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Community Right to Challenge

What is the Right to Challenge?

The Right to Challenge is a national process introduced through the government's Localism Act. It aims to make it easier for voluntary and community groups or council employees to bid to run council services.

The Right to Challenge enables eligible groups to express an interest in running a local authority service. We must consider expressions of interest and, where it accepts them, run a procurement exercise for the service which anyone can compete in.

It is intended that the right will pave the way for communities to help shape and run excellent local services. This could include making local services more responsive to local needs, offering additional social value outcomes, or delivering better value for money. Under the new law, councils must respond to challenge and consider the positive impact the proposal could have on the community.

Who has the right to challenge?

The following groups are all eligible to express an interest in bidding to run a particular Allerdale Borough Council service. The Right to Challenge is open to 'relevant bodies' defined as:

  • 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.

The statutory guidance defines relevant bodies as the following:

  • Voluntary body is a body that is not a public or local authority, the activities of which are not carried out for profit. It can generate a surplus provided it is used for the purposes of its activities or invested in the community.
  • Community body is a body which is not a public or local authority, the activities of which are primarily for the benefit of the local community.

Further information is available on the regulations and guidance for Right to Challenge .

Services open to Challenge

Right to Challenge applies to all of the services that we provide. The right only applies to the provision of services, it does not provide for delegation of the functions of a relevant authority. The responsibility for the function itself remains with the relevant authority.

For services provided in-house or part in-house the Council has set a defined time window for Expressions of Interest - the window will run from 1 January to 31 March each year, starting in 2013. Expressions of Interest can only be submitted within the time window.

For services which are provided by someone else currently (external provider), we will place a notification on this website 12 months before the current contract ends to enable relevant bodies time to submit expressions of interest.

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Cumberland Council

On 1 April 2023 local government in Cumbria changed, with Cumberland Council providing all your council services.  

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