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 bid to run council services where they believe they can do so differently and better.  

Groups, classed as ‘relevant bodies’, can submit a written expression of interest to us to bid 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.

We will consider and respond to expressions of interest. If we accept an expression of interest, we will then carry out a procurement exercise for that service. The challenging body and other interested parties can bid for the contract to run that service. The successful bidder will take over delivery 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
  • 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.