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
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee