Mr Mike Durke BA, MA, MBA

Senior Lecturer  -  Public Services 


Tel: (01792) 481694

mike durke

  • Lecturing on the HND/Degree in Public Services and Health and Social Care
  • Year 5 Tutor

My career in public services began 30 years ago upon joining the Ministry of Police as a Police Constable. This provided an early insight into the operation of the UK government, how policies impact on society and on the power of the media to shape debate. 

Following a fantastic and life-changing 4 years studying philosophy at Swansea, I worked as a Care Officer with adults who had learning disabilities, then for 5 years with Looked After Children and their families within a large local authority social services department. This was the best and worst of roles: the best because often I was one of the few positive, non-abusive adults that the children had known; the worst because some of the children I had the privilege of looking after died tragically young.

I was a civil servant at the Welsh Assembly as a manager in the Child and Family Division helping to oversee Children First as the Welsh Government’s drive to transform social services for children in Wales. The opportunity to work in national government opened my eyes to the commitment of the Welsh Ministers, the diverse challenges of developing a new government, the power of professionals and professional bodies, and the nature of the civil service. 

After an enjoyable post overseeing 49 community buildings delivering community recreation services to Swansea, I became the Chief Executive Officer of the Hill Community Development Trust in Townhill, Swansea and stayed in that post until November 2014. The Trust was set up to build on the foundation laid by the only European Union Urban (I) Community Initiative in Wales. My challenges were broad and diverse, but in essence the idea was to take a grassroots approach to tackling very long-standing issues, to provide much needed community services and to generate an income stream thereby reducing dependency on government grants. It is fair to say that this approach was more successful than anyone dared to hope on day one. It is an example of best practice which has been built upon in many parts of the UK and beyond.

  • Chartered Management Institute (CMI)
  • Chartered Manager and Fellow (CMgr/ FCMI)
  • Children, Young People and Families
  • Health Internships
  • Law, Ethics and Professional Practice
  • Partnership Working and Contemporary Issues
  • Social Theory, Policy and Practice
  • Strategic Management for Public Organisations

This is my first year as a full-time member of the team and so my initial priority is to settle in a support students to the best of my ability. Next year I will be interested to support postgraduate students and develop research interests.

Concentration on the diverse challenges of realigning public services in the UK at a time of significant challenges, with consideration of alternate models for public service delivery where cost savings, engagement of the font-line and community engagement are the critical area to be explored

Looked After Children: in some areas we have seen a doubling of the LAC population within 10 years. At the same time budgets have never been tighter, major investigations into the most tragic cases of child abuse have seen professionals under the intense examination of the media microscope

Democracy and political structures: with the memberships of the major political parties at approximately 10% of their post-war levels, have we seen the steady growth of a political class which is remote from the lives of ordinary everyday people? What impact does this have on the design and delivery of policies? How has this membership evaporation effected the political landscape of Wales?

  • Management in the public and voluntary sectors
  • Running and developing a social enterprise
  • Human resource management with direct responsibility for a team of up to 35
  • Financial management: not as a chartered accountant but as a financial manager with accountability to a board of directors
  • Development of management systems for the collation of diverse financial information into a colour-coded, easily understandable and communicable format
  • Community engagement
  • Innovative solutions for the public sector
  • Child welfare
  • Children’s nurseries – having run a Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales (CSSIW) children’s nursery for 8 years

My main achievement rests with the development of the Hill CDT Ltd from an innovative high-level, 100% government funded enterprise, to a community owned and managed organisation which, from a standing start, has consistently generated £250k pa through trading activities. In total, I led the organisation to secure £4.5m over 12 years, 50% in self-generated income. 

Provided consultation work for regeneration organisations across Wales and the UK, United States, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Lithuania, Latvia, Brussels, Malta and Poland, to share knowledge and expertise honed through development, management and leadership of an innovative community organisation.

Provided Child Poverty seminars for colleagues across Wales to get to grips with the many challenges of the Welsh Government’s ambitious Child Poverty agenda.

Durke M (2012) Trust and Partnership: why community ownership and close collaboration are the keys to future success. HCDT Ltd: Swansea

Durke M (2011) The Townhill Baseline: a springboard for action. HCDT Ltd: Swansea

Durke M (2011) Why do we have ‘deprivation’ on the Hill? HCDT Ltd: Swansea

Durke M (2011) Why do we have ‘child poverty’ on the Hill? HCDT Ltd: Swansea

Durke M (2011) Street Level Performance Management: a summary for Welsh Ministers

Durke M (2011) Street Level Performance Management: a coffee break summary

Durke M and Bailey S (2004) ‘Who Cares? A week of investigation into child abuse in Swansea. South Wales Evening Post. October 2004.

Durke M (1993) ‘Flying a Philosophical Flag’: an examination of the importance of philosophy for children. Western Mail.

In the last few years I have presented papers at a number of events:

  • Welsh Branch of the British Psychology Society – ‘Looking After Ourselves’
  • International MBA Conference at Hamk University, Finland ‘Management Training for Community Organisations’
  • Public Sector Reform Conference, Barbican, London, with Lord Maurice Glasman – ‘A Street-Level Approach: improving services and saving money in the most “deprived” communities.’
  • Roehampton Trust, Wandsworth with world-class yachtswoman Tracey Edwards

Child poverty training seminars for Communities First Partnership Members across Wales