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Community right to challenge

By law, any of the following have a right to challenge how we deliver services and submit an expression of interest to take over the provision of a council service:

  • a community or voluntary organisation
  • a parish council
  • a charitable trust or body
  • two or more employees of the council
  • any other person or body specified by the Secretary of State by regulations

This is not the only way that you can express your views on how services are run.

Find out more about how the council works and council consultations.

Community right to challenge: statutory guidance explains which organisations are entitled to apply (relevant bodies). London Borough of Barking and Dagenham is described as a relevant authority.

Services that are included

Expressions of interest can be submitted for most services but there are exceptions.

Currently, these exceptions are:

  • services provided in partnership with NHS bodies or by an NHS body on behalf of the council
  • services provided to named persons with complex individual health or social care needs
  • services which relate to the exercise of statutory powers, for example the determination of a planning application

In February each year we publish the procurement forward plan.

You can use this to find contracts that will be under review in the next 18 months.

It may help you decide the services you’d like to submit an expression of interest for in the current year.

Application process Toggle accordion

There is a two month window each year when all expressions of interests must be received.

Expressions of interest must be received between 1 March and 30 April

This is in line with guidance and ensures that the timing fits with the council’s current procurement procedures. It allows all expressions of interest to be considered in line with the annual budget setting process.

How to apply

Download our expression of interest form.

CRTC Expression of interest form (PDF, 112.37 KB)

CRTC Expression of Interest form (DOCX, 43.91 KB)

This will help you to provide all the information necessary for us to decide if you can deliver the service.

The form is split into five parts, which ask for information about your organisation and the service you have identified. It also asks for ideas on how you think the service could be delivered and the benefits for the community.

Return the completed application form to our Strategy Team.

Help with the form

GOV.UK provides statutory guidance on the community right to challenge. You can also find out more about giving people more power over what happens in their neighbourhood.

After we receive your application

We will acknowledge all expressions of interest we receive. The statutory guidance then allows us 30 days from the end of the submission window (30 April) to consider the expressions of interest. In this time we will review your proposals to determine if they comply with the regulations.

If we find an issue with your proposal we will contact you to discuss the best way to have your ideas considered.

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If within the 30 days of consideration we find we are able to progress your expression of interest, we will confirm how long a full evaluation will take.

At this stage we’ll explain:

  • why we need the amount of time we have suggested to review your proposals
  • who will be the point of contact during the evaluation stage
  • how we will communicate with you to ask for additional information or verification
  • how we will communicate and when we will provide feedback on, our decision
  • we may choose to contact you to ask if you will accept certain modifications to the proposals in your expression of interest (we may feel the modifications are necessary for it to be accepted)

You do not have to accept modifications proposed by the council. If you do accept them, we may agree more time for you to make the modifications. After this, you may still withdraw your expression of interest.

We may also agree a new date for our evaluation to give us time to make our decision.

More about how councils evaluate expressions of interest in the Community right to challenge: statutory guidance.

Rejected expressions of interest Toggle accordion

An expression of interest may be rejected:

  • if it does not meet the requirements or is outside the regulations the council must comply with
  • if the information presented is inaccurate or inadequate
  • if the organisation is not suitable to provide the service
  • Because the council has already formally decided that the service is not to be continued
  • if it falls outside of the Localism Act because it is an exempt service
  • if the service is already the subject of a procurement exercise
  • if negotiations in writing are underway for the service
  • if the council has already published its intention to consider the provision of the service by a body to be set up by two or more employees
  • if the expression of interest is frivolous
  • Because it would lead to a breach of the law, or statutory duty

Accepted expressions of interest Toggle accordion

When your expression of interest has been considered and the right to challenge has been upheld, we will write to you to confirm our decision and describe the next steps to be taken.

Where the council has an existing contract in place, then the expression of interest would be considered in the year that the decision to re-procure is due to take place.

If we have procured, or are to jointly procure, services with another authority we will designate a lead authority to deal with the expressions of interest.

We will undertake the procurement within existing procurement law and the council’s procurement procedures that reflect the value and complexity of the service to be procured.