House of Lords: Bishop David speaks in debates on levelling up, housing and strikes
Last week Bishop David took part in a number of House of Lords debates on the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill, the Government’s Local Housing Allowance freeze and the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill.
On Wednesday, Bishop David spoke in support of the crossbench peer Lord Best’s Amendment 221 to the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill. This amendment would enable the Secretary of State include older people’s housing needs assessments in documentation related to local plans. Bishop David highlighted the country’s growing older population and the housing crisis, and the need to ensure the elderly are not neglected in housing solutions. He also shared from his experience as a board member of the Wythenshawe Community Housing Group, highlighting their recent housing developments for older people. You can watch his full speech here:
Also on Wednesday, Bishop David spoke in a debate on the Local Housing Allowance freeze that has been in place since April 2020. He spoke to his experiences as Chair of the Manchester Homelessness Partnership. The Partnership have seen an increasing number of individuals who have been made homeless due to being unable to pay increasing private tenancy rents. Bishop David also expressed his concerns about the lack of available information accompanying the secondary legislation under debate setting out why the Government has decided to continue the freeze. He urged the Government to end the freeze on Local Housing Allowance now. You can watch his full speech here:
On Thursday, Bishop David asked a supplementary question during the Oral Question ‘Lord Goddard of Stockport to ask His Majesty’s Government how they justify further extending the contract for Avanti West Coast, given its service record over the last six months’. Bishop David spoke particularly to the lack of service provision on Avanti West Coast trains. You can watch his question and the minister’s response here:
Bishop David then took part in the Committee Stage debate of the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill.
He began by speaking in favour of two amendments that would ensure there is consultation to assess what a normal service level is and what the impact of the Bill would be on staff recruitment and retention. You can watch his speech on these amendments here:
Next, Bishop David spoke in support of an amendment that would ensure work notices are used as a last resort by the Government after other options have been exhausted. He echoed concerns raised by the Joint Committee on Human Rights that the Bill’s provisions on work notices are at risk of falling foul of the requirements of Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights. You can watch his speech on this amendment here:
Bishop David then spoke in support of amendments that would continue protections of employees’ rights and prevent unfair dismissal. He echoed the Royal College of Nursing’s concerns that the Bill will exacerbate ongoing healthcare workforce shortages. You can watch his full speech on these amendments here:
Next, Bishop David spoke in support of amendments that would remove provisions in the Bill that allow the Government to repeal or revoke law either retrospectively or prospectively. He expressed concern about the use of Henry VIII powers in the Bill. You can watch his full speech on these amendments here:
The Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill completed its Committee Stage unamended. It will next go through its Report Stage. By convention, all Amendments were withdrawn. This is done to allow time for the government to consider its response before further Amendments are submitted at the next (Report) Stage.
The Church Times covered this story in their article here.