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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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
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Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

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Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
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Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
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Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific