Michael Burton is editorial director of The MJ
No turning back the digital revolution
The pandemic transformed councils, in their digital processes and engagement. The MJ and Capita hosted two webinars in which chief executives and directors discussed how they and their communities were changed by COVID-19. Michael Burton reports.
A well-deserved break for the workforce
Even the Government’s most fervent supporters must admit its response to the pandemic has been muddled, says Michael Burton. In contrast, local government has risen to the challenge.
The PAC casts a gimlet eye on the ministry
The phrase ‘glass houses and throwing stones’ comes to mind when Government departments finger wag at local authorities over managing resources, says Michael Burton.
Big banks call for localised approach to recovery
There should be no ‘one-size fits all’ approach to recovery says a banking group study involving 900 business and local political leaders across the UK.
How to cut debt and fund our social care
A flat-rate health and social care levy to raise £17bn was a centrepiece of a new study last week. Michael Burton looks at the figures and reports from a webinar on the public finances with ex-chancellor Philip Hammond.
Report proposes sweeping tax increases
A new health and social care tax raising £17bn should be the centrepiece of sweeping tax increases to raise £40bn a year, according to a new report from think-tank the Resolution Foundation.
Public health is a core part of the ‘levelling-up’ agenda
Reducing health inequalities is part of the ‘levelling up’ agenda, says Michael Burton - 'and just as the chancellor promises his Northern MP colleagues to invest in infrastructure in the region so should he invest in public health'.
Healthy life expectancy target well off track, report finds
The Government is in danger of a lost decade with its target of increasing healthy life expectancy by five years by 2035 well off track, according to a report from right-of-centre think-tank Policy Exchange.
Sunak's cash pledge to head off revolt
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has pledged extra cash in a bid to head off a revolt by a new northern group of Conservative MPs.
'Wide-ranging' government care review 'very imminent'
Children’s minister Vicky Ford has promised that the long-awaited review into the care system is ‘very imminent’ and will be ‘wide ranging’.
How the virus pressed the fast forward button
The pandemic accelerated changes that were already happening. The challenge is how to manage the future, as chief executives from across England’s South West discussed in a round table organised by The MJ and BT. Chair Michael Burton reports.
Is the love affair with mayors over?
After last week’s rows between Number 10 and city region mayors over lockdown funding Michael Burton looks at governments’ love affairs with the concept of directly-elected mayors and questions whether the romance might be over.
Just another brick in the wall?
The 55 Northern Conservative MPs who wrote to No 10 this week know that if they cannot deliver what the ‘red wall’ voters expected them to deliver then they are toast at the next general election, writes Mike Burton.
Two Scots councils set for level four
Two Scottish local authority areas are in line for a new severe level four lockdown according to a letter from the Scottish government to the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.
Blue wall rebels call for economic kickstart
Northern Tory MPs led by the former Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry have urged their government to kickstart its promised ‘levelling up’ agenda with a Northern Economic Recovery Plan.
Think tank calls for rates reform
Council tax and business rates should be reformed as part of a major overhaul of the UK’s tax system says a new study from the free market think-tank the Centre for Policy Studies.
Coronavirus leads to scrapping of three-year Spending Review
Plans to create a three-year settlement for public spending have been abandoned as latest figures show the havoc coronavirus is wreaking on the public finances.
IFS urges delay to cuts and tax rises
Spending cuts and tax rises to rebalance the public finances should be delayed until 2022 to allow the economy to recover, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has said.
Digitising the front door to care
A new 'white paper' report by consultancy Agilisys outlines how technology can help lead the rethink of the care sector. Author Steve Morgan talks to Michael Burton of The MJ about some of the solutions.
Javid calls for 'fresh look at local government'
Former communities secretary Sajid Javid has called for a ‘fresh look at local government’.