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.

CBI chief calls for £1.5bn to kick-start growth

George Osborne should use his upcoming Autumn Statement to plough £1.5bn into the economy and kick-start growth, according to the main trade body for business.

Arise, the new Mayor of Bristol

There were months of cynicism, but as Bristol goes to the polls to elect its first mayor, our correspondent is surprised by a reinvigorated democracy

A year on from the Southern Cross debacle, what could possibly go wrong with the rental care provider model?

The care homes sector is no stranger to private companies. What’s changed is the expansion of big companies, or major providers, who have largely replaced council homes, and swallowed-up hundreds of family-run small businesses. 

Warning over library cuts

Cash-strapped councils are cutting library services without sufficient regard for their legal duty to maintain “comprehensive and efficient” provision, a cross-party group of MPs has warned.

Politicians and employers back Living Wage campaign

The campaign for a Living Wage higher than the statutory minimum rate stepped up a gear today when leading politicians and employers backed the drive for better pay.

Editorial: The risk of a new Southern Cross

After the collapse of Southern Cross more than a year ago, the Government said it would act to ensure that the finances of care homes were more transparent. Not only has this not happened, but – as we report today – three of the top 10 companies, responsible for 800-plus homes, may face difficulty paying off their debts. The ninth largest, Bondcare, has called in receivers.

Council leader Mohammed Pervez

A year at the sharp end: How Stoke was cut to shreds

With one in four on benefits and a community relying on its council, how would a £36m spending cut work? David Nath spent a year in a place where the Big Society is still just an idea

Current and former Birmingham Council workers celebrate after yesterday's Court judgement

Ruling allows equal-pay claims up to six years

Employers face the prospect of battling discrimination claims years after an employee has left their company following a landmark Supreme Court ruling yesterday.

Current and former Birmingham Council workers celebrate after yesterday's Court judgement

Equal pay ruling opens door for women to take employers to court

Employers face the prospect of battling discrimination claims years after an employee has left their company following a landmark Supreme Court ruling yesterday.

‘I wanted to pay but they would not negotiate’

Councils resort to rogue bailiffs to 'terrify' debtors, charities warn

Government urged to reform medieval laws as municipal outsourcing prompts complaints

A view of the gates outside Anfield

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard welcomes Anfield redevelopment

Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard has given his backing to the club's decision to redevelop Anfield rather than building a new stadium in Stanley Park.

Care applications for children continue to rise

Care applications have continued to rise this year, with May and July each reaching the highest number ever recorded in a month, the body which represents children in care cases said today.

Complaints about landlords up 27%

Nearly two thirds are about serious and life-threatening hazards, say housing charity

A licence to kill badgers to reduce the spread of bovine tuberculosis has already been granted in west Gloucestershire.

Tewkesbury Borough Council refuses to support badger cull on its land

A council close to an area where a badger cull is set to go ahead to tackle TB in cattle will not support culling on its land.

Prince Charles was greeted by supporters waving Cornish and Union Flags when he visited Cornwall’s Eden Project earlier this year

Give us your Duchy: demand for Charles' £728m Cornish estate

Should all 53,000-hectares be handed to local people? Charlie Cooper reports

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
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

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam