Community Right to Challenge

The Community Right to Challenge enables certain groups to apply to run council services.

We must consider expressions of interest by the groups listed below to provide council services.

If your expression of interest is accepted, a procurement process will start, where you can make a formal bid to run the service.

Contracts are awarded to the successful bidder.

Who can apply to run a council service?

The groups that are eligible to express an interest in running a council service are set out in the Localism Act (2011).

They are:

  • Voluntary and community bodies
  • Organisations set up for solely charitable purposes
  • Parish councils
  • Two or more employees of the council

The scheme runs on an annual cycle. The booklet 'Understanding the Community Right to Challenge', giving an explanation of the process, including eligible services and grounds for rejecting expressions of interests, is available on the My Community Rights website.

Making an expression of interest to run a council service

Services currently run by the council

Our scheme is open for expressions of interest between 1 April and 30 June each year. 

Council services that are delivered by another organisation through a contract with the council

Our scheme is open for expressions of interest for a window of three months, starting 15 months before the contract expiry date. The start dates is based on the initial terms set out in the contract.

This means that expressions of interest need to be submitted no later than 12 months before the end of the contract.

For example, if a contract expires on 31 December 2019, expressions of interest must be submitted between 1 October and 31 December 2018.

Get full details of our current contracts and timetables on our contract register.

How to express an interest

Please complete our Community Right to Challenge Expression of Interest application form (MS Word 157KB) and return it to our procurement team. 

You can use the links at the bottom of this web page to help you. If you have any questions, please contact the procurement team.

Decision making timetable

If you express an interest, we will inform you of the timetable for deciding whether it has been accepted or rejected within 30 days of receiving it. As a guide, the minimum and maximum timescale for determining an expression of interest will be six to 26 weeks.

Notification of decision

If your expression of interest is rejected, the reasons for this decision will be published within 10 working days.

Procurement process

During the procurement process, other organisations will also have the chance to bid to run the service. For more information on how the council's procurement process works, please see our contracts and tenders web pages.

Useful links

Step by step guide to the Community Right to Challenge on the My Community website

Contract readiness checker - part of the My Community website

Get an explanation of the legal framework and requirements for the Community Right to Challenge. Community Right to Challenge – Statutory Guidance June 2012 from GOV.UK  

Details of our current contracts and timetables on our contract register.