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Head of Local Government Finance

London Councils
59 1/2 Southwark Street, London, SE1 0AL
Closing date
21 Feb 2024

Job Details

Job Purpose:         

  • To lead London Councils’ work on influencing local government finance policy,  working with colleagues across the organisation to ensure this contribution is integrated with other London Councils’ policy development.
  • To manage the day-to-day operation of London Councils’ finance policy team –  overseeing technical analysis, policy development, and influencing work in areas relating to local government finance.
  • To liaise with a wide range of stakeholders across local government in London and nationally, central government, Whitehall, the GLA, press and media, researchers and consultants, business groups, VCS groups and other policy stakeholders.
  • To support the Deputy Chair of London Councils, as portfolio holder for Finance  and Resources, and other individual Portfolio Holders (Councillors from member authorities) and the forums they chair as

Main Responsibilities

  • To lead London Councils’ work on influencing local government finance policy, working with colleagues across the organisation to ensure this contribution is integrated with other London Councils’ policy development
  • To manage the day-to-day operation of London Councils’ finance policy team – overseeing technical analysis, policy development, and influencing work in areas relating to local government finance.
  • To build effective working relationships and be an ambassador for the organisation with borough treasurers, service directors and other officers, civil servants, GLA officers, business and voluntary sector groups, opinion formers and other partners to advance London Councils’ policies and positions.
  • To identify, lead and commission research and analysis that can augment London Councils’ lobbying in order to influence decisions made by Government on local government finance issues.
  • To draft reports for consideration by London Councils’ Leaders’ Committee, Executive, Portfolio Holders and other forums of London Councils, and strategic submissions and consultation responses to Government and other national bodies.
  • To provide detailed technical and strategic advice on complex local government finance policy and funding matters to colleagues in London Councils, leading members and London borough officers.
  • To provide members, officers, MPs, journalists and others with appropriate briefings on local government finance issues on a timely basis.
  • To support appropriate member and officer regional networks.
  • To effectively manage financial and other resources for projects under their control ensuring that these are delivered on time and within budget.
  • To support the Strategy Director: Local Government Finance & Improvement in ensuring that the Corporate Management Team is fully informed of relevant finance policy issues, and deputise in their absence.
  • To represent London Councils on policy discussions with stakeholders ensuring the needs of member authorities are represented in discussions with Government Departments and external bodies.
  • To act as a communications champion, supporting the work of the Communications team and London Council’s wider communications strategy across all areas of London Council's activity.
  • To provide leadership to allocated teams of staff, managing, recruiting and developing teams, directly supervising the Finance policy team, and supervising the work of staff allocated to other projects and programmes.
  • To develop staff, working with the Strategy Director: Local Government Finance & Improvement, using coaching and other activities to support the development of team members, providing feedback to staff through appraisal and other supervisory activities.
  • To encourage the development of service and employment policies and practices which reflect and value the diversity of London’s communities and promote an inclusive society.
  • To adhere to London Councils’ corporate policies, procedures, regulations and protocols.
  • To take care at all times to uphold health and safety at work for self and others. To observe London Councils’ Health and Safety policy and related procedures at all times.
  • To uphold the highest standards of ethical conduct in line with the expectations of a local government officer and to lead staff to adhere to such standards in order to uphold the reputation of London Councils and local government in London. 

The Ideal Candidate: 
Qualifications and experience

  • Experience of working in local government finance or equivalent understanding of local government finance and accounting;
  • While an accountancy qualification is not essential it would be beneficial;
  • Experience of leading a team;
  • Experience of creativity in policy development;
  • Experience of successfully managing and delivering major policy projects; Experience in analysing and presenting complex data and statistics, to both  technical and non-technical audience;
  • Experience of working on major projects involving co-ordination between different divisions within the organisation;
  • Experience of managing people to achieve high levels of performance;
  • Experience of working effectively within a complex political environment with an understanding of the political sensitivity around finance issues;
  • Experience of commissioning research, successfully managing research budgets and monitoring the performance of external consultants;
  • Experience of undertaking qualitative and quantitative research, financial modelling and statistical analysis; and
  • Evidence of continuously improving staff skills and knowledge.


  • In-depth knowledge of local government finance, including an understanding of the current and future local government finance and service issues facing London boroughs;
  • In-depth knowledge of local government, preferably the London local government family, its governmental structure and London Councils’ role within it;
  • Good understanding of current policies impacting on London’s boroughs, and the key issues they face;
  • Understanding of the interface between research, policy and politics
  • An awareness of the decision-making process within London boroughs and the role of elected members and officers; and
  • Knowledge of the market for the provision of research and policy development research.

Skills and Abilities

  • Highly developed oral and written communication skills;
  • Strong influencing and negotiating skills;
  • Relationship building skills;
  • High-level analytical skills, and demonstrated experience implementing innovative solutions to complex problems;
  • Ability to undertake and oversee complex statistical and/or financial modelling;
  • Ability to lead and manage permanent and temporary teams of people working on complex policy projects;
  • Ability to motivate people and at the same time to be firm and unequivocal  when necessary;

The Ideal Candidate

  • Ability to manage staff to secure necessary outcomes, providing effective feedback on their performance and identify opportunities for their development, and to coach staff to improve performance;
  • Excellent organisational skills, including prioritisation, project and programme management, and exemplary time management skills;
  • Excellent ICT skills. 

Other factors

  • Strong personal commitment to London Councils’ Equal Opportunities Policy – and understanding and support of the implications of equal opportunities and diversity in London local government’s policy areas;
  • This is a politically restricted post, under Section 2 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.


Over the coming twelve months, London Councils will be working with and on behalf of London’s local authorities to deliver the first ever UK public sector collective investment vehicle (CIV). Through this, the 33 London local government pension funds will be able to collaboratively invest in a range of asset classes, with the aim of reducing overall administrative costs and driving up fund performance. This programme is the culmination of consideration by our Leaders’ Committee over the last two years. The latest report, which went to Leaders’ Committee at the beginning of February, can be found here:


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