Community Right to Challenge

The Community Right to Challenge came into force on the 27th June 2012, having been included in Part 5 of the Localism Act 2012.

This right allows "relevant bodies" to submit "expressions of interest" to deliver council services. At South Bucks District Council we pride ourselves on delivering value for money via our mixed economy of service delivery with a combination of outsourcing, shared services and in house direct service provision. However, relevant authorities, such as District Councils must consider these expressions of interest.

Relevant bodies include voluntary and community bodies, Parish Councils, charities and two or more employees of the relevant authority.

Where an expression of interest is accepted, a procurement exercise must be carried out for the service in question. Value for money is an important consideration in any procurement process because of our Best Value statutory obligation.

To comply with our obligations under Part 5 of the Localism Act 2011:
1. Expressions of interest may be submitted for any in-house service annually, during 1st October through to 30th November (the annual window).

2. For contracted out services, expressions of interest may be submitted during the annual window at least 12 and no more than 23 clear months prior to the month of contract expiry. Contract expiry dates can be viewed by visiting Doing Business with the Council page.

3. The Contracts Register does not contain details of smaller value contracts for contracted out services. Should a relevant body wish to submit an expression of interest for a service which according to the Contracts Register appears not to have been contracted out, it should contact the Head of Healthy Communities (e-mail CulturalandYouth@ ) prior to submission to ascertain whether the service has been contracted out and if so which annual window the expression of interest should be submitted within.

4. Certain contracted out services require a longer procurement lead time. These are identified below as exceptions, together with the expiry date and window close date:

Contracted out services
ContractExpiry DateWindow Close Date
Cleansing, refuse, recycling, dog bins Contract31st Oct 201830th Nov 2018
Revenues & Benefits
(inc. Co. Tax Stationery & Bailiff services)
31st Oct 201830th Nov 2016
ICT Facilities Management21st Sept 201830th Nov 2016

5. Expressions of interest may not be submitted outside of these timeframes.

6. Receipt of an expression of interest will be acknowledged within 30 days of the closing date of the annual window, i.e. 30th December, advising as to when a decision will be made by.

7. A decision on an expression of interest will be made as soon as is reasonably possible. A decision can be to accept, reject or request a modification, in accordance with the guidance. A decision is expected to be made around 12 weeks to no later than 26 weeks following the window close date.

8. The timescales and decisions will be published in our Expressions of Interest Register.

9. If an expression of interest is accepted, a procurement exercise will be started to select the most appropriate service provider. For contracted out services, this will be in line with the retendering process timeframes leading up to the end of the existing contract. For in house services, this will normally commence between 12 to 26 weeks following the decision being made.

If you are considering submitting an expression of interest, please follow the links below to ensure that you comply as a relevant body and can meet the obligations under the statutory process, including the information you must supply.
Prior to submitting an expression of interest, we would welcome an informal approach in the first instance.
Please contact:

For statutory guidance on this Right, visit the Department for Communities and Local Government
For more information about how to make an expression of interest and what you must include, visit My Community
website. Their telephone advice support can be contacted on: 0845 345 4564
For information on the Council's procurement process, visit Doing Business with the Council