Your right to bring this up Ian , What Labour did was bordering on disgraceful
the USSR of Sandwell & Birmingham were part of the Labour Governments Housing Market Renewal (HMR) Pathfinders in 2002
which operated in areas of low housing demand.
They were designed to remove surplus housing stock in areas where demand for housing is relatively weak; areas which have seen a significant decline in population.
In Sandwell during 2000-2010 over 1,399 homes were flattened as a result of Labours HMR programme, which caused national controversy because of the number of properties demolished.
This demolition program had a knock on effect on local schools forcing them to close during this time over 2000 primary and secondary school places were removed in Sandwell, from the boroughs education system
As there is a time lag in collecting statistics the fools were knocking down homes as populations were increasing
Read this http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/the-demolition-explosion/6518821.article
or read this it talks about Birmingham http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDcQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.parliament.uk%2Fbriefing-papers%2FSN05953.pdf&ei=lDphUZrvBcHPOebzgZgE&usg=AFQjCNF-rhNBo_MCGGG5VVaUFLBh63k9DQ&bvm=bv.44770516,d.ZWU