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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform