Local Services

These are the frequently asked questions for local services.

Can only parish councils, local authorities and voluntary/community organisations bid for a service if an expression of interest is accepted?

No. If the service goes to procurement then it is fully competitive and anyone can bid including the private sector, in accordance with the local authority’s normal procurement rules.

Does the Right to Challenge cover central government services?

No, the Right currently only applies to local authorities and Fire and Rescue Services.

Do we need to have a particular legal structure to submit a challenge?

If you are a group of two or more local authority staff looking to take on a service you are already involved in delivering, then you don’t need to have a registered organisation when you submit an expression of interest. You would need to show in the expression of interest that by the time of the procurement (tender) you would have established an organisation that is able to run the service.

If you are a voluntary or community organisation, any legal structure which can be shown to be ‘not for profit’ or that your activities are for community benefit, will be eligible. A legal structure which has limited liability status is likely to be essential to deliver public services, but is not necessary at the point of challenge.

We want to take over a service, but we want to be able to recruit our own staff to run it. How do we do this?

Whether local authority staff must transfer over to your organisation or not is not a decision that you can make, as it is agreed by law.

The regulations for when this applies and doesn’t apply (‘TUPE’) are highly complex and need to be looked at carefully for each case. You will almost certainly need to get specialist advice on this matter, even if you think you understand the regulations.

How do we submit a challenge?

Each local authority will be required to develop and publicise their processes for people wanting to submit a challenge (‘Expression of Interest’).

Community Right to Challenge

What services can be challenged under the Right to Challenge?

A wide range of services will be open to challenge.

There will be a permanent exclusion for services for named persons with complex individual or social care needs. Services which are commissioned and managed by individuals or their representatives using direct payments are not subject to challenge.