News Council tax set to rise by as much as five per cent

The amount paid by households towards the cost of policing looks set to rise by up to five per cent this year as the Government faces a potential show down with its flagship Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) who are demanding above inflation increases in council tax to combat swingeing budget cuts.

Nicola Marshall with her son

Government's adoption drive hailed a success as rates rise 10%

The number of children adopted annually in England and Wales rose by almost 10 per cent between 2011 and 2012, official figures published tomorrow show.

The number of detentions under the Mental Health Act is increasing

Mentally ill patients sectioned unnecessarily as 'only way' to a hospital bed

Chair of the Health Select Committee says claims amounted to 'more than anecdotal evidence' and should be urgently investigated by the Department of Health

Rent out your driveways, Eric Pickles tells homeowners as he vows to clamp down on 'parking tax'

Communities Secretary argues renting out spaces can help households increase their income 

Eric Pickles' approval of a council's building plans was shot down by judicial review

Allotment holders win victory over Eric Pickles' building plan

Communities Secretary had to backtrack after approving moves by a council to build homes on a 2.7 hectare patch of land

Of the ten biggest surpluses ten came were from London councils with Westminister heading the top of the list with a £41.6m profit before spending on road infrastructure was taken into account

Councils rake in millions from parking fines as RAC attacks authorities' 'nice little earner'

Parking charges are providing huge cash surpluses for some councils with the 359 town halls across England having a total current account surplus of £565m

More allotments are being sold off by councils

Allotment-holders take legal action against Eric Pickles

Legal action launched over decision to allow sale of sites

Two dead after 'suspicious' flat fire in west London

Two others are being treated for multiple injuries as 58 firefighters battle the blaze in Hounslow

Horsemeat

Slow, badly executed, indecisive and poorly communicated - watchdog rapped for 'wait-and-see' handling of horsemeat crisis

Some of regulator's staff  had 'limited experience' of food-safety crises, official report concludes

Khat is banned in the Netherlands

Theresa May to ban Khat in face of advice from drugs advisers

Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs ridiculed suggestions that its supply is linked to terrorist groups

Education is about more than making a fast buck, Mr Gove

One thing sticks in my mind from my visit to Sweden to study their free schools system – upon which Michael Gove has based many of his education reforms.

George Osborne praised Eric Pickles, pictured, as

Eric Pickles' Communities Department - charged with getting local council budgets under control - fined for £217m unauthorised overdraft

Margaret Hodge describes department finances as 'a shocking example of incompetence'

Half-brother of Tory MP John Whittingdale held in abuse inquiry

Charles Napier arrested as part of investigation in to alleged abuse at the Elm Guest House in the 1980s

Court of Protection: Out-of-hours process is one-sided and inherently unfair - and it must change

It only takes 237 words written by a single social worker on form COP3 (a Court of Protection “Assessment of Capacity” application) for a judge to decide to imprison someone in a care home. I know because I counted the words in the assessment relating to case I am involved with.

Bomb disposal team is called to mosque in Walsall after suspicious item discovered

Residents say an explosion was heard on Friday evening before the item was discovered on Saturday

Missing 14 year old girl Lorna Vickerage, left and John Bush, right, 35. The teenager has been missing since 10 June and police believe she has vanished with a man over twice her age, believed to be John Bush

Lorna Vickerage found: Missing 14-year-old girl from Doncaster and family friend John Bush found near London's Euston station

The pair apparently tried to check into a hotel in Watford, but Bush's card was declined

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
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Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
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Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

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Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

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Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

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Alexander McQueen A/W 2014
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A shot in the dark

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New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
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These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

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Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
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Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
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His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
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