Online Training on Local Government Finance for UNISON Stewards


This online training is designed to provide stewards with a thorough grounding in the key elements of local government finance and funding.

If you are a UNISON steward or organiser working in local government and want to learn more about your Council’s finances then read on.

No prior knowledge of council finance is required and all finance jargon, acronyms and terms will be explained.

The LGiU has been commissioned by UNISON to provide training on local government finance. Aimed at UNISON Stewards who work in local government this session will provide a good grounding and an opportunity to learn more about your local Council’s finances.

UNISON Reps and Stewards who have not yet attended an introductory workshop on local government are recommended to register for sessions organised by the LGIU on local government finance.

See further details below



Morning sessions:

England: 26 April 2023: 9:30-12:30 – REGISTER HERE

England: 8 June 2023: 9:30-12:30 – REGISTER HERE

England: 13 September 2023: 9:30-12:30 – REGISTER HERE


Lunchtime sessions:

England: 22 November 2023: 12:15-13:45 – REGISTER HERE

NB: Owing to national differences in local government finance in Scotland and Wales stewards from either region are advised to attend their respective national sessions.

Scotland: 25 May 2023: 12:15-13:45 – REGISTER HERE 

Wales: 26 October 2023: 12:15-13:45 – REGISTER HERE

An Introduction to Local Government Finance

The LGIU’s online introductory workshops on local government finance explain the basics and are designed to provide you, as stewards, with a thorough grounding in the key elements of local government finance and funding.

No previous experience is required.  All jargon explained.

By the end of the session, participants will:

  • Understand the importance of good financial governance and the key role and responsibilities played by elected councillors.
  • Understand the overall national legal and policy framework affecting council finance and budgets.
  • Understand key concepts and terminology, such as capital and revenue, general fund and the Housing Revenue Account (HRA), reserves and balances.
  • Understand how local councils receive their funding.




UNISON Stewards from England, Scotland and Wales can attend any of the following drop-in workshops


5 July 2023: 12:15-13:45

14 September 2023: 12:15-13:45

29 November 2023: 12:15-13:45

13 December 2023: 12:15-13:45

Drop-in Workshops

Next steps…

You’ve attended the LGIU’s introductory training on local government finance (see above) or watched the LGIU’s bite-size learning on local government finance and reviewing the big 3 financial reports and want to know more about your local council’s finances.   The LGIU will be facilitating four lunchtime drop-in workshops to allow stewards and reps to ask any questions they may have.

The drop-in workshops will also touch on the political choices made when setting your Council’s annual budget and how UNISON stewards can influence the decision process including:

  • Appraise and evaluate how stewards can most effectively influence budget and spending decisions.
  • the continued impacts of austerity, the pandemic and the cost of living crisis
  • look at financial planning and control process at a typical local council.
  • look at policy-making and budget-setting cycle.

The drop-in workshops will touch on the key 3 finance reports that local councils publish each year that include:

  • The Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) and Annual Budget
  • The latest budget monitoring report
  • The Statement of Accounts.

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