The "appalling" abuse suffered by at least 1,400 in Rotherham is widespread and endemic nationally, the chief executive of Birmingham City Council has warned.

The Local Government Ombudsman is looking at the possibility of widening its investigation powers so it can launch inquiries on its own initiative or on the back of information provided by whistleblowers.

Councils increased their reserves by £2.3bn in 2013-14 to £23.7bn, according to official figures.  

Fewer than one in three councillors and less than a quarter of council chief executives are women, contributing to a "pretty dismal picture" of female representation across British politics, according to a new study.

Local authorities have been unable to collect up to 40 per cent of council tax due from low income households that have had the charge imposed on them for the first time, according to new research.

There is "clear room for improvement" in local authorities' compliance with the Data Protection Act, the Information Commissioner's Office has warned.

Councils need to ensure that more parking spaces are provided alongside new homes to prevent streets from being clogged up, Eric Pickles has said.

Councils are plugging a £1bn "black hole" in funding for new school places, with 77 per cent not receiving enough Government cash to meet projected demand between 2011-12 and 2016-17, according to new research.

Rotherham Council's deputy leader and cabinet member for children, young people and family services has refused to resign in the wake of a damning report into child sexual exploitation in the borough.

A new airport in the Thames Estuary would pump £92.1bn a year into the economy and support 336,000 jobs by 2050, according to London mayor Boris Johnson.