Phil Hope: The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) estimates that for 2004-05 the total income from statutory sources to the voluntary sector was £10.2 billion. This has doubled from £5 billion in 1996-97. This is the most significant driver of the sectors financial growth in the last 10 years.
11. David Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what procedures are in place to record hospitality or entertainment received by and offered to senior civil servants of his Department. 
Phil Hope: As outlined in the Third Sector Review, the Government will be investing £117 million in youth volunteering through v from 2008-11. This is the biggest ever investment in youth volunteering.
The youth-led volunteering charity v was established in May 2006 with the mission to inspire one million more young people to volunteer. Since its establishment, v has created over 200,000 volunteering opportunities for young people.
Edward Miliband: The Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund has budgeted to distribute £375,000, up from £345,000 last year, of which £290,000 is allocated to the County Palatine and the balance to other geographical areas where the Duchy has links.
Julie Morgan: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what assessment he has made of the contribution of the third sector to the development of social policy; and if he will make a statement. 
Gillian Merron: The number of staff working in support of each of three Cabinet objectives can be found on page 50 of the Cabinet Office Annual Report and Resource accounts, copies of which are available in the Library for the reference of Members.
Gillian Merron: The figures requested are published by the Office for National Statistics in Civil Service Statistics. The latest figures are available in Table H of Civil Service Statistics 2006 at:
Gillian Merron: Details of the cost of overseas travel, including the cost of travel and accommodation are contained in the Overseas Travel by Cabinet Ministers list. The latest list for the period 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007 was published on 25 July 2007. Details for the 2007-08 financial year will be published as soon as possible after the end of the financial year. All overseas travel, including accommodation, is made in accordance with the Ministerial Code.
Gillian Merron: The Cabinet Office has contributed £300,000 to the Get Safe Online initiative in the last three years alongside contributions from the corporate sponsors including eBay, HSBC, Microsoft, Cable and Wireless and Symantec. The Cabinet Office will be contributing a further £150,000 towards this year's ongoing awareness campaign which includes internet safety road shows, web advertising, online quizzes and competitions and direct marketing.
Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many times on average members of his Department's staff based in the provincial reconstruction team in Lashkar Gah left the team's compound other than by air in each of the last six months. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: Average monthly moves vary depending on the assessed security situation. For the last six months, an individual member has left the team's compound an average of 9.6 times per month by ground. This applies to all staff except those in an administrative/support role who are not expected to leave the base except by air.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions (a) he and (b) his Department have had with (i) French and (ii) Colombian officials on negotiations to secure the release of Ingrid Betancourt and other hostages kidnapped by Colombian guerillas; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: I have not held talks specifically on Ingrid Betancourt with French or Colombian counterparts. I and my noble Friend the former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, have discussed the issue of hostage taking with our Colombian counterparts, within the context of the ongoing internal conflict in Colombia. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials and our ambassador in Bogota have held discussions on these issues with French and Colombian counterparts.
Hostage taking in any form can never be justified. It is unacceptable that illegal armed groups in Colombia have kidnapped thousands of innocent civilians, including Mrs. Betancourt. EU Council Conclusions on Colombia, agreed in November 2007, included the following points on hostage taking and humanitarian exchanges of prisoners:
The Council strongly condemns the violations of International Humanitarian Law that continue to be committed by the illegal armed groups. In this context it demands that they stop kidnapping and all other acts of terrorism or violence against the civilian population forthwith. The Council reaffirms the EUs solidarity with the Colombian government, the Colombian people and all victims of those acts. It also reiterates its firm demand that the illegal armed groups stop kidnappings and release all detained hostages immediately and unconditionally, and cease all hostilities.
The Council hopes that progress will be made in taking forward negotiations between the Colombian government and illegal armed groups, in order to reach a humanitarian agreement, and secure the release of all hostages, to overcome the armed conflict and bring lasting peace to Colombia. In the same spirit, the European Union welcomes all initiatives taken with the Colombian governments support with the objective of promoting a successful peace process.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the standard terms and conditions of purchase used by his Department in procurement of goods and services from the private sector prohibit the assignment of debt. 
Mr. Jim Murphy:
There is no express provision in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's model contracts prohibiting the assignment of debt. However, there is a provision which says that the contractor shall not assign, sub-contract or in any other way dispose of the
contract or any part of it without the contracting authority's prior approval. On the basis that a prohibition on assignment of debt is a prohibition on a supplier from assigning money owed to it under a contract, we take this provision to mean that a contractor may not assign its debts, without approval from the contracting authority.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on the means of securing an earlier termination of the term of office of the President of the European Council envisaged under the draft EU Reform Treaty; what representations he has received on the subject; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The Government support a full-time president of the European Council, appointed for a mandate of two and a half years, renewable once. He or she will replace the current president of the European Council, who changes every six months. He or she will be chosen by heads of state and government by qualified majority and will be accountable to them. Having a full-time chair of the European Council will bring greater coherence and consistency to the EU's actions; and will give member states greater capacity to give direction and momentum to the EU's agenda.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made in the cases of Daniel Bekele and Netsanet Demissie, currently on trial in Ethiopia. 
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary made this clear when he met Ethiopian Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin on 13 November. More recently, my noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, Baroness Vadera, and our Ambassador in Addis Ababa reiterated this point when they met Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi on 21 November.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether his Department compiles statistics on the numbers of British citizens resident and working in each of the new acessession states of the European Union. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: Our network of posts overseas are asked each year to provide an estimate of the number of British nationals resident in their Consular areas. The results of the 2006-07 survey for those states that have joined the EU since 2004 (accession states) are recorded as follows. We do not, however, compile data about the specific activities of British citizens resident overseas.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what the roles of (a) the EU External Action Service and (b) his Department will be in developing areas of policy where a EU common position has been decided if the Treaty of Lisbon is ratified; 
No decisions have yet been taken on the organisation and functioning of the External Action Service, or on the timing of when formal discussions between the member states on the External Action Service should begin. But the treaty does provide for the organisation to assist the work of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to implement the decisions of the European Council and the Council, represent the Union for matters relating to the Common Foreign and Security Policy and organise the co-ordination of member states action in international organisations and at international conferences. The treaty also specifies that the External Action Service shall operate in co-operation with the diplomatic services of the member states.
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