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Community Right To Challenge

The Right to Challenge makes it easier for voluntary and community groups or council employees to take on the running of council services and enables eligible groups to express an interest in doing this:

  • It gives them the extra time they need to be able to compete fairly in an open procurement exercise
  • It provides a way of opening up public service delivery to groups and organisations other than those in the public and private sector

Support and assistance

The government has invested money in both the Locality website and dedicated advice phone service to assist groups who may wish to take up the Community Right to Challenge. These contain information on the process, including how it works and what information is needed.

Who can submit an Expression of Interest?

The following groups are all eligible to express an interest in bidding to run a particular Ashford Borough Council service. These 'relevant bodies' are 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
  • 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.

Making an Expression of Interest

Expressions of Interest must be made in writing to:

Ashford Borough Council
Corporate Policy and Performance
Civic Centre
Tannery Lane
Kent TN23 1PL

What happens to an Expression of Interest?

We will pass on your Expression of Interest to the relevant Head of Service who will acknowledge receipt and tell you what happens next.

After we have considered your Expression of Interest, under normal circumstances, we will advise you of our decision within a maximum period of either three or six months after the end of the Expression of Interest period, according to the nature and circumstances of the contract or service that the Expression of Interest relates to. The details of these timescales can be found on our Contracts Register.

If an Expression of Interest is accepted we will then put in place a procurement process. The timescale for this will vary according to the nature and circumstances of the contract or service that the Expression of Interest relates to. This could therefore be between one month and the end of the current contract (or within 12 months for non-contract services).

Previous Expressions of Interest

We will publish details of any expressions of interest received and the decision made below:

Expressions of Interest (EoI)
Service Information on EoI Decision
Environment and Land Management - Waste and Recycling Partial waste collection services in Wye and Hinxhill (October 2013)

Rejected on the following grounds -

  • That the information provided in the application was insufficient
  • That the authority’s duty to achieve best value would not be best served by accepting such an EoI