Community Right to Challenge - running council services

The government has brought in a new initiative under the Localism Act 2011. It's called the Community Right to Challenge and it came into force on 27 June 2012.

The Community Right to Challenge gives community and voluntary sector groups, charities, parish and town councils and groups of council staff the opportunity to express an interest in running a council service.

If one of these groups wishes to run a council service they have to submit an “expression of interest” which is then considered by the council. If the expression of interest meets certain criteria, a procurement process is started to run that particular service.

The procurement process will be open to other interested groups, as well as the organisation that submitted the original expression of interest. 

How is Cheltenham Borough Council implementing the Community Right to Challenge?

We have adopted a strategic commissioning approach which puts a strong focus on designing community-focussed outcomes and working much more closely with other parts of the public service and the voluntary and community sector (VCS). We use this approach to make objective, transparent, evidence-based decisions about how services should be provided and who will provide them. By using a strategic commissioning approach we will improve the outcomes for people who rely on the council and the wider public sector whilst at the same time creating opportunities to save money.

We have published a Right to Challenge Plan which sets out when we will be accepting expressions of interest through the Community Right to Challenge. The timeframes for accepting expressions of interest reflect our current commissioning programme as set out in our Corporate Strategy 2012-13.