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Community Right to Challenge

What is it?

The Community Right to Challenge enables a service that is currently delivered by a public body, to be run by a community based organisation.  If local people are unhappy with a service and think it can be run more cheaply or efficiently, a ‘challenge’ can be made by submitting an expression of interest in running the service.  This will trigger a procurement exercise, inviting tenders to run the service; there is no obligation for the public body to award the contract to the organisation making the 'challenge'. 

Who can exercise the Right?

Community Right to Challenge can be exercised by:

  • 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.


How is the Right exercised?

The 'Community Right to Challenge' organisation must submit an expression of interest which meets the requirements set out in the Regulations.  There is further information in the Statutory Guidance.  


The public body receiving the challenge must specify the maximum period that it will take to notify the organisation of its decision. Different periods may be specified for different cases.


Further Guidance about the Community Right to Challenge process is available from HM Government and from Locality 

Is funding available?

The Social Investment Business has launched the Community Right to Challenge Grants Programme. Grants of up to £100,000 are available to help groups prepare for expression of interest and procurement exercises.

What to include in a Community Led Plan

A Community Led Plan can ascertain if there is any appetite in your community for taking control of any of the services delivered by public bodies.


Include questions on the following in your surveys and other community engagement activities: 

  • The level of satisfaction with the service(s) currently provided.
  • Ideas on how the service could be improved.
  • (In a parished area) Whether there would be support for an increase in the parish precept for an improved / extended service. 
  • Seek out volunteers to form a group to prepare an expression of interest.

To find out how RCCE can assist with your Community Led Plan contact Sarah Sapsford