Alan Waters, Learning & Development Manager, LGIUCommunity Right to Challenge:A right for the community?
Your Community Rights: CRtC
Community Rights: CRTC
It enables communities to challenge to take over local service that they think they can run differently and better. The Right to Challenge could be used to run a wide range of local services. (Your Community Rights)
Community Rights:CRtCMinister announces 30m Community Rights fundingAndrew Stunell, Communities Minister, announced on Friday 6 July that there will be 30m available to help local communities use the Community Rights, including the 11.5 million Community Right to Challenge programme. Communities with good ideas for how they can run local public services and want to use the Community Right to Challenge, can access advice and support to develop their skills to be able to bid for and run excellent local services.*(Your Community Rights Website)*No information about how to apply for these grants.
CRtC Statutory GuidanceA shift of power from Whitehall back to communitiesCreative authorities welcome innovative ideas from communities about how services can be run.CRtC may act as a springboard for radical reshaping of servicesAndrew Stunell Ministerial foreword
Central Government isnt giving power to councils to then see it recentralised locallyGrant Shapps :Localism Act: new right of contestability to allow organisations to challenge councils to consider new ways of workingLocalism & Decentralisation*
Community Right to Challenge
Only applies to England though devolved administrations can introduce similar legislationCRTC provides genuine freedom for local people to choose the services they want. Reality heavily proscribed by the Secretary of State through use of reserve powers.
Came into force 27th June:In essence: local authorities must consider expressions of interest in providing a service, and where they accept an expression of interest, must carry out a procurement exercise for the service.
Two sets of regulations - Requirements for making an expression of interest and specifies services excluded from the Right - Specifies grounds on which an expression of interest may be rejected.
CRtC: relevant authorities and relevant bodies.Relevant authorities (all principle local councils and fire and rescue authorities) must consider expressions of interest by relevant bodies: - voluntary and community bodies; - organisations set up for charitable purposes; - parish councils, and by two or more employees of the local authority.Aim is to cover a wide range of civil society organisations.
Which services will be covered by CRTC?
A distinction is made between local authority functions where the decision-making process resides (e.g. Waste Strategy) which is outside CRTC and service delivery (e.g. waste collection) which would be subject to CRTC. Secretary of State has the power to exclude (or include) certain functions
DCLG Consultation February 2011
The Language of communityTwo tests of CRtC - Will it meet the realistic expectations of community groups and civil society organisations? - Local authorities to deliver services on the basis of Best Value and in the interests of local people?
Working with the Voluntary SectorUnhappiness that EO1usually triggers a full procurement process.Local authorities must work with the VS to help them understand full implications of making an EOI.Important that the council isnt seen as the problem rather than the legislation.
Community Right to ChallengeTwo or more employees eligible to exercise the right are expected to form an employee-led structure to take on the running of the proposed service.Relevant bodies through partnership working or joint ventures can submit an expression of interest with non relevant bodies.
Community Right to Challenge: Who will be the winners?Eric Pickles assurances, according to the local government press -that large multi-national companies and big conglomerates cannot use the right. He would come down hard on private firms that that abuse the new community right. But in reality firms can bid legitimately in partnership with local relevant bodies.
Moving Goal posts:Henry VIII ClausesThese allow a Minister to use regulations to create new laws which have the same force as Acts of Parliament but which dont undergo the same rigorous process.Localism Bill peppered with HVIII clauses.
Moving the goalposts
The Secretary of State may by regulations (a) Amend or repeal any of paragraphs (a) to (d) of subsection (6); amend or repeal any of subsections (7) to (9); make other amendments to this Chapter (including amendments to any power to make regulations).
Preparing for an Expression of interestEither judging which services are likely to be open to expressions of interestORFootball transfer window approach specifying periods during which expressions of interest can be submitted.Separate timetable for contracts coming to an end?
Submissions within the specified periodDefinition of a relevant bodyInformation to demonstrate financial robustness; capable of delivering the serviceCommunity well-being and meeting the needs of service usersImpact on remaining employees of the local authority.Timetable and modification of expressions of interest before going into a full procurement.
Grounds for refusalEssentially practical in nature. Failure to comply with statutory requirementsInadequate or inaccuracy of informationUnsuitability of organisation or sub-contractorsDecision to stop service already been madeIntegrated packages with the NHSProcurement process/ negotiations already underway in writing with a third party.Employee bidVexatious or frivolous expression of interest
Community Right to Challenge: ability to protect public services?Local authority must accept or reject an expression of interest and give grounds for doing so.Local authority in coming to a judgement must consider how it might promote or improve the social economic or environmental well-being of the authoritys area -Section 83 (8) of the Act.The Guidance encourages the use of social clauses in contracts (subject to EU rules)
Parliamentary Answer 14th June about the compatibility of BV duty and the CRtC. Confirmed that it doesnt change any aspect of the duty of Best Value.
In-house bidsNo guidance in the final regulationsBut an In-house team is not a legal entity, so cannot enter into a contract with the councilPossible risk of challengeBest Value comparator using In-house service (s) as a measure may be the determining factor?
Community Right to Challenge
Unknown number and scale of challenges and subsequent procurement processesFragmentation of service deliveryCostDemocratic deficitTrojan Horse for major private sector contractors to secure more of the local government services market.Several routes in for the private sector to take over Local Authority contracts.Impact on the workforce where services contracted out to new providers.
Concluding remarksWill CRTC be a damp squib?Fragmentation of services and costly and complex service delivery: negative political consequences: but for whom?Full implications of Localism not yet really understood by local government.Privatised public services funded by the tax payer taking some reputational hits: Opportunity to argue the case for the value of in-house public services, run by accountable and democratically elected bodies.
Community Right to Challenge:A right for the community?
***The Consultation Institute & CPSP@LGiU 2010Public Engagement for Public Service Partnerships****Certain voluntary, community or staff groups could challenge provision of services (but not force councils to provide services). Some control over when expressions of interest can be submitted and there will be guidance on grounds for refusal. In practice some bids may fall early on as unable to demonstrate track record or financial resilience. A successful EOI generates a full procurement which may be open to anyone, including the private sector, who may not be eligible to generate the EOI itself. Possible implications for currently retained services and ability to bid, links to standing orders and EU procurement rules as well as our duties under e.g. equality legislation and retaining ultimate responsibility for a service we did not wish to outsource in the first place. Impacts if services go outside on overheads or if parts of a service are cherry picked and we retain the high cost and more challenging parts of a service. Mutuals would not need a majority of the staff working in the service to back a bid for EOI submitted. In theory two staff from a group of 20 could make a bid which could lead to a procurement which if over EU limits opens the service to large companies. Potential to place unknown demand not just for evaluation of EOI but also to run unplanned procurement processes*