Nigel Griffiths: Staff within the Leader of the House of Commons Office are supplied by the Privy Council Office (PCO). The PCO uses a competency based staff recruitment and appraisal system. Communication is one of these competencies and it encompasses a wide range of skills, the level of which is dependent on the individual post. In addition, each member of staff has a personal development plan, tailored to meet their training and development needs.
To ask the Leader of the House how many hon. Members' constituency offices have been connected to broadband; and how many hon. Members who have
27 Oct 2005 : Column 497W
applied for broadband in their constituency offices have been waiting to be connected for (a) six months, (b) one year and (c) two years and over. 
Nigel Griffiths: 404 current Members have been connected to broadband in their constituency by the Parliamentary Communications Directorate (PCD). In addition to this number, some Members may have made their own arrangements to procure a broadband connection in their constituency, for which there are no central records.
The broadband connection is needed to support Parliament's Virtual Private Network (VPN) service. Where Members have the upgraded Personal Computers necessary to support VPN, orders to install are generally being completed within 28 days of their receipt.
Not all Members took up an invite to upgrade their Personal Computers and this has resulted in a very small number of MPs who have recently requested broadband and VPN services without the necessary upgraded Personal Computers to support it. However, they will have their equipment replaced in the first phase of a large PCD project due to commence in November and this will ensure that their requests can be met.
Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners are (a) eligible for council tax benefit and (b) in receipt of council tax benefit in (i) Basingstoke, (ii) Hampshire and (iii) England. 
Mr. Plaskitt: Information on the take up of council tax benefit is not available below national level. The latest available information is in "Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take Up in 2002/2003", a copy of which is in the Library.
|Basingstoke and Deane borough council
Margaret Hodge [holding answer 26 October 2005]: The Department for Work and Pensions priorities for the next five years are set out in the Department's Five-Year Strategy "Opportunity and security throughout life", Cm 6447, which is available in the Library.
promote work as the best form of welfare for people of working age and remove barriers to work (thereby move towards the aim of 80 per cent. of the working population in employment), while protecting the position of those in greatest need;
The public service agreement targets agreed in Spending Review 2004 for the Department for Work and Pensions outline the Departmental aims, objectives and performance targets, and who is responsible for their delivery. The PSA took effect from April 2005.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the levels of (a) employment and (b) income in Hornsey and Wood Green constituency; and if he will make a statement. 
Edward Miliband: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many job vacancies there are in Doncaster, North constituency; how many there were 12 months ago; and what the national vacancy rate is per 1,000 of population. 
Jobcentre Plus handles only a proportion of vacancies notified by employers. Consequently the figures do not represent the total number of job vacancies available in Doncaster, North. Jobcentre Plus vacancy data by parliamentary constituency was made available for the first time in June 2005 with back data to November 2004.
27 Oct 2005 : Column 499W
|Number of unfilled vacancies
The number of job vacancies in the United Kingdom in the three months to September 2005 is provisionally estimated as 625,100 on average (seasonally adjusted) based on the Office for National Statistics' Vacancy Survey. This represents a ratio of 24 unfilled vacancies per 1,000 employee jobs or 17 unfilled vacancies per 1,000 of population of working age. Job vacancy figures are published in table 21 of the ONS monthly Labour Market Statistics First Release.
For comparison, the number of job vacancies in the United Kingdom in the three months to September 2004 is estimated as 643,200 on average (seasonally adjusted) based on the Office for National Statistics' Vacancy Survey. This represents a ratio of 25 unfilled vacancies per 1,000 employee jobs or 17 unfilled vacancies per 1,000 of population of working age.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people have been contacted by the Highways Agency regarding compulsory purchase orders on property affected by the proposed A21 upgrade. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Highways Agency have not contacted any individuals regarding compulsory purchase orders on property affected by the proposed A21 upgrade as the draft orders have not yet been published or made.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many properties have been purchased by the Highways Agency in connection with the proposed A21 upgrade between Flimwell and Robertsbridge. 
The joint Treasury/DTI/DfT/ODPM document, "Regional Funding AllocationsGuidance on Preparing Advice", published in July 2005, included indicative annual spending guidelines for expenditure on housing, transport and economic development, and explained the basis of the regional advice that the Government would like to receive by the end of January 2006.
27 Oct 2005 : Column 500W
I am aware that the South East Transport Board has recently considered the relative priority of a number of major transport projects, including some on the A21. However the Board has not completed its work and when it has, its views will feed into the wider advice requested. I expect that advice to be submitted to Government in January next year.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list compulsory purchase orders made in connection with the proposed A21 upgrade between Flimwell and Robertsbridge; and what the average payment made has been.