Petitions Framework

Petitions allow citizens to raise issues directly with Council, either as an individual or on behalf of an organisation.  To ensure that the issues raised are dealt with in a consistent way specific criteria have set to describe the process including a process map for submitting petitions and how these will be reviewed. 

Who can submit a petition?

Petitions can come from any West Dunbartonshire based citizen or community organisation.  Petitions cannot be submitted by elected officials.

What makes my/our petition valid?

Petitions should:

  • be about what we are doing or issues that are relevant to our residents
  • describe what the issue is and why you think the Council needs to consider it
  • have a minimum of 200 signatures
  • All signatories must live in the West Dunbartonshire area (postcode should be included) and be over the age of 16 years

We will NOT ACCEPT a petition that

  • relates to:
    • issues for which procedures or processes for review or appeal are already in place, i.e.
      • complaints
      • planning, licensing, or other applications / regulatory matters (including decisions already taken)
      • personal or business interests
      • behaviour of individual officers or councillors
      • employees’ terms and conditions of employment
      • public interest disclosure
    • a decision of Council or a committee made in the previous six months
    • matter(s) that are commercially sensitive, confidential or could cause personal distress or loss
    • a matter already being considered or scheduled to be considered by Council or a committee
  • that contains:
    • false or defamatory statements
    • offensive or inappropriate language
    • names of people or details which could be used to identify an individual
    • information protected by a court order or related to an ongoing court case
    • details which could damage a person’s reputation or discriminate against them
    • support one or more political parties
  • that is not within the Council’s powers and remit
  • that refers to the same or a broadly similar petition considered within the past 24 months

 Submitting a petition

Petitions should be submitted through the online form on the Council website.  Each petition will require a key contact (known as the main petitioner) who will provide:

  • contact details (name, address, email address)
  • a summary of the petition issue, including detail on what action is being requested
  • detail of petition signatories (name, address, postcode and date of birth)
  • any additional information which supports the petition
  • any action already taken to raise / address this issue

Submit Petition

Consideration of petitions

All petitions will be submitted to the engagement mailbox, managed in the performance & strategy team.  Petitions will be checked to ensure they meet the requirement detailed above. 

Valid petitions will be passed to the relevant Chief Officer for consideration and progress; they may contact the lead petitioner directly to discuss the issues before preparing a report on the issue for consideration through committee.  We will confirm to the lead petitioner that this has happened and give a petition reference number. 

Following consideration by the relevant Chief Officer, the lead petitioner will be notified in writing, within 20 working days of submission, what action will be taken on the petition.  This will include details of the committee where the petition will be considered.  Please note committees meet quarterly, meaning there may be a short delay between submission and consideration by committee.

All petitions will be considered in public at the relevant committee.  In terms with Standing Order 18 (Deputations), the lead petitioner may request to address the Committee in support of the petition.  If the deputation is accepted by the committee and then the committee chair feels that the statement made does not relate to the specific subject of the petition or invalidates the petition the discussion on the item will be terminated. 

Where similar petitions have been made during the same time period, committee will consider these together. You will be told beforehand about this and will be asked to make either joint statements or individual statements for each petition, subject to the terms of Standing Order 18.

Possible Outcomes

Committee will reach a decision about the petition at the meeting and this will be confirmed in writing following the meeting. However committee can take longer to consider a petition if more information is required.  The decision outcomes are:

  • no action required – the reasons will be explained
  • requirement for further work from the relevant service on the issue raised before reporting back through committee
  • decision to pass this issue to another committee / Council for consideration