Democracy and Governance Dept.
Plymouth City Council
Plymouth PL1 2AA
We welcome petitions and within 10 working days of receiving your petition, we'll let you know how we plan to deal with the petition and when we will respond to you. The minimum number of signatures required on a petition is 25.
Petitions can be sent to Democratic Support, Plymouth City Council, Plymouth PL1 2AA or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Petitions can also be submitted online.
What are the guidelines for submitting a petition?
Petitions must include:
- A clear statement covering the subject
- What the petitioners want the council to do
- The name, address and signature of everyone supporting the petition
Petitions should be accompanied by contact details - name, address and email for the petition organiser. The petition organiser is the person the we will contact to give a response to the petition. Anyone who lives, works or studies in Plymouth may sign a petition.
When will a petition not be accepted?
A petition will not be accepted or dealt with if:
- It is considered to be vexatious, abusive or otherwise inappropriate
- It relates to matters where there are ongoing legal proceedings
- It targets individuals
- It applies to a matter where there is already a right of appeal (eg planning or licensing
- Applications or statutory petitions (such as requesting a referendum on having an elected mayor) - these will be dealt with under separate arrangements
If your petition is about something which we have no direct control over we may consider making representations to the relevant organisation and, where possible, ask partners to respond to you. If your petition is about something that another Council is responsible for, we will forward it to that Council, and let you know that we have done so.
How will we respond?
The response to a petition will depend on what it is asking for and how many people have signed it, but may include:
- Taking the action requested
- Considering the petition at a Council meeting
- Holding an inquiry or researching the matter
- Holding a public meeting or a meeting with petitioners
- Holding a consultation
- Referring the petition to a locality team manager or the relevant Scrutiny Panel
- Calling a referendum
- Writing to the petition organiser giving our views about the request and/or letting you know what the council has already decided to do or proposes to do
If the petition applies to a planning or licensing application, is a statutory petition (for example requesting a referendum on having an elected mayor), or on a matter where there is already an existing right of appeal, such as council tax banding and non-domestic rates, other procedures apply. Further information on these procedures and how you can express your views is available here:
Debate at Council meetings (at least 5,000 signatures)
If the petition has received at least 5,000 signatures it will automatically trigger a debate at the next ordinary Council meeting. In this case, we will confirm the date of the next meeting and the petition organiser will be given five minutes to present the petition and put forward his/her case for the action requested.
At the meeting, the councillors will decide how to respond to the petition and the petition organiser will receive written confirmation of this decision. The minutes for the meeting will also be published.
Officer evidence (at least 2,500 signatures)
If your petition contains at least 2,500 signatures, you may ask for a senior council officer (Chief Executive, Assistant Chief Executive, Directors and Assistant Directors) to give evidence at one of the Council’s Scrutiny Panels (to explain progress or to explain the advice given to councillors to assist their decision making). The Panel may also require the relevant Cabinet Member to attend the meeting. Panel members will ask the questions at this meeting, but you can suggest questions to the Chair of the Panel by contacting the Democratic Support Team at least seven working days before the meeting.
What can I do if I feel my petition has not been dealt with properly?
If you feel that we have not dealt with your petition properly, the petition organiser has the right to ask the relevant Scrutiny Panel to review the our response. The petition organiser should give a short explanation why our response is not felt to be adequate.
That Scrutiny Panel will try to consider your request at its next meeting. Once the appeal has been considered the petition organiser will be informed of the results within five working days and the results will be published on the council's website as part of the minutes for that meeting.
Further information on petitions can be found below: