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13Jan94 UK: HOMES TAKE BRUNT OF COUNCIL CUTS.

Housing has borne the brunt of government cuts in council spending on building, suffering a 45 per cent slump in real terms in the past 10 years.This claim came last week from Labour's shadow local government minister, Doug Henderson.Mr Henderson's figures relate to capital spending, which includes new building, road construction, major refurbishment and modernisations, but not day-to-day minor repairs.The areas worst hit by these cuts were the North and Greater London, he said. Rural counties have seen their share of capital spending rise in the same period.Mr Henderson said: 'There has been a massive decline in capital spending by local authorities over the past 10 years which has led to crumbling classrooms, dangerous roads, run-down housing estates and clapped-out community centres.'And he warned that the country was spending far less of its national income on public building than it did in 1982/83.According to figures given to Mr Henderson by government ministers in parliamentary questions, the total of capital spending on housing by councils in 1982/83 was £3,235 million.By 1992/93 this had fallen to £2,650 million.In real terms, 81 per cent more money - £4,804 million - would have been needed to keep spending up to 1982/83 levels.Capital spending on school buildings did increase in real terms, from £432 million to £797 million, but Mr Henderson said this still represented a 7 per cent decline in the share of national income put into schools.Only spending on roads and public transport rose in real terms and kept its share of national income, rising from £614 million to £1,200 million. CONSTRUCTION NEWS