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

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Armstrong, left, and Bain's writing credits include Peep Show, Fresh Meat, and The Old Guys
TVThe pair have presented their view of 21st-century foibles in shows such as Peep Show and Fresh Meat
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Keys to success: Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber
arts + entsMrs Bach had too many kids to write the great man's music, says Julian Lloyd Webber
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footballMan City manager would have loved to have signed Argentine
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Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
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Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site on Friday

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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities