We recognise that petitions are a useful way you to let us know about your concerns. There are two types of petition:
Hard copy petitions, where signatures are collected on pieces of paper.
E-petitions, where electronic signatures are collected through by a website that will host the petition online.
What makes a petition?
Any submission with a minimum of five signatures from at least five different addresses can be considered as a petition.
Petitioners may wish to submit a hard-copy petition that has been signed by people supporting their cause, or an e-petition.
A hard-copy petition will:
- Be an original and not a copy. The Council is unable to accept photocopied pages.
- Contain a clear statement detailing what action(s) the petitioners wish the Council to take. The statement must be replicated on the top of every page of the petition to demonstrate that the signatories are signing for the same cause.
- Contain a legible name, signature and address for each signatory.
For an e-petition, signatories can be validated by any of the following being included as part of the submission made to the Council:
- A valid address
- A valid telephone number
- A valid email address.
Any online e-petition facility can be used provided that it requires electronic validation of signatories and includes sufficient information to confirm their location.
What will the council do with the petition?
The council will identify a lead petitioner. In some cases, this is obvious because there is a covering letter with the petition or there has been communication prior to the petition being submitted. Where it is not known, the lead petitioner will be taken as the first name on the first page of the petition.
The Council will acknowledge receipt of the petition within two weeks of its submission, informing the lead petitioner the route that is being used to consider the petition.
Who will consider the petition?
There are a number of ways in which a petition can be considered.
1) Where the petition relates to a planning or licensing application, it will be referred to the appropriate department within the Council so it can be taken into account as part of the decision-making relating to the application.
2) Where the petition relates to an issue which is due to be considered by a committee of the council, including the Council Cabinet, then it can be considered as part of the consultation in making that decision.
3) Where it relates to a local issue, affecting only one ward, then the matter will be communicated to all ward councillors before being referred to the relevant Council department to respond.
4) Where it relates to an issue affecting more than one ward, as determined by the Head of Democracy, then the matter will be considered by the relevant Council Cabinet Member alongside a report and recommendations from the relevant Council department.
5) Where the petition contains 4,000 signatures or more from Derby residents, the matter will be considered by a meeting of Council, provided it has not previously been submitted and dealt with. If appropriate, the petition will be considered alongside an officer’s report making recommendations arising from the petition. The lead petitioner will have an opportunity to speak at the Council meeting for a maximum of five minutes and the matter will then be debated by councillors for a maximum of 30 minutes, subject to the usual rules of debate within the Council Constitution.
Derby City Council's full Petitions Scheme can be found here.
Petitions on Governance Arrangements
The Local Government Act 2000 and the Local Authorities (Referendums)(Petitions)(England) Regulations 2011 includes provisions for referenda on the Council’s governance arrangements.
In order for a petition on governance arrangements to be valid, the petition must have been signed by at least five per cent of Derby's electorate.
As of 15 February 2023, five per cent of Derby's electorate is 8912. More information on the verification number can be found here.
Once a valid petition has been received the Council will notify the petition organiser that the petition has been successful and that a referendum will now be held.
The Council will also publish a notice stating:
- that a valid petition has been received;
- the constitutional change sought by the petition;
- the petition date;
- that the petition is available at the authority’s principal office for inspection by members of the public at all reasonable times and free of charge;
- the address of the authority’s principal office; and
- that a referendum will be held.
After the Council has received a valid petition on Governance Arrangements, a referendum will usually be held on the next ordinary day of election after the petition date.
Petitions are managed through the council’s Democratic Services team. For more information on the Petitions Scheme email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to: Democratic Services, Derby City Council, Council House, Corporation Street, Derby, DE1 2FS.