Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham asks about CAMHS waiting times for children in care

The Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham asked a question on the length of waiting times for Children’s Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) for children in care on 5th December 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham: To ask His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the length of the waiting times for children and young people in care who need to access the support of Children’s Adolescent Mental Health Services; and what steps they are taking to reduce those waiting times.

Lord Markham (Con): We do not have a national waiting time standard for these services, so this data is not available. However, increasing access to these services is a priority.

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Public Order Bill: Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham speaks in support of amendment and on access to places of worship

On 16th November 2022, the Lord Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham spoke in support of an amendment to the Public Order Bill on behalf of the Bishop of St Albans, who was a signatory to the amendment. The amendment would provide a definition for the phrase “serious disruption” to the “community” used in the bill:

The Lord Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham: My Lords, in the absence of my right reverend friend the Bishop of St Albans, who is a signatory to Amendment 17 but unable to be present in the Chamber this afternoon, I am pleased to speak in its support, as it provides much- needed clarity to the law. I am also very grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Paddick, for explaining the amendments with such clarity at the beginning of this group.

I will make two main points. First, the Bill, in its present form, fails to provide a definition of what constitutes “serious disruption” to the “community”. I strongly support providing a strict statutory definition of this; it will give clearer guidelines to the police as to what is acceptable, as well as to those wishing to engage in lawful protest, and will provide much-needed democratic oversight to the Bill. Under the current law and the Bill as drafted, there is no clear definition of what disruption to the community means, and it would be subject to the discretion of the police themselves. A lack of clarity is not helpful to either the police or the community. As reported in evidence to the Bill Committee in the other place, many police officers have expressed a desire for clearer statutory guidance, and many are concerned that they will be asked to make decisions on matters which they do not have the confidence to make. If we are to reflect on the consequences of the amendment, we can see that it would mean that protesters would rightly be prevented from disruption to essential services—schools, hospitals or places of worship—but the right to reasonable democratic protest would still be protected.

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Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham asks about government support for environmental partnerships and land restoration

The Lord Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham received the following written answer on 8th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham asked His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the partnership between the conservation interests of the RSPB and the business Tarmac in the restoration of reedbeds at Langford Lowfields on the banks of the River Trent; and what steps they are taking to help landowners restore land in similar, environmentally-beneficial ways.

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Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham asks about Renters Reform Bill

The Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham received the following written answer on 31st October 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham asked His Majesty’s Government when they plan to introduce the Renters Reform Bill; and, given the increase in mortgage costs may lead to tenants spending longer in rented accommodation, what consideration they have given to bringing forward their timetable for seeking to get the Bill passed.

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Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham makes maiden speech during debate on food crisis in Africa and Ukraine war

On 21st July 2022 the Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, Rt Revd Paul Williams, delivered his maiden speech in the House of Lords during Lord Alton’s debate, “that this House takes note of (1) the impact of the Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports on food insecurity in developing countries, and (2) its contribution to the danger of famine in (a) the Horn of Africa, and (b) East Africa.”

The Lord Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham (Maiden Speech): My Lords, I begin by thanking fellow Members for their gracious welcome and expressing my gratitude to the parliamentary staff and officers who have so kindly supported my introduction to the House.

It is an honour to make this maiden speech in such an important debate, which focuses so clearly on the needs of the most vulnerable: those affected by the sudden steep rise in global food prices resulting from Russia’s terrible war and blockade in Ukraine. I pay tribute to the noble Lord, Lord Alton, both for bringing this debate to the House and for his long record of campaigning advocacy on behalf of those whose suffering is too often overlooked.

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