The Community Right to Challenge is a key element of the Localism Act 2011.
What does it mean?
This means that voluntary agencies, community groups, charities, Parish and Town Councils and groups of two or more Council employees can express an interest in bidding to run a particular Council service. If the expression of interest is valid, a competitive procurement exercise will then take place involving all other interested organisations.
It is solely concerned with the provision of services. Responsibility for the function always remains with the local authority.
All services can be challenged apart from the following, which are currently excluded:
- relevant health services commissioned either by the local authority or PCT or NHS Trust until April 2014
- a relevant service commissioned or provided by the local authority in respect of a named person with complex individual health or social care needs
- Sure Start Children’s Centre services commissioned jointly by a local authority and NHS body or by the NHS on behalf of the local authority until April 2014
- Services commissioned and managed by individuals or their representatives using direct payments, for example under the Community Care, Services for Carers and Children’s Services Regulations
How does it work?
Sefton Council is facing particularly challenging times financially with further significant savings to be made over the next few years (£43m over 2013/14 and 2014/15 financial years). This new legislation is a good opportunity for groups to submit their ideas about how its services can be run differently or better and the Council welcomes this approach. It will enable communities to engage, influence and potentially take responsibility for services which are the most important to their lives.
Sefton Council is working towards becoming a commissioning council. This means that our services will be delivered around meeting our customers’ needs and timescales in the most efficient and effective manner.
Sefton Council sets a 30 day period each year for expressions of interest to be submitted in relation to Community Right to Challenge proposal. This year this period is being implemented from 1 March until 31 March 2018.