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Petitions about council services

General petitions about council services are known as Cabinet Member petitions because they are dealt with by a Councillor who is a member of the Cabinet.

Cabinet members

Each of these councillors (also known as members) has responsibility for a particular range of issues/portfolio and will consider valid petitions that are received from residents for things that the council has control over, for example:

  • to request inclusion in (or exclusion from) a residents' parking scheme
  • to request traffic calming measures in a particular area
  • to ask for a new playground

What is a valid petition?

For it to be classed as 'valid', your petition needs to have the names, addresses and signatures of 20 (or more) people who live in the Borough. Your petition will also need to say what it is that you are petitioning about. 

Petition templates

To help you put a paper petition together, we have developed a template that you are welcome to use.

There is also the option to submit an ePetition as an alternative to collecting physical signatures. Further information can be found on our ePetition page. 

What action will the council take?

If the issue that you want to be looked at is something that the council can do something about, there are a range of things that we could do which include:

  • taking the action requested in the petition, if possible
  • holding a meeting to discuss further or site visit
  • researching the issue
  • carrying out a further local consultation
  • suggesting other actions that we could take that may deal with the issue raised in the petition

If the council is unable to resolve the matter to your satisfaction, then with a valid petition, you then have a right to have your petition heard at a 'petition hearing' with the relevant Cabinet Member as set out below.

Monthly petition hearings

If you have 20+ valid signatories on your petition and we can't sort out the issues that you have raised to your satisfaction, you can have your petition considered at a Petition Hearing  (this is a meeting held in public that is chaired by the relevant Cabinet Member.) If your petition is going to go to a Petition Hearing, someone from Democratic Services will contact you about three weeks before the meeting. At this meeting, you will get to speak for five minutes to argue your case and promote your views. Your relevant Ward Councillors will also get to speak for three minutes each. 

Our Petition Hearings are relatively informal events for those attending, but they are designed to make official decisions on matters by the Council.

How long will it take to consider my petition

The council receives hundreds of petitions each year from local residents and the time-frame really depends upon the type of issue raised. Complex petitions may need further research by council officers before a proposal can be worked-up and this may take up to a few months. 

If the matter you raised in your petition cannot be resolved to your satisfaction, then you have a right to a Petition Hearing with the Cabinet Member. These meetings are on a monthly basis and each meeting will consider a number of different petitions. We will aim to get your petition to one of these meetings as soon as is practicable, bearing in mind there will be other petitions submitted earlier already in the line for such meetings.

Repeat petitions

If we have already had a petition on a particular issue, we generally won't accept another one on the same issue for six months.  

Petition with less than 20 valid signatures

If you haven't got 20 valid signatures on your petition, we will write to you to advise that we will still send it to the Cabinet Member, Ward Councillors and officers to see if there is any action that we can take (these officers will contact you if there is any more information that they need). However, unless one of the Ward Councillors requests it, your petition will not be considered at a Petition Hearing. 


Once we have received a valid petition, Democratic Services will contact the petition organiser (or the first person on the petition if the organiser has not been identified) to confirm that we have received the petition. We then ask officers from the relevant department to look into the issue raised in the petition and these officers will contact the petition organiser if they need any more information. Democratic Services will generally not contact the petition organiser again until about three weeks before the Petition Hearing to advise them of the date of the meeting.  However, you are welcome to contact us in the meantime. 

Further information

More detailed information about the Petition Scheme can be found in Part 5F of the Council's Constitution.


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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 01 Feb 2018 at 13:53