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Community Right to Challenge

The Localism Act 2011 includes a provision on the Community Right to Challenge. This gives organisations and groups the right to put forward an expression of interest in running a service.

We have already transferred a number of our buildings and sites to community groups and we are always keen to explore opportunities for supporting communities in developing their own local projects.

We are open to good ideas on delivering better local services and welcome well thought out expressions of interest in running particular services - you can do this through the Community Right to Challenge scheme.

We will consider Community Right to Challenge expressions of interest that are submitted and that meet the statutory criteria as detailed in the relevant Regulations. These submissions must be received within the window for submission which will run from March 4th to April 30th each year unless we publish an amendment to this.

Services that are already delivered through a contract with external organisations will have set renewal dates which must be adhered to. There will be an opportunity to bid to deliver those services when the contracts come up for renewal. These will be identified on our website or the procurement website.

Who can make a submission?

The Act names 'relevant bodies' i.e. those who can make a submission, these are:

  1. a voluntary or community body
  2. a charitable trust
  3. a Town or Parish Council
  4. a group of two or more District Council staff

The full list and definitions can be found in the Statutory Regulations through the link at the bottom of this page.

Applicants must be able to show that they are fully capable of being able to the service.

What will happen to an expression of interest?

Any expression of interest received within the window and meeting the tests set out in the Statutory Guidance will be formally considered by a specially convened panel.

We will notify the applicant within 30 days of the closing of the window, i.e. by 31st May, of the Panel's decision. There are two possible decisions:

  1. to accept it either as it stands or with modifications based on further information we ask for.
  2. to reject it

What happens when it's accepted?

Where an expression of interest is accepted, we must begin an open procurement exercise which must be conducted in line with our obligations and rules in procuring services.

A successful Community Right to Challenge will not necessarily mean that the applicant that made that Challenge will be successful in an open procurement exercise, as this will be a competitive process.

Support in developing a bid

You may be able to access financial support from the government to develop a proposal.

You are also welcome to contact Alison Penn at to arrange an informal discussion.