England & Wales

An Introduction to Local Government Finance: Oldham



Council budgets look likely to be under significant pressure until the end of the decade. This seminar will look at the implications of these longer term trends as well as the impact of the Comprehensive Spending Review for 2015/16.The seminar will cover the major changes to local government finance that came into operation in April 2013: the localisation of Business Rates and the expectation of councils generating local economic growth to help fund services. The impact on council budgets of the welfare reform changes; the Localism Act and any fresh or recent government initiatives and announcements will also be assessed.

It is more important than ever that all councillors understand how the finance system works so that they can play their role effectively. Executive councillors have to develop and implement the budget; councillors on scrutiny committees should be reviewing the budget process and financial planning and every councillor needs to involve their residents in the political choices that have to be made about budgets and council tax. If you are going to make a difference as a councillor it is crucial that you understand finance and are confident about the role you should play in the financial affairs of the council.


09:30 Registration and refreshments

10:00 Welcome and introductions by Finance Portfolio holder for Oldham MBC

10:10 Context – what are the issues facing local government

10:40 ‘Back to basics’: how the system works

11:40 Refreshments

11:55 Back to basics – how the system works continued…

12:40 Lunch

13:25: Council budgets: the role of elected members

14:00: ‘The Jaws of Doom’? What strategies can councils use to protect functions; services and jobs? (Break out activity)

14: 50 Feedback and discussion

15:20 Final comments

15:30 Close

* This programme was correct at the time of publication but may be altered to reflect speaker changes that are beyond our control.

This is hosted by Oldham Council.

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Ian Fifield, Ian is a CIPFA qualified accountant with over 20 years’ experience in designing and delivering financial management training for local authorities and other public service organisations. Ian’s training experience includes: designing training seminars for finance professionals, service managers and elected members. He has co-authored the Centre for Public Scrutiny publications On the Money, considering effective financial and budget scrutiny methods and also Treasure Your Assets, considering local government invest and borrowing activities.

Alan Waters, Cabinet member for Resources, Norwich City Council and Learning and Development Manager, LGIU. Alan has extensive experience in dealing with the practical political issues that face elected members around budgets. Alan has delivered a wide range of training and development programmes for the LGIU. He is a Member Peer with the Local Government Group and has been a trainer for the National Councillor Mentoring Programme.

Who should attend?
The seminar is aimed at both new and experienced local authority members, who want to understand the basics of local government finance and financial management – and develop a grasp of the financial implications of recent changes. The seminar will also be relevant to local authority officers who are involved in the budget process, as well as local government partners.