Michael Burton

Michael Burton

Michael Burton is editorial director of The MJ
  • Hammond must not take the sector for granted

    13 February 2019

    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

    11 February 2019

    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

    06 February 2019

    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

    04 February 2019

    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

    30 January 2019

    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

    30 January 2019

    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

    23 January 2019

    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'

    16 January 2019

    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

    16 January 2019

    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?

    15 January 2019

    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

    08 January 2019

    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'

    07 January 2019

    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

    05 December 2018

    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

    04 December 2018

    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

    28 November 2018

    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?

    21 November 2018

    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?

    21 November 2018

    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

    13 November 2018

    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

    07 November 2018

    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?

    07 November 2018

    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?