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Author Archives: Mark Burton

I have a diverse background: clinical and research psychologist (with special interests in liberation and community psychology), senior health and social care manager (specialising in integrated, public sector, learning disability provision) and amateur ecological economist, now focusing mainly on alternatives to economic "growth" in the Greater Manchester and wider contexts.

Climate change is here. With just over one degree of average global warming above pre-industrial levels we can already see the consequences including increased storms, droughts, heat-waves, polar and mountain ice loss and sea level rise. Atmospheric CO2 levels are now at a level higher than that experienced by any person ever. People worldwide are losing lives and livelihoods already. The 2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change concluded that, “climate change threatens to undermine the last half century of gains in development and global health”. They noted that, “The direct effects of climate change include increased heat stress, […]
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If Labour wants to go beyond opposing austerity and thereby appeal beyond the 25% of voters  affected directly, then it needs to propose policies that are relevant to the fears and dreams of specific sectors.  However, this needs to go beyond promising to do the same thing as the Tories only better, and policies should neither look like mere electoral opportunism nor be reducible to it: there needs to be a good reason for such promises.  And while it is important to defend the good in Labour’s record, new ground will need to be broken if there is to be […]
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This week’s big news in Manchester is that the devolution of direct responsibility for significant areas public spending to the city-region will now be augmented by the devolution of the entire NHS budget for the city region with a view to integrating this with social care. You can now see more of the detail about the deal (interesting term that) on the AGMA website. I have already written, separately, in the last weeks on both the DevoManc model and on the integration of health and social care. The first piece, for Steady State Manchester argued that the model is flawed […]
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Background For thirty years (from June, 1982) I worked in Manchester’s services for people who are intellectually disabled (usually termed learning disability in the UK, but nowhere else).  I worked as a practitioner, a developer of services, a researcher, a head of professional services and ultimately (for 8 years until March 2012) as the manager of integrated health and social care for learning disabled adults.  My commitment to work in the city of Manchester was complemented by national and international networking that helped me to take a wider perspective on the peculiarities of what we did locally and also how […]
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