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6. How we will respond to petitions

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 inquiry
  • holding a meeting open to the public
  • commissioning research
  • a written response to the petition organiser setting out our views on the request in the petition
  • referring the petition to the council’s scrutiny committees (these committees have the power to hold the council decision makers to account)
  • referring the petition to another organisation/partner

If your petition is about something over which we have no direct control (for
example the local railway or hospital) we will aim to pass the views expressed on to
the relevant body. If we wish to comment on a petition, a scrutiny committee
may decide to debate the issue and forward their comments to the relevant body.

The council works with a large number of local partners and where possible we will work with these partners to respond to your petition. If we are not able to do this for any reason (for example if the action called for by the petition 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. It might consist of
simply forwarding the petition to the other council. In any event we will always notify
you of the action we have taken.