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vital statistics

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Building inspectors who visited 100 sites in London served 50 with prohibition notices, all but one concerning protection for the public.

Two-thirds of the public think that the 2500-year-old Elgin Marbles should be returned to Greece, according to a Mori poll of public and mps. Some 47 per cent of mps favoured return, against 44 per cent in favour of keeping the marbles in the uk.

The costs of administering Arts Council Lottery awards soared to nearly £23 million last year, £8 million more than the previous year. It is more than twice the amount spent by the Heritage Lottery fund, which also distributes around £300 million a year.

The number of planning appplications and related consents received by local authorities fell in all districts of England, except the West Midlands, in the second quarter of 1998 to 132,000. The biggest reduction, 8 per cent, was in the East Midlands.

Some 45 per cent of complaints investigated by local government are decided within 10 weeks, 73 per cent in 20 weeks and 90 per cent in 40 weeks. The average time it takes to investigate complaints is 14.5 weeks.

Clay roof-tile sales increased 13 per cent in the first half of 1998, compared with a growth of only 5 per cent in roofing products in general. In the last two years sales have increased by 18.8 per cent.

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