On 25th April 2016 Lord Stevenson of Balmacara asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of the closures of regional museums, particularly in the North of England, and the impact of those closures on the United Kingdom’s creative industry and on the educational services provided to local schools and colleges.” The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, if the rhetoric about the northern powerhouse is to have any reality behind it, it has to include access to culture and cultural developments. In the light of that, will the Minister give an assurance that the sword of Damocles hanging over the National Media Museum in Bradford might at last be lifted? Sometimes up there it feels as if London is saying, “Out, damned spot!”. Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds seeks Government assurances over future of Bradford’s National Media Museum”
On 5th April 2016 the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, received written answers to five questions to Government on Daesh atrocities, Iraq and Kurdistan:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports of the use of chemical weapons by Daesh in Iraq.
Baroness Anelay of St Johns: There are credible reports that Daesh has used chemical weapons in Iraq. The Government of Iraq, with support from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), investigated allegations of chemical weapons use in Iraq last year and has concluded that sulphur mustard was used against Peshmerga fighters on 11 August 2015. Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds asks Government about Daesh atrocities, Iraq and Kurdistan”
On the 4th, 9th & 14th March 2016 the Bishop of Leeds received written answers to questions about the implications for UK citizens overseas if the UK should decide to leave the EU.
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the implications of a decision by the UK to leave the EU for those UK nationals resident in other EU member states. [HL6398]
Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds asks about effect of UK leaving the EU on UK nationals living abroad”
On the 10th March 2016 the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, spoke in a short debate on the BBC Charter Review. He expanded on these remarks in a subsequent blog post.
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, the BBC has three core purposes: to inform, to educate and to entertain. Will the Minister comment on a fourth purpose, which is to interpret? Diversity has been perceived in terms of regional diversity when one could also say that ethnic and religious diversity in the country need to be taken more seriously. Religion is a primary motivator of individuals and communities, inspiring and informing their political, economic, ethical and social behaviour.
It needs to be interpreted. What the world looks like when seen through a particular religious lens needs to be taken more seriously. In July 2015, Ofcom expressed concern about the diminution of attention to religion in the BBC. Can the Minister assure us that this will be taken more seriously in the charter renewal? Continue reading “Interpreting and explaining religion should be a key role of BBC, Bishop of Leeds tells Peers”
On 14th January 2016 the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, led a short debate in the House of Lords on flood management. His speech and the Government response is below. The full text of the debate, including a speech by the Bishop of St Albans, can be read here.
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they intend to review their long term strategy for flood management, particularly in rural areas that do not qualify for large-scale flood defences.
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, I am grateful for the opportunity to put to the Government the Question before us. If there was a sound track to this debate it would probably include Phil Collins’s “In Too Deep”.
It is important to note the destructiveness of the recent flooding, given that the news agenda moves on very quickly and communities which found themselves at the heart of a sympathetic nation quickly feel themselves to be forgotten. For some of the communities in my diocese, the recent floods come in the wake—almost literally—of other occurrences in recent years. For them the need for longer-term and more joined-up measures is obvious.
I pay tribute to civic leaders, emergency services, public service workers, members of the Armed Forces, the Environment Agency and local volunteers, many of whom sacrificed holidays and family time over Christmas to support victims of this appallingly destructive flooding. Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds leads debate on national response to flooding”
On 14th January 2016 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Turnberg “that this House takes note of the ability of the National Health Service to meet present and future demands.” The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, spoke in the debate.
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, I am very grateful for the opportunity to speak in this debate. Much of what I was going to say has been said and I do not intend to repeat it. I have surveyed some of the National Health Service foundation trusts in my diocese and there are common threads, both of opportunity and concern: financial, operational and clinical. Yet it ought to be said that some of the administrations of these health services are doing heroic work at a time of enormous complexity and constraint. Again, as has been said about the need to raise morale among staff, we should at least thank and congratulate those who are making the system work despite the challenges. Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds praises “heroic” work of NHS staff in Lords health debate”
On 9th December 2015 Lord Grantchester asked Her Majesty’s Government “what emergency measures they are considering to support the emergency services and local communities affected by flooding in Cumbria.” The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, what cognisance is taken by the Government of the stochastic modelling performed by the insurance industry and how many one-in-100-years events it takes for something to cease to be a one-in-100-years event?
Baroness Williams of Trafford: My Lords, I am sure that the right reverend Prelate will appreciate that this is probably a matter for God because every time that we have tried to predict, an even worse event has occurred. I do not make that point lightly. We are constantly reviewing the flood defences and how we can respond.