Community Right to Challenge
The Community Right to Challenge lets communities challenge the council to take over local services that they think they can run differently and better. The County Council is open to receiving challenges from groups interested in running services or with new ideas for how services could be run where this achieves greater value for money. Groups wishing to get involved must be voluntary and community groups, parish councils or·groups of two or more staff from Hampshire County Council.
Please see the County Council’s policy statement on the Community Right to Challenge for more information on our approach to working with charities, voluntary and community groups and parish councils.
How to make a Challenge
Before making a formal challenge under the Act, please make sure you consider and explore all of the existing opportunities to get involved, engage or influence the County Council. A successful formal challenge will only trigger a procurement exercise and may not lead to the outcomes sought by your particular group or organisation.
Other options to consider are:
- Shaping Services for the Future details of all the upcoming service involvement and engagement opportunities. Any specified time periods for submitting expressions of interest for particular services are included in the Shaping Services for the Future schedules. Make sure you check these first before submitting a challenge or it risks being automatically rejected.
- Tendering opportunities: The County Council advertises its current tendering opportunities on Hantsweb via its e-tendering system (In-Tend). From this portal all organisations are able to see details of the Council's existing service contracts along with contract expiry dates and the current tendering opportunities being advertised.
- How to find out about grants.
- Contact a County Councillor.
- Contacting the County Council.
- Respond to County Council consultations.
Submit an Expression of Interest
To submit a challenge, please fill out the four page application form. Filling out this form with as much detailed information as you have will help to ensure your challenge can be processed in the shortest time possible. Before you begin completing the form please have the following information ready:
- Your organisation details
- Details of other organisations involved in the challenge
- Details of what your challenge is proposing.
Financial information including financial documentation of all organsiations involved, including:
- audited accounts
- A statement of turnover, profit and loss and cash flow position and an end period balance sheet covering the past year or part of the year.
- A statement of the organisation’s cash flow forecast for the current year and a bank letter outlining the current cash and credit facility position.
- Bank details
Alternatively, you can send an Expression of Interest to the Policy and Programme Office: email@example.com. This should include:
- details of your group or organisation
- the service you want to challenge
- how you plan to deliver that service differently and better.
Making a decision on an expression of interest
The maximum period of time the County Council expects to take to make a decision is nine calendar months. This in order to take into account Executive Member and Cabinet decision making cycles. When your challenge is submitted, the relevant Service Manager will notify you of the time it is expected to take to make a decision.
Starting the procurement exercise
The County Council will notify you if your challenge has been accepted. The time period between the challenge being accepted and a procurement exercise starting will differ considerably depending on whether the service to which your challenge relates is currently commissioned. Where services are provided in-house, the minimum period between an expression of interest being accepted and a procurement exercise starting is six months. The maximum period is one year. Where services are commissioned and currently under contract, the minimum period will be one year before the current contract is due to expire. The maximum period will be three months before the contract expires.
Note: A ‘procurement exercise starting’ may include activities such as procurement planning and preparation, stakeholder engagement, soft market testing etc – it is not the point at which the Council formally places a public advert for the tendering opportunity.
Recent decisions/notifications of Challenges
All recent expressions of interest received, decisions on challenges and notifications made to relevant bodies will be published in this section. Each document will be published for three months.
Advice and support
- Plain English guide to the Localism Act
- Dedicated phone line: 0845 345 4564