Online petitions – frequently asked questions

Privacy and security

When you have signed a petition, your details will be held in computer readable form. This allows the principal petitioner to administer and submit the petition you have signed. Only your name and area will appear on the website. The other details you give are needed by the Council to validate your support. This is the same information required for a paper petition.

Your details will only be used by the Council and the principal petitioner for any petitions that you sign. Your details will not be used for any purposes other than e-petitions, unless you have expressly given permission.

How do you prevent multiple signatures from one computer?

We don’t. Many members of one household might all want to sign the same petition.

Why have you introduced this online facility?

Principal local authorities have a duty to have an online petition facility. This was written into law by the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act.

Online petitions provide another avenue for the public to engage with their council and encourage debate.

What democratic purpose can petitions serve?

From the residents perspective:

  • A petition is easy for people to understand, and can encourage people to take part in the democratic process.
  • Encourages openness, trust and participation.
  • Supporting a cause is very easy – you don’t even need to register with the site.
  • Online petitions link easily into social media and can spread a message quickly and easily.

From a local government perspective:

  • It provides a way to ensure that citizens’ concerns and ideas are considered by an authority.
  • It is a chance for the public to contribute.
  • It provides an opportunity for local authorities to gain a better insight into public opinion.
  • The system helps to create more community engagement.