We are heartened by the Advice Note for Local Authorities on the Community Right to Bid from Department for Communities and Local Government which says that: “During the interim moratorium period a community interest group may request in writing to be treated as a potential bidder for the asset; this will bring the full moratorium period into force. The community interest group does not have to provide any evidence of intention or financial resources to make such a bid (our emphasis).
However, the standard PQQ questions that bidders will be subject to during the OJEU process effectively precludes a community organisation which is unable to provide evidence of financial resources. Further, the PQQ process happens in the first few weeks of the procurement, which effectively closes down a community bid at the first hurdle – in no way giving us 6 months to develop a bid
Therefore, we seek as a matter of urgency, clarification on how the council proposes to reconcile these two statements, and enable us as a community group effective access to the six month moratorium period as expressed in legislation.
a) Can a community interest group be exempt from fulfilling the criteria of the PQQ?
b) Can the procedure be halted either after or prior to publishing on OJEU?
Is there any manner in which the council can postpone the OJEU process in order to find solution to these challenges? We want to work productively with the council throughout this process as we believe we can offer an answer to the issues that the council face in terms of their liabilities, and can meet all the stated objectives for the Hornsey Town Hall.