There's a desperate shortage of council homes across the south east. But some authorities are addressing the problem, and have starting building programmes. Families have started moving into the first council homes to be built in Medway in more than forty years. In recent times, housing associations have taken over the role of providing accommodation to tenants, who used to rely on councils. Fifty five new homes will built. The council says it's a start. Tom Savvides talks tenant Ken Watson, councillor Howard Doe and the MP Rehman Chishti.
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has contacted nearly 2000 housing benefit claimants to warn them of a mistake that means some of their personal details have been given out as part of a Freedom of Information request.
Names and addresses have been passed on but the council say no bank details were released.
The council will carry out its own internal review of its procedures and the Information Commissioner's Office will carry out a separate independent investigation.
With just over two weeks until the county council elections, the Chief Secretary to The Treasury, Danny Alexander, hit the campaign trail in the south east today. He came to Eastbourne, where the Lib Dems have achieved major success.
But the latest opinion polls suggest heavy losses for the party on May the 2nd. David Johns' report contains some flash photography.
Our councils are paying hundreds of their employees over £50,000 a year, and some campaigners say that's just too much. With councils cutting services, can the salaries be justified? Tom Savvides reports.
The Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis has backed the Taxpayers Alliance. He says it's essential that councils get a grip on pay to ensure a fair deal for the taxpayers in their counties and in their districts.
He says local councils still have massive scope to cut costs to protect front line
services, and that the Local Government pay juggernaut must be halted.
Cllr Roger Gough has hit back at accusations that his county council is wasteful. He told ITV News Meridian that as the second largest council in the UK, his organisation pays only what is proportionate.
Hampshire County Council leader Ken Thornber defends his authority, after TaxPayers Alliance criticises number of staff paid £50,000+.Read the full story ›
Kent County Council says it considers it pays its managers the going rate for the job. It adds that it has managed to reduce its overall salary bill. And it says that it has held council tax payments down to 0% this year. It was responding to a Taxpayers' Alliance report.
Kent County Council is one of several councils in the south east accused of paying too many managers high salaries. The Taxpayers' Alliance says it employs 491 managers on wages of £50,000+. But Kent points out that it has reduced the overall bill for its employees, and has not raised council tax.
The Local Government Chronicle's council tax blog is keeping track of tax proposals.
According to its chief reporter Ruth Keeling: "With several weeks to go until budgets must be finalised, we count 26 councils that have confirmed their intentions to increase tax levels.
"We expect this number to increase in coming weeks".