As well as our extensive work programme to influence funding for local government, we have updated our finance offer to help local authorities.
Increasingly, local authorities have been telling us that they are looking for support and examples of notable practice to help them manage their overall finances in these difficult times. For example, they have requested support to:
- increase productivity
- achieve efficiency savings
- engage with communities to prioritise how they spend reduced resources.
Our financial resilience offer makes use of expertise from across the local government sector in the form of LGA peers (experienced councillors and officers). It focuses on productivity and efficiency, and signposts users to the useful work of other organisations, such as Local Partnerships. Our financial resilience offer includes:
- a financial health check
- a budget challenge
- tools to support councils to assess their own financial position and consider opportunities and threats to their financial strategy.
Finance Associates Programme
Our Finance Associates Programme sees LGA finance associates – all of them former local authority chief finance officers – providing advice and insight to councils facing financial challenges. Our finance associates can provide a financial health check of your council or support in challenging your budget. Alternatively, we can provide experienced member peers to work with councillors to help them understand their budget challenges.
Finance Peer Challenge
Our Finance Peer Challenge programme is a 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.
LG Inform – our free data benchmarking tool
Our free data benchmarking tool – LG Inform – presents you with up-to-date data about your local area and the performance of your council. With access to over 1,000 individual items of published data for England, LG Inform gives you:
- easy access to the most relevant up-to-date published data
- the ability to compare your council with others
- high-quality online and offline reporting.
This includes pre-written reports on comparative financial data and ‘Value for Money' (VFM) profiles which allow cost comparison with neighbours.
Peterborough City Council is a small unitary authority, which, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, was facing significant financial challenges.
Support for councillors
- Our Finance Leadership Essentials programme – for leaders, cabinet members and audit committee chairs – includes a new offer for cabinet members from across all disciplines to better integrate financial matters with service issues and Value For Money.
- Our finance induction session – Finance without numbers – is aimed at new councillors as well as those who are looking to refresh their knowledge of the basics of local government finance.
- Our introduction to audit virtual session for audit committee members provides councillors with an overview of the purpose of the audit committee and how it goes about its function.
- Our financial governance workshop series consists of four interactive sessions focusing on financial governance.
- Our regional audit forums for audit committee chairs identify systemic audit issues and support councils to improve the timeliness of the completion of external audits. These forums convene at least three times a year and provide an opportunity to share good practice and discuss common issues. Forums are organised by a lead authority in each region which decides the agendas. Please email Ami Beeton, Senior Adviser, at [email protected] for more information about the regional audit forums.
Support for officers
- Our Chief Finance Officer (CFO) Mentoring Scheme provides support to chief finance officers.
- Our collaborative finance panels offer a platform for chief finance officers from across the country to discuss common and related problems and to share notable practice. These provide a learning network where issues and concerns are discussed in a supportive and constructive environment. Discussions are held under the Chatham House Rule and are confidential. Please email Olayinka Animashaun, Adviser, at [email protected] for more information about the panels.
- The CIPFA Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Leadership Academy aims at serving and aspiring CFOs across the public sector who want to strengthen their personal impact and leadership skills. Delegates from English local authorities may be eligible for an LGA bursary.
Find out more
To find out more about our financial resilience offer or to discuss any support you may need, please email [email protected]