June 13, 2012
Will we need one of these?
One option proposed for the Community Empowerment Bill is that communities could have the right to challenge a provider of public services if they feel the service is not being run effectively. If there are grounds to support this, the community might deliver the service itself. Later this month, a Right to Challenge is being introduced in England along with a number of other community rights as part of the Localism Bill. A new service has been set up to help communities take advantage of them. Worth looking at.
Taken from the ‘right to challenge’ page of a new support service run by Locality – DTAS’ sister organisation in England
The Community Right to Challenge is expected to come into effect on 27 June 2012. It enables communities to challenge to take over local council services that they think they can run differently and better. The Right to Challenge could be used to run a wide range of local council services.
Some examples of community groups already providing local services include:
Fresh Horizons – who run an efficient library service in Huddersfield, combining this with advice and credit union services and in the future a cinema.
Himmat – delivers services for young people in Halifax, it has been awarded contracts to run probation services and a Youth Offending Team dealing with kids most at risk.
A challenge will be considered by a local authority and may be accepted or rejected, but if it is accepted does not mean you will necessarily get to run the service as the council would have to run a tendering exercise which anyone can bid for, including the private sector.
Support and advice
Resources will be added to the website in June including the launch of the grants programme and Contract Readiness Checker.
We also welcome enquiries from local councils needing guidance on the policies and how best to respond to Expressions of Interest.
We can assist with the running or bidding to run of public services even if you are not planning to use the Community Right to Challenge mechanism itself.