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vital statistics

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Britain proved to be the biggest market for hotel developments in Europe last year, notching up £352 million in sales. Germany was second at £318 million and Spain third with annual sales of £313 million.

Humberside is where the UK's cheapest housing can be found, according to a survey by the Halifax. The average price of a semi in south Humberside is £47,900, compared with £110,600 in Lothian, £189,550 in Berkshire and £207,550 in Greater London.

Local government ombudsmen received 19,179 Housing Benefit complaints in 2000-01 and dealt with 18,220 of them.Both are records.New complaints were 9.3 per cent up on the previous year.

Analysts estimate that oil companies have now extracted half of the North Sea's oil reserves. Having produced 26 billion barrels since the 1970s, there are 26 billion to go.

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