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.

Anne Kirkbride, who as Deirdre Barlow is on-screen wife to William Roache's character Ken Barlow, Chris Gascoyne - his son Peter Barlow in the ITV soap - and actress Helen Worth, who plays Gail Platt, are expected to give evidence in Roache's defence

William Roache trial: Deirdre Barlow actor says he was a 'perfect gentleman'

The Coronation Street actor William Roache always behaved impeccably in the company of young women, Anne Kirkbride, who plays his on-screen wife Deirdre Barlow, has told a court.

Former Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans leaves Preston Crown Court after his pre-trial hearing to face charges of sexual assault on January 24, 2014 in Preston, Lancashire.

Former deputy speaker pleads not guilty to all sex offence charges

The Conservative MP resigned as Commons deputy speaker after he was charged in September

Coronation Street actor William Roache arrives at Preston Crown Court

William Roache trial: Fellow cast member described Coronation Street star as 'cockroach' in warning to girl, court told

Actor playing Len Fairclough said 'You want to keep your eye on him, he will lead you astray' jury hears

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has suffered a sprained ankle and will miss the trip to Hull on Sunday

Stoke v Liverpool: Daniel Sturridge set to return from injury

Brendan Rodgers backs the England striker to make an immediate impact

Anti-fracking protesters claim police using incident involving flare 'aimed at aircraft' as an excuse to search through camp

Officers said a flare was aimed 'directly' at the approach path of a police helicopter as it came into land

UK weather: Britain faces another barrage of rain as coastal regions count cost of 'worst storms in 20 years'

Two dead, a teenager missing, damage to homes and businesses, transport disrupted. And it isn't over. More rain, high tides and gale-force winds are on the way

Nick Griffin, leader of the BNP which opponents say has suffered a split

'Free from financial worries': BNP leader Nick Griffin declared bankrupt

News means he was having 'a good day'

Martin and Sean McKinney dodge a wave at Saltcoats Harbour in Saltcoats, Scotland.

Flood warning: why the long-term forecast for homeowners is so alarming

With no end to the rain in sight, we report on why inadequate defences and lax building laws will put thousands of people at risk

A major review of the industry launched after the Rochdale child-grooming scandal has revealed that 63 privately owned children’s care homes across the country did not meet the Government’s minimum standards (picture posed by model)

Rochdale sex abuse cases could have been prevented 'if teams had acted earlier on danger signs'

The latest in a series of damning reports concludes that early intervention would have saved the teenage girls from repeated attacks

The agent, 63, of Larkfield Close, Bury (left) stands accused of attacking a 46-year-old woman in Bury, Greater Manchester

Neville Neville has been found ‘not guilty’ of sexual assault

His son, Gary Neville, broke down in tears as the jury cleared the football agent of all charges

Bells jingled when curfew man went into loft for festive decorations

Tag monitoring system triggered alarm because he wasn't meant to go out

'Ethnicity is a factor' in grooming, says Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk

Ethnicity is a factor in on-street grooming cases, a Labour MP representing the town at the centre of a major child exploitation case has said.

Investigation launched after three die in Bolton house fire

An inquiry is under way after three people died in a house fire.

Police say they have arrested a serving British soldier after a 'suspicious device' was found at a home in Salford

Terror police arrest British soldier after 'nail bomb' found at house in Salford

'Suspicious device' found alongside 'potentially inflammatory' literature, police say

Stealing food: one of a ‘disturbing trend’ of crimes on the rise

Shoplifting by people desperate for food is one of several categories of crime that are on the rise, according to provisional figures.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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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
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
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
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
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
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
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste