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How the Council will 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 or Cabinet meeting (whichever is appropriate)
  • 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 Overview and Scrutiny Committee*
  • calling a referendum
  • writing to the petition organiser setting out our views on the request in the petition

*The Overview and Scrutiny Committee is a committee of Councillors who are responsible for scrutinising the work of the Council - in other words, the Overview and Scrutiny Committee has the power to hold the Council's decision makers to account.

In addition to these steps, the Council will consider what specific actions are available to address the issues highlighted in a petition.

The Council's response to a petition will set out the steps we intend to take and the reasons for taking this approach.

If the petition is about something over which the Council has no direct control 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 the 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 on our website.

If the 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.