Local government pension funds with combined assets of £10.5bn have agreed a partnership to merge investments, liability management and administration.

All areas of the country should examine how they can take advantage of the "chance of a lifetime" on offer through the Government's devolution agenda, local government secretary Greg Clark has said.

The majority of local authority reserves are already allocated for specific long-term investments and forecast spending requirements, according to new research.

More than one in five English councils expect to be a member of a new combined authority led by an elected mayor by 2020, a figure that has almost doubled since the general election, according to new research.

Almost a third of local authorities used bankruptcy orders to recover council tax arrears last year as cash-strapped councils ratcheted up their debt collection efforts, according to new figures.

The Government risks falling short of its pledge to deliver 275,000 affordable homes by 2020 unless it gives councils greater freedoms to boost skills and build more housing, according to the new chair of the Local Government Association.

Councils have urged residents to keep an eye on elderly and vulnerable residents as temperatures are set to hit 30 degrees Celsius in some parts of the country.

Lancashire County Council has rejected a second planning application from oil and gas giant Cuadrilla to carry out exploratory fracking at a site between Blackpool and Preston, despite a recommendation that it be approved.

Up to 1,000 children could be pushed into poverty in the London Borough of Islington by the Government's plan to cut the benefit cap from £26,000 to £23,000 per family, the council has warned.

Council chiefs have called for new disruption orders that can be used to intervene when parents, police or social workers fear a child is being groomed to be included in the Government's policing and criminal justice bill.