Property 2 bedroom flat to rent in Glenloch Road, Belsize Park. On with Benham and Reeves for £475 per week.

Property industry welcomes crackdown on hidden charges in the rental market

2,000 jobs to go as Audit Commission is scrapped

The Audit Commission, the watchdog that monitors town hall waste, is to be scrapped with the loss of 2,000 jobs, the Government announced yesterday.

Audit Commission to be scrapped

The official watchdog responsible for ensuring local councils deliver value for money is to be scrapped, it was announced today.

Leading article: A blow for open government

The decision by the Communities and Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, to "lead the charge", as he put it, and publish all spending over £500 incurred by his department under the last government is a welcome step forward for openness. But it is also a canny bid to divert public attention away from the pain his department is planning to inflict on us and towards the pleasures taken at public expense by his predecessors.

Councils face ban on lobbying

Councils are to be banned from hiring lobbying companies amid accusations that they are using public money to run political campaigns.

Referendum plan for big council tax rises

The public will be given the power to veto excessive council tax rises, the Government said today.

Man guilty of pelting Baroness Warsi with eggs

A 23-year-old man was found guilty today of pelting eggs at a Tory peer.

Man in court accused of throwing egg at peer

A man accused of pelting Baroness Warsi with eggs will appear in court today.



Diary: Time for Ed to come out as the Black Baron's pal

Could Ed Balls' darkest hour herald the breaking of a glorious dawn?

Leading article: Dangers lie in David Cameron's hazy vision of social regeneration

The week began with a speech from David Cameron on the "Big Society", a variety of initiatives designed to empower local communities. And yesterday there came an announcement of plans to strip councils of their control of local planning.

Home-building figures could fall below 1923 levels

So many building projects have been abandoned since the coalition Government came to power that the number of new houses built next year could fall below 100,000 for the first time since 1923.

Minister to challenge councils on 'non-jobs'

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles will go to war on "council non-jobs" today in a strongly-worded speech challenging local authorities over whether all their staff are providing value for taxpayers' money.

Treasury says it can save £100bn by ending duplication of local services

A plan to save up to £100bn by streamlining locally-run public services is emerging as one of the "big ideas" in the government-wide spending review to find the deep cuts announced in the Budget.

Move to keep weekly bin collections

The Communities Secretary Eric Pickles is to order the local government watchdog to stop pressurising councils into abandoning weekly bin collections.

Bruce Anderson: Creative tension is binding the coalition

Civil servants would rather work for a rude but effective minister than for a courteous and weak one

Bin tax scheme put on the scrapheap

Plans for a "pay as you throw" bin tax have been scrapped as the Government looks to reward families who recycle rubbish instead.

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