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Community Right to Challenge

The Community Right to Challenge was established by the 2011 Localism Act and came into force in June 2012. The right allows voluntary and community groups, charities, parish councils, local and fire and rescue authority staff to submit an expression of interest in taking over and running one of our services where they believe they can do so to improve the service.

We're now looking at ways they can work more with voluntary groups and involve their local citizens more in the design and delivery of services. Groups, classed as ‘relevant bodies’, can submit an expression of interest to us to run one or more of our services. Relevant bodies include:

  • Voluntary or community organisations
  • Charities
  • Parish and town councils
  • Two or more employees of the relevant authority.

These groups will be able to express an interest to us in which they must explain how they intend to run the service in a more efficient way. We must then consider and respond to the challenge by either accepting the suggestion, rejecting it in certain defined circumstances, or suggesting modifications and improvements to the proposals.

If we accept the challenge we must then run a procurement exercise in which organisations, including those that challenged the delivery of the service and other interested parties can bid to take over the running of the service.

Arrangements for responding to expressions of interest under the Community Right to Challenge are set out below:

  • We will accept expressions of interest at any time.
  • Expressions of interest should be sent to the Solicitor to the Council, Caroline Newlands.
  • Expressions of interest must include the information set out in paragraph 4.2 of the Community Right to Challenge Statutory Guidance. Following receipt of an expression of interest we may ask the relevant body to demonstrate that it meets the definition of a relevant body.
  • We will acknowledge receipt of an expression of interest within 30 days.
  • We will endeavour to notify the relevant body of our decision about an expression of interest within 12 weeks of receiving it.
  • If we accept an expression of interest, we will endeavour to start a procurement process in no less than three months and no more than six months.
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