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Community Right to Challenge

What is your Community Right to Challenge?

The Community Right to Challenge was established under the Localism Act 2011. It aims to offer communities opportunities to have more control and play a bigger role in shaping and running local services.

This is done through an Expressions of Interest (EOI) to take on provision of a council service. If successful, it will lead to a procurement exercise for the provision of that service.

If you would like a preliminary discussion or advice about making an EOI please contact us at giving us your contact details so we can arrange a meeting with you without obligation.

The following information gives more details of who can submit an EOI and the process that follows.

Who can submit an EOI?

The Localism Act allows the following bodies to submit an EOI:

  • a voluntary or community body
  • a charitable trust or body
  • a town or parish council or
  • two or more employees of the council

Please refer to section 1.4 to 1.13 of the statutory guidance for further information.

It is also possible for these bodies to submit an EOI in partnership as well as on their own (details in section 1.14 and 1.15 of the statutory guidance)

When to submit an EOI?

The council's services are currently provided either by the council itself or by a contractor on behalf of the council.

If you are interested in running a service which is currently provided to or on behalf of the council by a contractor, please refer to the service contract renewals document which sets out the dates when an EOI can be made as our contracts become due for renewal.

Expressions of interest in running services currently provided by the council may be made between 1 January and 30 March each year. This allows the council to consider the proposal alongside its budgetary process.

How should EOIs be submitted?

The statutory guidance asks for an EOI to include particular information so that it can be fully and fairly assessed. This includes:

  • identification of the service concerned and the geographical area to which it relates
  • information on financial resources
  • evidence of capability to provide/assist in providing the service
  • detail of outcomes that would be achieved including:
    • how social, economic or environmental wellbeing would be promoted/improved
    • how service users needs would be met

Where an EOI proposes provision of service by a partnership and/or through the use of sub-contractors, information on financial resources and evidence of capability to deliver a service will need to be provided for each member of the consortium and/or each sub-contractor.

If you are a relevant body, and would like to submit an EOI, please fill in the community right to challenge application form and send it to us by email at You may include any supporting documents with your email.

Section 4.2 of the statutory guidance provides more detail.

What happens when we receive an EOI?

The council may accept or reject an EOI.

We will reply within 30 days of receiving your EOI to let you know how long it will take for a decision to be made and when you will be notified once that decision has been taken.

If we think that your EOI could be accepted but needs more information, we will contact you for more details.

If we think your EOI could be accepted but needs to be modified in some way, we will contact you to discuss this.

We will not make modifications without your agreement.

We will make a decision on your EOI as soon as possible; however, the time needed to decide may vary due to the complexity of your submission. The maximum time we will take to make a decision is 4 months from receipt of your EOI.

If we decide to accept your EOI a procurement exercise will follow. We will contact you after the decision to clarify when the procurement will begin as this will depend on the size and complexity of the service within your EOI. The procurement exercise will be open and will not favour you as the body that submitted the successful EOI.

If we decide not to accept your EOI we will contact you to let you know along with the reasons why. Please note that any EOI submitted during the term of a contract will only be noted and retained for consideration prior to any extension for that contract being approved.

Reasons an EOI may be rejected include:

  • it has not been made by a ‘relevant body’ (see section 1)
  • it contains inaccurate or inadequate material
  • it relates to a service that is not the responsibility of the council
  • it relates to a service that the council has already agreed will be delivered by another organisation
  • the submission is “frivolous or vexatious”
  • the service is already subject to a procurement exercise
  • the EOI is likely to breach statutory duties

Please refer to section 6 of the statutory guidance for the full list and explanation.

Useful information

The following web pages contain further information that may be helpful:

Contact information

Legal Team

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