Wood-Pasture Restoration Option within the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. [HL8829] Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about wood pasture restoration”
On 8th October 2020 the House of Lords considered the Government’s Trade Bill in committee. The Bishop of Blackburn spoke in support of amendments that would:
- require parliamentary approval of both negotiating objectives and of free trade agreements before the UK becomes a signatory to any agreements, to safeguard food, environmental, animal welfare and health standards.
- ensure trade agreements cannot be implemented, signed or ratified unless they are consistent with the provisions of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Bishops’ speeches are below and the full text of the amendments beneath.
The Lord Bishop of Blackburn: My Lords, having made my maiden speech a week or so ago at Second Reading of the Bill, I am very grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Purvis, for proposing Amendment 35, to which I wish to speak, without, I have to say, the expertise of other contributors, but I shall speak in favour of the amendment on two counts, only simply, as I do not wish to repeat what has already has been said. Continue reading “Trade Bill: Bishop of Blackburn supports amendments on sustainable development goals, environmental, health and food standards”
On Tuesday 6th October 2020 the House of Lords considered the Government’s Trade Bill in Committee. The Bishop of St Albans spoke in support of amendments on securing food and environmental standards in future trade deals:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans [V]: My Lords, I plan to say a few words on Amendment 20, moved by the noble Lord, Lord Grantchester. I am also sympathetic to Amendments 23, 25 and 26.
Food production and environmental standards, as well as the safety that they enshrine, are crucial to a healthy agricultural sector that seeks to mitigate the dangers arising from poor practices and the low-quality products they produce. Ensuring continuity has been a big priority for a number of Members. Issues surrounding the responsible administration of antibiotics to livestock, for example, are not national issues but global public health ones. Despite the Bill covering existing trading arrangements, we should not forget that the raison d’être for leaving the European Union was the assertion of our sovereignty. Continue reading “Trade Bill: Bishop of St Albans backs amendments on food and environmental standards”
On 6th October 2020 Baroness Boycott asked the Government “what progress they have made towards identifying sponsors for COP 26; and what criteria are used in the appointment of any such sponsors.” The Bishop of Rochester asked a further question:
The Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, while I understand that the focus of formal sponsorship is on businesses, is the Minister able to confirm that Her Majesty’s Government are also keen to engage in similarly deliberate ways with other bodies, including faith communities? These communities are highly motivated—indeed mandated—to care for God’s creation, locally and globally, and many, including the Church of England’s General Synod, have already committed to challenging targets for carbon reduction. Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester asks Government to engage with faith communities on future climate goals”
On 1st October 2020 the House of Lords considered the Government’s Trade Bill in Committee. The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke in support of amendments to the Bill to ensure that future trade agreements are fully compliant with international environmental obligations, and meet standards on animal welfare and food safety.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans [V]: I plan to speak mainly on Amendment 12, but I also support Amendment 40 and, particularly, Amendment 69 in this group [texts below]. Leaving the European Union should not mean leaving our international obligations. Recognition of those conventions mentioned under Amendment 12 is, one would imagine, already accounted for in the existing trade agreements due to be transposed into UK law as a result of this Bill. However, without this amendment, these remain an expectation not an assurance.
Continue reading “Trade Bill: Bishop of St Albans supports amendments to ensure trade deals meet standards on climate, environment, food and animal welfare”
In the House of Lords on 3rd September 2020 during questions to Government about the rate of tree planting in the UK, the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked about its tree health resilience strategy:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans [V]: My Lords, it is encouraging to hear about the progress being made, but we are fighting a losing battle if we continue to import saplings rife with diseases that then kill significant numbers of trees. Will the Minister update your Lordships’ House on the tree health resilience strategy and what other steps Her Majesty’s Government are taking to increase biosecurity? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about tree health and biosecurity”
On 20th July the Rt Revd Nick Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury, received a written answer to a question on the green homes grant.
Lord Bishop of Salisbury: HL6798 To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the green homes grant on 8 July (HC Deb, col 976), whether (1) clergy housing, and (2) buildings open to the public and run by charities, such as churches, are eligible for that grant.
Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury asks Government about Green Homes Grant eligibility”
On 17th June 20202 the Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, received a written answer to a question on greenhouse gas reduction targets:
The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: HL5327 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure that financial support to fossil fuel-intensive and high carbon producing industries is in line with (1) their Paris Agreement obligations, (2) their target for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050; and (3) their commitment to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2035. Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury asks Government about emissions reduction targets”
On 4th June 2020 the virtual House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Eatwell, “to move that the Virtual Proceedings do consider (1) the economic lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, and (2) the measures necessary to repair the United Kingdom economy.” The Bishop of Chelmsford, Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, spoke in the debate.
On 18th March 2020 the House of Lords debated the Budget Statement made the previous week by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, as many have already observed, this Budget comes in extraordinarily unusual circumstances, and in relation to the issues around Covid-19, subsequent to the Budget announcement, the Chancellor has brought forward a number of measures which have been largely well received, and no doubt others will need to follow. While voluntary action in our communities will form much of the day-to-day response to those who are the most vulnerable and potentially isolated across our nation, the sustaining of public services and of businesses is vital for both our social and economic well-being; other speakers have already begun to address some of those issues.
Following the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury is always a risky business, and other noble Lords have already spoken with considerable knowledge of these matters, so I shall focus my remarks on one or two specific issues and areas which were already matters of concern, and where that concern is perhaps greater because of the circumstances in which we now find ourselves.
On children and young people, I hugely welcome the long-overdue extension of higher-rate housing benefit for care leavers until the age of 25, thus giving stability in their accommodation beyond their 22nd birthday. This is something that the Church of England organisation the Children’s Society and other charities have campaigned for over some time, and it is most welcome. Also welcome is the £2.5 million for research on family hubs. However, what is not in the provisions of the Budget or subsequent provisions is sufficient funding to address the urgent need for every child to achieve a good start in life, and that is becoming more urgent in the light of the current circumstances. Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester responds to Chancellor’s Budget Statement”