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Community right to challenge

The Community Right to Challenge has been introduced by the Localism Act 2011 and began from 27 June 2012.

Group of people

Localism act »

The Right to Challenge gives voluntary and community groups and Hillingdon Council staff a right to bid to run council services.

What is the community right to challenge process?

  1. Services open to challenge from voluntary and community groups or 2 or more Hillingdon Council Staff
  2. Relevant bodies submit expression of interest
  3. Expression of interest considered, and either accepted or rejected
  4. Hillingdon Council begins procurement process if expression of interest accepted

What is the community right to challenge?

The right to challenge, brought in by the Localism act, allows voluntary and community groups or council employees to express an interest in running services provided by the council. It is intended to open up service delivery to groups other than those in the public or private sector.

Hillingdon Council must consider any valid expression of interest. If accepted, we must run a procurement exercise in which the group that has expressed interest can compete. The right to challenge does not guarantee that the group that has expressed an interest in running the service will win the contract.

Which groups can use the right to challenge?

The Right to Challenge may be used by 'relevant bodies' which are defined as:

  • 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 relevant authority; or;
  • any other person or body specified by the Secretary of State by regulations.

Statutory guidance issued by central government defines voluntary or community bodies as:

  • A voluntary body is a body that is not a public or local authority, the activities of which are not carried out for profit. It can generate a surplus provided it is used for the purposes of its activities or invested in the community.
  • A community body is a body which is not a public or local authority, the activities of which are primarily for the benefit of the local community.

The definition includes but is not limited to: 

  • community benefit societies (a type of industrial and provident society);
  • co-operatives whose activities are primarily for the benefit of the community (another type of industrial and provident society); 
  • community interest companies; 
  • charitable incorporated organisations; and
  • other incorporated forms of body such as companies limited by guarantee or shares where the company's Memorandum and/or Articles of Association state that the company's objects are in the interest of the community, rather than to make a profit for shareholders.

Further information is available on the Department for Communities and Local Government website

Services open to challenge

All council services are open to challenge with certain exceptions that are set out in the statutory guidance.

The right applies to services, rather than to the functions of the local authority. Further information about this is given in the statutory guidance.

Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 08 Jul 2014 at 10:31