Step-by-step guide

The process of creating an e-petition.

Step 1: Create your petition

When you create an e-petition you will be asked to give your:

  • name
  • organisation (if you represent one)
  • address and email address
  • title and text of your petition.

You will also be asked to give a short, one-word name for your petition. This will be used to give your petition a unique URL (website address) that you can use to publicise your petition if you wish.

You will be able to specify a start and finish date for your petition. Most petitions run for three months, but you can choose a shorter or longer timeframe, up to a maximum of twelve months.

Step 2: Submit your petition

Once you have submitted your petition, you will receive an email asking you to click a link to confirm. Your proposed petition will then be delivered to us.

Step 3: Petition approval

Democratic Services will check your petition to make sure that it meets the basic requirements set out in our terms and conditions.

Five working days

We aim to do this within five working days.

Once your petition is approved, we will email you to let you know and it will be published online. If we feel we cannot publish your petition for some reason, we will contact you within five working days to explain why.

You will be able to change and resubmit your petition if you wish. If you do not do this within 10 working days, a summary of the petition and the reason why it has not been accepted will be published under the rejected petitions section of the website.

Step 4: Petition live

Once your petition is live, you will be able to publicise the URL you chose when you created your petition. Anyone will be able to come to the website and sign it. As the petition creator, your name and your organisation, if you have specified one, will be displayed.

Signing a petition

People who wish to sign a petition will be asked to give their name and address and an email address that we can verify. The system is designed to identify duplicate names and addresses. It will not allow someone to sign a petition more than once.

Anyone signing a petition will be sent an email asking them to click a link to confirm that they have signed the petition. Once they have done this, their name will be added to the petition.

Your petition will show the total number of signatures received. It will also display the names of signatories, unless they have opted not to be shown.

Step 5: Petition closes

When a petition closes, it is sent to us and you will receive an acknowledgement from the council within 10 working days of receipt.

This acknowledgement will set out what we plan to do with the petition and will also be published on the website. 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 meeting of the council or Executive
  • undertaking research into the matter
  • holding a public meeting
  • holding a consultation
  • holding a meeting with petitioners
  • writing to the petition organiser setting out our views about the request in the petition.

The local Ward Councillors will be kept informed. The type of response we provide may be dependent on the number of signatories to the petition. 

The table below summarises our approach:

Number of signatories Response
Less than 20 Response from Officer (treated as standard correspondence).
20 - 199 Response from relevant Member of the Executive
At least 200 Referred to the Executive
At least 400 Debated at a meeting of the full Council

Where the petition is considered at a meeting of the Council or Executive the lead petitioner or a spokesperson for the petitioners may speak about the petition for up to five minutes.

Step 6: The council's response

The Council's response to the petition will be emailed to everyone who has signed the e-petition and elected to receive this information.

The response will also be published on this website.

See also:

Create and sign an e-petition.

Full details of our petition processes are set out below:

See the Council and Democracy section for information on elections, your elected representatives and committees.