On 13th March 2017 several votes took place on amendments to the Government’s Higher Education and Research Bill. The Bishops of Chester, Durham and St Albans took part.
On 10th March 2017 the House of Lords considered at Second Reading the Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Ratification of Convention) Bill, a Private Member’s Bill that originated in the House of Commons, sponsored in the Lords by Baroness Gale. The Bishop of St Albans spoke in support of the Bill.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: We on these Benches also give our wholehearted support to the Bill. I have been following this issue for some while—indeed, I have participated in previous debate and tabled some Questions. I congratulate Dr Eilidh Whiteford in the other place and the noble Baroness, Lady Gale, on the hard work that they and others have done in getting the Bill so far, and the many agencies involved in getting it to us today, including IC Change.
On 8th March, the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘what further action they are taking to deal with the recent rises in fly-tipping.’ The exchange between the Bishop and the Minister is below, with the follow up questions from other Members.
The Lords Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question standing in my name on the Order Paper. In so doing, I express my regret that I could not find a suitable topical for International Women’s Day.
On 7th March 2017 the House of Lords considered the Government’s EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill at Report. A vote was called on a cross-party amendment to give parliament an approval vote on a negotiated Brexit deal. Ten bishops took part.
On 2nd March 2017 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Hollick “That this House takes note of the Report from the Economic Affairs Committee, Building More Homes (1st Report, HL Paper 20).” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, my thanks go to the noble Lord, Lord Hollick, for tabling this Motion and giving us the opportunity to discuss the Building More Homes report. I am grateful also for the contributions from a number of members of the Economic Affairs Committee, which have been both helpful and enlightening.
On 1st March 2017 the House of Lords considered the Government’s EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill at committee. A vote was called on an amendment from Labour Peer Baronss Hayter. Five Lords Spiritual took part.
On 1st March 2017, the Bishop of St Albans asked a follow up question to Lord Kennedy of Southwark’s oral question on business rates. Lord Kennedy asked what action the government proposed to take in light of concerns expressed about the increases in business rates.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, will the Minister inform the House whether Her Majesty’s Government would look at the feasibility of setting the threshold of business rate relief at a local level, thereby protecting small independent businesses, many of which are now at risk, especially in high-value areas?