Michael Burton

Michael Burton

Michael Burton is editorial director of The MJ
  • Report in abuse action call

    09 June 2021

    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

    08 June 2021

    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

    01 June 2021

    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

    25 May 2021

    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

    25 May 2021

    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

    20 May 2021

    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

    18 May 2021

    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

    10 May 2021

    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?

    05 May 2021

    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

    04 May 2021

    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

    04 May 2021

    A levelling up White Paper will replace the long-awaited policy document on devolution and local recovery.


  • Devolution call in business leaders' blueprint

    28 April 2021

    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'

    20 April 2021

    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

    19 April 2021

    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

    08 April 2021

    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

    31 March 2021

    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

    25 March 2021

    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

    24 March 2021

    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

    16 March 2021

    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

    09 March 2021

    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.