Suffolk County Council is committed to engaging with its citizens, getting closer to communities and improving services. Petitioning is one way that individuals, community groups and organisations can participate in the democratic process, 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.
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.
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 do not use the names and addresses for any other purpose, and we normally destroy hand-written petitions after three months, in order to follow good practice in data protection.
In addition to the traditional method of organising a petition, Suffolk County Council also offers an online petitioning service so you can publish and collect signatures on your petition through our website. This means that the petition can be made available to a potentially much wider audience giving you the opportunity to gather names in support.
You can create petitions, sign petitions to agree with them, and get emails about the outcome of petitions. Each signature must be accompanied by a separate email address as the email address is used as a unique identifier.
All submitted e-petitions will be sent automatically for approval by our Head of Democratic Services, Sue Morgan.
To find out more about out online petitioning service go to http://petitions.web-labs.co.uk/suffolkcc/public/
If you would like to discuss a petition, please contact our Head of Democratic Services, Sue Morgan at Endeavour House, 8 Russell Road, Ipswich, IP1 2BX or email firstname.lastname@example.org