Councils and unions had earlier stressed that best value would depend on councils gaining greater financial control. Ms Armstrong said it was impossible not to hear the message of scarce resources from councils.
'I keep saying that to my colleagues, particularly in the Treasury. We're in a constant battle for finding the sorts of resources you need.'
But she said best value was more about how available resources could be used in more efficient ways.
'We've got to push on all of these because if we don't get the finance system right the rest of it isn't going to work.'