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7-9.30 pm

Are you a councillor or clerk who feels you would like to have a better grasp of your council's finances? Local councils spend public money but who specifically controls the finances?  This course gives a comprehensive overview of the council's financial year. 


Thursday, 21 November 2024


Held online


Julie King


£48 for subscribers | £60 for non-subscribers

Every councillor needs to understand the implications of financial decisions and what to expect during the year (such as setting the budget and precept, reporting regularly in an clear format, preparing annual accounts, and undertaking internal checks). How do you know whether your council can afford to buy a new bus shelter/dog bin/take on another member of staff? We will provide you with step-by-step guidance through the council's financial year: what to expect and when. 

Course content

Understanding local government and how parish and town councils fit into the bigger picture

Understanding the roles and responsibilities of key people on the council

Guardian of the public purse: Finance, budget setting and the precept

Powers and duties available

What to expect from meetings

A look at standing orders and other key documents

Employing staff

Understanding the code of conduct and declaration of interests

The council’s role in planning consultations

By the end of this course you will

Understand the legal background to the public purse

Be clear about the council's accounting year and the roles of those involved

Understand the processes (cashbook, budget, accounts, audit regime) and feel informed about what financial tools are appropriate to the size of council

Be clear about transparency - what councils need to be publishing in the public domain

Understand financial planning for future activities

The tutor is an experienced Clerk with many years of successfully managing council budgets.


We'll send you a link via email a day or two before the session is due to be held, so you can just click on the link to join in. You'll need a laptop, tablet or smartphone with a camera; if you haven't tried this technology before that's fine - we'll happily conduct a quick test session with you the day before if you like.

The satisfaction rating for this course last held in 2022 was 100%

Comments from recent Understanding the Council's Finance courses:

I really enjoyed the training session and found it very informative. Julie was very professional and the pace of delivery was just right with the opportunity to interact and ask questions, feeling comfortable. I would certainly have no hesitation in recommending this course to others.

It was very informative especially on what is law and what is best procedure.

The course was delivered in an effective manner, despite the limitations of it being by zoom. The level of detail was just right and appropriate for my needs. The trainer was very knowledgeable and had a pleasant style of delivery.

Considering the constraints of digital seminars, I thought it was very well delivered. I feel well informed about what my role as ICO should involve and am keen to discuss further with the RFO. Many thanks.

A good foundation to understanding the practical management of finances and the legislation and governance that underpins the councils finances.

Just right!


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