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Manchester’s Chorlton along with Herne Hill, Muswell Hill and Dagenham in London are some of the worst afflicted areas while Mossley Hill and Waterloo in Liverpool also feature prominently

Council faces 'meltdown' over Ally Pally debt

Haringey council in north London may face a debt of nearly pounds 50m from running and redeveloping Alexandra Palace, leaving it with the biggest deficit of any local authority in the country and facing "financial meltdown".

the children's story

Kite

'My only experience was drinking three pints a night'

JD Wetherspoon has grown from a single pub to Britain's biggest chain by volume of beer sold. Founder Tim Martin explains how he turned it into a thriving business valued at pounds 342m.

Naval officer stole to fund betting

A high-flying officer who fiddled pounds 21,000 from Royal Navy coffers to help fund his gambling addiction was jailed for four months by a court martial yesterday.

All the world's a wobbly set

Actors get stroppy with them. Singers fall off their sets. Audiences are confused by them. And directors steal their thunder. Who'd be a stage designer? John Gunter, for one. By Michael Church

ITN newsreader in photographs row back on air

REBECCA FOWLER

Househunter Lechlade, Gloucestershire

Only the creeper on the front wall disturbs the symmetry of Sherborne House, a listed William and Mary property just a few minutes' walk from the centre of Lechlade. The house sits in more than an acre of walled gardens, with an 18th-century gazebo, a swimming-pool and an orchard where peaches grow up the wall. The house has three reception rooms, six bedrooms and three bathrooms. It is for sale through John D Wood, London (0171- 493 4106), and Butler Sherborn in Burford (01993 822325) at a price of pounds 495,000.

FIRST-HAND; 'She was my mum, and I wanted her there'

Rosa Ainley recounts the pain of a motherless childhood

LEADING ARTICLE : Ermine in the gloaming

For 20 years Britain has been undergoing the pains of modernisation. State monopolies, union barons, a top-heavy civil service - all have felt the reformers' lash. Yet government itself has remained unscathed. Most extraordinary of all, that constitutional relic, the House of Lords, stands completely unaltered.

Good, clean family violence

The Haringey Hounds are out for blood. Louise Bishop looks on

Police pay £50,000 to M3 protesters

Hampshire Police has agreed to pay more than £50,000 to 10 roads protesters they unlawfully arrested at Twyford Down.

THE LEAGUE TABLE: Killers who staked a place in criminal history

The 12 murder charges faced by Frederick West ensured the name of the Gloucester builder was linked with the gallery of British serial killers.

Emily Green suggests: Six cheese shops

Covent Garden: The revival of world-class British and Irish cheeses was led by a world-class shop: Neal's Yard Dairy 17 Shorts Gardens, WC2H 9AT (071-379 7646). Staff are, to my mind, the best food-handlers in the UK. They buy cheese directly from smallholders as far north as the Orkneys and west as Schull, Co Cork, then mature stocks in immaculate, humidified stores.

The step-by-step guide to London: Michael Leapman gets high on a walk from Highgate

One railway unaffected by the summer strikes has been the scenic two-mile little branch line built to carry visitors to Alexandra Palace from Highgate. The route has been closed since 1957; but quite a lot has been converted into a charming walkway with fine wooded stretches, with marvellous views of the east London skyline and palace. The first half of this walk traces it.

Laundry stripper attack

Police in north London are searching for a man who stripped down to his boxer shorts before assaulting a woman in a launderette.
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