Petitions provide a means of engaging with local communities, enabling the public to express their concerns and priorities to us as a mechanism for generating service improvements.
Petitions can be submitted through our online system, by post, or by email. Petitions are considered on their merit and not on the person who is submitting them.
What must a petition contain?
Petitions to the council must contain:
- a clear statement of what the petition is about, the area it refers to, and the action the petitioners want to happen
- contact details for the petition organiser - these will not be published
- the name, address and signature for paper petitions, or the name, address and email address for ePetitions of anyone supporting the petition.
We will also need to know the date the petition was submitted. All signatures need to have been collected no more than 6 months before the petition is submitted.
What is not allowed?
Petitions must not be:
Petitions about planning and licensing cannot be submitted through the petitions system but must go to the relevant committees.
Petitions which are within 6 months of another on the same issue will not be accepted.
Setting up an ePetition
ePetitions collect signatures online. They must run for at least 1 month, and no more than 6 months. There is more about setting up and how to submit an ePetition on the ePetitions site.
It can take up to 10 working days for an ePetition to be displayed on the website, or for it to be denied. Once it closes the organiser will receive an acknowledgment in 10 working days.
Submitting a paper petition
You can submit a paper petition by email, or by post. It should include a covering letter as well as everything else a valid petition needs.
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Democratic Services Team
Ashfield District Council Council Offices
What happens when we receive a petition
We will send the petition organiser an acknowledgement within 10 working days letting them know what will happen as a result of the petition.
If two petitions on the same issue are received, we'll work with petition organisers to amalgamate the petitions.
The relevant councillors, cabinet members, and officers will be informed when a petition covering their wards or areas of responsibility is received, and how the petition will be considered.
How we will respond to a petition
How we respond depends on the petition:
- between 10 and 199 signatures - we will respond in line with
- between 200 and 749 signatures - the petition will be discussed at the leadership team meeting. We aim to do this within 10 working days, with a written response to the petition organiser within 10 working days of the meeting
- between 750 and 1499 signatures - the petition will be considered by the overview and scrutiny committee
- more than 1500 signatures - the petition will be considered at a full council meeting
If the petition is about something we have no direct control over we'll consider making representation. If it is about something another council is responsible for we'll consider the best next steps and let the petition organiser know. This may be passing it on to the other council, but could involve other actions.
Overview and scrutiny committee consideration
A petition with between 750 and 1499 signatures will be presented to the overview and scrutiny committee.
The most relevant officer will be invited to give evidence about the issues and the petition organiser will have up to 15 minutes to ask 3 questions of them. Questions must be submitted in advance. There will then be time for discussion.
The committee may then refer the matter to a future meeting of the Cabinet.
If a petition has more than 1500 signatures it will be referred to a meeting of full council for consideration. The petition organiser will have 10 minutes to present the petition, and councillors will have 15 minutes to discuss it, 3 minutes maximum per councillor.
If a petition has more than 5000 signatures, the time allocated for discussion is increased to 30 minutes, 3 minutes maximum per councillor
They have several options open to them:
- taking the action requested in the petition
- undertaking research into the issues raised
- holding a meeting with the petitioners
- holding an inquiry
- calling for a referendum
- giving the petition further consideration at a future council meeting
- referring the petition to the overview and scrutiny committee.
Appealing a petition decision
If a petition organiser feels their petition has not been dealt with properly they have 20 working days from the decision to ask the overview and scrutiny committee to review the steps taken.
The request for review should include short details of why they feel it hasn't been dealt with properly.
The overview and scrutiny committee may decide to start an investigation, make recommendations to the council’s cabinet, or arrange for the matter to be reconsidered at a meeting of the council. The outcome of the consideration will be sent to the petition organiser within 10 working days.
Contact us about petitions
You can contact us about petitions by:
- telephone: 01623 457318
- email: email@example.com