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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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape