Public petition scheme
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 enquiry 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 Committee has 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. The table below gives some examples:
|Petition subject||Appropriate steps|
|Alcohol related crime and disorder||If your petition is about crime or disorder linked to alcohol consumption, the council will, among other measures, consider the case for placing restrictions on public drinking in the area by establishing a designated public place order or, as a last resort, imposing an alcohol disorder zone. When an alcohol disorder zone is established the licensed premises in the area where alcohol related trouble is being caused are required to contribute to the costs of extra policing in that area. The council's response to your petition will set out the steps we intend to take and the reasons for taking this approach.|
|Anti-social behaviour (ASB)||As the elected representatives of your local area and licensing authority, the council has a significant role to play in tackling anti-social behaviour. The council, in conjunction with our partners in the local crime and disorder partnership have set out mimimum service standards for responding to issues of anti-social behaviour.|
|Street Scene||If your petition is about the quality of the environment in your area the Council will consider using its planning and environmental powers to improve the quality of the environment. The council has the ability to clean areas or require others to clean them. It has powers in respect of tidying up land.|
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.
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.