The Council will treat as a petition anything which identifies itself as a petition for which a reasonable person would regard as a petition.
Petitions submitted to the Council must include: - a clear and concise statement covering the subject of the petition stating what action the petitioners wish the Council to take and the name address and signature of any person supporting the petition.
Furthermore, petitions should be accompanied by contact details including an address for the petition organiser, which the council will then use as the point of contact.
Petitions which are in the opinion of the Chief Executive Officer or Monitoring Officer vexatious, abusive or otherwise inappropriate do not qualify for a response. They will be acknowledged and an explanation given explaining why the authority will not be taking action.
When considering whether a petition is vexatious guidance will be used under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The key question is whether the request is likely to cause distress, disruption or irritation without any proper or justified cause.
All written and e-petitions will be considered on a case by case basis and subject to not being a vexatious, abusive or otherwise inappropriate in nature the Council will respond to a petition through one or more of the following ways: -
- 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 of the Council’s Scrutiny Committee,
- calling a referendum,
- writing to the petition organiser setting out the Council’s views about the request in the petition.
- In all instances an acknowledgement will be sent to the petition organiser within 10 working days of receipt advising of how the Council plans to deal with the petition and related timescales.