Bishop of Chester responds to Spring Budget Statement

On 20th March 2019, the House of Lords debated the Government’s Spring Budget Statement. The Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster, spoke in the debate:

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Bishop of Winchester asks Government about impact of ageing society on social care costs

Bishop of WinchesterOn the 21st February 2018 Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty’s Government what priority they give to the provision of and funding for local neighbourhood services. The Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Revd Tim Dakin, asked a follow-up question about the pressures on Local Authority services and social care.

The Lord Bishop of Winchester: My Lords, in relation to the wider concern about neighbourhood services, we are yet to see the Green Paper on social care outlining plans for improved care for older people in an ageing population. From my own diocese, I am aware of the financial pressures on councils and the pressures that they are facing from the cost of social services for the elderly as they increase. Hampshire County Council expects an additional 1,000 over-85 year-olds every year. What assessment have the Government made of the demands on local social care services in the light of our current ageing population?

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Bishop of Norwich raises need for integrated health and social care service

On 16th October 2017 Lord Dubs asked Her Majesty’s Government “what is their estimate of the number of people currently in hospital waiting to be discharged to care homes when places become available.” The Bishop of Norwich, Rt Revd Graham James, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Norwich: My Lords, since the difficulties of hospital patients awaiting discharge to care homes is but one of a number of bottlenecks in the present system, does that not suggest that we need a fully integrated national health and social care service and that, until we achieve such integration, these problems are bound to recur—as the National Audit Office report in February this year so clearly and vividly illustrated? Continue reading “Bishop of Norwich raises need for integrated health and social care service”

Bishop of Chester speaks about national debt and expenditure pressures in Budget debate

Chester1On 14th March 2017, the Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, moved that this House takes note of the economy in the light of the Budget Statement. The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, spoke in the debate, focusing on national debt and expenditure pressures.

The Lord Bishop of Chester My Lords, it is not only the last spring Budget, it is the last Budget in Lent. If we had any doubts, then the early speeches in this debate brought that Lenten theme home rather well.

I do not want to get into the details of the Budget, which are very political, but to talk about two broader, longer-term issues to which the Chancellor referred in his speech. The first, which has already been alluded to, is our national debt. Its rate of growth is forecast to slow in this decade, but that is stabilisation at a very high level, representing nearly £62,000 for every household in the country. Even at the current very low interest rates, servicing that debt costs £50 billion a year—more than the combined costs of defence and police services in this country. Continue reading “Bishop of Chester speaks about national debt and expenditure pressures in Budget debate”

Bishop of Winchester asks Government about partnership with faith groups in social care delivery

Bishop of WinchesterOn 15th November 2016, Baroness Pitkeathley asked Her Majesty’s Government “what is their response to the warning by the Care Quality Commission in their State of Care report, published in October, that adult social care is approaching “tipping point”. The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, asked a follow up question:.

The Lord Bishop of Winchester My Lords, given the well-established engagement of faith groups in the area of social care, such as the Good Neighbours support service in Hampshire, what progress have Her Majesty’s Government made in reducing barriers to engagement by faith and belief groups, as recommended by the Local Government Association in its 2012 report, Faith and Belief in Partnership? Continue reading “Bishop of Winchester asks Government about partnership with faith groups in social care delivery”

Bishop of Durham highlights workload faced by children’s social workers

Bp Durham June 2015 bOn 7th November 2016, Lord Laming asked the Government “what steps they are taking to ensure that children in local authority care are placed in a location close to their extended family and current school.” The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a supplementary question.


The Lord Bishop of Durham: Does the Minister agree that children’s social workers do a fantastically good job, but one of the difficulties they face is their sheer workload, which means that their monitoring of children in care is not as adequate as it is should be? Continue reading “Bishop of Durham highlights workload faced by children’s social workers”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about impact of rent reductions on supported housing schemes

St Albans 2On the 13th October 2016 Baroness Warwick of Undercliffe asked Her Majesty’s Government “how they plan to ensure that there is an increase in the level of supported housing across England so that the needs of vulnerable people are met.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, last year Her Majesty’s Government decided to delay the 1% reduction in social rents for supported housing in order to assess the impact it would have on the sector. The move was widely welcomed around this House. Now that Her Majesty’s Government have decided to press ahead with largely the same proposal—there are one or two exceptions, I grant—will the Minister consider publishing the detailed analysis of that assessment to allay fears that the reduction threatens the viability of present and future supported housing schemes?

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