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Full Council Debates and Officer Evidence

If a petition contains more than 4155 legitimate signatures (5% of the population) it will be debated by a meeting of the Full Council.

The exception is where the petition is asking for a senior Council Officer to give evidence at a public meeting.

Full Council Debates

  • This means that the issue raised in the petition will be discussed at a meeting where all councillors can attend. The Council will endeavour to consider the petition at its next meeting, although on some occasions this may not be possible and consideration will then take place at the following meeting.
  • The petition organiser will be given five minutes to present the petition at the meeting and the petition will then be discussed by councillors for a maximum of fifteen minutes.
  • The council will decide how to respond to the petition at this meeting. They may decide to take the action the petition requests, not to take the action requested for reasons put forward in the debate, or to commission further investigation into the matter, for example by a relevant committee.
  • Where the issue is one on which the Council Executive is required to make the final decision, the Council will decide whether to make recommendations to inform that decision.
  • The petition organiser will receive written confirmation of this decision. This confirmation will also be published on our website.

Officer Evidence

  • Your petition can ask for a Senior Council Officer to give evidence at a public meeting about something for which the officer is responsible as part of their job. For example, your petition may ask a Senior Council Officer to explain progress on an issue, or to explain the advice given to elected Members to enable them to make a particular decision.
  • If your petition contains at least 4155 legitimate signatures (5% of the population on the 2011 Census), the Senior Officer will give evidence at a public meeting. This will be a meeting of one of the Council's Scrutiny Panels.
  • You should be aware that a Scrutiny Panel may decide that it would be more appropriate for another officer to give evidence instead of any officer named in the petition - for instance if the named officer has changed jobs.
  • The Panel may also decide to call the relevant councillor to attend the meeting.
  • Panel members will ask the questions at this meeting, but you will be able to suggest questions to the chair of the committee by contacting Member Services up to ten working days before the meeting.

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