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Community Right to Challenge

What is Community Right to Challenge?

The Community Right to Challenge was introduced under the Localism Act 2011 and provides a right for voluntary and community bodies, charities, town and parish councils and two or more employees of the authority to submit an Expression of Interest (also known as an EOI) to run local authority services, where they believe they can do so differently and better.

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Where an Expression of Interest is accepted, we must carry out a procurement exercise for the service. The procurement exercise will be open to others who wish to tender to run the service so the body that triggers the exercise may not eventually be the provider of the service.

We welcome interest from groups interested in taking over the running of Council services at any time and would encourage you to speak to us in the first instance to find out more.

For an informal discussion and to find out more, contact us using the details on this page.

An Expression of Interest can be submitted for any Council service, however national guidelines exempt services in certain circumstances. Full details are available in the communities right to challenge statutory guidance.

Councils are required to specify a timeframe when Expressions of Interest may be submitted. We will accept expressions of interest between 1 and 31 March each year.

We will naturally continue to have an ongoing dialogue with local councils and groups about opportunities to look at devolving Council services.

If you do wish to submit an expression of interest to run a Council service, you will need to submit your application in writing or by email.

Expression of Interest form - this form may be used to submit a formal EOI under the Localism Act 2011 or to provide information for an informal discussion with the Council. Send us your Expression of Interest using the contact details on this page.

Information about the financial resources of the relevant body submitting the Expression of Interest.

  1. Evidence that demonstrates that by the time of any procurement exercise the relevant body submitting the expression of interest will be capable of providing or assisting in providing the relevant service.
  2. (NB - Where the relevant body proposes to deliver the relevant service as part of a consortium or to use a sub-contractor for delivery of any part of the relevant service, the information in paragraphs one and two must be given in respect of each member of the consortium and each sub-contractor as appropriate).
  3. Information about the relevant service sufficient to identify it and the geographical area to which the expression of interest relates.
  4. Information about the outcomes to be achieved by the relevant body or, where appropriate, the consortium of which it is a part, in providing or assisting in the provision of the relevant service, in particular: (a) How the provision or assistance will promote or improve the social, economic or environmental well-being of the relevant authority’s area; and (b) How it will meet the needs of the users of the relevant service.
  5. Where the relevant body consists of employees of the relevant authority, details of how that relevant body proposes to engage other employees of the relevant authority who are affected by the Expression of Interest.

We will acknowledge receipt of your Expression of Interest, and let you know when we will consider it, within 30 working days.

After we have considered your Expression of Interest, under normal circumstances, we will advise you of our decision within a maximum period of three months.

When an Expression of Interest is accepted we will put in place a procurement process. The timescale for this will vary according to the nature and circumstances of the service that the Expression of Interest relates to. For example if you are submitting an Expression of Interest for a service that is already subject to a contract we will need to take into account the period of time that the contract still has to run. This could therefore be between six months and five years.

The Community Right to Challenge Procedure gives a full explanation of the process.