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How will the Council respond to Petitions?

The Wiltshire Council Petitions Scheme onlines in full how the Council will deal with petitions it receives.

No matter what size your petition is you will be kept informed of how the council proposes to deal with it and the action to be taken. The council is convinced of the need for local discretion and flexibility in the way petitions are managed. Discussions will take place with the relevant cabinet member or the appropriate area board chairman to determine the most appropriate way of dealing with the petition.

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 into the matter
• undertaking research into the matter
• holding a public meeting
• holding a consultation
• holding a meeting with petitioners
• referring the petition for consideration by the council’s overview and scrutiny committee
• calling a referendum
• writing to the petition organiser setting out our views about the request in the petition

Key outcomes

Full Council Debate

If your petition has received approximately 4700 signatures (1% of the Council Area population) or more it will also be scheduled for a council debate and if this is the case the council will let you know the date of the meeting of the council when it will be heard. These meetings take place at least four times a year, dates and times can be found here.

If you would like to present your petition to the council, or would like your councillor or someone else to present it on your behalf, please contact Democratic Services on committee@wiltshire.gov.uk at least 10 working days before the meeting and we will talk you through the process.

Refer to Cabinet Decision Maker

Alternatively if your petition does not have sufficient signatures to trigger a debate at full council you may wish for your petition to be referred to the appropriate decision maker, which could be the council’s cabinet or appropriate cabinet member. Again if you contact Democratic Services at committee@wiltshire.gov.uk the options can be discussed.

Area Boards

If your issue is a local one and falls within the remit and powers of the Area Boards you may wish the appropriate local Area Board to consider the petition instead. The council has set a nominal threshold of 1.0% of the population of the area covered by the area board to trigger a formal debate at a board. However any petition received for an area board will be discussed with the appropriate chairman and the appropriate action taken. Details of the Area Board petition thresholds are available here.




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