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Community Right to Challenge

Giving community and voluntary sector organisations as well as groups of council staff the right to put forward an Expression of Interest in running local services.

The Localism Act 2011 introduced the Community Right to Challenge, which gives community and voluntary sector organisations and groups of council staff the right to put forward an Expression of Interest in running local services.

A successful challenger will be entitled to take part in a competitive procurement exercise along with other interested organisations.

Who can express an interest to run a council service?

Relevant bodies may express an interest.  Relevant bodies include:

  • relevant authorities, such as councils, some fire and rescue authorities, and other bodies carrying out a function of a public nature as specified by the Secretary of State in regulations
  • a voluntary or community body
  • a body of persons or a trust which is established for charitable purposes only
  • a parish council
  • two or more employees of the Council
  • any other person or body specified by the Secretary of State by regulations.

Local services covered by the Community Right to Challenge

The Community Right to Challenge applies to all relevant services.  A relevant service is a service provided by or on behalf of Basildon Council in the exercise of its functions unless that service has been excluded under secondary legislation.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has produced extensive guidance regarding the Community Right to Challenge, see GOV.UK - Community Right to Challenge: statutory guidance.

Submitting an Expression of Interest

Basildon Council will accept expressions of interest for any relevant service between 1st September and 31st December each calendar year.  The Council has set this period to enable it to respond to Expressions of Interest in a coordinated approach and to align with the Council's business planning processes.  Expressions of Interest outside of this 3-month period will not be considered.

Please note that while this is the relevant time period for accepting expressions of interest via the Community Right to Challenge, you remain free to express an interest in bidding for a relevant contract that the Council may advertise throughout the year.

At a minimum, you should provide the following information:

  • Where the relevant body proposes to deliver the relevant service as part of a consortium or to use a sub-contractor for delivery of any part of the relevant service, the information in paragraphs 2 and 3 must be given in respect of each member of the consortium and each sub-contractor as appropriate.
  • Information about the financial resources of the relevant body submitting the Expression of Interest.
  • Evidence that demonstrates that by the time of any procurement exercise the relevant body submitting the Expression of Interest will be capable of providing or assisting in providing the relevant service.
  • Information about the relevant service sufficient to identify it and the geographical area to which the Expression of Interest relates.
  • Information about the outcomes to be achieved by the relevant body or, where appropriate, the consortium of which it is a part, in providing or assisting in the provision of the relevant service, in particular:
    • How the provision or assistance will promote or improve the social, economic or environmental well-being of the Borough; and
    • How it will meet the needs of the users of the relevant service.
  • Where the relevant body consists of employees of the Council, details of how that relevant body proposes to engage other employees of the Council who are affected by the Expression of Interest.
  • Demonstration that your organisation meets the definition of a "relevant body".

Expressions of Interest should be submitted by either of the following methods:

Stephanie Fields
Assistant Solicitor to the Council (Commercial Procurement, Contracts, Property and Regeneration)
Basildon Borough Council
The Basildon Centre
St. Martin's Square
Basildon SS14 1DL

Timescales for responding to Expressions of Interest

Once an Expression of Interest is received, the following timescales apply:

  • An Expression of Interest will be acknowledged within 10 working days
  • Within 28 days of receipt of the Expression of Interest, the Council will notify the relevant body whether it regards the Expression of Interest as valid
  • Within a further 28 days, the relevant body will be notified whether the Expression of Interest is accepted or rejected
  • An accepted Expression of Interest will trigger a procurement exercise.  The appropriate route, scale, and commencement date will be confirmed within 3 months of the expression of Interest being accepted.  This time period allows the Council to prepare for a tender process and ensure that service requirements are properly considered and, if necessary, any appropriate consultation is undertaken
  • The procurement process will commence within 6 months of the procurement route being confirmed.

Grounds for Rejection

Please note that not all Expressions of Interest will be accepted.

There are specific grounds for which an Expression of Interest may be rejected. Before submitting an Expression of Interest, please consider the DCLG guidance

If an Expression of Interest is rejected you will be notified of the decision. The decision will also be published on this site.

Before submitting an Expression of Interest, please consider whether your may need to amend your Expression of Interest due to these grounds for rejection.

Further information and advice

The DCLG Guidance on the Community Right to Challenge contains further information on what you need to consider when preparing and submitting an Expression of Interest, see GOV.UK - Community Right to Challenge: statutory guidance.

If you would like to discuss the Council's approach to the Community Right to Challenge, please contact Basildon Council's Commercial and Procurement Solicitor, see contact details below.

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