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Finance Peer Challenge and financial peer support

Led by local government sector peers and finance experts, we support councils to assess their financial position and finance strategy. Councils can choose from a range of support including undertaking a Finance Peer Challenge, financial health check or budget challenge, or taking part in our Collaborative Finance Panel.

Every council is aiming for a financially sustainable future while dealing with the problem of balancing the books from year to year – but, for each one, the solution will be different.

Our Finance Peer Challenge programme is a form of specialist peer challenge that dovetails closely with our Corporate Peer Challenge programme – it looks at how councils are setting strategy, making required decisions and implementing changes that will give them the best chance of balancing the books in the medium and long term.

Each Finance Peer Challenge involves financially experienced peers and focuses on five areas:

  • financial leadership – (Does the authority have plans for its long-term financial sustainability, which are owned by its members and officer leaders?)
  • financial strategy, planning and forecasting – (Does the authority understand its short and long-term financial prospects?)
  • decision-making – (Are key decisions taken in the understanding of the financial implications, risks and options?)
  • financial outcomes – (Are financial results, including those of the council’s capital investments and transformation projects, monitored and acted upon so as to realise the authority’s intentions?)
  • partnership and innovation – (Is finance at the cutting edge of what the authority is working to achieve, working with partners and seeking innovative approaches?)

Our Finance Improvement and Sustainability Programme involves LGA advisers (all of whom are former local authority chief finance officers) giving advice and insight to councils facing financial challenges. Our advisers can provide councils with, for example, a financial health check or support in challenging your budget.

Our experienced councillor peers can work with councillors to help them understand the budget challenges they face.

Collaborative Finance Panel

Our Collaborative Finance Panel is a platform for chief finance officers from different parts of the country to discuss common and related problems as well as share good practice. It is also a learning network where issues and concerns are discussed in a supportive and constructive environment.

Collaborative Finance Panel discussions are held under the 'Chatham House rule' and are confidential.

For more information, please contact the LGA principal adviser for your region.