Local democracy in Ireland is the weakest in Europe, according to the national secretary of public sector union Impact. 

A man in northern China has become the first person in the county to sue his local government over their failure to tackle smog.

Unpaid charges owed to Ireland's city and county councils are nearing €1bn (£836m) - but authorities have been forced to write off €161m because the debts cannot be collected.

The new Italian government has approved an emergency decree to bail out Rome's council with €570m (£469m) after the city's mayor warned that essential services would otherwise have to stop.

The Netherlands' 403 local authorities need greater powers to raise income through local taxation if they are to take on responsibility for most non-residential care, the head of the Local Council Association has said.

Prime Minister John Key has appointed Paula Bennett as the new minister for local government.

The National Party MP has previously served as minister for social development and associate minister for housing.

International "hacktivist" group Anonymous attacked and took down a Japanese local government website in protest of a traditional dolphin hunt.

New rules designed to prevent officials resigning to avoid disciplinary proceedings over alleged corruption have come into force.

Local government in New South Wales needs "far-reaching reform" to make councils fit-for-purpose, according to a new report.

There are no homosexuals in Sochi, the city's mayor claimed ahead of the Winter Olympics.

Anatoly Pakhomov was nevertheless magnanimously prepared to welcome gays to the Games, as long as they "don't impose their habits on others".