Petitioning is a long-established process for members of the community to demonstrate community support for a request or views on a matter, and for that request or view to be presented directly to Council. The information below is extracted from Councils Governance Rules and explains the rules associated with petitions including how they must be prepared, the process for submitting them and how they will be considered.
- Every petition submitted to Council must:
- be in legible and in a permanent form of writing, typing or printing;
- not be derogatory, defamatory, indecent, abusive or objectionable in language or substance;
- not relate to matters outside the powers of Council;
- clearly state the request or describe the action that Council is asked to undertake on each page of the Petition and include the name, address and signature of petitioners; and
- include the names, full addresses (either postal or electronic) and original signatures of at least 10 people.
- Where a Petition has been signed by fewer than 10 people, it will be treated as a joint letter and forwarded directly to the appropriate Officer for action as an operational item. These will not be tabled at Ordinary Meetings.
- A petition generated via an online or electronic process that does not contain the signatures of the persons who are represented as having supported it will be accepted only if it complies with all other provisions of sub-clause 1).
- Every page of a Petition must be a single-or double-sided page of paper and not be attached to any piece of paper other than another page of the Petition.
- A petition may only be presented to an Ordinary Meeting by a Councillor.
- Any Councillor presenting a Petition is responsible for ensuring that:
- they are familiar with the contents and purpose of the Petition; and
- the Petition meets the requirements of a valid petition
- Any Councillor, except the Chairperson, may present a Petition to an Ordinary Meeting and must confine themselves to a statement of the:
- persons from whom it comes;
- number of signatories to it;
- material matters expressed in it; and
- text of the Petition.
How a Petition can be dealt with at a Council Meeting
A Petition tabled by a Councillor at an Ordinary Meeting may be dealt with as follows:
a) motion may be proposed to accept and note the Petition and resolve to:
i. deal with it in conjunction with an item on the Agenda; or
ii. refer it to the Chief Executive Officer for consideration and response; or.
iii. call for a report on the subject matter of the Petition.
b) If a Petition relates to an operational or service matter, Council must only resolve to refer it to the Chief Executive Officer for consideration.
c) No member of the public is permitted to speak to a Petition when presented at an Ordinary Meeting or ask a question pertaining to the Petition during Public Question Time.
Further Information for people Organising and Submitting Petitions.
To ensure compliance with the rules and processes organisers of petitions are encouraged to contact Councils Co Ordinator Governance Services – via Governance.firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the wording and format of their petition and the above rules.
A petition ideally with a covering letter identifying the organiser / submitter may be lodged with Council in a number of ways:
- by email to email@example.com
- in person at the Preston Customer Service Centre, 274 Gower Street, Preston; or
- by mail to PO Box 91, Preston 3072.
A person organising a petition may contact a Councillor themselves to ascertain that Councillors willingness to table the petition or alternatively Council Officers will liaise with the appropriate local Councillor.
After a petition is tabled at a Council Meeting the organiser of the petition (or the first named signatory if no organiser / submitter is identified) will be contacted by the Council Officers responsible for the matter / issue to inform them how the matter will be dealt with ( ie see point above )