Live Commissioners Questions House of Commons


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Live Commissioners Questions

Live coverage of questions to the Church commissioners, House of Commons Commission, Public Accounts Commission and Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission.


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accommodate everyone. Yes, I met him

and others to discuss the challenges

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of Northern Ireland border and I can

reassure him the government is fully

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appraised of this concern.

We must

move on. Questions to the chairman

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of public Accounts Commission and

the member f Houghton and Sunderland

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South and the member for Merrydom.

Question 1.

The national audit

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office has operated a scheme since

2011, this includes setting targets

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to reduce or eliminate waste. It has

implemented steps to minimise the

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use of single use plastics, for

example it does not use single use

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plastic bottles or cups and

encourages the use of reusable

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coffee cups in its cafe.

Encourage

the National Audit Office to be an

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exempla in eliminating single use

plastic.

My honourable friend is an

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exempla of an assiduous member of

Parliament. I should say in passing

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that it is catering team has to deal

with one supplier to collect and

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reuse packages so it has changed

from being delivered in cardboard

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and single use plastic to reusable

plastic crates instead. Isn't that

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marvellous.

No 3.

The chuff

investors groups manages a fund of

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£17 billion of which the church

commissioners assets represent 8

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billion. The commissioners have

discharged their responsibilities by

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voting on issues including executive

renumeration and climate change and

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gender disversety, disclose of pay

ratios and the payment of at least

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the living wage to staff.

I am

grateful for that apps. Answer. I

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would if she set out the approach

the chur commissioners are taking.

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This is one of responsibilities and

commissioners will vote against the

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chair of a company if they're

assessed as not having made

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sufficient progress in addressing

climate change. I'm pleased to share

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the good news that at a resolution

file bed ed by the church

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commissioners which asked Exxon to

report on how its business model

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would help tackle climate change.

Commissioners voted in favour of

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that.

We have already had the

honourable lady.

No 4.

The Church of

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England signed an accord with the

Government to enable... Yes? Sorry,

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Mr Speak -- Mr Speak we are respect.

The Church of England signed an

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accord with the Government to enable

churches to improve broadband and

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mobile connective, particularly in

rural areas. This sets out how the

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church can collaborate to achieve

this.

The tariffs of St Peter's

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could help with connectivity in an

area which suffers from lack of

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connectivity. Could my honourable

friend give my constituents some

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guidance as to guide their way

through the planning system in order

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to help them to apply...

Yes the

honourable lady's constituency has

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seen a significant improvement in

broadband coverage, currently at

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95.5%, up from 19% in 2010. But I

would encourage to get the churches

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to contact Church House to find out

how they can avail themselves of

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this new opportunity. The church has

in this reached agreed with

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broadband providers to provide a

standard contract. I would like to

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pay tribute to the Secretary of

State at DCMS and the Parliamentary

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under-Secretary at DEFRA for getting

this initiative of working together

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to get our rural and urban mobile

knot spots.

I would like to thank my

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honourable friend, on international

women's 's day it seems right to

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mention a church in my constituency

that is installing

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telecommunications in her tower.

What more can my honourable friend

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do to encourage others to follow?

My

honourable friend is doing a very

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good job of demonstrating to the

whole House the difference that it

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can make when we as members of

Parliament make our constituents in

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knot spots aware of is in new

agreement. That if members have

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churches with tall tower and spires,

these can be used to bounce the

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broadband signal into existing knot

spots and the example of the church

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that he referred to is to give

encouragement to all and within his

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constituency I would encourage to

get those churches to apply too.

I

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hear what the the honourable lady

says, will she include in the work

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that the church is doing churches

that have been closed, because of

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course they are often in the most

rural and isolated areas and it is

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sometimes unclear what their status

is. It could be an important way to

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use these buildings.

The Church of

England has put its entire assets at

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the disposal of the Government. That

includes churches, schools and land

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where necessary, because for example

you can beam a signal from a church

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spire to the brow of the hill down

into the next village. Those assets

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are all bound up in this accord.

Thank you. It is good news that t

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Church of England is making their

building available for this, but it

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is important that for the historical

artefacts or could be displayed in

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small parishes who have dedicated

Royal British Legion facilities and

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have historical displays, they could

also be displayed in churches of

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Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

This new accord regarding Wi-Fi and

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mobile coverage will make the

churches a hotspot, not a knot spot

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community and may bring people the

benefit of a good signal and thereby

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discover the wonderful artefact the

churches offer. While the accord has

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been signed with the Church of

England, I know the Government wants

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to offer the same opportunity to

other denominations, because the aim

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is to get that universal coverage.

Question No 6.

The commission has a

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duty to monitor the political fps

rules and secure compliance with

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them. The amount spent on compliance

fluctuate and tends to intensify

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around electoral events. This

includes creating guidance for

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parties and monitoring campaign

activity and checking returns from

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parties and the enforcement of the

rules. In the 2017 financial year,

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the budget is £2.66 million.

Grateful for that answer. Can I make

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the point to her and can she make

the point to the commission on our

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behalf that it is all very well

putting these extra compliant costs

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on political party, which are

substantial, when they're fully

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funded by the taxpayers and parties

have to raise their own finances.

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I'm sure officials will have heard

the honourable gentleman's comments.

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The commission provides year round

advice and engages with political

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parties as the honourable gentleman

is aware from his many meetings with

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the commission. I'm sure they would

welcome the opportunity to discuss

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any such suggestions with him again.

Following the disgraceful decision

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by the Government to keep secret the

source of 425,000 donation to the

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Leave campaign by the DUP, meaning

that the public have no idea where

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this money came from, what more can

the commission do to make sure we

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have transparency in the system.

The

commission welcomes the existing

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order that will provide information

about donations and loans received

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by parties in Northern Ireland. But

the commission will want to s

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transparency going back to 2014.

Charities and academics are warning

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the Government that the trials for

compulsory voter ID this May risk

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disenfranchising large numbers of

vulnerable people. How will the

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commission monitor these pilots

which are a disproportionate

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response to the scale of electoral

fraud?

My honourable friend makes an

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important point on this and refers

to the pilots that the Government

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are carrying out. No one wants to

see any voters turned away, but the

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extent to which voters in pilot

areas are unable to vote on 3rd and

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May and why will be a key element of

evaluation of pilot scheme and they

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will want to hear from any people

that find themselves affected.

Yes

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No 7.

The national church

institutions provide advice to

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churches and cathedrals about what

funding is available. They can

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advice about other funds apart from

landfill, and the new plastic fund

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which is also available.

Can I

inform the honourable lady many of

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the religious buildings are ignorant

about the money that the trust roles

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that comes from landfill tax. If the

churches have a broader community

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activity they do qualify. Could that

be better known?

I think the sheer

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fact that the honourable gentleman

has made us all aware of this in the

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House and that it will be recorded

will be extremely helpful, but I

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also wanted to mention apart from

the landfill communities fund, which

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is actually spent £106 million since

it was created on the restoration of

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places of worship, that the

relatively new plastic tax bags fund

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is another source for places of

worship and goes beyond the 10 mile

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radius from a landfill site, which

is a constraint on that fund.

You

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will be aware we have church

buildings in Scotland and the burden

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of maintaining them is onerous for

to churches. Will these churches be

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able to apply for similar funding

north of the board sner

rder in? I'm

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not responsible for the churches in

Scotland. But I'm prepared to make d

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to make inquiries with the church of

Scotland. The Church of England has

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many parishebased things to help the

homeless. 3,000 people took shelter

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in churches last winter. That was

53% up on the year before and I

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expect with the severity of the

winter we have had that number will

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increase again.

I was hungry and you

gave me nothing to eat, I was a

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stranger and you did not invite me

in... We can't wait until 2027 in

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order to see homelessness eliminated

I would like to know how the Church

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of England will use its estate to

make sure people have shelter this

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year?

The honourable lady reads that

verse which always challenges me,

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one day when my maker asked me were

you homeless did you shelter me. The

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growing initiative in the church for

night shelter has been remarkable. I

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have heard it in the news how often

the church was mentioned as the

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place where homeless people could

shelter. I would like to pay tribute

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to my former head mistress who

helped set up a night shelter, which

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I saw how the church had to be

adapted with a toilet and shower and

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how people prepared meals and

volunteers

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Live coverage of questions in the House of Commons to the Church commissioners, House of Commons Commission, Public Accounts Commission and Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission.