Michael Burton is editorial director of The MJ
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.
Further delays for social care reform
Social care reform faces further delays after rumours that the chancellor and Prime Minister are concerned at the £5bn bill to fund more generous capping limits.
Devolution White Paper to be replaced by levelling up proposals
A levelling up White Paper will replace the long-awaited policy document on devolution and local recovery.
Devolution call in business leaders' blueprint
Top business leaders have issued a blueprint for recovery that includes more devolved powers for metro mayors, unitaries and counties, and rebranded local enterprise partnerships (LEPs).
Judge accuses council of 'longstanding failures'
A council accused by a judge of ‘longstanding failures’ in its children’s services has admitted its actions were ‘indefensible’.
No simple north-south divide, says report
There is no simple north-south divide, a new report by Legal and General (L&G) has argued.
Surfeit of grant pots makes a pot noodle for councils
If questions about the way the Levelling Up Fund and the Towns Fund are targeted dulls ministers’ appetites for more pots then they could always consider rolling them up into one fund and calling it, say, revenue support grant, says Michael Burton.
Council tax revaluation would help level up, says IFS
A new council tax revaluation would boost the Government’s levelling up agenda, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has said.
Short-term funding has held back care, says watchdog
Short-term funding has held back investment in the unstable £16.5bn adult social care market despite a forecast 57% in demand from the over-65s by 2036 says a report from the National Audit Office (NAO).
A Beveridge-sized challenge for local government
Michael Burton says planning for the aftermath of the pandemic 'need not wait until the number of cases is in single figures just as Beveridge did not wait for the guns to fall silent before planning the welfare state'.
Watchdog warns of post-pandemic underfunding crisis
Local government has been praised by the national finance watchdog for its response to the pandemic but faces severe budget pressures unless the Treasury initiates multi-year settlements, Michael Burton reports.
Under pressure from many directions
Last week’s Budget made optimistic assumptions about post-pandemic costs that could mean cuts in services like local government down the line, reports Michael Burton.