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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power