Understanding Local Government Finance

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2009 Local Government Service Group Conference
19 February 2009

Over the past few months increasing numbers of councils have been facing financial problems, sadly resulting in some of our members losing their jobs. If, as a union, we are going to better challenge councils when they say they have financial problems branches need to have a better understanding of how local government is funded, what information to ask for and how to understand financial accounts. Therefore conference instructs the SGE to produce briefing materials for branches in simple layperson’s language on:

1)what the key information branches need in order to assess the financial performance of their council

2)how branches can go about getting this information

3)how branches can interpret this information

4)what questions branches should be asking of councils

Further, conference instructs the SGE to:

a)develop a training course for lay activists to help them better understand local government finances

b)produce a list of approved consultants that branches can use to assist them with analysing financial accounts

c)produce a standard specification for the above consultants to work, to ensure a consistent approach