Community Right to Challenge
The Government has set out its commitment to decentralisation. The White Paper on Open Public Services details the Government’s thinking on the "Big Society" concept and describes ways that local authorities could open up commissioning processes and decentralise further.
On 27 June 2012, Part 5 Chapter 2 of the Localism Act 2011 (the Act) came into force. Part 5 introduces a right for 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. This is known as the Community Right to Challenge.
The Community Right to Challenge is seen as a key element of the Government’s programme to achieve its aim of communities playing a bigger part in shaping their environment through the running of local services.
If you are a relevant body as described in the Act and you are interested in running a service that is currently delivered by the Council we would like to hear from you. You can express an interest in taking on a Council-run service by completing an expression of interest form and submitting it to us with the supporting documents and information requested.
Download an expression of interest form (MS Word, 84KB, 9 pages).
Download an expression of interest form (PDF, 104.52KB, 9 pages).
To view a flow chart of the process the Council will follow when considering and determining any expression of interest it receives. Where a valid expression of interest is received, the Council is required to undertake a procurement exercise for that service, which will be open to other commercial bidders and which may lead to the Council awarding a contract for the provision of that service to any one of the bidders.
In July 2012 the Communities Minister announced a £11.5 million package of support for Community Right to Challenge. The package provides advice and support to communities with good ideas for how they can run local public services. The support package will fund a website and advice service and telephone helpline, although it is anticipated that around 90 per cent of the funding will go to communities directly in the form of grants allowing them to buy the support they need. The funding programme will run until March 2015.
Further information on the support and funding is available from the My Community website. You may also find the following website information useful:
- The Community Right to Challenge (Expressions of Interest and Excluded Services) (England) Regulations 2012
- The Community Right to Challenge (Fire and Rescue Authorities and Rejection of Expressions of Interest) (England) 2012 – Website: legislation.gov.uk.