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Community Right to Challenge

The Community Right to Challenge gives local groups the opportunity to register their interest in taking over a local authority service.

The Community Right to Challenge is part of the Localism Act and came into effect in summer 2012.

For advice and support to use the Right to Challenge visit the My Community website.

Read our introduction to the Community Right to Challenge.

The Community Right to Challenge

Many community groups and enterprises already provide services which are highly valued by their local community. Others have ideas about how local services could be improved.

The Community Right to Challenge gives community groups, parish councils and local authority employees the right to submit an ‘expression of interest’ in taking over and running a local authority service. The local authority must consider and respond to the challenge.

If a local authority accepts the challenge they must then run a procurement exercise in which organisations – including those that made the challenge but also private companies – can bid to take over the running of the service.

Who can submit an expression of interest?

  • a voluntary or community body
  • a charitable group or trust
  • a parish council
  • two or more employees of the local authority responsible for the service delivery

When can you submit an expression of interest?

At any time.

However, a local authority may also specify periods during which expressions of interest to deliver a particular service can be submitted. If this happens, the local authority must publish the deadline for submitting an expression of interest and also the dates on which the procurement exercise begins and ends.

The local authority may choose how they do this but there is a minimum requirement that they publish these details on their website.

Find out more

Read more about the Localism Act, the Right to Challenge and the Community Right to Bid in Locality’s Guide to Community Rights and the Localism Act.

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