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vital statistics

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One in ten offices are as dry as Death Valley because of air conditioning and heating, says water firm Volvic. Stress caused by dry air in offices costs British businesses £3.5 billion a year.

The fourth quarter of 1998 saw 113,000 applications go to district planning authorities, 2 per cent more than the same period in 1997, says the detr.

More than 13,500 archaeological items were recorded in the first year of a government scheme to register historical finds, says the dcms. They include a rare seventh-century Anglo-Saxon gold and garnet cross from Holderness, E Yorks.

The average council tax bill per home in England will be £656 this year, says the detr. The average rise for two adults in a Band D home in England will be 6.8 per cent, costing £798. This is a rise of £51 on last year.

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