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vital statistics

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Around 40,000 people die every year because their homes are too cold, says the National Housing Federation. A further 14 million live in homes they cannot afford to heat properly.

Garages, costing on average £3600 each, house 5 million bikes, 4 million ladders and 2 million old cookers, says a survey by Autoglass. Strangely, 70 per cent of the 11 million garage owners rarely put cars in them.

Judges have turned down West Sussex County Council's bid to go to the Court of Appeal to block deputy pm John Prescott's order for 50,700 new homes.

Workmen who dig up 7000 cobblestones on a Last of the Summer Wine to lay pipes will have to number each one. The job in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire will cost £60,000.

During 1998 178,300 homes were started in the uk, compared with 188,800 in 1997, a fall of 6 per cent. Completions numbered 171,600 compared with 178,100 the year before, a 4 per cent fall.

Lottery punters have won £10 billion, says Camelot. The biggest single win is £22.5 million. The highest-ever jackpot, £42 million, was shared between three winners. Camelot makes about £1 million a week in after- tax profits.

Coca-Cola is Britain's favourite brand, with sales of over £580 million last year, says Marketing magazine. Walkers is second, selling up to £405 million worth of crisps.

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