On the 11th February 2016 Lord Greaves asked the Government “what assessment they have made of the impact of the Local Government Finance Settlement on the provision of libraries”. The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, the Minister has twice mentioned the changing nature of libraries. Of course, they are not just about books. Nowadays, they are a major and vital source for internet access, especially in poorer areas, where people need them to apply for jobs and where fewer households have broadband. Especially in rural areas where broadband coverage is much lower, they are a vital part of rural sustainability. The Government are rolling out broadband very quickly, and that is encouraging, but it does need time. What support are they giving to those vital online centres, many of which are closely related to libraries or in libraries, both for the sake of heritage but also for the sake of our economy?
Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about the future of internet access in libraries”
On 10th February 2015, the Bishop of Truro, Rt Rev Tim Thornton, led a debate in the House of Lords on local welfare assistance schemes and help for those in crisis. The full text of his speech is below, followed by those of Peers who participated. The Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Rev Christopher Foster, also spoke in the debate towards the end.
Welfare Assistance Schemes
Question for Short Debate
Asked by The Lord Bishop of Truro
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure that local welfare assistance schemes provide effective support to people in crisis and will continue to be able to do so.
The Lord Bishop of Truro: My Lords, I am very grateful indeed for this opportunity to raise a very important issue by putting some questions to the Government on, and raising matters relating to, local welfare assistance schemes. In doing so, I declare my interest that I am chair of the Children’s Society, a national charity which has conducted quite a lot of research in this area and to which I shall refer. Continue reading “Bishop of Truro leads debate on local welfare assistance for those in crisis”
On the 22nd January 2015 the Bishop of Southwark gave his maiden speech to the House of Lords on the subject of the Local Government Finance Settlement. Bishop Christopher introduced himself his interests to the House in the usual manner before turning to address the debate. Speaking about the importance of local government Bishop Christopher addressed the impact cuts to funding have on people in greatest need, the importance of early intervention alongside the ease of losing sight of people in need during complex financial discussions instead of focusing on ensuring human flourishing. The Bishop was formerly welcomed to the House in the usual manner by Baroness Donaghy and the Mininster Lord Ahmad.
The Lord Bishop of Southwark (Maiden Speech): My Lords, I address your Lordships’ House on this first occasion with some trepidation. As I was advised not to drift into preaching mode, I will resist the temptation to expound on the interesting passage from scripture that the noble Lord has just quoted.
As a student of history, I am conscious of the dignity and importance of this House in the life of our nation, and I am acutely aware of the privilege of sharing in your Lordships’ deliberations. Throughout my life I have been inspired by the model of service found in the life of Jesus Christ, and I am humbled when I reflect on where that service has led me—not least, now, to your Lordships’ House. I will seek to serve to the best of my ability, using the gifts that God has given me. Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark gives maiden speech in debate on the Local Government Finance Settlement”
On the 22nd January 2015 the Bishop of Derby spoke in a debate about the Local Government Financial Settlement. Bishop Alastair spoke about the need to stand back and look at what the future of local government should be. He went on to speak to the House about the work he undertakes in the Diocese to engage with local government on a variety of issues including regeneration, attracting new local business and the danger facing local government of local disengagement with politics.
The Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Beecham, for securing this debate and for his introduction to it. I also thank the noble Broness, Lady Pinnock, and the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Southwark, who both gave us very specific examples of some of the issues involved in this area. Continue reading “Bishop of Derby speaks on the Local Government Financial Settlement”
On the 22nd January 2015 the Bishop of Portsmouth spoke during a debate on the Local Government Finance Settlement. Bishop Christopher spoke about the issues of local welfare provision and thanked the Government for including notional provision for the continuation of local welfare provision in the current settlement. The Bishop went on to ask the Government to maintain or ring-fence the local welfare allocation to ensure that those in crisis need are helped.
The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, I welcome this debate on the implications and challenges of the local government settlement. On these Benches, and indeed in the whole House, we look forward to the maiden speeches of the noble Baroness, Lady Pinnock, and of my colleague and friend, the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Southwark. I look forward to that for many reasons, not least that he was a senior curate in the diocese that I now serve. He is the most recent in this House of a long line of able clergy nurtured and grown in the Diocese of Portsmouth. Continue reading “Bishop of Portsmouth speaks about the Local Government Finance Settlement”
“One particular danger of the reduced provision, which will be exacerbated by its abolition, is the need for people to rely on high-interest lenders or loan sharks” – The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds
On 9th January 2014, the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds took part in Lord Smith of Leigh’s debate on the Local Government Finance Settlement. He focused his remarks on local welfare provision, and the risks associated with the removal of funding for local welfare provision from April 2015.
Continue reading “Bishop of Ripon and Leeds cautions abolition of welfare provisions from local authority budgets”