Wednesday 28 October 2020

The Changing Landscape of Local Government Finance

It is more important than ever that all councillors understand how the local government finance system works because council budgets look likely to be under significant pressure until the end of the decade. All elected members have a role to play in the financial affairs of the council: 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 your role.

This session gives a very good grounding in how local government finance works in practice and sets the basics as part of the bigger picture of current developments and longer-term trends – the approach of the new Government after the General Election in December 2019.

The session will also cover the emerging impact of major changes to local government finance: the current consultation about the 100 per cent localisation of Business Rates and the expectation of councils generating local economic growth to help fund services.


  • Context – what are the issues facing local government
  • Back to basics: how the system works
  • Council budgets: the role of elected members
  •  ‘The Jaws of Doom’? How is your council preparing for the next 5 years? 
  • Testing your knowledge of the basics!

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. 


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 (Cllr), Leader of the Council, 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.

The Costs

£175 - Members of East Midlands Councils

£210 - Associate Members

£250 - Non-Members

All costs subject to VAT.

Book a place

To book a place please use the online booking form below. 

Further Information

Kirsty Lowe at East Midlands Councils on 01664 502 637 or email


to be confirmed

10:00 - 16:30

The Venue

East Midlands Councils

Pera Business Park

Nottingham Road

Melton Mowbray

Leicestershire, LE13 0PB



Upcoming Dates for this event