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Terms and Conditions - all petitions

It is important that you ensure that your petition, be it a paper or an e-petition, conforms with the terms and conditions set out on this page. Petitions will be accepted and published on this website, only if they meet these criteria.

Important Information

We welcome petitions whether they are delivered in person, posted to us or come in the form of an e-petition.

Petitioners may freely disagree with the Council or call for changes of policy.  There will be no attempt to exclude critical views and decisions to accept or reject petitions, in the first instance, will not be made on a party political basis.

However, in order to protect this service from abuse, petitions must satisfy some basic conditions.  These are set out in the Terms and Conditions set out below.   

It is unlikely that we will accept petitions that do not meet this criteria  Where a petition is accepted, which contains misleading information, we reserve the right to post an interim response to highlight this anomaly to anyone visiting to sign the petition.

Terms and Conditions

If you wish to submit a petition, you must use the online form to provide:

  • the title or subject of the petition;
  • a clear and concise statement covering the subject of the petition.  It should state what action the petitioner wishes the Council take.  The petition will be returned to you to edit if it is unclear what action is being sought;
  • the contact address for the petition's author and this will not be placed on the website; and
  • a duration for the petition.

The information in a petition must be submitted in good faith.  In order for the petition service to comply with our terms and conditions, you must not include:

  • party political material. This website is the Council's site and party political content cannot be published.  [Note:  This does not mean that you cannot petition on controversial issues. As an example, we would not allow: "We petition the Council Leader to change his party's / group's policy on social housing provision" as it relates to the political party or political group, but it would be acceptable if worded as "We petition the Council Leader to change the Council's policy on social housing provision".]
  • potentially libellous, false, or defamatory statements;
  • information which may be protected by an injunction or court order, such as the identities of individuals in a housing case;
  • material which is potentially confidential, commercially sensitive, or which may cause personal distress or loss;
  • any commercial endorsement, promotion of any product, service or publication;
  • URLs or web links as we cannot vet the content of external sites, and therefore cannot link to them from this site;
  • the names of individual officials of public bodies, unless they are part of the senior management of those organisations;
  • the names of family members of elected representatives or officials of public bodies;
  • the names of individuals, or information where they may be identified, in relation to criminal accusations; and
  • language which is offensive, intemperate, or provocative. This not only includes obvious swear words and insults, but any language to which people could reasonably take offence.

We reserve the right to reject:

  • petitions that are similar to and / or overlap with an existing petition(s);
  • petitions which ask for things outside the remit or powers of the Council;
  • statements that don't actually request any action;
  • wording that is impossible to understand;
  • statements that amount to advertisements;
  • petitions which are intended to be humorous, or which have no point about council-related issues;
  • issues for which an e-petition is not the appropriate channel (for example, correspondence about a personal issue);
  • Freedom of Information (FoI)requests. [This is not the right channel for FoI requests; information about the appropriate procedure can be found at Information Commissioner's Office and
  • nominations for Honours as this is not the appropriate channel.  [Note:  Information can be found about this on http://www.direct.gov.uk/honours.]

Common causes for rejection

Running the petition site, we see a lot of people having petitions rejected for a handful of very similar reasons.  In order to help you avoid common problems, we've produced this list:

  • Please don't use 'shouting' capital letters excessively as they can make petitions fall foul of our 'impossible to read' criteria.
  • We cannot accept petitions which call upon the Council to "recognise" or "acknowledge" something, as they do not clearly call for a recognisable action.

Petitions that do not follow these guidelines cannot be accepted.  In these cases, you will be informed, in writing, of the reason(s) your petition has been refused.  If this happens, we will give you the option of altering and resubmitting the petition so it can be accepted.

If you decide not to resubmit your petition, or if the second one is also rejected, we will list your petition and the reason(s) for not accepting it on this website.  We will publish the full text of your petition, unless the content is illegal or offensive.

Once accepted, petitions will be made available on this website for anyone to sign.  Anyone signing the petition must provide their name, address and a verifiable email address.  No personal details other than their name will be published on the site.  Information about any individual will not be used for any other purpose than in relation to the petition, unless they choose to sign up for other services offered on this website.

It will usually take up to five working days from the time a petition proposal is received for it to appear on the website.  During busy periods, this may take longer.

Your petition will be available on this website until the specified closing date.  If, however, during this time it becomes clear that your petition is not being run in accordance with the terms, we reserve the right to withdraw it.  If this happens, we will contact you first to allow you to address the concerns we haveand we will only remove the petition as a last resort.

Please note that to keep the system manageable and justify use of resources, we can will only respond to petitions of 750 signatures or more.