Frequently asked questions
Is my petition suitable?
You may want to discuss your issue with your local Councillor before raising a petition. They may be able to help you or explain how to make representations on a particular subject to the right person at the Council.
Why create a petition?
Petitions offer you the opportunity of bringing issues to the Council's attention, so that we can consider your requests and, where appropriate and possible, bring about change for the better for the people of Runnymede.
How many signatures do I need?
Generally, petitions will each be treated on their merits - as a guide:
- debate at Council - 1,500 signatures
- senior member of staff to give evidence at the Overview and Scrutiny Select Committee - 750 signatures
- to be considered formally - 50 signatures
- to be treated as normal correspondence - less than 50 signatures
Can I attend the meeting when my petition is discusses?
If the petition contains more than 1,500 signatures the lead petitioner or spokesperson for the petition will be invited to attend the full Council meeting and present their petition for up to 5 minutes. The petition will be discussed for a maximum of 15 minutes and may be referred without discussion to the next appropriate meeting of a relevant Committee for a report on what action should be taken, or a response may be made at the meeting. If the petition is referred to a future meeting, we will let you know when that meeting will be.
If your petition contains 750 signatures and requires a senior member of staff to give evidence at the Council's Overview and Scrutiny Select Committee you may attend. However, only Committee Councillors will ask the questions at the meeting, but you will be able to suggest questions to the Chairman of the Committee by contacting Democratic Services up to three working days before the meeting.
If you are not a petition organiser you may still attend the meeting at which the petition is discussed, but you would not be able to speak.
What if your petition contains less than 1,500 signatures
You may ask a Councillor to present a petition at full Council on your behalf. In such cases the petition will not be debated but referred for consideration by the appropriate Council committee. Any Councillor has the right to present, on your behalf, a petition at a meeting of the full Council. It must be relevant to the Borough Council's functions, or the whole or part of its area or some or all of its residents.
A Councillor who wishes to present a petition must notify the Chief Executive, or the Corporate Head of Law and Governance, that they wish to present the petition, before the start of the meeting.
The Councillor presenting it has a maximum of 5 minutes. The Councillor must do no more than read out or summarise the key points of the petition, inform the Council of the number and description of the persons signing it, and make any relevant supporting remarks that he or she thinks fit. The Councillor shall then hand the petition to the person presiding.
Petitions shall be presented at any Council meeting in order of which notice of them has been received.
Following the presentation of a petition, the Council shall refer it to the earliest meeting of the appropriate committee at which it is practical for the relevant members of staff to present a report, unless the petition contains an allegation that a councillor is in breach of the Code of Conduct for Runnymede Councillors, in which case it must be referred to the Standards and Audit Committee as well as the appropriate committee.
Please be aware that submitting a petition does not automatically guarantee that the subject of the petition will be acted upon.
How do I submit a petition by post?
Please send paper petitions to: Corporate Head of Law and Governance, Runnymede Borough Council, Civic Centre, Station Road, Addlestone, Surrey, KT15 2AH
Who can submit a petition?
Anyone who lives, works or studies in the Runnymede area, including under 18's, may create and submit a petition to Runnymede Borough Council.
What petitions must include
The petition must refer to a matter that is relevant to the functions of the Runnymede Borough Council. Petitions submitted to the Council must include:
- a clear and concise statement covering the subject of the petition
- a statement about what action the petitioners wish the council to take
- the name and address and signature of any person supporting the petition
- 50 signatures or more for the petition to be considered, 750 signatures for a Senior Officer to give evidence at a public meeting of the Council's Overview and Scrutiny Select Committee and 1,500 signatures for a debate at full Council
What is not allowed?
A petition will not be accepted where
- it is considered to be vexatious, abusive or otherwise inappropriate. 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;
- it refers to a planning or licensing application
- it refers to a decision for which there is an existing right of appeal, for example Council Tax banding
- it is a duplicate or near duplicate of a similar petition received or submitted within the last 6 months
- it refers to the conduct of a Councillor, who is/are subject to a separate Code of Conduct
Further information on the Council's procedures and how you can express your views are available here
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