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Community Right to Challenge

The Localism Act 2011 introduced a right for town and parish councils, community and voluntary bodies, charitable trusts and two or more local authority employees to submit an expression of interest in taking over the provision of a service on behalf of the local authority.

The Act is supported by the Community Right to Challenge (Expressions of Interest and Excluded Services) Regulations 2012 and Statutory Guidance issued by the Secretary of State.

Where a valid expression of interest is received, the Council is required to undertake a procurement exercise for that service, which may lead to a contract for the provision of the service being awarded. The report to Policy Review and Development Panel on 5 November 2012  provided information on the legislation and recommended the arrangements which the Council should adopt in order to operate the new Community Right to Challenge which is an Executive Function. These arrangements were agreed at Cabinet on 23 January 2013 - see download below.

Who can submit an Expression of Interest?

An expression of interest can be submitted by a "relevant body", which are defined as:

  • A parish council, (but not limited to services or facilities within its area);
  • A voluntary body - a body, other than a local authority, the activities of which are not carried on for a profit;
  • A community body - a body, other than a local authority, which carries on activities primarily for the benefit of the community;
  • A body or trust established for charitable purposes;
  • Two or more employees of the local authority, whether or not they have formed themselves into a body for this purpose, or
  • Such other persons or bodies as may be specified by the Secretary of State by regulations. To date, no such regulations have been made.

There is no requirement for a voluntary or community body to have any local connection, and any of these bodies can submit an expression of interest in partnership with any other organisation, including a commercial organisation, or propose to sub-contract the work to a commercial organisation. Providing that this is done, there is no requirement for the relevant body to undertake the majority of, or any particular share of the work.

The agreed "window" for expressions of interest to be received by the council is 1 February to 31 March each year.  Please send these to