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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 the Council’s views on the request in the petition
  • Referring the petition to the Council’s scrutiny committees*
  • Referring the petition to another organisation/partner


*Scrutiny Committees are committees of Councillors who are responsible for scrutinising the work of the Executive – in other words, the Scrutiny Committees have the power to hold the Council’s decision-makers to account.


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.


We work with a large number of local partners through the Exeter Vision Partnership 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.