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Apply to run Council services – the Community Right to Challenge

Community groups can express an interest in running Council services through the ‘Community Right to Challenge’. This is part of the Government’s plan to shift power back to communities, set out in the Localism Act.

The Community Right to Challenge is just one way you can tell us about any ideas you may have about running our services. You can also:

The My Community Rights website gives more information about the Community Right to Challenge, as well as lots of help and advice if you have an idea.

Who can apply?

Relevant bodies that are eligible to express an interest include:

  • voluntary and community bodies
  • parish councils
  • council employees.

How it works

There are three key stages:

  1. You express an interest in running a council service.
  2. We assess your expression of interest then decide whether to accept, modify or reject it.
  3. If we accept your expression of interest, we’ll start a procurement process where you can make a formal bid to run the service. During the procurement process, other organisations will also have the chance to bid to run the service. For more information about how this works, please see Doing business with us.

You can get more information on the process and timescales for the three stages in the guidance documents below.

How to express an interest

If you have an idea for an expression of interest, please contact us to confirm when you should submit your challenge. This will vary from case to case as existing contracts may be in place for the relevant service which will determine when we are able to consider your expression of interest. If there is no existing contract in place you must submit your expression of interest in April or May. 

The expression of interest form and supporting guidance documents are available to help you understand the requirements.

Contact us

If you have an enquiry, please contact us: