Community Right to Challenge

The Community Right to Challenge was introduced by the Localism Act 2011. It gives certain groups the right to submit an expression of interest (EOI) to run council services. If the council accepts these expressions of interest, there will then be a procurement exercise for the service.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council (BDBC) is continually looking for new ways to design and deliver service to offer value for money and improved results for residents. We already work closely with community groups and social enterprises that can provide high-quality services at good value.

Please note that having an EOI accepted does not constitute a guarantee that you will be successful in the procurement exercise and run the service.

Who can submit an expression of interest?

The Act states that the following can submit an expression of interest:

Relevant Authorities:

  • a county council
  • a district council
  • London borough councils
  • some fire and rescue authorities
  • any other person or body carrying out a function of a public nature specified by the secretary of State in regulations (this includes unitary authorities).

Relevant Bodies:

  • a voluntary or community group
  • an organisation of trust formed for charitable purposes
  • parish councils
  • two or more employees of the relevant authority
  • any other person or body specified by the Secretary of State by regulations.

What you should consider

  1. Does the council currently have a contract or commercial arrangement in place to deliver the service?
    If the council has a contract or other commercial arrangement in place to deliver the services it will be unable to accept an EOI until just before the contract or arrangement expires. The maximum period will be one year before the current contract is due to expire, the minimum period will be three months before the contract expires. This is to allow the council to review any EOIs and factor them into any subsequent procurement process.
  2. Having an EOI accepted does NOT guarantee the council will ask you to deliver the service.
    If the council accepts your EOI then it must run a procurement exercise which complies with procurement law and council regulations. This procurement exercise allows everyone that could deliver the service a chance to bid for the work. The organisation that submitted the EOI will be invited to be a part of this exercise.
  3. TUPE Implications
    Under current TUPE legislation in the UK, if you are successful, you will be required to do the following and have priced this in your bid:

    • Receive all staff from the council involved within the defined scope of the service or who spend the majority of their time on the activity.
    • In addition, receive any support staff from the council who are allocated to support the defined service area, or spend the majority of their time supporting the activity.

All staff to be received with full council employment terms and conditions (such as pay scales, holiday entitlement).

What must an expression of interest include?

  • Details of your organisation.
  • Details of any partners.
  • Financial details of the relevant body submitting the expression of interest.
  • Details of the service that you are expressing an interest in.
  • Your service proposal.
  • How you will meet the needs of the users of the relevant service.

How do you submit an expression of interest?

You must submit your EOI to the Policy Team by emailing policyandperformance@basingstoke.gov.uk

What will happen when you have submitted the expression of interest?

An assessment exercise will be carried out on all EOIs to ensure that they meet the requirements contained in the CRTC statutory guidance. The exercise will be appropriate to the nature and complexity of the services to which the EOI relates.

The council will need to satisfy itself that a change in the method of service delivery will benefit the residents of Basingstoke and Deane and offer value for money.

The council will undertake an evaluation exercise to assess the proposed delivery of the service. This will define and consider the options available to the council. The evaluation panel will consider the following:

  • A review of the service scope and the assets covered
  • An assessment of:

    • The financial impacts
    • Risks
    • Stakeholder impacts, including end users and staff
    • The effect on the overall council commissioning strategy
    • An Equalities Impact Assessment
  • Next steps/an implementation plan and if approved, details of the procurement process with appropriate timescales.

In the event that the options set out in the EOI do not meet the needs of our residents or offer value for money, we will not take the EOI further and will advise the relevant body.

If accepted, the recommendations of the evaluation panel will need to be signed off by the appropriate BDBC officer. Depending on the size and complexity of the proposed service change this may require a report to a councillor.

If the evaluation of the EOI supports a procurement exercise, this will need to comply with Contract Standing Orders and EU/UK procurement law.

What if the service has already been discontinued or a decision made to discontinue it?

An EOI can be rejected when it relates to a service where a decision, evidenced in writing, has been taken by the council to stop providing the service.

Further information

For further information, read the government guidance, which provides an explanation of the legislative framework for the Community Right to Challenge.

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