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Voluntary sector

Community Right to Challenge

This Right allows 'Relevant Bodies' to bid to run a local authority service. 'Relevant bodies' are defined as:

  • voluntary and community groups
  • charities
  • parish councils
  • two or more local authority staff
This might be a whole service or a small part of a service. They need to submit a written expression of interest; this is a business case explaining what they would like to run and how they would run it. The Council will consider the expression of interest and if it is accepted, will begin a procurement process.

Why has it been introduced?
The Community Right to Challenge was introduced by central Government to make it easier for local communities to improve Council services by giving them the power to bid to provide services they believe they can do differently and better.

Are all Council services open to expressions of interest?
Many Council services are open to an expression of interest. Some decision-making functions are excluded, such as local committees and service committees. If a service already has a contract in place, then the expression of interest is automatically rejected and the interested party can bid when the contract comes up for tender.

What is the Council's process for managing Expressions of Interest?

Voluntary sector

We are encouraging organisations to speak to us before submitting an expression of interest - please contact Tom Alexander on 020 8770 4522 or . You can also use this email address to submit an expression of interest.

Depending on the nature of the expression of interest, we would expect to be able to inform the interested party within 6 months from the day the expression was received as to whether it will be accepted, accepted with modification or rejected. You will receive a confirmed time scale for making this decision in writing within 30 days of your submission.

If an expression of interest is accepted, a procurement process begins. The procurement will be open to other organisations that are qualified to provide the service. We will write to tell you when the procurement will start to give both you and the Council sufficient time to prepare for it. The organisation that puts in the expression of interest may not win the contract if another organisation submits a tender that scores more highly as part of the procurement process.

Where can I find more information?
You can read the policy statement and statutory guidanceavailable on the Department of Communities and Local Government website. You can also view our FAQ's for further information.