Organise and sign a petition
Petitions are one way people can let us know their concerns.
All petitions sent or presented to the council will be acknowledged within 5 working days. This will say what we plan to do with the petition and when the person who created it can expect to hear from us again.
If your petition has received 12,675 signatures or more it will automatically be referred to a meeting of the Full Council for debate. If this is the case, we will let you know the date of the meeting where this will take place.
You can create, sign and submit petitions to us online.
If you would like to set up an online petition, you are strongly advised to use our e-petition facility. This will ensure that your petition meets the requirements of our petition scheme, which can be found in section 4.01 of the Council Constitution.
We cannot accept e-petitions hosted on external websites unless the following information for all signatories is supplied:
- valid email address
- postal address and postcode
You will also need to decide how long you would like your petition to be open for signatures. Most petitions run for 6 months, but you can choose a shorter or longer timeframe, up to a maximum of 12 months.
When you create an e-petition on our website, it may take 5 working days before it is published online. This is because we have to check the content is suitable before it is made available for anyone to sign.
When an e-petition has reached its deadline and closed, it will automatically be sent to the Head of Democratic Services.
Paper petitions and coronavirus (COVID-19)
During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the council has varied its process for the submission of paper petitions via the remote meetings protocol. In summary, paper petitions will continue to be accepted, preferably they should be scanned and submitted via email to email@example.com in the first instance followed by the submission of the hard copy to: Head of Democratic Services, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TR.
Before you start collecting signatures for paper petitions, take a look at our petition template which will help you to include all the information you need to provide.
Presenting a petition at a meeting
You can also ask for your petition to be presented at a meeting of the Full Council or ask a councillor to present a petition on your behalf. Find out the dates and times of forthcoming meetings.
Should you wish for your petition to be presented at a meeting of the Full Council, during the Coronavirus pandemic, this will be done by the Mayor in each case as long as the petition is received by Democratic Services two working days before the meeting.
How we'll respond to petitions
Our response to a petition will depend on what a petition asks for and how many people have signed it, but may include one or more of the following:
- taking the action requested in the petition
- considering the petition at a council meeting
- holding an inquiry or taking research into the matter
- holding a public meeting or consultation
- holding a meeting with the petitioners
- referring the petition to one of the council's Overview and Scrutiny Committees for consideration
- calling a referendum
- writing to the lead petitioner, setting out our views about the request in the petition
As a general rule, the lead petitioner will receive a response from the council, usually within 10 working days, which will explain the action the council proposes to take.
If you feel your petition has not been dealt with properly
If you have created a petition and feel we have not dealt with it properly, you have the right to request that one of the council's Overview and Scrutiny Committees reviews the steps the council has taken or is proposing to take.
You should notify the Head of Democratic Services within 10 working days of receiving a final response, with reasons why you feel it is inadequate and that you wish to request a review.
The relevant Overview and Scrutiny Committee will consider your request at the next available meeting. Where a petition is subsequently referred to an Overview and Scrutiny Committee for further consideration during the Coronavirus pandemic, the lead petitioner shall be invited to provide a written representation in support of their petition or to take part in the meeting remotely, wherever practicable.
Should the committee decide we have not dealt with your petition properly, it may use any of its powers to deal with the matter. These powers include starting an investigation, making recommendations to the Cabinet or arranging for the matter to be considered at a meeting of the Full Council.
For more information, the full version of the Petitions Scheme can be found in Part 1, Chapter 4, of the council's constitution.