e-Petitions - Questions and Answers

General questions

What is an e-petition?

An e-petition is a form of petition posted on a website. Individuals or groups can create e-petitions on the site and visitors can add their details to e-petitions to "sign" them. The format makes it easy to collect signatures, and it also makes it easier for us to respond directly using email.

What's the difference between an e-petition and a paper petition?

There is no theoretical difference, only the way in which the signatures are collected and delivered. A petition can gather names and addresses in either or both forms, though once someone has signed a petition in one format, they cannot sign it in another.

e-Petition signing questions

How do I sign the e-petition?

To sign the e-petition, you will need to give your name, address and email on the form provided. Once you have signed the e-petition, you will receive an email asking you to confirm that you wish to add your name to the e-petition by clicking a link. Once you have done this, your name will be added to the e-petition.

What will you do with my name and address details if I sign the e-petition?

Nothing, unless you expressly ask to sign up for other services available on this website. We will use your email address to confirm your signature and, unless you ask us not to, we will also send you notifications when the e-petition status has changed.

More than one person shares my email address - can we sign the e-petition?

I'm afraid that there is a trade-off to be made between allowing anyone to sign e-petitions regardless of having an email address, and protecting the e-petitions from too much abuse. We have come down on the side of using one email address per person to act as an anti-abuse mechanism because it is now possible for anyone to get an email address for free in a few moments. On the converse, if we let people use one address to sign multiple times we will likely see considerable fake signatures almost straight away.

e-Petition creation questions

How do I start my e-petition?

You can start your e-petition using our e-petition form. You will be asked to provide some basic information about yourself and your e-petition.

Do you accept all e-petitions?

We aim to accept as many e-petitions as possible. However this site has to meet standards that are set out in our terms and conditions and in the Civil Service Code.

Petitioners may freely disagree with the Council or call for changes of policy. There will be no attempt to exclude critical views and decisions to accept or reject will not be made on a party political basis.

What happens if my e-petition is rejected?

If your e-petition does not meet these criteria, we will send it back to you along with an explanation of the reason(s) for rejection. We will give you the option of altering and resubmitting the e-petition.

If you decide not to resubmit your e-petition, or if your second iteration is also rejected, we will list your e-petition and the reason(s) for not accepting it on this website.

Can I still send in a paper petition?

Yes. Paper petitions can still be posted/delivered to the Council.

How long will my e-petition run for?

You can decide how long your e-petition can run for and we will carry it for up to 12 months.

What will happen to my e-petition once it is finished?

Once your e-petition has closed, it will be passed to Council officials for a response.