Headlines: September 27th, 2005

Senior councillors are being given an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the management of finance, people, assets, technology and suppliers. The initiative from the IDeA and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance Accountancy is designed to equip councillors with strategies to improve value for money and its place within Comprehensive Performance Assessment system.The two day programme, designed for council leaders and their deputies, finance and resource portfolio holders, scrutiny chairs and scrutiny committee members, will look at three main areas starting with the key resource management and efficiency issues facing councils over the next three-to-five years and how these will ‘fit’ with the wider agenda for local government. The initiative will also examine the key roles councillors will need to develop to respond to those issues and finally at the skills, attitudes and behaviours members will need to demonstrate if they are to deliver the changing requirements of their key roles.

The IDeA says approaches to financial management and resource delegation differ across local authorities. The Lyons Review of local government funding will, it says, have implications for councils and the way they engage with citizens on resources and efficiency. Tightening public finances means efficiency will remain near the top of the political agenda locally and nationally.

The course is scheduled to run for two days from October 25th and again in December. The organisers say those taking part will learn about emerging best practice in resource management and how this can deliver council objectives and achieve a high CPA score on use of resources. They will also understand how resources can be released for council priorities through smarter procurement, appreciate the bigger picture and learn about new models of public sector collaboration and their governance.

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