Church Commissioners written answer: rural parish support

24th May 2021

Rt Hon Mark Pritchard (The Wrekin): To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, if he will make a statement on what steps the Church of England is taking to support the diocese of (a) Hereford and (b) Lichfield; and what plans the Church of England has to support dioceses with large rural parishes.

Andrew Selous (South West Bedfordshire): Diocesan resourcing of mission and ministry is supported by congregational giving, historic investments and other income. Additional support is provided from national funds generated by the investments of the Church Commissioners and distributed by the Archbishops’ Council.

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Bishop of St Albans asks about Agriculture Transition Plan

On 8th December the Bishop of St Albans responded to a Government statement on its Agriculture Transition Plan:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans [V]: My Lords, I declare my interest as president of the Rural Coalition and pay tribute to the Minister, who has worked so hard on getting this through.
In the ELMS policy discussion document, Her Majesty’s Government recognised the bureaucratic burden that the CAP had placed on farmers and administrators. We were optimistic that the rollout of rural broadband would help a great deal, although the comprehensive spending review seems to have drawn back, and many people in rural areas are deeply concerned about how these new processes will be worked through.
Can the Minister outline the plans for the ELMS application process and how it is intended to reduce bureaucratic constraints? Can he assure the agricultural community that there will be adequate helplines staffed by those who have been fully trained in these new processes?

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Bishop of St Albans asks Government about rural economy

On 26th November 2020 the Bishop of St Albans asked a question he had tabled to Government on tabled a question he had asked about the rural economy. The exchange is below, with the further questions asked by other Members:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to their response to the report by the Select Committee on the Rural Economy Time for a strategy for the rural economy (HL Paper 330, Session 2017-19), what progress they have made towards their strategic vision for rural communities. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about rural economy”

Bishop of St Albans asks about rural broadband rollout

On 16th November 2020 the Bishop of St Albans received a written answer to a question on gigabit-capable rural broadband:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 3 November (HL9493), whether the commitment to provide gigabit-capable broadband nationwide will be rolled out equitably between rural and urban communities. [HL10103] Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about rural broadband rollout”

Bishop of St Albans asks about rural infrastructure investment

On 12th November 2020 the Bishop of St Albans received a written answer to a question on rural infrastructure investment:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to their decision to launch a one-year Spending Review, whether their multi-year capital allocation for priority infrastructure projects includes projects in rural areas, in particular (1) the Community Housing Fund, especially for rural affordable housing schemes, and (2) the Village Hall Improvement Grant Fund. [HL9791] Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about rural infrastructure investment”

Bishop of St Albans asks about spending in rural areas

On 26th October 2020 the Bishop of St Albans received a written answer to a question on public spending in rural areas:

Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 7 October (HL8550) and (HL8549), what plans they have to provide copies of the official-level guidance and templates setting out their priorities for the Comprehensive Spending Review; and how they will ensure that funding assessments are ‘rural proofed’ and do not unreasonably disadvantage rural communities. [HL8989] Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about spending in rural areas”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about wood pasture restoration

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”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government how it will factor rural interests into future spending priorities

On Wednesday 7th October 2020 the Bishop of St Albans received a written answer to two questions on how the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review will consider rural affairs:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what requirements have been placed on departments by Her Majesty’s Treasury to ‘rural proof’ their submissions to the 2020 Comprehensive Spending Review; and how each of those departments have fulfilled these requirements. [HL8549]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the report by the Select Committee on the Rural Economy, Time for a Strategy for the rural economy, published on 26 March 2019 (HL Paper 330), what plans they have to ensure that each department’s Comprehensive Spending Review settlement will be conditional on ensuring that nobody living in a rural area is unreasonably disadvantaged by where they live. [HL8550] Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government how it will factor rural interests into future spending priorities”

Trade Bill: Bishop of St Albans supports amendments to ensure trade deals meet standards on climate, environment, food and animal welfare

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.

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Bishop of Bristol asks about Covid-19, modern slavery and agricultural workers

On 16th July 2020 the Bishop of Bristol, Rt Revd Vivienne Faull, asked a question she had tabled in the House of Lords about modern day slavery, COVID-19 and agricultural workers. The exchange and the follow-up questions of others, is below:

Covid-19: Human Trafficking

Question

Asked by The Lord Bishop of Bristol

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on human trafficking in the United Kingdom.

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