Michael Burton is editorial director of The MJ
Balls steps into awards presenting chair
There could be dancing in the aisles at The MJ’s awards gala lunch on September 17 – for former Strictly Come Dancing star Ed Balls will be announcing the winners.
Public finances improve
The public finances improved last month as economic activity picked up though debt remains at a record high, according to latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.
Good design alone cannot address the Nimby challenge
In principle, focusing on housing design quality is a good idea, says Michael Burton. 'But councillors know the cost of ignoring their residents’ views on unpopular new housing estates, whatever ministers insist: they lose their seats.'
Government should 'dig deep' to cut child poverty, says Commission
The Government should ‘dig deep’ by investing £14bn to help reduce child poverty and improve social mobility says a report from the independent Social Mobility Commission.
Taking a risk
A new study warns of looming unfunded risks to the public finances from climate change to adult care which Michael Burton says should be heeded by the chancellor as he prepares the next Spending Review
Prudential borrowing threat reduced
The threat of high levels of prudential borrowing by councils for commercial property investments has been downgraded by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).
MJ Awards shortlist revealed
More than 120 trailblazing local authority projects, teams and individuals have been shortlisted for The MJ Local Government Achievement Awards 2021.
New subsidy rules unveiled
New rules on the awarding of subsidies by local authorities to businesses have been unveiled to MPs following Brexit.
Staying local but going global for investment
Just because we are no longer in the EU does not mean European investors have lost interest in the UK, says Michael Burton - and there is a strong argument to saying the UK's regions should be scaling up their lobbying presence there, and elsewhere.
Government borrowing drops
Government borrowing last month at £24.3bn was £19.4bn lower than the same month in 2020 thanks to better than expected tax revenues.
Heseltine: Metro mayors should make more trouble for Boris
Metro mayors should ‘make more trouble for the Prime Minister’ to deliver their plans, former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine told an online seminar on devolution.
Report in abuse action call
Council children’s services should take a more active approach to combating child sexual abuse (CSA), according to a new report that has found at least 15% of girls and 5% of boys experience some form of sexual abuse before the age of 16.
Asylum seeker costs should be funded from the centre
The fair and humanitarian answer from the Home Office is to properly fund councils shouldering the burden of looking after unaccompanied asylum seeking children so they do not have to raid their children’s services budgets, says Michael Burton.
Health spending rises by record quarter
Spending on taxpayer-funded health services rose by a record 25% to £220bn last year as the NHS battled with pandemic costs, according to latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
ONS reveals a glimmer of hope for public finances
There was a glimmer of light for the public finances with latest figures showing Government borrowing last month was £15.6bn lower than in April last year.
400,000 homes could be built on greenfield, says CPRE
More than 400,000 new houses could be built in greenfield sites in the south of England over the next five years, according to analysis commissioned by the countryside charity CPRE.
Levelling up is 'meaningless' without devo, say Lords
The Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda is meaningless without more devolution to councils and investment in local public services says a report from the House of Lords.
Entries to The MJ Awards smash records
The number of entries to this year’s The MJ Awards has smashed all records by being the highest since they were launched 18 years ago.
Powell becomes shadow housing secretary in mini-reshuffle
Labour leader Keir Starmer has replaced his shadow housing secretary and brought in a high-flyer as shadow child poverty minister as part of a mini-reshuffle.
Will Zoom speed up reform?
As the Government plans a new round of public sector reform Michael Burton considers the impact of the Zoom revolution.