Petitions

The Petition Scheme

The Council welcomes petitions from those who live, work, or study in Amber Valley and recognise that petitions are one way in which people can let us know their concerns. All petitions sent or presented to the Council will receive an acknowledgement from the Council within 10 working days of receipt. This acknowledgement will set out what we plan to do with the petition. We will treat something as a petition if it is identified as being a petition, or if it seems to us that is intended to be a petition. 

Paper petitions can be sent to:

Assistant Director (Legal and Democratic Services) & Monitoring Officer
Amber Valley Borough Council, Town Hall
Market Place, Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3BT

You may also create a petition online. Please click here to access the Council's e-petitions facility.

Petitions can also be presented to a meeting of the Full Council.Dates of these meetings can be found on this website under 'Diary of Council Meetings'. If you would like to present your petition to the Council, or would like your councillor or someone else to present it on your behalf, please contact the Council's Democratic Services Manager, Paul Benski on 01773 841641 at least 10 working days before the meeting and he will talk you through the process. If your petition has received 1,200 signatures or more it will also be scheduled for a Council debate and if this is the case, we will let you know whether this will happen at the same meeting or a later meeting of the Council.

What are the guidelines for submitting a petition?

Petitions submitted to the Council must include:

  • A clear concise statement covering the subject of the petition.It should state what action the petitioners wish the Council to take
  • The name, address and signature of any person supporting the petition.


Petitions should be accompanied by contact details, including an address, for the petition organiser.This is the person we will contact to explain how we will respond to the petition. The contact details of the petition organiser will not be placed on the website. If the petition does not identify a petition organiser, we will contact signatories to the petition to agree who should act as the petition organiser.

Petitions which are considered to be vexatious, abusive or otherwise inappropriate will not be accepted.In the period immediately before an election or referendum we may need to deal with your petition differently - if this is the case we will explain the reasons and discuss the revised timescale which will apply. If a petition does not follow the guidelines set out above, the Council may decide not to do anything further with it.In that case, we will write to you to explain the reasons.

What will the Council do when it receives my petition?

An acknowledgement will be sent to the petition organiser within 10 working days of receiving the petition.It will let them know what we plan to do with the petition and when they can expect to hear from us again.It will also be published on our website.

If we can do what your petition asks for, the acknowledgement may confirm that we have taken the action requested and the petition will be closed.If the petition has enough signatures to trigger a Council debate, or a senior officer giving evidence, then the acknowledgement will confirm this and tell you when and where the meeting will take place.If the petition needs more investigation, we will tell you the steps we plan to take.

If the petition applies to a planning or licensing application, or is a statutory petition (for example requesting a referendum on having an elected mayor), or on a matter where there is already an existing right of appeal, such as council tax banding and non-domestic rates, other procedures apply. Further information on all these procedures and how you can express your views is available here:

Planning Applications

Comments, Compliments and Complaints

Planning Appeals

Council Tax Appeals

Licensing (Liquor, Entertainment and Taxi/Private Hire Licenses)

We will not take action on any petition which we consider to be vexatious, abusive or otherwise inappropriate and will explain the reasons for this in our acknowledgement of the petition.

To ensure that people know what we are doing in response to the petitions we receive, the details of all the petitions submitted to us will be published on our website, except in cases where this would be inappropriate. Whenever possible we will also publish all correspondence relating to the petition (all personal details will be removed).

How will the Council 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 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 Improvement & Scrutiny Committee (responsible for scrutinising the work of the Council)
  • Calling a referendum
  • Writing to the petition organiser setting out our views about the request in the petition


In addition to these steps, the Council will consider all the specific actions it can potentially take on the issues highlighted in a petition.

If your petition is about something over which the Council has no direct control (for example local transport or hospital services) we will consider making representations on behalf of the community to the relevant body. The Council works with a large number of local partners and where possible will work with these partners to respond to your petition. If we are not able to do this for any reason (for example if what the petition calls for conflicts with Council policy) then we will set out the reasons for this to you. You can find more information on the services for which the Council is responsible by using the A-Z index on this website.

If your petition is about something that a different council is responsible for we will give consideration to what the best method is for responding to it. This might consist of simply forwarding the petition to the other Council, but could involve other steps.In any event we will always notify you of the action we have taken.

Full Council debates

If a petition contains not less than 1,200 signatures it will be debated by the Full Council unless it is a petition asking for a senior council officer to give evidence at a public meeting. This means that the issue raised in the petition will be discussed at a meeting which all councillors can attend. The Council will endeavour to consider the petition at its next meeting, although on some occasions this may not be possible and consideration will then take place at the following meeting. The petition organiser will be given five minutes to present the petition at the meeting and the petition will then be discussed by councillors. The Council will decide how to respond to the petition at this meeting. They may decide to take the action the petition requests, not to take the action requested for reasons put forward in the debate, or to commission further investigation into the matter, for example by the relevant committee.Where the issue is one on which the Cabinet are required to make the final decision, the Council will decide whether to make recommendations to inform that decision. The petition organiser will receive written confirmation of this decision. This confirmation will also be published on this website.

Officer evidence

Your petition may ask for a senior council officer to give evidence at a public meeting about something for which the officer is responsible as part of their job. For example, your petition may ask a senior council officer to explain progress on an issue, or to explain the advice given to elected members to enable them to make a particular decision.

If your petition contains at least 750 signatures, the relevant senior officer may be called to give evidence at a public meeting of the Council's Improvement & Scrutiny Committee. The senior staff that can be called to give evidence are:

Head of Paid Service

Executive Director (Operations)

Executive Director (Resources) 

Assistant Director (Legal and Democratic Services) & Monitoring Officer

Assistant Director (Planning & Regeneration)

Assistant Director (Landscape Services)

Assistant Director (Well-being) 

You should be aware that the Committee may decide that it would be more appropriate for another officer to give evidence instead of any officer named in the petition - for instance if the named officer has changed jobs. The Committee may also decide to call a relevant councillor to attend the meeting. Improvement & Scrutiny Committee members will ask the questions at this meeting, but you will be able to suggest questions to the Chairman of the Improvement & Scrutiny Committee by contacting the Democratic Services Manager (contact details above) up to three working days before the meeting.

Petitions with between 10 and 199 signatures

Petitions within this category will be considered as part of the Council's published Comments, Complaints and Compliments Procedure.Petition organisers will receive a response from the appropriate Chief Officer.


Petitions with between 200 and 1,199 signatures

Petitions falling within this category (unless it is a petition asking for a senior council officer to give evidence at a public meeting) will be considered in the first instance by the Council's Management Team. The Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council, Leader of the Opposition Group, Local Member(s) and, if appropriate, Committee Chairman and Portfolio Holder, will be advised of the petition at the time of submission.

The action taken will be notified to all Members of the Council for information as well as the petition organiser and details will appear on this website.

Petition


E-petitions

E-petitions will follow the same guidelines as paper petitions.The petition organiser will need to provide the following:-

  • Name, postal address and email address
  • Title of the petition
  • A statement (the action that a petition organiser wishes the Council to take)
  • Supporting information
  • How long you would like the petition to be open for signatures (Most petitions run for six months but can be for a shorter or longer timeframe, up to a maximum of 12 months).


Once you have created an e-petition you will be sent an email to the email address you have provided.The email will include two links.You must click on the first link in order to confirm the email address is valid, you will then receive a reply confirming the registration of your e-petition.The second link can be used if you wish to withdraw your petition before the live date.Your e-petition will not be published and made available on the website for signatures until the content has been checked for suitability.If we feel we cannot publish your petition for some reason, we will contact you within 5 working days with an explanation.You will be able to change and resubmit your e-petition if you wish.If you do not do this within 10 working days, a summary of the petition and the reason why it has not been accepted will be published under the 'rejected petitions' section of the website.When an e-petition has closed for signature, it will automatically be submitted to
petitions@ambervalley.gov.uk and be dealt with in the same way as a paper petition. You will receive an acknowledgement within 10 working days.Depending on the number of signatures received, your e-petition will be considered and dealt with in the same way as detailed above for paper petitions.An e-petition acknowledgement will be emailed to everyone who has signed the e-petition.


Signing an e-petition?

When you sign an e-petition you must provide your name, your postcode and a valid email address. When you have submitted this information you will be sent an email to the email address you have provided.This email will include a link which you must click on in order to confirm the email address is valid. Once this step is complete your 'signature' will be added to the petition. People visiting the e-petition will be able to see your name in the list of those who have signed it but your contact details will not be visible.


What can I do if I feel my petition has not been dealt with properly?

If you feel that we have not dealt with your petition properly, the petition organiser has the right to request that the Council's Improvement & Scrutiny Committee reviews the steps that the Council has taken in response to your petition.It is helpful to everyone, and can improve the prospects for a review if the petition organiser gives a short explanation of the reasons why the Council's decision is not considered to be adequate.

The Committee will endeavour to consider your request at its next meeting, although on some occasions this may not be possible and consideration will take place at the following meeting. Should the Committee determine we have not dealt with your petition adequately, it may use any of its powers to deal with the matter. These powers include instigating an investigation, making recommendations to the Cabinet and arranging for the matter to be considered at a meeting of the Full Council.

Once the appeal has been considered, the petition organiser will be informed of the results within 5 working days.The results of the review will also be published on this website.


Local Government Ombudsman

If your petition relates to a complaint against the Council and you are dissatisfied with the Council's response and feel that the Council is at fault in some way, you may wish to complain to the Local Government Ombudsman. For further information go to www.lgo.org.uk or telephone the Local Government Ombudsman Advice Team on 0300 061 0614.

Create an E-petition

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