Group ‘good at bidding but not  at delivery’ says PAC chairman Margaret Hodge

Out of town, into four bedrooms

Ready to trade cafe society for a house with a garden? Then consider Hertfordshire, says Felicity Cannell

Music: Lyric Sheets: IAN DURY

Ian Dury, author of Billericay Dicky and many other songs, performed with Paul Weller in East London last weekend. His new record is called "Mr Love Pants'

Bleepers for opening peepers of railway sleepers

THE JURY is still out on whether Britain is booming, but most of the country, at the moment, seems to be bleeping. Pagers, mobile phones, personal organisers, microwaves, car alarms, and coming soon to a train near you, Clive Wollington's "personal destination indicator".

Property: Save the legwork when buying your property - dial a solicitor

You can pay over pounds 500 for a shabby conveyancing service. Or you can pay under pounds 250 for a direct-dial solicitor, and receive a first-rate telephone service. Robert Liebman listens in.

Freeport plans pounds 45m designer shopping village in Yorkshire

FREEPORT Leisure, the property group, yesterday unveiled plans to build the biggest designer shopping and leisure village in Europe. The 30-acre retail development will be built near Pontefract in Yorkshire.

Football: Non-League - Lymington hope their luck will hold after fourth-round drama

Of the 16 clubs left in the FA Carlsberg Vase, perhaps the luckiest to be involved in tomorrow's fifth round are Lymington.

Letter: In the 1951 dome

To answer your learned enquirers as to what was in the Dome of Discovery of 1951 (letters, 28 and 31 January), my official guide (costing 2/6d) shows that the display was divided into eight areas.

Anti-sleaze spotlight falls on colleges

MPs investigating further education are to examine the case of a lecturer suspended by his college after raising concerns over propriety. Lucy Ward, Education Correspondent, finds the anti-sleaze searchlight trained on colleges as never before.

Scare over toy in food

Worries over food which contains toy gifts have resurfaced after a child nearly choked.

Property: three to view: under pounds 75,000

The former gate-house to Dillington House in Ilminster, Somerset, is Grade II* listed and looks like a miniature castle, built of hamstone, with arched stone mullion windows and turreted roof. With two bedrooms (one just 9ft by 6ft7ins), open fireplace in the sitting room and outside, landscaped gardens, fish pond and parking space. Price pounds 53,500. (Greenslade Taylor Hunt, 01460 57222.)

Football: Non-league notebook: Wealdstone seek higher things

The first qualifying round of the FA Carlsberg Vase does not normally produce the tournament's two Wembley finalists, but there is a chance it may do so this year.

Getaway driver told police of killings

A getaway driver for two killers who used shotguns to execute three fellow drug dealers in a country lane later became a police "supergrass", a court heard yesterday.


If you're still under the spell of Californian "horse whisperer" Monty Roberts (left), following BBC1's recent QED, then head for deepest Essex next Thursday when Roberts will be doing his animal magic in the flesh. The event is part of a whistlestop, two-date visit (he's in Henfield, Sussex on Wednesday) to whet our appetites for a longer tour in October. Roberts uses the startling "join-up" technique to communicate with the animals in their own language. Next week, he promises to persuade a variety of previously unhandled young horses to accept their first saddle, bridle and rider within 30 minutes. And it's not just animals who have benefited from Roberts's interpersonal skills. He's been credited with whinnying over troubled youths and has lectured to businesses. Who knows, before long, we could all be talking like the animals.

Three on view ... under pounds 80,000

Hillside, in the South Hams village of Loddiswell, near Kingsbridge in Devon, has no garden to speak of, which makes it an ideal holiday home. The white-painted cottage with exposed beams is bigger than it looks. It has four bedrooms - two on the first floor and two on the second - a dining-room and a sitting-room. On-road parking is allowed (a rarity for a Devon village). There are shops and a pub nearby. pounds 65,000, through Marchand Petit (01548 857588).

Meet the new village people

The countryside is being concreted over to make way for modern communities without the hassle of real rural life.
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine