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vital statistics

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The government claims the number of people sleeping rough on Britain's streets has dropped by 400 - or 28 per cent - in the past year. However, homeless charity Crisis estimates that for every person sleeping rough there are 350 homeless persons lodged in shelters or temporary accommodation. There were 27,700 people classed as 'priority homeless' in the first quarter of this year.

Building tender price rises are set to exceed inflation and increase by 17 per cent in the next five years, according to the Building Cost Information Service. Inflation is predicted to run at 12 per cent over the same period.

The Architects Registration Board has spent £625,000 on the refurbishment of its central London headquarters by de Rijke Marsh Morgan.The one-off expenditure represents 40 per cent of its income from registration and retention fees in 1999.

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