The council and its partners recognise the need to help citizens communicate their needs and concerns about issues in the local area.
Petitions have a long tradition, and can be useful in indicating levels of support for various issues. We will encourage their use in appropriate circumstances and will offer advice to interested persons as to how best to make use of this scheme in order to achieve their aims.
We provide an e-Petitions facility which allows you to have your petition live on the internet, rather than just on paper. This way, your e-petition and supporting information can be made available to a potentially much wider audience, giving you the opportunity to gather more names to support the e-petition. Our e-petitions facility will hold an archive of past (post Dec 2010) and current petitions received by the council and our response.
The e-petition may gather names and addresses in both forms – you can have a paper version and an online version, although repeat names should be removed by the Principal Petitioner.
The petition scheme
South Gloucestershire Council must have a petitions scheme. These requirements are set out in Section 11 (1) of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009.
The purpose of the scheme is to establish a clear process for petitions submitted to the council to be handled in accordance with the legislation.
- how people who live, work or study in the authority’s area can organise or sign a petition and secure a statutory response
- how specific responses can be triggered by achieving prescribed levels of signatory support
- who will do what
- how petition organisers can seek a review of the council’s response
To be a valid petition, and trigger the provisions of the statutory ‘duty to respond’, a petition must;
- include a clear statement of concerns and what you want the authority to do
- be initiated by a petition organiser whose details have been supplied to the council
- relate to the council’s functions or to wider issues applicable to the areas served by the council
- not be discriminatory, vexatious or abusive
- contain a minimum of 10 valid signatories, including verifiable details that they live, work or study in the council area. Signatures from others (e.g. visitors) may be considered as valid if relevant to the issue of the petition
- not be a duplicate or near-duplicate of a similar petition received or submitted under 12 months ago