Name: Petitions Procedure
Description: (minimum fifteen (15) valid qualifying signatures) - Petitions which are referred to an Officer for action/decision under delegated authority or to the Cabinet, relevant Committee, Board etc. Petitions exclude support for or opposition to planning and licensing applications
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Petitions Procedure

Petitions Guidelines PDF, 396.72 KB

(minimum fifteen (15) valid qualifying signatures) - Petitions which are referred to an Officer for action/decision under delegated authority or to the Cabinet, relevant Committee, Board etc. Petitions exclude support for or opposition to planning and licensing applications (see below).

Please read sections 1 to 14 below, before you submit your petition and see our Petitions Service Privacy Notice. You are encouraged to complete this Petitions Template PDF, 239.96 KB . Alternatively, you may submit your petition on-line (see below).

e-Petitions

The Council welcomes e-Petitions (Online) which are created and submitted through its website. Please read sections 1 to 14 below, before you submit your e-Petition.

Planning and Licensing Applications' Petitions

Such petitions do not require a specific number of signatures in support of or in opposition. We will accept signatures from persons living, working or studying outside the Borough. It will be part of the decision making process to decide what weight should be given to the representations made and whether or not they have a material effect on interests outside the Borough.

If your petition supports or opposes a planning application, complete this Petitions Template PDF, 239.96 KB and address it to the Development Control Manager, Dartford Borough Council, Civic Centre, Home Gardens, Dartford Kent DA1 1DR or hand it to your local ward Member or an elected Councillor. The petition will be presented to the Development Control Board when it determines the application.

If your petition supports or opposes a licensing application, complete this Petitions Template PDF, 239.96 KB and address it to the Enforcement and Regulatory Services Manager, Dartford Borough Council, Civic Centre, Home Gardens, Dartford Kent DA1 1DR or hand it to your local ward Member or an elected Councillor. The petition will be presented to the Licensing Sub-committee when it determines the application.

Please note that any correspondence on matters related to the petition, will be with the lead petitioner only.

Highways Related Petitions

The Council may have limited influence over the subject matter of the petition as it is not the highway authority.

If your petition relates to road traffic regulation matters, street management, highways or public transport issues in the Borough of Dartford, complete this Petitions Template PDF, 239.96 KB and address it to Member Services, Dartford Borough Council, Civic Centre, Home Gardens, Dartford Kent DA1 1DR or hand it to your local ward Member or an elected Councillor. The petition will be presented to the Joint Transportation Board, which is a forum for consultation between Kent County Council (the highway authority) and Dartford Borough Council. The petition will then be forwarded to the County Council for consideration.

Please note that any correspondence on matters related to the petition, will be with the lead petitioner only.

1. Help and advice

If you would like advice on how to petition the Council or on how to present your petition to the Council, or would like your local ward Member or someone else to present it on your behalf and are unsure of the process, please contact Member Services on 01322 343430 or Online: Contact the Members Services Team

Petitioners are encouraged to use our Petitions Template.PDF, 239.96 KB It would be helpful if petitions were typewritten or completed in black ink to facilitate checking, scanning and reproduction. If you need additional assistance in completing your petition, please contact Member Services for advice.

Petitions may be rejected, if you do not follow these Guidelines.

2. Who can submit a petition?

Any person who lives, works or studies in the Borough of Dartford, including children and young people aged under 18 and/or persons registered on the electoral role for the Borough, may submit a petition.

3. What must I do before I submit a petition?

Before submitting a petition, please contact your local ward Councillor, Member of Parliament or Member Services, to check if the Council is already acting on your concerns and whether the Council is the most appropriate body to receive your petition, as sometimes your petition may be more appropriate for another public body, such as Kent County Council. Please also check the Petitions Schedule for petitions which have been submitted to the Council.

You must make sure that your petition:

  • deals with an issue relating to the Council's responsibilities/functions; and/or
  • deals with anything relating to an improvement in the economic, social or environmental well-being of the Borough to which any of the Council's partners (eg: Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Partnership) could contribute.

You must also make sure that your petition:

  • is titled and includes a clear and concise statement covering the subject of the petition
  • sets out clearly what action you want the Council to take
  • is authenticated, by including the name, postal address and postcode (this must be a residential, business/workplace, school/college address in the Borough of Dartford), telephone number and email address of the lead petitioner or someone to whom you would like any correspondence about the petition to be sent (if a lead petitioner is not identified, Member Services will contact the first signatory to the petition to agree who should act as the lead petitioner)
  • is not invalid - see section 7 below, for examples of common causes for rejecting a petition
  • is supported by the requisite number of qualifying signatures - see section 5 below, for guidance on the signature thresholds.

A 'qualifying signature' means the name, address and postcode (this must be a residential, business/workplace, school/college address in the Borough of Dartford), telephone number and signature of every person supporting the petition.

Your petition may be rejected, if any one or more of the requirements listed above, are not complied with. Any minor omissions eg: no contact address will be corrected in consultation with the lead petitioner.

Petitioners' signatures and/or contact details may be subject to verification by the Council.

4. How are petitions presented to the Council?

You will shortly have two options - by post or by ePetition. However, the ePetition facility is still being developed, so for now, your only option is to present your petition in paper form, sent by post or hand delivered to:

  • your local ward Member
  • an elected Councillor
  • a Council Officer
  • Member Services

Dartford Borough Council, Civic Centre, Home Gardens, Dartford Kent DA1 1DR

5. How will the Council deal with vexatious, abusive or otherwise inappropriate petitions?

Petitions which are considered to be vexatious, abusive or otherwise inappropriate will be rejected.

The decision on what constitutes an invalid/inappropriate petition and its rejection, is ultimately one for the Council's Managing Director, whose decision is final. There is no right of review against this decision.

6. What constitutes an invalid/inappropriate petition? - common causes for rejecting a petition

We believe that the vast majority of petitions we receive will be accepted, but in certain circumstances, petitions may be rejected. Any one or more of the factors referred to in section 7 of the Petitions Guidelines PDF, 396.72 KB will invalidate a petition and result in its rejection by the Council's Managing Director, whose decision is final.

7. Will my petition be acknowledged?

All petitions will be acknowledged by Member Services within 10 working days of us receiving the petition. The acknowledgement will be sent to the lead petitioner and we will let them know what we plan to do with the petition and when they can expect to hear from us again.

To ensure that people know what we are doing in response to the petitions we receive, the details (ie: the subject matter of the petition, the date of receipt and the number of signatories) of all the petitions submitted to us, whether accepted or rejected, will be published on our website, except in cases where this would be inappropriate e.g. because of data protection, libel, discrimination etc issues. Whenever possible, we will also publish all correspondence relating to the petition (contact details and signatures will be redacted).

Petitions will remain on the website for a period of 12 months from receipt.

The lead petitioner's contact details will only be published on the website, at their request.

You will be able to track progress of your petition. At each stage of the consideration of the petition, within 10 working days of any decision, Member Services will notify the lead petitioner and update the Council's website.

8. Will I be invited to a Council meeting to present my petition?

Member Services will, within 10 working days of receipt of the petition, provide written notification to the lead petitioner setting out who the petition will be reported to for consideration, when and where that will take place. There is no right to address the decision making body.

9. How will the Council respond to petitions?

Our response to a petition may include one or more of the following:

  • taking the action requested in the petition
  • considering the petition at a meeting of the Cabinet, Cabinet, Committee/Sub-committee
  • holding an inquiry into the matter
  • holding a public meeting
  • holding a consultation
  • holding a meeting with the lead petitioner
  • referring the petition for consideration by the Policy Overview Committee, a sub-committee of Scrutiny Committee or the Crime and Disorder (Overview and Scrutiny) Committee
  • calling a referendum
  • writing to the lead petitioner, setting out our views about the request for action referred to in the petition.

In addition to these steps, we will consider other specific actions we can potentially take on the issues highlighted in the petition.

10. What happens to a petition submitted immediately before an election or referendum?

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 with you.

11. What can I do if I feel that the response to my petition is inadequate?

The decision is final - there is no right to review of the decision.

12. How will the Council deal with a petition over which it has no direct control?

If your petition is about something over which the Council has no direct control (for example the local railway or hospital), we will consider making representations on behalf of the community to the relevant body. Petitioners should recognise that the Council may have limited influence over external bodies/organisations.

The Council works with a large number of local partners eg: through the Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Partnership on crime and disorder related issues and where possible, will work with these partners to respond to your petition. If we are not able to do this eg: if what the petition calls for, conflicts with Council policy, then we will set out the reasons for not taking action.

You can find more information on the services for which the Council is responsible and its partners on this website.

If your petition is about something that another 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.

If a petition relates to the responsibilities of one of our partners, then the petition will be forwarded to that partner for them to deal with, unless the petition relates to an improvement in the economic, social or environmental well-being of the Borough. In those cases, the petition will be considered under these Petitions Guidelines.PDF, 396.72 KB

Where a petition relates to a matter over which the Council has no responsibility or influence, we will return the petition to the lead petitioner with an explanation for that decision.

We will notify the lead petitioner of the steps we intend to take within 10 working days of receipt of the petition. This notification will be published on the Council's website.

13. Data Protection

The Council complies with the Data Protection Act 2018 (applying the General Data Protection Regulation) and is registered as a data controller. See our Privacy Notice for the Petitions Service.

14. Equalities and diversity

The Council is subject to numerous legal duties relating to equalities e.g. race, disability, gender etc. The Council recognises and welcomes those duties, which are embraced within its Comprehensive Equlaity Policy. The Petitions Guidelines PDF, 396.72 KB are accessible to all.

Last Updated: 04th December 2018 Print Link

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