News The more modern town of Salford, where the latest investment of the English Cities Fund is expected to be announced

Could Britain’s chronic housing shortage be solved by using insurers’ assets? Jamie Dunkley and Russell Lynch report

Tory Minister calls for house price stability

Home ownership should no longer be seen as a long-term financial investment, Grant Shapps, the Housing Minister, has declared.

Leading article: It will take more than words to make property affordable

Britain, at last, has a housing minister who recognises that it is not his job to sit idly by while housing becomes more expensive. In an interview at the weekend, Grant Shapps identified the social problems created by house price inflation very well: a generation of young people with scant prospect of ever owning their own home.

Cuts to council funding 'deeper in poorest areas'

Official figures show cuts to local council funding are on average four times deeper in the poorest areas of the country than the best off, Labour said today.

Topsy-turvy: The year politics was turned on its head

As the parliamentary recess beckons, Matt Chorley assesses the Conservative Prime Minister, Liberal Democrat Deputy PM and new Labour Leader of the Opposition – and analyses the challenges ahead

Top Lib Dem criticises Tory ministers over cuts

Nick Clegg has been urged by the leader of the Liberal Democrats' local councillors to "rein in" two senior Tory ministers who he accused of being "a disgrace" for denying spending cuts would lead to town hall job losses and service reductions.

Why are some campaigners calling the Localism Bill a Nimby's charter?

It promises to give power to the community and herald a planning revolution

Extra cash to combat council house fraudsters

Councils are to get an extra £19 million to oust fraudsters who unlawfully sublet council and housing association properties, the Government said today.

Council job cuts hit 66,000

The number of job losses announced or threatened by councils in Britain because of the Government's spending cuts has reached 66,000, research revealed today.

I would have been denied mortgage, says minister

The Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, says he himself would have failed to get a mortgage had new proposals for the mortgage market drawn up by the City watchdog been in effect when he bought his home.

End of council houses for life 'will hurt needy'

Ministers faced accusations last night of penalising the needy as they sounded the death knell for the days of an automatic council house for life.

John Prescott 'spent lavishly' on office comforts

John Prescott's office authorised spending hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money on "indoor plant landscaping" and "silver service" waiters when he was Deputy Prime Minister.

Online guidance on squatters launched

An online guide offering advice to people wanting to stop squatters from entering their properties was published today.

'At risk' children and elderly set to suffer as town hall cuts bite

Child protection and care for the elderly will be threatened by the savage squeeze on town hall funding, council chiefs warned yesterday.

Architects beginning to think big

Britain's homes have long had the smallest rooms in Europe, now a new generation of town planners and architects is urging us to rethink the way we use our shrinking urban space. Oliver Bennett reports

Birmingham Diary: Battle joined with the BBC as the baroness backs off

The first row between the Conservatives and the BBC started yesterday even before the Conference had officially opened. Tory spin doctors could be heard moaning that the live interview with the party chairman, Baroness Warsi, on BBC1's lunchtime Politics Show, was a "bear pit".

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing