Friday, 20 April 2012

Improved petition scheme

Full Council last night (Thursday 19 April) agreed that the Council
would keep an improved Petitions Scheme despite the Localism Act 2011
repealing the requirement.

The Council’s Petitions Scheme details how petitions should be
submitted and how the Council manages them once received. This includes
the following thresholds for Council responses to petitions:

1. Petitions signed by 25 or more petitioners but fewer than 650
will be presented to Council and referred to the Cabinet or another
appropriate committee without debate, for report to the Council within
three ordinary meetings.
2. Petitions signed by at least 650 petitioners but fewer than 1000
will be considered at a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel and
the petitioner will have the option to have a named officer attend the
meeting to give evidence.
3. Petitions signed by 1000 or more petitioners will be debated at
a meeting of Council, unless the petitioner has already exercised the
above option to request that a named officer attends, in which case it
will be considered at a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel.

The recommendations to Council came following discussions at the
Constitutional Working Party and Standards Committee. It was agreed by
Council that the Petition Scheme remain in place with only the following

● The Council’s Monitoring Officer would become allowed to
reject petitions on purely technical grounds, if they relate to a
regulatory decision (where challenge outside of the planning system is
not permitted) or include no contact details (where they simply cannot
be progressed).
● The Monitoring Officer, in consultation with the Leader of the
Council and the Chairman of the Council’s watchdog body the Overview
and Scrutiny Panel, would be able to reject a petition if another
similar petition had been received within the previous 12 months.
● The reasons for rejecting any petition are reported to the next
available Overview and Scrutiny Panel meeting.

Cllr. Clive Hart, Cabinet Member for Corporate and Regulatory Services
said: “Although the Localism Act 2011 gives the Council the choice of
whether or not to have a Petitions Scheme we will continue to have this
in place and listen to our residents’ views. We take residents’
issues very seriously and want to hear about the things that people are
most concerned about. The Petitions Scheme helps to bring these issues
to our attention.”

Details of the Petitions Scheme are published on the Council’s
website at:

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