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The Society

The Society

The Society of County Treasurers represents the chief financial officers of the twenty-seven county councils in England as well as eleven unitary councils that share similar interests in local government issues. Together, these authorities represent 46% of the population of England, 24 million people, and provide services across 86% of its land area, 43,000 square miles.

The Society provides a forum for members to share expertise on financial issues affecting large local authorities. It also enables counties to speak with a united voice; as a Treasurers’ Society it is recognised as a key local government stakeholder by central government and the Local Government Association.

A Brief History of the Society

The origins of the Society of County Treasurers date to 11 June 1903 when the County Accountant of Warwickshire called a meeting in Birmingham ‘to consider various matters in relation to the Education Act 1902’. The eight County Accountants present at the meeting passed a resolution to form the County Accountants’ Society. Membership was open to the County Accountants and Finance Clerks of the counties of England and Wales.

The Society held several meetings each year, usually in London, at which members discussed wide variety of issues connected with local government finance. From 1906 the Society collected statistics on county councils’ finances and activities, and the returns produced were made available for sale. Some of the returns were also published in the County Councils Association Gazette. In 1975 CIPFA’s Statistical Information Service was established and assumed responsibility for collecting much of this data.

In September 1927 a formal constitution was adopted by the Society, which redefined membership to the Chief Financial Officers of English and Welsh counties. The membership of the Society, which was renamed the Society of County Treasurers in 1950, has survived successive reorganisations of local government and continues to successfully represent the collective voice of counties in local government finance issues.

Following the retirement of the Society's Honorary Treasurer (and Essex County Treasurer) in 1997 Essex Archives Online (EAO) accepted custody of the SCT's archives. This said, a copy of the Society's constitution is available here.

Meetings

The Society holds six meetings a year in London and is supported by the Technical Support Team, who provide a paper detailing issues in local government finance to every meeting.

In addition to the Society’s regular meetings, also held are an annual Spring Seminar for chief financial officers and their deputies, an autumn seminar in the President’s local authority and an annual dinner in December. The Society is funded by a small annual subscription from each member authority which contributes towards the costs of the Society’s events.

Officers and Lead Advisers

The Society is represented on the national stage by the President and supported by several other officers as follows:

          President                       Vice-Presidents         Honorary Secretary
          Honorary Treasurer       Honorary Auditor       Dinner Secretary

A number of Society members act as advisers on policy areas of interest to the Society. The current list of Society lead authority advisers are for the following areas:

Lead Adviser*              ASC & Public Health                      Growth                 Finance
Children & Education   Waste, Transport & Environment   Fire & Rescue     Pensions

* see CCN below

County Councils Network

The Society has close links with the County Councils Network (CCN). A Lead Adviser to the CCN, a senior member of the Society of County Treasurers, is appointed annually by the Society. The Lead Adviser delivers a report on developments in local government finance to the six meetings CCN holds each year and attends meetings between CCN and central government when finance issues are being discussed.