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 action to protect children from air pollution

On 11th April 2019 the Bishop of St Albans received a written answer to a question on children’s exposure to air pollution:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans:  (HL14975) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the report by Unicef Healthy air for every child: A call for national action, published on 5 February; and what steps, if any, they intend to take in response to its recommendations, in particular the recommendation to set up a “Little Lungs Fund” of £215 million to pay for measures that specifically reduce children’s exposure to toxic air. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about action to protect children from air pollution”

Bishops ask Government about conflict in Yemen and use of British weaponry

On 10th April 2019 the Bishops of Coventry and St Albans received written answers to questions on the war in Yemen: efforts to bring the conflict to an end, and the use of weapons made or sold by British companies –

The Lord Bishop of Coventry: (HL14938) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to facilitate an end to the war in Yemen.

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Bishop of St Albans asks Government about changes to bereavement benefit payments

On 9th April 2019 Lord Polak asked the Government ” what discussions they have had, and with whom, about the impact of the changes to bereavement benefit for parents with dependent children that were made in April 2017.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, it is two years since this came in, so we have quite a lot of evidence. Will the Minister assure the House that the review is totally independent, and that we will be able to see all the working out of what is proposed and the analysis? A large number of noble Lords are deeply concerned about this. Would the Minister be willing to meet with us to discuss how we might take it forward.

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Votes: European Union (Withdrawal) (Number 5) Bill

On 4th April 2019 the House of Lords considered the European Union (Withdrawal) (Number 5) Bill, which sought to require the Prime Minister to request a later exit date from the European Union and a further extension of the Article 50 period. Continue reading “Votes: European Union (Withdrawal) (Number 5) Bill”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about freedom of religion in China

On 4th April 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a question he had tabled on religious freedom in China. The exchanges, and the follow-up questions from other Members, are below:

China: Religious Freedom

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their current assessment of freedom of religion in China.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon) (Con): My Lords, there are several recognised religions in China, with tens of millions of practising Christians, Muslims and Buddhists, among others. However, we are deeply concerned about developing restrictions on freedom of religion or belief in China, including reports that authorities are tightening control over how certain religions are practised. At the United Nations Human Rights Council last month, I raised directly our concerns about restrictions on freedom of religion or belief in China, including on Muslims and Christians in Xinjiang.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I thank the Minister for his reply. There are deeply worrying reports coming out of China, not least about persecuting the Christian churches there—an ancient Christian church there was founded in the 7th century. Will he comment particularly on the developing situation concerning Uighur Muslims and the development of the network of re-education camps in Xinjiang province? What representations have Her Majesty’s Government made and what are they planning to do?

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Bishop of St Albans asks Government about building on brownfield sites

On 4th April 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question on building on brownfield sites:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to their commitment to “maintaining existing strong protections for the Green Belt, and clarifying that Green Belt boundaries should be amended only in exceptional circumstances” in Fixing our broken housing market (CM 9352), published in February 2017, what assessment they have made of the Campaign to Protect Rural England’s report State of Brownfield 2019, published in March; and what plans they have to incentivise building on brownfield sites.

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