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.

Greg Dyke

Five things for Greg Dyke to address at the FA chairman

Former BBC Director General to replace David Bernstein

Fiona Pilkington killed herself and her daughter Francesca Hardwick

Pilkington deaths could happen again because of police failure

Tragic deaths such as those of Fiona Pilkington and her daughter, Francecca, could be repeated because some police officers are too embarrassed to ask victims of crime about their disability, inspectors have warned.

Vote No on Mugabe's 'fraud' constitution, urge Zimbabwe civil rights groups

Civil rights groups have called on Zimbabwean voters to reject a new constitution, accusing the political elite, including President Robert Mugabe and former opposition leaders, of imposing a fraud on the people.

The Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith

'Bedroom tax': now Duncan Smith offers concessions to foster carers and armed forces' parents

Foster carers and parents of serving armed forces personnel will be exempted from welfare deductions if they have spare rooms, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has announced.

Disabled exempted from ‘bedroom tax’

Parents with severely disabled children who are unable to share a room with their siblings are to be exempt from the Government’s under-occupation penalty, or so-called bedroom tax.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) says it is already moving to curb the overcapacity threat for incinerators

UK incinerator plans? They're just rubbish

As garbage-burning plants proliferate, Britain could end up with too little waste to put in them

Watch out – fewer CCTV cameras about

Watch out – fewer CCTV cameras about

Budget cuts mean some local councils have had to dispense with much of their CCTV cover... and that's just fine with some people

Almost half of councils set to ignore council tax freeze

Town halls revolt as 40% look to shun Eric Pickles' plan to hold rates

'Not up to standard': 25% of care agencies providing services to people in their homes are failing

A quarter of agencies that provide care to people in their own homes do not meet all five national standards of quality and safety, regulators said.

Anthony Hilton: Boris's housing plan is more stunt than strategy

Nothing gets people going like house prices. I did a piece elsewhere which pointed out that for the cost of a small family house in Fulham you could now buy a street in Sunderland. That was on Monday. By Wednesday, Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, was demanding that his London Authority should be allowed to collect the hundreds of millions of pounds raised in stamp duty on the sale of expensive homes in the capital. He would then use those funds to finance the building of affordable homes so millions of ordinary Londoners – those already here and others forecast to arrive in the coming decade – would have at least some chance of getting on the housing ladder.

A load of old rubbish? Council to remove bins because they collect the wrong type of litter

The affluent London borough of Kensington and Chelsea is removing litter bins claiming they attract the wrong kind of rubbish

The Government argues that 'virtually no households' will lose more than 80p in the pound for every extra hour they worked

New 'poll tax' blow for UK's poorest

Reforms leave millions facing bills of up to £600

Lecturer told council about neighbour abuse

A university lecturer killed herself three weeks after warning council that she could not cope with living next door to a drugs den.

Government urges councils to cut speed limits to 20mph in residential areas and busy town high streets

Guidance expected to result in a significant increase in the number of 20mph zones

Majority of Members of Parliament believe they are underpaid

Members of Parliament believe they deserve a pay hike of one-third – with nearly 70 per cent believing that they are underpaid for the job they do.

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Yaya Sanogo celebrates scoring the opening goal with Arsenal's English midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
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Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
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film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
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Prices correct as of 21 November 2014
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
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Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning