Michael Burton

Michael Burton

Michael Burton is editorial director of The MJ
  • Big can be beautiful

    20 February 2024

    A new 6,000-homes community near Rugby is seen by its master developer as the way forward for tackling the housing crisis, as Michael Burton reports.


  • The search for the Holy Grail of growth

    19 February 2024

    In an exclusive interview, Lord Heseltine, the longstanding advocate of elected mayors, tells Michael Burton why powerful, devolved local government is essential for delivering the growth agenda.


  • Heseltine and Clark hit out over LEPs

    19 February 2024

    Two former Conservative Cabinet ministers have hit out at plans to wind up England’s 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP).


  • Lyons: Where are we now?

    23 January 2024

    The Lyons review of local government was published 17 years ago. If the inquiry recommendations had been put in place, would local government be in the position it is now? The MJ gathered a panel of experts – including Sir Michael Lyons – to ask just that. Michael Burton reports.


  • Manchester leads list for local government in New Year honours

    02 January 2024

    The chief executives of both Manchester City Council and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority have been recognised in the New Year Honours List.


  • Gove reveals 'name and shame' approach to planning

    19 December 2023

    Housing secretary Michael Gove has ordered seven councils to come up with a timetable for producing their delayed local housing plans in his much-trailed speech on a strategy for building more homes.


  • Review into London's 'woeful' housebuilding figures

    19 December 2023

    Housing secretary Michael Gove has ordered a review into London’s housing shortages claiming the number of new homes is far below the level needed and calling it ‘a woeful picture.’


  • Fund to go to town centre 'champions'

    19 December 2023

    New guidance for the government’s £1.1bn ‘long term plan for towns’ has confirmed the boards in charge of spending the cash should be led by a local independent chair who will act as a ‘champion’ for the town.


  • Levelling up’s showbiz touch

    11 December 2023

    Last week’s Chanel fashion spectacle in Manchester was a global triumph for the city, but addressing regional inequalities still remains a huge challenge for the next Government, says Michael Burton.


  • Public services out in the cold

    27 November 2023

    There was little joy for under-pressure public sector budgets including local government from last week’s Autumn Statement as Michael Burton reports.


  • Autumn Statement: Unprotected departments face further cuts

    22 November 2023

    So-called ‘unprotected’ Whitehall departments face further budget tightening despite a pledge in the Autumn Statement to increase public sector productivity.


  • Mixed economic news for chancellor ahead of autumn statement

    21 November 2023

    The chancellor has received mixed news on the economy the day before the autumn statement, with official figures showing record borrowing last month and higher interest payments offset by better-than-expected tax revenues.


  • DLUHC to be hit by real term budget cuts, think-tank warns

    06 November 2023

    The levelling up department is to be hit by real term budget cuts over the next five years despite buoyant tax revenues, a pre-Autumn Statement report from the Resolution Foundation think-tank has warned.


  • Shaping the post-pandemic workforce

    30 October 2023

    The Society of Personnel and Development Scotland (SPDS), which represents HR professionals across most of Scotland’s 32 councils, meets this week for its annual conference in St Andrews. Outgoing president Jane Fowler and incoming president Elaine Barrie outline the workforce challenges.


  • 'Devolution hopes rest on combined authorities'

    24 October 2023

    Combined authorities represent the greatest hope for devolution in England, according to a new report based on interviews with 95 former ministers and Whitehall mandarins.


  • Old wine in new bottles

    18 October 2023

    The names on the doors may change, but regional policy will remain a priority for the next Government, says Michael Burton.


  • Time to bring in the experts

    16 August 2023

    With public sector reform back on the agenda and Whitehall under critical scrutiny, Michael Burton says it is time to call in the experts from local government to expedite change.


  • Gauke calls for new Office for Spending Evaluation

    31 July 2023

    Former Treasury minister David Gauke has called for a new Office for Spending Evaluation to prioritise ‘productive’ spending on public services.


  • UK debt breaks 100% ceiling

    21 June 2023

    Total UK debt has broken the 100% ceiling as a share of the economy for the first time in 62 years after borrowing doubled.


  • Knee-jerk regulation is not the answer to failure

    20 June 2023

    Michael Burton says that in the wake of financial losses at Woking, Thurrock and elsewhere, the answer is 'not more regulation but better use of existing checks and balances'.