Michael Burton is editorial director of The MJ
Hammond must not take the sector for granted
Chancellor Philip Hammond must ensure local government does not face a crisis similar to those in the prison service and justice system, says Michael Burton
Think-tanks float extra council tax flexibility
Local government faces another period of tough budget settlements but could be granted more freedom to raise local revenues, according to a report on options for this year’s Spending Review by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and the Institute for Government.
Austerity cuts get the blame for Brexit
Domestic political decisions were to blame for Brexit and will do little to help those deprived Leave areas that helped make it happen, says Michael Burton.
Council cuts threaten NHS plan
Cuts in council social care and public health budgets threaten the viability of the ambitious NHS Long Term Plan, care chiefs have warned.
Keeping up standards
As councils become increasingly commercial, auditors are asking how high standards of governance and accountability can be maintained in a more risky financial climate. Michael Burton reports on a National Audit Office/The MJ round table debate
FoI should be extended to providers
The Information Commissioner believes contractors providing services to the public sector should be subject to the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act. Michael Burton also comes down on the side of us being able to monitor how they spend our money.
Lack of preparation suggests no-deal is a negotiating tool
The Government has hardly bothered to involve local authorities in any serious planning for exiting the EU without an agreement. This suggests two mindsets, according to Mike Burton.
MHCLG churn 'damaging institutional memory'
Whitehall is suffering from ‘collective amnesia’ due to high staff turnover that is wasting millions of pounds, according to a study today from the respected think-tank the Institute for Government (IfG).
Whitehall is suffering from amnesia
We have a fatal combination of both ministers and civil servants with no collective memory - and this has been bad news for local government, says Michael Burton
Where do councils fit into the NHS plan?
Last week’s publication of the NHS Long Term Plan signals a fundamental shift towards community-based services and a focus on reducing health inequalities. Michael Burton looks at its implications for local government
The NHS makes a land grab for public health
Flushed with the massive bung from the Prime Minister, the NHS appears to have decided it must take over cash-strapped local government judging by its latest so-called long-term plan, says Michael Burton
NHS can 'save 500,000 more lives'
The NHS claims it can save half a million more lives by investment in technology, focusing on greater prevention and closer partnerships with local government to keep older people out of hospital, according to its long-term plan published today.
Don’t throw out the rule book with the bath water
Like all complainants, the Local Government Ombudsman is both a nuisance and an asset, but his latest message is clear, says Michael Burton: Don't lose the focus on the frontline.
A winning approach to care and health
St Helens MBC and its partners have addressed the pressing challenges of rising health and care demand and falling budgets with a programme that this year made it a winner in the Care and Health Integration category in The MJ Awards 2018
Spending Review must factor Brexit’s impact on GDP
Despite economists rubbishing claims that savings on EU contributions post-Brexit could be diverted to the NHS, the Prime Minister continues to make them, says Michael Burton - and the Spending Review must factor Brexit's impact on GDP.
Who tells the truth about education spending?
The old adage ‘lies, damned lies and statistics’ is never truer than when it comes to education spending. Is it up or down? Is the Government telling porkies when it says we’re spending more than ever on schools, asks Mike Burton
Is AI a big opportunity or merely Big Brother?
Artificial intelligence could streamline the delivery of council services but are local authorities or indeed their residents ready for such change? A recent round table debate hosted by The MJ and Zurich Municipal examined these key questions as Michael Burton reports
Extra care cash could be swallowed up by pay
Whatever Brexit deal occurs next March, the recruitment crisis in care and other parts of local government will get worse, says Michael Burton - and much of the extra Budget money will go on filling vacancies and paying higher wages
Winner’s quest to build on success
As The MJ launches its 2019 awards Michael Burton reports on how winning the 2018 Local Authority of the Year category this year made an impact on Blackburn with Darwen Council
Are public sector managers paying too much tax?
The public sector has traditionally backed Labour because of its commitment to funding public services. writes Michael Burton - but is this being tested because a growing number of its managers are in the same 40% tax bracket as those on £145k?