Often members of the public wish to bring something of concern to the attention of the Council or its Cabinet and wonder how they can do this. The Council's Constitution makes provision for this through the Petition process.
Some dos and don'ts about petitions:
- It must relate to a matter in which the Council has duties or responsibilities
- The wording of the petition must be clearly shown at the top of every page of signatures
- The original petition, not a copy, must be presented and must bear the signatures of 10 or more persons who live or work in Hastings
- The petition must show the name, address and signature of each signatory
- You should pass the completed petition to the Mayor or to the Chief Legal Officer
Generally, provided the petition satisfies these requirements, the Chief Legal Officer will acknowledge receipt of the petition and advise the nominated spokesperson or lead petitioner (the first name on the petition) which committee will hear the petition. The Chief Legal Officer passes the petition to the relevant Director or Head of Service so that they can prepare a report responding to the position. The Director or Head of Service will inform the lead petitioner when the petition will be considered by councillors. On that occasion the petitioners will be invited to attend the meeting and, subject to the discretion of the Chair of the meeting, will be asked to address Cabinet or Committee for a period of up to five minutes and to answer questions from councillors.
In some situations, the petition procedure is not appropriate eg:
- Where it relates to a quasi judicial matter - this is where the committee is making a decision about an individual, in the same way as a court does eg when deciding whether to revoke a taxi driver's licence following reports of breach/es of licence conditions or conviction of speeding offences.
- Where the Chief Legal Officer considers that the petition substantially and directly affects the right of an identifiable third party, unless that third party also has the opportunity to speak for 5 minutes in response to the petition.
- Where the relevant Director or Head of Service is satisfied that either the subject matter has already been addressed or that it can be addressed without reference to Cabinet or committee. Here, the Director or Head of Service, may, with the agreement of the Chair of Cabinet or other committee, correspond with the petitioners. If the petitioners remain dissatisfied, they may request that the petition be taken to Cabinet or committee. In these circumstances, the Chair will consult with opposition group leaders and then make a decision on whether the petition will be heard. The Chair's decision is final.
You can contact the Chief Legal Officer by email at:
The following petitions have been received:
You can create an online petition here