Petitions to the council

What happens when we receive petitions

An acknowledgement will be sent to the petition organiser within 14 days of receiving the petition. It will let them know what we plan to do with the petition and when they can expect to hear from us again.

If we can do what your petition asks, the acknowledgement may confirm that we have taken the action requested and the petition will be closed. If the petition needs more investigation we will tell you the steps we plan to take.

If the petition applies to a planning or licensing application, is a legal petition (for example, requesting a referendum on having an elected mayor), or on a matter where there is already an existing right of appeal, such as council tax banding and non-domestic rates, other procedures apply.

Our response 

Our response to a petition will depend on what a petition asks for and how many people have signed it. A response 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 meeting with petitioners
  • referring the petition for consideration by the council's overview and scrutiny committee
  • writing to the petition organiser setting out our views about the request in the petition
If the petition reaches 10, 000 signatures or more it will be raised in a full council debate.

If your petition is about non-council services or something the council has no direct control over we may make representations on behalf of the community to the relevant body.

The council works with a large number of local partners and we will work with these partners to respond to your petition where possible.

If we are not able to do this for any reason (for example, if what the petition calls for should conflict with council policy), then we will set out the reasons for this to you.

In the event your petition is about something that a different council is responsible for we will consider what the best method for responding to it is.  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.