The community right to challenge allows organisations to submit an expression of interest to take over a service that we currently provide.

Who can submit an expression of interest 

An expression of interest can be submitted by a relevant body including: 

  • town and parish councils 
  • community and voluntary bodies 
  • charitable trusts 
  • a community body 
  • two or more council employees 

There is no requirement for a voluntary or community body to have any local connection.  

Any of these bodies can submit an expression of interest in partnership with any other organisation. This can be a commercial organisation. 

Included and excluded services 

The expression of interest must relate to the provision of a relevant service. This means any service which is currently provided by us or by another agency on our behalf. 

Examples of such services are:

  • management and maintenance of playing fields
  • heritage conservation
  • running a library
  • providing human resource services

Excluded services include: 

  • services provided in partnership with NHS bodies and services commissioned by an NHS body on our behalf
  • a service provided to a named person with complex health or social care needs 
  • a service which cannot be legally delegated such as council tax and planning applications 

Make an expression of interest 

As a representative of a group or organisation you can submit an expression of interest in delivery a service. This must be made in writing and include: 

  • the name and geographical area of the service 
  • information about financial resources of the group submitting the expression of interest 
  • evidence that shows the group will be capable of providing or assisting the service 
  • information about how the provision will promote social, economic or environmental wellbeing and how it will meet the needs of the users of the service 
  • details of how the group will support employees who are affected by the expression of interest (if the group has current employees) 

You can send your expression of interest by: 

  • email: 
  • post: South Gloucestershire Council, Department for Resources and Business Change, Property Services, PO Box 1953, Bristol, BS37 0DE

What happens next 

The first stage of the process includes the validation and acceptance or rejection of the expression of interest. 

When we receive an expression of interest, we will check that it has been submitted by a relevant group for a relevant service.  

Failure to meet the requirements 

If your expression of interest fails to meet the requirements, we will notify you and will take no further action. 

Valid expressions of interest 

We will conduct a review of valid expressions of interest.

We may reject a valid expression of interest if:  

  • it is not from a relevant body from a relevant service 
  • the supporting information is inadequate or incorrect 
  • any member of the body making the bid is not suitable to provide the service 
  • we have already taken a formal decision to stop providing the service 
  • taking this service in isolation would result in a loss of integration with NHS services to the detriment of users 
  • the service is already the subject of a procurement exercise 
  • we are already in negotiations in writing with a third party for the provision of the service 
  • we have already published our intention to consider the provision of the service by a group to be set up by 2 or more employees 
  • that the expression of interest is trivial 
  • the acceptance of the expression of interest is likely to lead to a breach of law or statutory duty 

We will then notify you of the decision and the reasons for this.  

How long does it take 

We review expressions of interest between 1 March and 30 April every year.  

We will let you know if your expression of interest has been accepted or rejected within 26 weeks.  

There can be a period of 12 to 39 weeks between us accepting the expression of interest and starting the procurement exercise. 


Once a valid expression of interest has been accepted, we move onto the procurement exercise. 

The scale of the procurement process depends on the nature and value of the service concerned.  

We only vary the range of services with the agreement of the group or people who submitted the expression of interest.

We decide how the service will be provided and the contract terms and conditions.

We are required to evaluate all expressions of interest and tenders received on the same evaluation criteria whether the service provider is from the community, voluntary or commercial sector.  

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