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.

Mr Miliband said the Coalition's 2015-16 budget would be the 'starting point' for a three-year cap on social security spending imposed by the next Labour government

A Labour government would mean benefits squeeze, under Ed Miliband's welfare cap

Breaking the link between benefits and inflation would be highly controversial for the party

The missing: Calls for better recording of care home runaways

Study urges councils to penalise children's homes if youngsters repeatedly abscond

Rob Ford: The Toronto mayor has described drug use allegations as 'ridiculous'

Toronto mayor Rob Ford clings on as 'crack video' scandal grows

Rob Ford has spent a week ducking a media storm over footage that allegedly shows him smoking crack

Rhiannon Whiting is a carer for her grandparents

180,000 children work as unpaid carers for relatives

Almost 10,000 five to seven-year-olds now work as carers, an increase of 80 per cent in a decade

Thousands of town hall staff on six-figure salaries

More than 2,500 town hall staff were paid more than £100,000 last year, according to details compiled by campaign group the TaxPayers’ Alliance which showed the number earning in six figures fell 11 per cent.

James Moore: Back to school in the US for National Express

Outlook Forget the bus, bosses at National Express need to get on a plane. Today's AGM promises some fireworks with demonstrations planned from the main union (the Teamsters) representing drivers of those iconic yellow school buses used in the US.

Laughing policemen: of the 343 local authorities assessed in the index, 278 are more peaceful now than they were ten years ago

Fall in violent crime: Britain - land of law and order

We’re constantly regaled with tales of our broken society. But a new report has revealed that violent crime is falling – and faster than in any other European country. Emily Dugan explains how it all went right

Editorial: Health and social care must be integrated

The Labour leader, Ed Miliband is stealing a march on the Coalition and daring to broach a problem that is long overdue for a solution

Zac Goldsmith is one of the Tory MPs on the committee which has criticised the Government's plans

Relaxation of planning policy will guarantee disputes between neighbours, warns Zac Goldsmith

Coalition planning reforms which will be voted on tonight are a “recipe for community disharmony”, a Conservative MP leading a rebellion against the changes warned today.

Free school meals could soon be scrapped and people paid to look after elderly neighbours as councils take desperate measures to deliver a “tidal wave” of spending cuts

Free school meals may be scrapped by councils under 'tidal wave' of cuts

Think-tank warns of 'a tidal wave of cuts that makes the 1980s look like a day at the beach'

Welfare reform ‘will hit private renters hardest’

Vast sums are being added to the cost of the health service and welfare state because of illnesses that people contract from living in sub-standard housing, an environmental health body has warned.

MPs fear benefit reforms will open door to fraudsters

Committee highlights concerns that IT system will have trouble distinguishing between genuine and fraudulent claims

Eric Pickles condemns 'under-the counter pay-offs' as £14m bill for gagging orders for 5,000 axed civil servants is revealed

200 staff in Whitehall and 4,562 in local authorities signed 'compromise agreements'

Tonya Bundick after her arrest yesterday

Woman charged over spate of US arson attacks

Police in Virginia have charged a woman with arson as part of an investigation into a spate of suspicious fires that have ravaged a remote corner of the US state in recent months.

David Cameron to announce tougher tests for social housing, including keeping immigrant families off council house waiting lists for five years

David Cameron to announce tougher tests for social housing, including keeping immigrant families off council house waiting lists for five years

Immigrant families will be kept off council house waiting lists for up to five years, under a crackdown being unveiled by David Cameron.

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A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
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Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

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Chinese web dissenters using coded language to dodge censorship filters and vent frustration at government

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The Beatles film Help, released 50 years ago, signalled the birth of the 'metrosexual' man

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The Beatles' moptop haircuts and dandified fashion introduced a new style for the modern Englishman, says Martin King
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Ashes 2015: Steven Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

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Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
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The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

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Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

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The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
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