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.

Benefits Street residents charged with drug offences

Seven people have been charged following raids on the now-famous James Turner Street in Birmingham - including one of the stars of the Channel 4 documentary series

Mark Thomas and Becky Howe, both 23, are 'fuming' over their presentation in Benefits Street

Benefits Street: Ratings rise again as record 5.2m tune in to third episode

The show has added almost 1m viewers since the first episode two weeks ago

England and Wolves mourn death of goalkeeper Bert Williams

Former Wolverhampton Wanderers and England goalkeeper Bert Williams has died, aged 93.

Tom Winsor said that some communities 'from other cultures' choose to police themselves

Chief police inspector's comments on ethnic vigilantism condemned by justice experts

Tom Winsor had said that some communities 'from other cultures' choose to police themselves

Gerard is one of the younger residents of James Turner Street in Winson Green

Benefits Street: West Midlands Police chief owns house on James Turner Street

The West Midlands Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner has been a James Turner Street landlady for almost 12 years

West Brom striker Shane Long insists he is focusing on his future at the Hawthorns and not a rumoured transfer to Hull City

Transfer news: West Brom accept Hull City bid for striker Shane Long

Baggies have accepted undisclosed fee

Frank Skinner believes he 'made the right decision' to refuse a job on Benefits Street, despite never having seen the show

Benefits Street: Comedian Frank Skinner turned down narrating job

The comedian did not want to offend residents dependent on benefits

The iconic British brands sold 425,006 vehicles in 2013 - up 19 per cent on 2012

Jaguar Land Rover notches up record-breaking global sales

Iconic British brands sold 425,006 vehicles in 2013 - up 19 per cent on 2012 - and set records in 38 international markets

Chancellor should invest in Britain’s thriving creative industries, says think tank

Chancellor George Osborne should prioritise investment in Britain’s thriving creative industries, such as the arts and advertising, according to a new report from think tank IPPR.

Channel 4's series claims to shed light on life on benefits for residents of the street, including Smoggy pictured here

Benefits Street Twitter reactions: The angry, the idiotic and the defensive

Viewers took to social media to voice their opinions on C4's new documentary

Avon and Somerset Police has released this low-resolution image of Saber Haldari, who is wanted in connection with child sex offences in Bristol

Bristol man is 'significant risk to children' say police as they issue manhunt picture

Saber Haldari is believed to be in the country illegally

Frustrated passengers wait in the departure hall of Gatwick's North Terminal on Christmas Eve

Gatwick bosses learned of Christmas Eve flood just half an hour before

Gatwick bosses found out that a damaging Christmas Eve flood was on the way only half an hour before it happened, the airport’s chief executive revealed on Tuesday.

Bouncing Czech: A happy Libor Kozak celebrates his winning goal

Ciaran Clark wishes Aston Villa team-mate Libor Kozak well after breaking striker's leg in training ground tackle

The summer signing from Lazio will miss the rest of the season

Chancellor George Osborne has repeatedly insisted that the task of clearing the deficit is not completed

George Osborne insists Britain must make £25bn more welfare cuts in 2014

The Chancellor has branded 2014 the 'year of hard truths'

A Serco van used to transport defenders. Serco has also come under fire for overcharging taxpayers

Exclusive: No privatised lie detector tests for sex offenders following outsourcing scandals involving G4S and Serco

Decision to scrap outsourcing of controversial polygraph tests is latest blow to Government's privatisation plans following scandals involving G4S and Serco

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Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
Dubrovnik
Vietnam
Bruges
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas