Online Training on Local Government Finance for UNISON Stewards


UNISON has commissioned the LGiU to provide online training on local government finance. Aimed at UNISON stewards and reps who work in local government these training courses will provide an essential understanding of how it works and an opportunity to learn more about your local Council’s finances.

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





Register below for each nation.

Register for England:

  • Thursday, 11 April 2024: 9:30-12:30
  • Thursday, 23 May 2024: 9:30-12:30
  • Thursday, 26 September 2024: 9:30-12:30

Register for Wales:

  • Thursday, 3 October 2024: 9:30-11:00

Register for Scotland:

  • Wednesday, 17 October 2024: 9.30-11:00

An Introduction to Local Government Finance

The LGIU’s introductory online training on local government finance explains the basics and is 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 and all jargon is explained.

By the end of the training, you 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 and reps from England, Scotland and Wales can attend any of the following drop-in sessions:

Register here for Ask the Experts:

Thursday, 21 November: 9:30-11:00

Wednesday, 11 December: 9:30-11:00

Ask the Experts: Drop-in training sessions

If you have attended the LGIU’s introductory training on local government finance or watched our bite-learning sessions and want to know more about the subject then REGISTER and attend our drop-in training sessions where you can ask our expert trainers more questions about local government finance and how you, as UNISON stewards or reps, can influence your Council’s budget setting process.

Each session will discuss the ‘big 3’ finance reports and budget-setting process that includes:

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

We will also discuss the tough political choices made when setting your Council’s annual budget where we will:

  • 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 on Council budgets.
  • Look at the financial planning and control processes at a typical local council
  • Look at the policy-making and budget-setting cycle.

REGISTER HERE! to learn more about local government finance.


Ian Fifield, Ian is a CIPFA qualified accountant with over 20 years of experience in designing and delivering financial management training for local authorities and other public service organisations.

Alan Waters, Alan as an ex-councillor and former Leader of Norwich City Council until May 2023 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.

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LGIU can also provide in-house training tailored to your needs.  To find out more email [email protected]