Petition Scheme

How will the Council Respond to petitions?

Our response to a petition will depend on what a petition asks for and how many people have signed it, but may include one or more of the following:

taking the action requested in the petition
considering the petition at a council meeting
holding an inquiry into the matter
undertaking research into the matter
holding a public meeting
holding a consultation
holding a meeting with petitioners
referring the petition for consideration by the council's scrutiny committee*
calling a referendum
writing to the petition organiser setting out our views about the request in the petition

*Scrutiny committees are committees of councillors who are responsible for scrutinising the work of the council - in other words, the scrutiny committees have the power to hold the council's decision makers to account.

In addition to these steps, the council will consider all the specific actions it can potentially take on the issues highlighted in a petition.

If your petition is about something over which the council has no direct control (for example the local railway or hospital) we will consider making representations on behalf of the community to the relevant body. The council works with a large number of local partners and where possible will work with these partners to respond to your petition. If we are not able to do this for any reason (for example if what the petition calls for conflicts with council policy), then we will set out the reasons for this to you. You can find more information on the services for which the council is responsible here

If your petition is about something that a different council is responsible for we will give consideration to what the best method is for responding to it. This might consist of simply forwarding the petition to the other council, but could involve other steps. In any event we will always notify you of the action we have taken.

In all circumstances the Council's normal constitutional provisions will apply.