The Localism Act became law in November 2011 and includes a 'Community Right to Challenge'. This allows voluntary and community bodies, charities, parish councils and groups of 2 or more local authority staff to bid to express an interest in the running of services that the council provides. Private sector providers can support these bodies and groups in their bids.
Under the Right to Challenge relevant bodies can submit a written Expression of Interest (EOI) in running a service, which the council is required to consider and respond to.
To find out more about which services the Right to Challenge applies to and who can submit an EOI go to the GOV.UK website.
When can EOI's be submitted?
In order to work with the council's decision making plans, budgets and procurement processes the County Council will only accept EOIs during an two-month period (June and July) every four years. The first invitation period was in June/July 2013.
How should EOI's be submitted?
What happens when your EOI is received?
The council will make a decision on your EOI as soon as possible. However, the time needed to make a decision may vary due to the complexity of each submission.
The council will reply within 30 days of receiving your EOI to let you know how long it will take for a decision to be made and when you will be notified once that decision has been taken.
If the council thinks your EOI could be accepted but needs more information to help the bid it will contact you for more details. If the council thinks your EOI could be accepted but needs to be modified in some way it will contact you to discuss this. The council will not make modifications without your agreement.
What happens if your EOI is accepted?
If the council accepts the EOI it will run a procurement exercise (which you can participate in) alongside other organisations. The procurement exercise will be open and will not favour you as the body that submitted the successful EOI.
This procurement exercise must comply with existing legislation and requirements regarding procurement. The council will contact you after the decision to clarify when the procurement will begin as this will depend on the size and complexity of the service within your EOI.
What happens if your EOI is not accepted?
If the council decides not to accept your EOI it will contact you to let you know along with the reasons why.