Bishop of St Albans calls for new social contract to address low pay and poor working conditions

On 11th October 2018 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Haskel, ‘To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of proposals for greater employee shareholding and participation in corporate governance.’ The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I thank the noble Lord, Lord Haskel, for securing this debate. With such limited time, I shall make just a few comments about the purposes of business in general and then to make one or two observations about the very specific themes raised in the debate.​

All too often, business and commerce are viewed as though their main aim was simply to make the most money possible. This rather reductionist view of business fails to take into account wider questions raised in Christian theology, as well as by many others, such as how everyone can contribute to the common good, issues of justice and fairness, and particularly the sort of values we wish to celebrate and promote as a society. The best businesses, I believe, are those that balance the need to make money with a high priority on the flourishing and thriving of their workforce and a concern for human dignity. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans calls for new social contract to address low pay and poor working conditions”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government how often it has sought death penalty assurances for British nationals

On 9th October 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question on death penalty assurances for British or former British citizens:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the statement by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 24 July, how many times in the last 20 years they have decided not to seek death penalty assurances for British or former British citizens; and what were the details of any such cases. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government how often it has sought death penalty assurances for British nationals”

Bishop of St Albans asks about visas for seasonal agricultural workers to meet harvest need

StAlbansRoMB3On 24th September 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer from the Government to a question on seasonal agricultural workers:

The Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to provide visas for seasonal agricultural workers and to ensure that there will be a sufficient number of such workers to meet harvest need. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about visas for seasonal agricultural workers to meet harvest need”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about counter-extremism policy

On 17th & 20th September 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received written answers from Government to three questions on countering extremism policy:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans:

(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the joint statement published by Prevent Watch on 27 July about the Commission for Countering Extremism’s “evidence drive”; and how they intend to respond to the concerns raised in the statement.

(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what weight will be given to academic evidence reviewed as part of the Commission for Countering Extremism’s evidence drive compared to evidence from other sources.

(iii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will conduct an independent review of how the Prevent programme is currently operating before placing any additional responsibilities on local authorities as recommended by the Joint Committee on Human Rights in its report, Counter-Extremism, published on 20 July 2016 (HL Paper 39), and since; and if not, why not.

Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about counter-extremism policy”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about fly-tipping prosecutions

On 19th September 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question on fly-tipping:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of statistics for prosecutions for fly-tipping in England; and, in the light of those, whether local authorities have sufficient powers in relation to fly-tipping. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about fly-tipping prosecutions”

Bishop of St Albans asks about food security and farm payments after Brexit

On 18th September 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question on food security and farm payments after Brexit.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, what steps they are taking to ensure sufficient levels of food security following any change in payments to UK farmers after Brexit. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about food security and farm payments after Brexit”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about plans for Commission for Countering-Extremism

On 13th September 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question on the Commission for Countering-Extremism.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans:  To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they will publish the (1) work programme, (2) remit, and (3) terms of reference, of any studies by the Commission for Countering-Extremism. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about plans for Commission for Countering-Extremism”