Starting a petition

Learn how petitions work and what they can achieve.

Suffolk County Council is committed to engaging with the public to get closer to communities and improve services.

Petitioning is one way that individuals, community groups and organisations can take part in the democratic process. This is by raising issues of public concern with the council and allowing councillors to consider the need for change.

What can a petition achieve?

Petitions sent in to the council can have positive outcomes that lead to change or inform debate. For example, petitions can bring an issue to the attention of the council and show the strength of public opinion in relation to something that the council is doing or not doing.

A petition is not a way of collecting votes. You can find information about how we respond to petitions in paragraph 27 of Part 2 of the Constitution.

What issues can a petition relate to?

Petitions should be relevant to a matter over which the council has power of duties. Any petition should state clearly what action the petitioners wish the council to take.

Can I raise a petition?

To raise a petition you should be an interested party who either lives, works or studies in Suffolk. There are no age restrictions for people to organise or sign petitions.

Paper petitions

The traditional way to organise a petition is to ask supporters to sign a sheet of paper calling on the council to take a certain course of action. If you wish to do this, the main points to bear in mind are:

  • the petition should include the name of the petition organiser
  • each page should include the statement that the petition organiser wishes people to sign up to
  • each supporter should supply their name, full address and signature
  • when you are ready to submit your petition, you should contact our Head of Democratic Services, Sue Morgan (contact details below)
  • you should make clear how we can contact the person organising the petition

Asking supporters to provide an address helps the council to verify that the signatures are genuine. We don't use the names and addresses for any other purpose, and we normally destroy hand-written petitions after three months.

E-petitions

You are welcome to create a petition to Suffolk County Council using an e-petitions service, many of which are free. Some of the most commonly used are Change.org and 38 Degrees.

This means that the petition can be made available to a potentially much wider audience giving you the opportunity to gather names in support.

E-petitions should be submitted through the contact details provided below.

Any questions?

If you would like to discuss a petition, please contact either:

Mayoral petitions

Information about petitioning the council for an elected mayor