Michael Burton is editorial director of The MJ
Social care feels the squeeze on staffing
The increasing shortage of adult care staff has been highlighted in two reports last week, with the sector having the second highest vacancy rate among public services. Michael Burton reports
Uncertainty does not bode well for the settlement
Michael Burton says 'the prosaic matter of local government finance seems to be taking a back seat'. Will new chief secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak finally be able to deliver on his February promise 'to get more certainty'?
Will this shifty approach to spending be the pattern?
What was interesting about the recent NHS £1.8bn capital spending pledge by Boris Johnson was how quickly it was exposed, says Michael Burton.
Rising care staff numbers fail to keep pace with demand
Adult social care has the second largest percentage of job vacancies across the public sector after the NHS, according to latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
How agile is your council?
Local authorities are struggling to implement flexible change programmes, a new survey by The MJ and PA Consulting has found. Michael Burton reports
It’s up to councils to decide how they run their services
The old arguements about in-house or outsourced services have been reawakened by Labour's latest policy announcement but it should be a local decision, argues Michael Burton
New Treasury team must not destroy its inheritance
Michael Burton says the power to plunge the economy into recession lies in the hands of the new Prime Minister and the new Treasury ministerial line-up.
Government borrowing hits four-year high
The next Chancellor faces a disappointing batch of figures on the public finances with borrowing in June at its highest for that month in four years.
Exclusive: Chief execs' survey highlights tensions of 'challenging politics'
Tensions between chief executives and their leaders are under greater scrutiny because of ‘challenging politics,’ a survey by Penna and The MJ has found.
Can we have both quality and quantity in new homes?
Michael Burton asks: 'Is it any wonder that the public are suspicious of the planning system when they see little benefit other than shoddy new estates and overloaded public services?'
Showtime by the seaside
Ministers, mandarins, town hall, Whitehall and more all met in Bournemouth last week for the Local Government Association conference. Michael Burton reports on the highlights
How can the financial settlement meet its deadline?
The clock is ticking on the countdown to publication of the financial settlement for 2020/21, says Michael Burton - but the timetable is 'spectacularly complex'.
Councils must fill the vacuum at the top of government
Some might argue that central Government should be the sector to provide the reassurance to local government that it has a clue about what to do next, says Michael Burton
Brokenshire calls for 'new deal for local government'
Communities secretary James Brokenshire has called on the next Prime Minister to publish a Green Paper on a new deal between local and central government.
Waltham Forest takes top honour at The MJ Achievement Awards
The London borough of Waltham Forest was last night named the Local Authority of the Year at a glittering ceremony attended by nearly 1,000 guests.
Time to evaluate the real cost of an ageing population
Recent reports have established that frail old age probably does not start until 80-plus and that more pensioners continue to work - and this gives an opportunity for public policy to be updated, says Michael Burton.
Breathing space for next Chancellor
The public finances continue to be robust, offering the next Chancellor scope for tax cuts or spending increases in the Budget though total debt continues to rise.
Can Boris the Brexiteer revert to Boris the inclusive Mayor?
Mike Burton has two questions. Will Boris bring some of his trusted former local government leaders to No 10 to give the support that proved so successful when he was Mayor? Will he, once elected by his Brexiteer party, swing back to the old Boris?
Are LA housing companies the way forward?
Councils are increasingly creating companies to deliver their social housing needs, The MJ and Norse recently organised a round table debate to discuss the barriers to delivering housing delivery through these vehicles. Michael Burton reports
Civil service chief calls for more cross-Whitehall working
Whitehall chief Sir Mark Sedwill has called for more cross-boundary working among civil servants to tackle social issues like knife crime, troubled families and mental health.