Bishop of Salisbury asks Government about environmental standards of new homes

On 18th March 2019 the Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, received a written answer to a question on environmental standards for building new homes:

The Lord Bishop of Salisbury:

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To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to support housing developers and homeowners to improve the environmental standards of new homes; and what steps they are taking to improve the environmental impact of existing housing stock. Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury asks Government about environmental standards of new homes”

Bishop of Salisbury – Climate emergency requires more consistent response from Government

On 4th March 2019 the House of Lords debated the Feed-in Tariffs (Closure, etc.) Order 2018, and a ‘Motion to Regret’ criticising the Order from Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb. The Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, spoke in support of Baroness Jones’s Motion, and a transcript is below:

Motion to Regret: That this House regrets, in the light of the worsening climate emergency, that the Feed-in Tariffs (Closure, etc.) Order 2018 will end the export tariff for small-scale renewable energy without any replacement scheme in place; will result in new installations having to export their electricity to the National Grid for free; and will harm jobs and investment in the renewable energy industry (SI 2018/1380).

The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: My Lords, I support the noble Baroness’s Motion of regret. It is almost inevitable that a debate such as this will range more widely than the specific issues that the noble Baroness is focused on. I hope your Lordships will forgive me for beginning in Salisbury, my cathedral city, on a day when there has been a considerable amount of reflection about events there a year ago and their significance for the city and internationally.

We were grateful for the Prime Minister’s visit earlier today. I particularly thank the council, Wiltshire Police and the fire and ambulance services, as well as the district hospital, Porton Down and the military, for their commitment through the year. Wiltshire County Council has led a programme of recovery. Although business is still badly affected, we are making progress. We are grateful for the involvement of the noble Lord, Lord Henley.

From those ghastly events that began to unfold a year ago, we have learned not just about the need to recover but about using a crisis as an opportunity to rethink what sort of city Salisbury can be. The same is true of the environmental crisis we face.

Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury – Climate emergency requires more consistent response from Government”

Bishop of Salisbury asks Government about development of alternatives to plastics

Salisbury231018bOn 13th February 2019 Baroness Neville-Rolf asked the Government “whether they intend to introduce a simple and uniform system for both (1) labelling plastic and (2) bin collections in England, with the aim of reducing the use of plastic and encouraging recycling.” The Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nick Holtam, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: My Lords, the issue is not only recycle and reuse but reduce. I was at the celebration of the first anniversary of the Eco Synagogue a few weeks ago and saw real alternatives to plastic being developed by industry, such as Indonesian seaweed to replace 16 billion packets of ketchup, mayonnaise and the like. Alternatives are being produced but industry is so heavily invested in the production of plastic that it is difficult to make the commercial switch. What are the Government doing to fund the development of alternatives to plastic which will help us to make the change that is needed? Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury asks Government about development of alternatives to plastics”

Vote – Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Bill

On 11th February 2019 the  House of Lords considered House of Commons amendments to the Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Bill, at ping-pong.

Two bishops took part in a vote on an amendment from Lord Paddick that would oblige the Secretary of State to seek and secure a death penalty assurance in any future international treaty. Continue reading “Vote – Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Bill”

Bishop of Salisbury asks Government about vulnerable child refugees

On 11th February 2019 Lord Dubs asked the Government “how many refugee children have arrived in the United Kingdom from Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey under the Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme, since its launch in April 2016.”  The Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: The youngsters who have made the journey across Europe are among the most courageous young people in the world. You do not leave home unless you live in the mouth of a shark. What are the Government doing with those who arrive and, as the Minister said, are vulnerable? The Children’s Society recently published evidence of a high level of self-harm and suicide among these people. What is happening with the introduction of independent guardians, as is the case in Scotland and Northern Ireland? What other provisions can be made? What can be done for these young people to have permanent leave to remain when they reach adult age? Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury asks Government about vulnerable child refugees”

Bishop of Salisbury welcomes Government waste strategy, calls for more action on plastics recycling

On 19th December 2018 the Lords debated a motion from Baroness Neville-Rolfe, “To move that this House takes note of the threat to the environment posed by plastic and the case for improved recycling.” The Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: My Lords, I add my thanks to the noble Baroness, Lady Neville-Rolfe, for her persistence on plastic and for securing this debate. In the light of the comments of the noble Baroness, Lady Parminter, I observe that I enter the debate after three inspiring women.

I want to say “Well done” to the Government on the resources and waste strategy announced yesterday. It must be a bit of a relief to find an issue around which there is a good level of agreement for us to work on, but it means that there is a danger of complacency in the face of such an urgent task. Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury welcomes Government waste strategy, calls for more action on plastics recycling”

Bishop of Salisbury supports call for review into Operation Conifer

On 11th December 2018 the House of Lords debated a Motion from Lord Lexden, “That this House regrets the failure by Her Majesty’s Government to institute an independent inquiry into Operation Conifer conducted by the Wiltshire police into allegations of child sex abuse against Sir Edward Heath; and calls on Her Majesty’s Government to make proposals for an independent review of the seven unsubstantiated allegations left unresolved at the end of Operation Conifer.” The Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Lexden, for his doggedness in persisting with this, and the other Members of the House who have also done so.

I come at this from something of a different angle. We are dealing with an extremely difficult issue as a society. The Church of England knows something about it—but so do we all. This is really difficult stuff. It would not be enough to have an inquiry into the seven unresolved and said to be unsubstantiated allegations. It is about what we have learned from our experience, about good practice, about what has gone wrong and about how we develop things for the future. Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury supports call for review into Operation Conifer”