On 20th June 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a question he had tabled to Government on serious youth violence:
The Lord Bishop of St Alban: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to address youth violence.
Baroness Barran (Con): My Lords, with the leave of the House, before I respond to the right reverend Prelate I am sure that the Chamber will join me in feeling profound regret at the recent tragic events and note that our thoughts are with the families of those who have been affected on our streets. The Government are taking steps to address all aspects of youth violence, from prevention to enforcement. Diverting young people away from crime is at the heart of our approach, which is why we are investing more than £220 million in early intervention schemes to steer children and young people away from serious violence.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, last weekend at least four people were killed through serious violence on the streets of the capital, and on Tuesday a young person in Luton, in my own diocese, was stabbed more than 20 times. Among all those who are trying to work on this problem, the churches have been involved, and indeed one church has produced a public statue of a phoenix made from 500 knives that had been reclaimed through a knife amnesty—a question of turning swords into ploughshares. Can the Minister tell us whether Her Majesty’s Government have made an assessment of the effectiveness of weapons amnesties in reducing the number of weapons on the streets, and whether more such initiatives are being planned?
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On 11th June 2019 the Earl of Glasgow led a short debate on the question to Government, “what assessment they have made of the operation of the theatre market in (1) London, and (2) elsewhere in the United Kingdom; and what steps they are taking to ensure that theatre is accessible to as wide an audience as possible.” The Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Dr Christopher John Cocksworth, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Coventry: My Lords, even though the Arts Council analysis of theatre in England reveals how the Midlands is underserved in theatre, I speak from a diocese that has international, national, regional and local treasures, and from a city that will be the UK’s City of Culture in 2021.
The million or so people of Coventry and Warwickshire are rich in creativity and are reaching out for the sort of accessibility that is the intention of the noble Earl, Lord Glasgow, whom I thank for securing this important debate and for his wide-ranging introductory speech. I am very glad to speak in this debate, not least because I am the only speaker in costume today—fittingly dressed.
Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry on the place of theatre in upcoming Coventry City of Culture celebrations”
On 6th June 2019 the House of Lords debated a Motion from Lord Faulkner of Worcester, “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their response to the report of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Heritage Rail, Engaging the Next Generation: Young People and Heritage Railways.” The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, while congratulating the noble Lord, Lord Faulkner, on securing this debate, I must confess to some surprise at standing to speak in it. I have little knowledge or experience of heritage railways, despite having had such a beast going through the village where I was for eight years a vicar in Rothley in Leicestershire and now having several in the diocese of Leeds. I am not proud of my ignorance, but engineering never quite got me; I guess I was more of a media studies man. I fully accept that this probably makes me a rarity among clergy in the Church of England, but I do see the import of this report and fully endorse what this debate seeks to achieve.
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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”
On 29th March the Bishop of St Albans received a written answer to a question on youth services in rural areas:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the report State of Rural Services 2018, published by Rural England in February, and in particular of the impact of the closure of youth centres on young people; and what impact access to services has on young people’s engagement in risky behaviour compared to those living in urban areas. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about youth centres in rural areas”
On 20th March 2019 the Bishop of St Albans Rt Revd Alan Smith, received written answers to three questions on gambling, students and young people:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans:
(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the findings of the National Union of Students’ gambling survey, published on 25 February, that (1) three in five students have gambled in some way over the past 12 months, (2) almost one in ten have used all or some of their student loan to gamble, and (3) four per cent of respondents owed over £20,000 as a result of gambling.
(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the findings of the National Union of Students’ gambling survey, published on 25 February, that 29 per cent of respondents were under the age of 16 when they had first gambled.
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