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BURTON SLAMS LGA FINANCE ROLE

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Birmingham City Council finance director Roger Burton has expressed dismay at the role proposed for the Local Gover...
Birmingham City Council finance director Roger Burton has expressed dismay at the role proposed for the Local Government Association's head of finance.

His concern centres on the intention to make the LGA's head of finance the lead revenue support grant negotiator. This function is currently carried out by senior metropolitan and county finance directors on a three-year cycle.

Mr Burton, who questioned LGA chief executive Brian Briscoe on the wisdom of the decision at the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation conference last week, also expressed concern at the suggestion that the successful applicant for the £80,000-a-year job may not have to be a CIPFA accountant.

Mr Briscoe said the LGA would still draw on council advisers but he wanted to have the 'machinery inside the LGA and not shifting round the country every three years'.

He said the post was likely to go to an accountant, but was not prepared to rule out those with other qualifications.

'This is more about personal skills than technical ability,' he told conference delegates. Excellent personal skills would be needed to hold together the different factions on finance.

'If the LGA falls apart on any issue it will be this,' he said. 'I am looking for not just someone with the financial skills but also the greatest diplomat ever invented,' he said.

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