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Effective Petitioning – the Internet Way

Effective Petitioning – the Internet Way

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Published by iceledem
The icele guide to epetitions.
The icele guide to epetitions.

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Published by: iceledem on Feb 23, 2010
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05/11/2014

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An ePetitioning service does not necessarily mean any differences
in existing constitutional or internal processes. However, a public
space for petitions creates an opportunity for review that will improve
how responsive the council is with petitions in general.
Carol Hayward, Corporate Consultation Manager in Bristol City
Council, said of ePetitioning: “It has enabled us to review our
constitutional guidelines and it highlighted certain differences
between the way we dealt with petitions for planning issues and for
all other issues. In particular, petitioners submitting petitions at
planning meetings needed to give 24 hours notice whereas only two
to three hours was needed for other meetings. This has now been
resolved so that all petitioners need to give 24 hours notice.”
Introducing ePetitions can highlight other differences within the
council. For example, planning departments often deal with petitions
and letters in a different way and so don’t have a centralised method
of being able to record all of the petitions received and show how
they have been dealt with.
Issues are often dealt with on a case-by-case basis and petitions
form part of the evidence base that helps to shape the overall
decision. However, planning departments do normally have a formal
response mechanism in place and publish the decisions that have
been made on planning applications so would generally have a
degree of transparency already.
Having an ePetitions website enables councils and citizens to see
how petitions are processed in general. A transparent website which
shows how petitions influence decisions makes it more important to
have an established process that shows how the council will
respond and how quickly a citizen is likely to receive a response. For
example, the process could be that the executive member and head
of department sign off the response within fifteen days.

CHAPTER ONE: THE BASICS

10

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