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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the likelihood of the government of South Sudan withdrawing from peace talks on Abyei. 
Meg Munn [holding answer 17 March 2008]: The Government of Southern Sudan has repeatedly re-affirmed its commitment to finding a lasting resolution to Abyei. We understand the National Congress Party and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement are in negotiations on Abyei; that a sub-committee in the presidency has been established to broker a deal; and they may be close to a final agreement. We stand ready to assist as necessary once an agreement is reached.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the cost to the public purse was of the works at 70 Whitehall associated with planning application 06/09368/FULL; and on what date the works were completed. 
Phil Hope: The Charities Act 2006 provides a statutory definition of a charity in England and Wales. To be a charity, an organisation must be established for charitable purposes only and those purposes must be for the public benefit. The Government are committed to review the impact of the public benefit requirement within three years of its coming into force. There is also a statutory requirement for a review of the operation of the Act to be underway within five years of enactment, and for the report of that review to be presented to Parliament.
Phil Hope: The Government have no policy to withdraw charitable status from any class of charity. The Charities Act 2006 provides a statutory definition of charity in England and Wales. To be a charity, an organisation must be established for charitable purposes only and those purposes must be for the public benefit. It is for the Charity Commission, as the independent registrar and regulator of charities in England and Wales, to determine whether a particular institution is, or is not, a charity.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) what factors he took into account in making the decision to discontinue the funding of the Community Champions scheme from April 2008; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what consultations he undertook with (a) hon. Members, (b) local authorities, (c) the charity sector and (d) other stakeholders before making the decision to discontinue the funding of the Community Champions Scheme from 1 April 2008; and if he will make a statement. 
Contracts for this programme were issued by Government offices with a clear end date of March 2008. There was no expectation that they would be extended beyond that date. The decision to confirm that this programme would not continue beyond March was taken as part of the much larger prioritisation process in the 2007 comprehensive spending review. It was not the subject of specific consultation. The decision was informed by DfES priorities expressed through the published five-year strategy, as well as by the approach to working with local areas and funding local activity signalled in the Local Government White Paper Strong and Prosperous Communities in October 2006. There has been substantial consultation with the community and voluntary sector over the White Paper reforms.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement on the current dispute between his Department and the Professional and Commercial Services trade union over pay; and what plans he has to renew negotiations. 
Mr. Watson: The Cabinet Office and PCS are engaging constructively through regular meetings to discuss pay, job reductions and relocations, and other issues which form the current PCS civil service-wide dispute.
Greg Mulholland: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what assessment he has made of the LinkAge Plus pilot schemes; and whether he plans to implement the LinkAge Plus scheme nationwide. 
To build a robust evidence base to support the case for joined up services in terms of delivering better outcomes for older people;
To build an evidence base that supports the economic, as well as social, case for fully joined up/holistic services for older people;
To test the limits of holistic working; and
To build a body of good practice and lessons learned for other partnerships and communities so as to encourage wider application of the approach, beyond pilot sites.
In addition local evaluators have been appointed by each pilot to test the success of the projects in local terms. Their evidence will contribute to the national evaluation. A series of thematic reports will be produced during the life of the projects with a final summary report scheduled for publication by March 2009. The first thematic reportTowards a Business Case for LinkAge Pluswas published in November 2007 on the DWP website.
The current LinkAge Plus pilots will end their funded activity by October 2008. There are no plans to fund any further pilot activity beyond this date. We are already sharing lessons learned from the pilot activity in order to encourage continuing sustainable joined-up services for older people (for example through the new Social Care Reform Grant).
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many branded plastic bags were purchased by the (a) Cabinet Office, (b) Government Communications Network and (c) Central Office of Information Network in the last 36 months; for what purpose; and at what cost in each case. 
Greg Mulholland: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what progress has been made in implementing the recommendations accepted by the Government in the Social Exclusion Unit's report, A Sure Start to Later Life, on social exclusion among older people. 
The Government have made good progress on the recommendations in A Sure Start to Later Life. This has included the successful roll out of LinkAge Plus pilots, the introduction of age discrimination legislation, the new PSA focused on older people (to tackle poverty and promote greater independence and well-being in later life), and the development of a National Housing Strategy for Older People, due to be published shortly.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) what progress has been made on ensuring third sector organisations providing services in Eddisbury are awarded three-year contracts; 
Phil Hope: This Government are committed to ensuring that three year funding for third sector organisations becomes the norm rather than the exception. I will be reporting on Government progress in meeting this funding commitment to HM Treasury on an annual basis. The first report will be made in the autumn 2008 and will be laid before Parliament. It is expected that local authorities will be making reports on three year funding from 2009 onwards.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to the answer of 3 March 2008, Official Report, column 2208W, on the Warwick Task Force Group Compact, which (a) organisations and (b) individuals attended each of the group's six meetings. 
Her Majesty's Prison Service
2007-08 to date: £10,311
Grand Total: £59,593
Her Majesty's Court Service
National Offenders Management Service
Office of Criminal Justice reform
Office of the Public Guardian
Information on payments made by the non departmental public bodies sponsored by the Department are held by the bodies themselves under separate accounting systems. This information is not held centrally.
|Number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts, found guilty at all courts, fined and given a custodial sentence for supplying or intending to supply cannabis, England and Wales, 2006( 1, 2)|
|Offence||Statute||Proceeded against||Found guilty||Fined||Immediate custody|
|(1 )These data are on the principal offence basis.|
(2 )Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
Court proceedings data held by RDS OCJR - Ministry of Justice
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