On 26th July 2022, the Bishop of Durham asked a question in a debate on the Roma Community: Levelling Up:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, in a recent conversation with Billy Welch, who organises the Appleby Horse Fair and lives in Darlington, he asked—while recognising the deep problems that have been highlighted in all these questions—that we please start talking about the positive contributions that GRT communities make. Would the Minister like to comment on his view?
Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks about views of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities”
On 12th March 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered a written question from Kate Green MP on Gypsy and Traveller sites and plans to tackle racism:
Kate Green (Stretford and Urmston) 27547: To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what progress has been made on (a) making Church land available for Gypsy and Traveller sites and (b) other plans to tackle racism and discrimination as agreed at the General Synod in February 2019.
Continue reading “Church Commissioners Written Answer: Travellers, plans to tackle racism”
On 25th February 2020 the House of Lords debated a motion from Baroness Whittaker, “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to implement the recommendations of the report by the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee, Tackling inequalities faced by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, published on 5 April 2019.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, Gypsy, Roma and Travelling communities face a great deal of marginalisation, which is why I am so grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Whitaker—a redoubtable and feisty campaigner in this area—who keeps bringing this before us. I thank her for that. I am glad that we are raising this issue yet again in your Lordships’ House. She has quoted some of the many stats; I can add a few more and I guess that we will all add a few as we go along.
We know that 90% of Traveller children face racial abuse. The Government’s race audit showed that GRT pupils
“had the lowest attainment of all ethnic groups”.
Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about plans to address low achievement of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children in schools”
On 16th January 2019 the Bishop of Ely, Rt Revd Stephen Conway received three written answers to questions, on school exclusions and the education of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers:
The Lord Bishop of Ely:
(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government, following their Race Disparity Audits, what steps they are taking to ensure that educational institutions improve the standard of reading among Gypsies, Roma and Travellers aged 6–7.
(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government, following their Race Disparity Audits, what steps they are taking to ensure that educational institutions improve attainment at GCSE level for Gypsies, Roma and Travellers.
Continue reading “Bishop of Ely asks about school exclusions and education of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers”
On 17th March 2016 the House of Lords considered the Government’s Housing and Planning Bill in committee. The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke to an amendment he had tabled, which was co-sponsored by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Williams of Oystermouth. The amendment, to clause 115 of the Bill, concerned the requirement on local authorities to assess the needs of Gypsies and Travellers. It was withdrawn after debate, as is usual at committee.The Bishops’ speech and the Minister’s response are below:
THE LORD BISHOP OF ST ALBANS
BARONESS BAKEWELL OF HARDINGTON MANDEVILLE
LORD WILLIAMS OF OYSTERMOUTH
82H Page 53, line 1, leave out subsection (2)
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I shall speak to Amendment 82H, which has broad support across this House. This is a simple probing amendment that would seek to retain Sections 225 and 226 of the Housing Act 2004 in legislation, requiring local authorities to undertake a direct assessment of Gypsy and Traveller needs. I shall also speak to Amendment 82GD, tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Beecham, which may point towards an alternative way forward. Continue reading “Housing Bill: Bishop of St Albans puts amendment to require assessment of needs of Gypsies and Travellers”
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