Building on the suburban dream
John Betjeman may well be turning in his grave: there are plans afoot for the "urban intensification" of London's suburbs.
The "Supurbia" proposal, supported by the capital's Deputy Mayor and housing chief, envisages tens of thousands of new homes a year in "thriving, vibrant and sustainable" communities where residents share everything from cars and bicycles to mowing machines and rowing machines.
The very phrase "urban intensification" will raise hackles, of course. But the acute shortage of affordable homes in the South East has forced planners and developers to consider how to get more from what are described as "London's very low density and often under-occupied suburban districts".
The people behind Supurbia are quick to point out they have no intention of "garden-grabbing" or concreting over green spaces. In a slightly unfortunate choice of phrase, they promise the objective is "to build on (sic) the inherent quality of the suburbs - individual homes on their own plots with easy access to public and private open space set in a verdant environment."
It is, however, a far cry from the original promise of Metro-land in the brochures of the 1920s. Living in suburbia was then portrayed as the seductive dream of a spacious and modern Tudor-style home and garden set in beautiful countryside.
A huge challenge for the head of the Met
Bust-up between police reviewers goes public
Letters obtained by the BBC reveal an astonishing row between the two men asked to conduct independent reviews of the police - one by the government and the other by the opposition.
In the blue corner, Tom Winsor, now HM chief inspector of constabulary, who was asked to review police pay and conditions in England and Wales by the Home Office in 2010.
Will women be the saviours of the High Street?
Analysis of thousands of shops and stores hints at a dramatic change in the character of Britain's commercial centres, with female traders now matching their male counterparts.
Among High Street outlets that launched since the economic downturn in 2008, 47% are led by a woman, according to BBC analysis of figures from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
What's the point of school?
For as long as there have been schools, people have been asking what is the point of them. Quite a lot of pupils have asked that question, of course. But some notable grown-ups have pondered the matter, too.
In 1947, Dr Martin Luther King gave a lecture entitled The Purpose of Education in which he told his audience that the goal of true education was, "intelligence plus character".
Lawyers seek US-style damages for abuse at public schools
A firm of top international lawyers says it intends seeking huge damages from British public schools where former pupils have suffered serious sexual abuse by teachers.
The British-American law firm AO Advocates has told the BBC it wants to see US-style compensation payments, suggesting some UK victims could be in line to receive awards of more than £1 million.
Living with Mum and Dad
This week my eldest daughter announced she was moving out.
At the age of 23, she had found a flat-share she could afford. A wave of sadness swept over me - our family unit was crumbling. But, like many parents, I also felt a sense of relief that she had finally found a way out of the nest.
Want crime trends? Just ask people
Now we know that the statistics watchdog doesn't trust the police recorded crime figures, what faith can we have that crime really has been falling for the past 20 years?
The answer is plenty.
A legitimate argument?
Would UK ministers and officials really claim that a range of NHS-approved drugs have no "legitimate use" in order to justify an EU opt-out?
NHS England alone spends more than £200m a year on the drugs - used to treat Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, depression and insomnia - but Home Office minister Norman Baker has told parliament that "very little" legal trade in the medicines takes place.
The uncomfortable issue of stop and search
When the smoke cleared from the riots triggered by Mark Duggan's shooting, uncomfortable questions for the police emerged.
The official report warned that police behaviour, particularly with stop and search had had a corrosive effect on community relations. A subsequent inquiry by Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary identified an "alarming" 27% of stop and searches in which there were no reasonable grounds to conduct the search. The Home Office has since announced a consultation on reform.