Bishop of St Albans asks about investment in women’s centres as an alternative to prison

On 8th February 2018 Lord Lee of Trafford asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of the size of the prison population and conditions within prisons.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question about women in prison:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, research by the Ministry of Justice shows that women’s centres have a statistically significant effect on decreasing reoffending rates, are substantially cheaper than keeping women in custody and often allow families to stay together. Will the Minister use his department’s evidence to invest in women’s centres that treat women holistically as the best way forward for many women? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about investment in women’s centres as an alternative to prison”

Bishop of St Albans responds to government statement on Taylor Review of modern working practices

On 7tStAlbans161117h February 2018, the Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Lord Henley made a statement regarding the Taylor Review of modern working practices. The  Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, a number of things are to be welcomed in the Government’s response to the Taylor report but perhaps I may pick up on one small thing. One recommendation is that the Government should develop a free online tool to provide individuals with an indication of their employment status and rights. However, do the Government not realise that a large proportion of the workers who are most vulnerable to exploitation are the very ones who will have least access to that sort of digital connectivity? Will the Minister make a commitment that the question of how more vulnerable people can access this information will be looked at closely when implementing this recommendation? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans responds to government statement on Taylor Review of modern working practices”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about plastics recycling

On 7th February 2018, Baroness Neville-Rolfe asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘what action they are taking to reduce the use of plastic and to ensure that the maximum amount of plastic can be recycled.’ The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith asked a follow-up question: 

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, last year the Environmental Audit Committee recommended a legislated deposit return scheme for plastic drink bottles, which has proved extraordinarily successful in the US, Norway and Germany in improving collection rates and reducing littering. When do the Government plan to do the same in this country? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about plastics recycling”

Bishop of St Albans asks government about unaccompanied asylum-seeking children

St Albans 2On 5th February 2018, Lord Roberts asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘whether they intend to ensure that every failed asylum seeker, and anyone facing removal from the United Kingdom for whatever reason, has access to adequate legal advice.’ The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, research by the Children’s Society shows that unaccompanied and separated children are particularly vulnerable. Only 12 grants for exceptional case funding were made in 2015-16, fewer than 1% of the expected number of cases under the previous system. Hundreds of children are being left without a legal safety net. Can the Minister confirm that the situation of these children will be specifically considered within the review of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks government about unaccompanied asylum-seeking children”

Lords backs Bishop of St Albans’ bill on marriage registration

On 26th January 2018 the Registration of Marriage Bill [HL], a Private Member’s Bill by the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, was debated at Second Reading in the Lords. It received the backing of Government all other parties, and having passed Second Reading now proceeds to Committee. The speeches of the Bishop opening and closing the debate, and the Government Minister’s reply are reproduced in full below:

Second Reading

12.42 pm

Moved by

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: That the Bill be now read a second time.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, the purpose of this Bill is to correct a clear and historic injustice. When a couple are married and that marriage is registered, there is currently provision only for a father’s name to be recorded. This is an archaic practice and unchanged since Victorian times, when children were seen as a father’s property and little consideration was given to a mother’s role in raising them. Continue reading “Lords backs Bishop of St Albans’ bill on marriage registration”

Bishop of St Albans asks how much food consumed in UK is imported

StAlbans161117On the 23 January 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question about food security:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans : To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of food consumed in the UK was imported from the EU in (1) 1990, (2) 1995, (3) 2000, (4) 2005, (5) 2010, (6) 2015, and (7) 2017. [HL4655]

Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks how much food consumed in UK is imported”

Bishop of St Albans suggests ways to mark the Windrush 70th anniversary

Baroness Berridge asked Her Majesty’s Government “what plans they have to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the arrival of MV Empire Windrush.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I am grateful that the noble Baroness, Lady Berridge, tabled this debate, and in particular that she has framed it in the context of a celebration. Having said that, we also need to face the fact that there are a number of quite shameful things in our history that we need to confront. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans suggests ways to mark the Windrush 70th anniversary”