The Council welcomes petitions and recognises that they are one way in which residents can bring their concerns to the attention of the Council.
When submitting a petition remember that:
- The subject of any petition to be presented must relate to a matter for which the Council has powers, duties or functions or which affects the Borough or part of it or its inhabitants
- The wording of the petition should appear at the top of each page of signatures
- The petition must bear the signatures of ten or more individuals from different households who live, work or study in the Borough
- By signing the petition, the petitioner is agreeing to have their personal information published in the public domain
- Your petition should include the signature, name and address of each signatory
- The petition you present to the Council should be the original, and not a copy
- The Council will not deal with a petition which in the opinion of the Monitoring Officer is vexatious, abusive, similar in nature to one previously accepted within the past year or otherwise inappropriate to be considered under this rule
Your petition will be rejected if it relates to:
- An individual or housing or grant application
- A matter subject to legal proceedings, appeal to a tribunal or government minister, investigation by the Local Government Ombudsman or Standards Committee, or through the Council's Corporate Complaints Procedure
- Matters relating to a Council officer or the conduct of a Councillor
- Any matter which would require the release of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972
How many signatures do I need?
A petition relating to matters for which the Council has powers, duties and responsibilities or which affects the Borough or part of it or people who live work or study in the Borough must have at least 10 signatures.
Petitions for Debate
A petition which can require a debate at a meeting of the Council must have at least 1,500 signatures or more of persons who live, work or study in the Borough.
Petition to Call an Officer to Account
There may be exceptional circumstances where a petition is used to call a relevant Officer of the Council to account so that he or she is required to attend before the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to give evidence and to answer questions on a particular matter. Such petitions are required to have at least 750 signatures of persons who live, work or study in the Borough.
The petition must also give grounds for the request which relate to the discharge of functions for which the Officer is responsible. Relevant Officers who may be called to account by such a petition are the Chief Officers.
Petitions Relating to Planning Applications
Petitions relating to planning applications must contain a minimum of ten signatories from different households within the Borough.
How do I submit a petition?
Petitions can be submitted to the Mayor or to the Chief Legal Officer at:
Muriel Matters House
You can also create and submit a petition online using our E-Petition service. The same rules apply to petitions as paper petitions.
Where an identical E-Petition and paper petition and both received in respect of the same matter, the Council will accept the petition which is received first.
How do I setup an E-Petition?
You will need to register a Modern.Gov account in order to setup an E-Petition.
Please note you cannot use your My Hastings account to setup or sign E-Petitions. You must have a Modern.Gov account to do this.
If you have a Modern.Gov account you can setup an E-Petition on our website.
Please see our separate guidance on E-Petitions for further advice.
How do I sign an E-Petition?
Please note: You cannot use your My Hastings account to sign e-petitions.
You will need to create a Modern.Gov account to access and sign E-Petitions. Register a Modern.Gov account.
When you register for a new account to submit or sign an E-Petition you must submit a valid address. Any signatures without a valid address in the Borough will not be counted towards the petition total.
Petitions relating to Planning Applications and Licensing Applications
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hastings Borough Council has now amended its Constitution to accept electronic petitions (E-petitions) for both planning and licensing applications.
E-Petitions for current planning applications should be submitted within 21 days of the date the application is initially advertised (by press notice/site notice or letter where appropriate).
There can be no more signatures collected after this length of time has passed. Completed E-Petitions will be uploaded onto the planning application file and available for public inspection on the Council's website.
For licensing applications, E-Petitions should be submitted within 28 consecutive working days starting on the day after the application has been submitted. There can be no more signatures collected after this length of time has passed.
What will you do when you receive my petition?
On receipt of a petition the Council will work quickly to validate the petition and ensure it meets the requirements of the Council's petition scheme.
The petition organiser/lead petitioner will receive an acknowledgement within 10 working days of receipt of the petition notifying them how the petition will be dealt with.
If the Council can do what the petition requests immediately, the Council will acknowledge that it has received the petition and tell the petition organiser that the Council has taken the action requested and the petition will be closed.
Otherwise the Council's response to a petition will depend on what a petition asks for and how many people have signed it. This could include one or more of the following:
- 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
- writing to the petition organiser setting out the Council's views about the request in the petition
- no further action and the petition will be returned to the sender
If your petition is heard at any meeting of the Council the lead petitioner will be given up to 5 minutes in which to address the meeting followed by questions from Councillors (if applicable).
The above excludes E-Petitions relating to current planning and licensing applications which are dealt with separately.
Can I submit a Change.Org petition to the Council?
No, we do not accept petitions from third party sites as we are unable to verify such petitions and they do not meet the requirements of our petition scheme.
What if I am unhappy at how my petition has been dealt with?
If you are not satisfied that the petition has been dealt with properly, you may request that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee reviews the adequacy of the steps taken or proposed to be taken in response to the petition.
On receipt of a request for a review, the Overview and Scrutiny Committee shall consider the request at its next available meeting or as soon as practicable thereafter.
The Council shall within 10 working days of the decision on review inform the petition organiser of the outcome of the review.
If you require any further support please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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