Lancashire County Council has deferred making a final decision on planning applications for two of the biggest fracking exploration sites in the UK.

The rising cost of caring for elderly residents means councils will have to raid £11bn from the budgets of other services, such as fixing potholes and running libraries, from April, the Local Government Association has claimed.

DCLG has come in for heavy criticism from MPs after a new report concluded that although Government cuts are hitting the most deprived local authorities hardest, the department has little understanding of their impact on either financial viability

The poorest households and youngest children have been worst hit by Government cuts and changes to taxes and benefits, despite a pledge that the rich would carry the burden of austerity, according to a new study.

Local government secretary Eric Pickles has vowed to clamp down on "government snoopers" as he unveiled proposals to remove the automatic right of officials to enter homes and businesses to value them for council tax and business rates.

There is no proof that academies have raised school standards overall or for the most disadvantaged children, MPs have said.

The country "cannot wait any longer" for action on the crisis facing social care, a group of local government and health sector leaders have argued.

Brent Council has become the first in the country to approve a discount on business rates for companies that pay the Living Wage.

Councils' patchy and fragmented use of technology and data is seeing billions lost to fraud and keeping the cost of public services "unsustainably high", a think tank has claimed.

Councils across Great Britain paid out £3.2m in compensation to drivers whose vehicles were damaged by potholes in 2013-14, with town halls receiving the equivalent of one new claim every 11 minutes, according to new research.