Since the issuing of a Section 114 notice by Birmingham City Council in September 2023, the financial management of local government has been under even greater scrutiny than it was before. These ongoing difficulties are exacerbated by authorities’ core spending power decreasing by 27% in real terms since 2010/11. With high inflation and a rising cost of borrowing further complicating matters, there is a growing need for councils to come together and discuss how to put local government finance on a sustainable footing for the long term.

  • 192 authorities in England have debts that are over twice the size of their spending power, according to the Local Government Information Unit
  • Rising inflation will add an extra £1 billion to local authorities’ budget gaps over the next two years, according to the Local Government Association
  • At least 26 councils are considering declaring bankruptcy within the next two years, according to the Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities (Sigoma)

Join us at The Financial Management in Local Government 2024 to learn about recent trends and changes in local government finance. Listen to leading experts’ latest guidance on improving financial management across your organisation. Engage with a series of best practice case studies showcasing innovative ways to generate income ethically and sustainably. Topics covered will include creating an impactful commercialisation strategy, delivering targeted efficiency savings, and working collaboratively with public and private partners to maintain high-quality services. Gain the opportunity to network with a range of senior colleagues from across the local government sector.


Why Attend:

✓ High-level keynotes from leading experts on policies and support measures to improve local government financial management

✓ Case studies showcasing best practice financial management strategies and efficient use of resources

✓ Networking opportunities with colleagues from across a range of local councils

✓ 8 hours of CPD points towards your yearly quota

  • Coffee and Registration

  • Chair’s Opening Remarks

    Dr Koen PR Bartels, Departmental Head of Research, University of Birmingham (invited)

  • Keynote: An Overview of The Current Landscape for Local Government Finance

    • Sharing updates on the latest Local Government Finance Settlement and relevant key trends
    • Strategies for recruiting and retaining auditors to improve local government financial oversight
    • Tips on building resilience to be prepared for unexpected challenges and unforeseen circumstances
    • Building reliable data recording procedures that can help embed high-quality evaluation in financial planning

    Abdool Kara, Executive Director, National Audit Office (invited)

  • Case Study: Overcoming Negative Budget Forecasts Through Efficiency Savings

    • Recommendations for maintaining a dynamic approach to local government finance in response to unforeseen pressures on spending
    • Facilitating effective working between elected officials and civil servants to create a unified financial direction
    • Sharing cost-saving techniques and tips for embedding efficiencies to provide long-term stability for council finances
    • Creating internal structures that ensure that all council officers are aware of their obligations towards efficient financial management

    Leigh Whitehouse, Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director of Resources, Surrey County Council (invited)

  • Questions and Answers

  • Icebreaker Networking

    This session will provide you with the opportunity to meet other attendees, discuss the day so far and share common challenges.

  • Comfort Break

  • Case Study: Supplementing Local Authority Income with Sustainable Commercial Ventures

    • Frameworks for continually monitoring the progress of ventures to ensure they are meeting net zero targets
    • Encouraging transparency and openness around sustainable commercial ventures to increase public confidence
    • Ensuring effective communication between all stakeholders to guarantee mutually-agreed outcomes
    • Developing strategies to reinvest the proceeds of joint ventures and put council finances on a secure footing

    Sarah Wilkinson, Finance Director, Bristol City Council

  • Case Study: Pooling Resources With External Partners to Deliver High-Quality Services

    • Tips for approaching prospective commercial and third sector partners to expand engagement with local organisations
    • Strategies for improving communication between councils to explore opportunities to collaborate
    • Advice on working with other councils to increase the chances of success in grant applications to central government
    • Securing accurate advice from financial and legal experts to ensure that adequate due diligence is carried out before embarking on new partnerships

    Stephen Conway, Leader, Wokingham Borough Council (invited)

  • Case Study: Monitoring and Effectively Measuring the Impact of Financial Decisions to Drive Efficiencies

    • Tools and resources for benchmarking against other councils’ finances to provide an independent measure of success
    • Data collection techniques to help collect and analyse the right data for evaluating financial decisions
    • Sharing new digital tools that can help improve financial management strategies and ensure that decisions are transparent and accountable
    • Implementing a process to review the continuation of programmes if they are found to be falling short of expectation

    Conrad Hall, Corporate Director of Resources, Newham Borough Council

  • Questions and Answers

  • Lunch Break

  • Breakout Networking: Overcoming Barriers to Securing Local Government Finance for the Long-Term

    This session will provide you with the opportunity to discuss the main challenges you face in local government financial management. Share your experiences and encourage cross-sector collaboration to put local government finance on a sustainable footing for the long term.

  • Panel: Developing Long-Term Financial Planning Strategies in Response to Uncertain Times

    • Addressing the different challenges facing councils with divergent levels of financial security and how to overcome this
    • Discussing methods for overcoming the uncertainty caused by one-year local government finance settlements
    • Sharing best practice examples of successful long-term joint ventures and what worked best
    • Proactive ways to build financial resilience and secure local authority finances against inflation and rising interest rates

    Lorna Baxter, Director of Finance, Oxfordshire County Council (invited)

    Cecilie Booth, Executive Director of Corporate Services, Peterborough City Council (invited)

    Adele Taylor, Executive Director of Finance and Commercial, Slough Borough Council (invited)

  • Questions and Answers

  • Chair’s Closing Remarks

Who Should Attend

Who Should Attend?

This Conference is open to Public, Private and Third Sectors. Delegates who will have an interest in this event will be people who work in or with local authorities.

For more information or to make a booking please call 0330 058 4285

  • Private Sector Rate: £599.00+VAT
  • Public Sector Rate: £399.00+VAT
  • Voluntary Sector Rate: £329.00+VAT

GE Insight
Conference Plus
Access a full live event with 8 hours of CPD points
Hear directly from government and public sector experts
Engage with up-to-date case studies and best practice
Connect with senior colleagues in live online networking sessions
Interact with speakers and delegates through live Q&A and chat
Download and keep event materials and presentations post-event
Stay engaged all year on the key discussions from all our conferences
Access 100s of exclusive case study focused videos, articles, and more
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Earn additional CPD points and track progress on your CPD dashboard
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Discounts to Government Events and GovPD training courses
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  • Public Sector: £449+VAT
  • Voluntary Sector: £379+VAT
  • Private Sector: £649+VAT

Your delegate place at this leading conference gives you access to all of the following including 12-months FREE access to GE Insights, our cross-sector learning resource, and the easiest way for you to prepare for the conference and then stay engaged all year with the ongoing discussions and best practice:

✓ High Level Keynotes

✓ Case Studies Showcasing Best Practice

✓ Panel Discussions

✓ Live Chat and Networking Opportunities

✓ Q&A

✓ 8 Hours of CPD

✓ Speaker Presentations and Videos OnDemand

✓ 12-Months FREE access to GE Insights (RRP £199)

 – 100s of exclusive case study focused videos and articles

 –  CPD Dashboard

 –  Personalised Homepage

 – 30+ new uploads each month