Community Right to Challenge

The Community Right to Challenge lets communities challenge the Council to take over local services that they think can be run differently and better. This could be the whole service or just part of a service. A successful challenge would trigger a procurement exercise where the community can make a competitive bid alongside any other firms who wish to make an offer.

Important points you need to consider…

•Winchester City Council is committed to providing its services in the most efficient and effective way possible. 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 Council. One way of getting started is by contacting your local Councillor.
•The service you are interested in may already be commissioned in a formal contract. Whilst you can still challenge a service under contract, it is likely that the procurement exercise will only begin when current contract is due to expire. This is to ensure the Council achieves best value for money. Find out about the Council’s current tendering opportunities and view all Winchester’s existing contracts.
•If you decide to go ahead with making a challenge you must be confident that you can provide the service by the time the procurement exercise begins.
•The procurement exercise is an open and competitive bid so we cannot guarantee you would win the procurement of the service.

Who can make a challenge?

•Voluntary and community groups
•Parish Councils
•A trust established for charitable purposes
•Groups of two or more staff from Winchester City Council

Any of the parties above are allowed to deliver a service as part of a consortium or use a sub-contractor.

How to make a challenge?

If you wish to make a challenge to run a service please first contact Antonia Perkins, Head of Policy, on 01962 848 314 or email for an informal discussion.

To submit a formal challenge you will need to submit an Expression of Interest (Eol), which you can do by filling out the five page application form. Please include as much detailed information as you have to help ensure your challenge will be processed in the shortest time possible.

You will need to have the following information:
1. Your organisation details
2. Details of other organisations involved in the challenge
3. Information about the relevant service sufficient to identify it and the geographical area to which the expression of interest relates.
4. Details of what your challenge is proposing and how your provision of the service will improve the social, economic and environmental delivery of that service.
5. Financial information including: a). audited accounts b). a statement of turnover, profit and loss, cash flow position, and an end period balance sheet covering the past year or part of the year c). 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 d). bank details  (You will need to provide this financial documentation for all organsiations involved with the Challenge).

When your challenge is submitted, the City Council relevant Service Manager will notify you of the expected time it will take to make a decision. The maximum period of time the Council can take to make a decision is five calendar months.

What happens if the challenge is accepted?

The 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 provided in-house or commissioned.

a). Services provided in-house - a procurement exercise will be triggered for all interested parties, in line with the Council’s current Contract Procedure Rules. The length of time between an EoI being accepted and a procurement exercise being accepted will vary from service to service, and we will specify and publish this length of time which is likely to be different for each potential contract.

b). Services commissioned and under contract - EoIs for contracted-out services will trigger a procurement exercise to be undertaken when it would have taken place in any event (prior to the end of the contract period).

* 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 and decisions on challenges will be published in this section.