Bishop of Oxford speaks in debate on strengthening families

On 2nd November 2017 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Farmer, “That this House takes note of A Manifesto to Strengthen Families, published on 6 September.” The Bishop of Oxford, Rt Revd Steven Croft, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, I warmly welcome the report and I congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Farmer, and others involved. I find myself liking it more each time I read it. Its very modesty is its virtue, for a small number of strategic changes can make an immense difference. I speak from a background of nine years as a vicar in outer estate parishes in Halifax, in very poor communities, and seven years before my previous appointment as Bishop of Sheffield serving again some of the most impoverished regions in the country. Continue reading “Bishop of Oxford speaks in debate on strengthening families”

Bishop of Oxford asks Government about metal theft from churches

On 2nd November 2017 Lord Faulkner of Worcester asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of the effectiveness and enforcement of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.” The Bishop of Oxford, Rt Revd Steven Croft, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, the Minister will be aware of the impact on churches of such theft, particularly from roofs. It has a devastating effect on church communities and knock-on effects for important local amenities. Can she clarify what the Home Office can do to encourage enforcement of the need to register scrap metal dealers with local authorities, as well as not selling on scrap for cash? Continue reading “Bishop of Oxford asks Government about metal theft from churches”

Votes: Financial Guidance and Claims Bill

On the 31st October 2017 the Government’s Financial Guidance and Claims Bill was considered at Report Stage in the House of Lords. Liberal Democrat Peer Lord Sharkey moved an amendment on guidance for individuals before transfer of pension assets to new schemes. Two bishops took part in the vote:

Continue reading “Votes: Financial Guidance and Claims Bill”

Bishop of Oxford says poorest of poor falling behind, asks Government to act

On 30th October 2017 Baroness Lister of Burtersett asked Her Majesty’s Government “what is their assessment of the impact of the benefit rate freeze, in the light of the higher rate of inflation than that anticipated in the original impact assessment.” The Bishop of Oxford, Rt Revd Steven Croft, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, does the Minister agree that incentivising people back into work and supporting the poorest in our society, including children, are not mutually exclusive? Will she comment on the ways of doing the second alongside the first? Will she also set out the Government’s plans to remedy the current situation, in which the poorest of the poor are falling further behind? Continue reading “Bishop of Oxford says poorest of poor falling behind, asks Government to act”

Artificial Intelligence: A Guide to the Key Issues

The Bishop of Oxford, Rt Revd Steven Croft, is a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence. This blog by Bishop Steven about the key issues involved in AI, was published on the Diocese of Oxford website.

The one on the right is Artie.

Artie is a Robothespian.  We met last week at Oxford Brookes University.  Artie showed me some of his moves.  He plays out scenes from Star Wars and Jaws with a range of voices, movements, gestures and special effects (including shark fins swimming across the screens which form his eyes).

Artie can’t yet hold an intelligent conversation but it won’t be long before his cousins and descendants can.  Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now beginning to affect all of our lives. Continue reading “Artificial Intelligence: A Guide to the Key Issues”

Votes: EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – ping pong

On 7th March 2017 the House of Lords considered the Government’s EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill at Report. A vote was held on an amendment from Liberal Democrat Peer Lord Newby to hold a second referendum on the outcome of Brexit negotiations . Seven Lords Spiritual took part. 

On 13th March 2017, the House of Lords considered the Government’s EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill during ping pong, after the Commons had refused to accept amendments from the House of Lords. A vote was held on two amendments tabled by the Liberal Democrats to reinstate previously accepted amendments on the status of EU nationals and on parliamentary scrutiny. Five Lords Spiritual took part.  Continue reading “Votes: EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – ping pong”

Bishop of Oxford asks Government about link between benefit delays and food bank use

On 9th March 2017 Labour Peer Baroness Sherlock asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of the impact on claimants of the time taken between applying for Universal Credit and receiving payments.” The Bishop of Oxford, Rt Revd Steven Croft, asked a follow up question.

The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, in the last three months I have visited a large number of food banks across the diocese of Oxford in seemingly affluent communities, building on my experience of food banks in the diocese of Sheffield. All have underlined to me that the most common reason why people access food banks is delay in accessing welfare payments. Continue reading “Bishop of Oxford asks Government about link between benefit delays and food bank use”