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West Somerset Council

Community Right to Challenge

What is Community Right to Challenge?

The Community Right to Challenge was introduced under the Localism Act 2011 and provides a right for voluntary and community bodies, charities, town and parish councils and two or more employees of the authority to submit an Expression of Interest (also known as an EOI) to run local authority services, where they believe they can do so differently and better.
 
Where an Expression of Interest is accepted, we must carry out a procurement exercise for the service. The procurement exercise will be open to others who wish to tender to run the service so the body that triggers the exercise may not eventually be the provider of the service.
 
We welcome interest from groups interested in taking over the running of Council services at any time and would encourage you to speak to us in the first instance to find out more.
 
Are you interested in running a Council service?
For an informal discussion and to find out more, contact us using the details on this page.
 
Which services does the Community Right to Challenge cover?
An Expression of Interest can be submitted for any Council service, however national guidelines exempt services in certain circumstances. Full details are available in the community’s right to challenge statutory guidance.
 
Submitting an expression of interest
Councils are required to specify a timeframe when Expressions of Interest may be submitted. We will accept expressions of interest between 1 March and 30 April  each year.
 
We will naturally continue to have an ongoing dialogue with local councils and groups about opportunities to look at devolving Council services.
 
If you do wish to submit an expression of interest to run a Council service, you will need to submit your application in writing or by email.
 
Expression of Interest form - this form may be used to submit a formal EOI under the Localism Act 2011 or to provide information for an informal discussion with the Council. Send us your Expression of Interest using the contact details on this page.
 
Your submission will need to include the following:
Information about the financial resources of the relevant body submitting the Expression of Interest.
 
  1. 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.
  2. Evidence about the financial resources of the relevant body submitting the expression of interest.
  3. (NB - 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 one and two must be given in respect of each member of the consortium and each sub-contractor as appropriate).
  4. Information about the relevant service sufficient to identify it and the geographical area to which the expression of interest relates.
  5. 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: (a) How the provision or assistance will promote or improve the social, economic or environmental well-being of the relevant authority’s area; and (b) How it will meet the needs of the users of the relevant service.
  6. Where the relevant body consists of employees of the relevant authority, details of how that relevant body proposes to engage other employees of the relevant authority who are affected by the Expression of Interest.
 
How will we deal with your Expression of Interest?
We will acknowledge receipt of your Expression of Interest, and let you know when we will consider it, within 30 working days.
 
After we have considered your Expression of Interest, under normal circumstances, we will advise you of our decision within a maximum period of three months.
 
Acceptance of an Expression of Interest
When an Expression of Interest is accepted we will put in place a procurement process. The timescale for this will vary according to the nature and circumstances of the service that the Expression of Interest relates to. For example if you are submitting an Expression of Interest for a service that is already subject to a contract we will need to take into account the period of time that the contract still has to run. 
 
Rejection of an Expression of Interest
If the Council rejects an informal expression of Interest we will publish the reason for the rejection and take no further action
 
Grounds on which an Expression of Interest may be rejected
 
  1. The expression of interest does not comply with the requirements specified in Section 81.1 of the Localism Act or in regulations made by the Secretary of State under section 81.1b: duty to consider expression of interest.
  2. The relevant body provides information in the expression of interest which in the opinion of the relevant authority, is materially inadequate or inaccurate.
  3. The relevant authority considers, based on the information in the expression of interest that the relevant body or where applicable; (a) any member of the consortium of which it is a part or; (b) any sub-contractor referred to in the expression of interest is not suitable to provide or assist in providing the relevant service.
  4. The expression of interest relates to a relevant service where a decision, evidenced in writing has been taken by the relevant authority to stop providing that service.
  5. The expression of interest relates to a relevant service; (a) provided, in whole or in part, by or on behalf of the relevant authority to persons who are also in receipt of a service provided or arranged by an NHS body which is integrated with the relevant service and; (b) the continued integration of such services is, in the opinion of the relevant authority, critical to the well-being of those persons.
  6. The relevant service is already the subject of a procurement exercise.
  7. The relevant authority and a third party have entered into negotiations for provision of the service, which negotiations are at least in part conducted in writing.
  8. The relevant authority has published its intention to consider the provision of the relevant service by a body that two or more specified employees of that authority propose to establish.
  9. The relevant authority considers that the expression of interest is frivolous or vexatious.
  10. The relevant authority considers that acceptance of the expression of interest is likely to lead to contravention of an enactment or other rule of law or a breach of statutory duty.
 
Contact Details
Paul Carter 
Assistant Director – Resources and Support
Taunton Deane Borough Council & West Somerset Council
01823 218740
p.carter@tauntondeane.gov.uk