Bishop of St Albans asks Government about access to cash withdrawal services in rural areas

On 22nd October 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked the Government “what assessment they have made of the impact on rural communities of the decision by Barclays Bank to end cash withdrawal services from the Post Office”. The bishop then asked a follow-up question:

Lord Bishop of St Albans: I beg leave to ask the Question in my name on the Order Paper and declare my interest as president of the Rural Coalition.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Northern Ireland Office (Lord Duncan of Springbank): My Lords, the Government are disappointed by the withdrawal of Barclays from the renegotiated banking framework. None the less, the new banking framework will enable customers to access their cash from 27 high street banks. The Government will continue to ensure that communities receive support and have choice about how they manage their finances.

Lord Bishop of St Albans: I thank the Minister for his reply. Rural communities rely on access to finance, but in many rural areas where there is poor broadband or weak mobile signal, online banking is impossible. This is a fundamental issue for our rural areas. What representations have Her Majesty’s Government made to Barclays Bank, and what will we do if other banks decide to follow its lead? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about access to cash withdrawal services in rural areas”

Bishop of London on need for improved rural services, and role of churches

London1On 8th October 2019 Lord Foster of Bath (LD) moved a motion “that this House takes note of the Report from the Select Committee on the Rural Economy Time for a strategy for the rural economy (HL Paper 330)”. The Bishop of London, Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, contributed to the debate:

The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, you may well ask what the Bishop of London is doing adding her voice to a debate on our strategy for the rural economy. Despite having spent most of my adult life in London, my five years in the West Country and latterly as the Bishop of Crediton in Devon demonstrated to me the challenges of rural life.

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Bishop of St Albans asks Government about tackling domestic abuse in rural areas

Bishop of St AlbansOn 23rd July 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer, from Baroness Williams of Trafford, regarding domestic abuse in rural areas:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: HL17325 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the report by the National Rural Crime Network Domestic Abuse in Rural Areas, published on 17 July.

Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con): On 16 July we introduced our landmark Domestic Abuse Bill to parliament, setting out our intention to transform the response to domestic abuse. Our Domestic Abuse Bill and wider action plan will help to ensure that victims have the confidence to come forward and report their experience, safe in the knowledge that the justice system and other agencies will do everything they can both to protect and support them and their children and pursue their abuser.

We will consider the findings of the report. Whether it takes place in our rural communities or cities, we are supporting Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners, so they can deploy resources as they best see fit to tackle crime, including domestic abuse.

The new Domestic Abuse Commissioner will play an important role in monitoring the provision of services for victims of domestic abuse, including those in rural communities.

Bishop of Leeds asks Government about rural bus services

On 4th June 2019 Baroness Randerson asked the Government “what plans they have to encourage more people to use bus services.” The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, can the Minister expand on what she said about rural access? There is no point trying to encourage people to use buses where there are none. In parts of my diocese in the north of Yorkshire, to suggest that there may be increased funding or increased conversations does not change the fact that many people are isolated. Buses and transport need to be part of a holistic, integrated rural strategy that sees the various matters interconnected.

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Bishop of St Albans asks Government what is being done to tackle hare coursing and rural crime

On 2nd May 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a question he had tabled, on rural crime. The answer, his follow-up, and those of other Members are reproduced below:

Farming Communities: Rural Crime

Question

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of rural crime on farming communities.

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Bishop of St Albans asks about young people’s services in rural areas

On 11th April 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question on young people’s services in rural areas:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: (HL15040) To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ashton of Hyde on 29 March (HL14672) and to the report by Rural England State of Rural Services 2018, published in February, whether they have made any assessment of why young people living in rural areas are more likely to engage in risky behaviours than those living in urban areas. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about young people’s services in rural areas”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about youth centres in rural areas

On 29th March the Bishop of St Albans received a written answer to a question on youth services in rural areas:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the report State of Rural Services 2018, published by Rural England in February, and in particular of the impact of the closure of youth centres on young people; and what impact access to services has on young people’s engagement in risky behaviour compared to those living in urban areas. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about youth centres in rural areas”