Michael Burton is editorial director of The MJ
Back to the future for Gove
The newly renamed communities department with its enhanced brief to deliver levelling up has shades of John Prescott and his regional agenda suggests Michael Burton
The challenge of managing the return to the civic centre
By and large, civic centre workers made a successful transition to home working, says Michael Burton. But councils will equally want to ensure that reducing their office space does not further reduce footfall in their town centres, he adds.
Top MHCLG man to speak at Future Forum
The top official at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is to be a keynote speaker at The MJ’s Future Forum next month.
When robust scrutiny becomes unfounded abuse
Michael Burton says surely 'citizen journalists' should accept the same ethical standards as professional journalists, and he asks why 'unelected public servants' shouldn't have the same protection against unfair criticism granted to the public.
Peers call for joined up funding for children and families
Peers have urged Cabinet ministers to produce a cross-Whitehall bid for funding for vulnerable children and their families in the next Spending Review.
Levelling up should focus on wellbeing, says report
The levelling up agenda should focus on improving economic and social wellbeing rather than infrastructure according to new research from the UK Prosperity Index 2021.
The Lambeth report is a warning to us all
The historic abuse of looked-after children in Lambeth LBC is about the worst example of what happens when a toxic political culture poisons the entire authority, says Michael Burton.
Councils account for 8.8% of data breaches, says ICO
Local authorities were responsible for 8.8% of all personal data breaches reported to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO), according to its latest annual report.
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.