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Petition scheme

The council welcomes petitions. We recognise that petitions are one way in which people can let us know their concerns.

Anyone who lives, works or studies in the Guildford borough may sign or organise a petition. This includes anyone under the age of 18.

There are two ways to submit a petition: online via the e-petition portal or a paper petition sent by post.

Before you submit your petition, read our guidance in the next sections.

What should I include in my petition?

You must include a clear, concise statement covering the subject of the petition. The statement must relate to the functions, powers or duties of the council. It must state the lawful action you wish the council to take.

The petition must also include the:

  • name, address, telephone number and email address of the petition organiser
  • name, address and signature of any person supporting the petition

We will not publish the petition organiser's contact details on the council's website.

It is important that you follow this guidance. The Managing Director and lead councillor for governance may choose not to take action if important details are missing. In this case, we will write to you to explain the reasons.

What types of petitions are excluded?

We will not take action on any petition that is:

  • vexatious
  • abusive
  • otherwise inappropriate

The Managing Director and lead councillor for governance will decide if a petition fits these categories. If we reject your petition for any of the above reasons, we will notify you in our acknowledgement letter.

This scheme does not apply to:

  • petitions relating to a planning or licensing application
  • statutory petitions (for example requesting a referendum on having a directly elected mayor)
  • petitions relating to matters where other review or appeal procedures exist, e.g. a review of council tax banding

This scheme does not apply to petitions on the same or similar topic as ones addressed by the council in the last six months. We will acknowledge receipt of such petitions within 10 working days. We will include details of our response to similar petitions.

Where we are still considering a petition on the same or similar topic, we will amalgamate the petitions.

We will send details of excluded petitions that directly affect wards to the councillors representing those wards.

View current and past petitions:

To check if your petition is similar or the same to another petition, use the links below.

E-petitions:

To view rejected e-petitions submitted before 2018 visit our pre 2018 rejected e-petitions page.

To view rejected e-petitions from 2018 onwards visit our 2018 and post 2018 rejected e-petitions page. 

To view active and completed e-petitions visit our active and completed e-petitions page.

Paper petitions:

To view paper petitions visit our paper petitions page.

Submit your petition

E-petitions

E-petitions must be created, signed and submitted through our e-petition portal. We will not accept e-petitions hosted by third parties (for example Change.org). 

Submit an online petition

Paper petitions 

Paper petitions should be sent to:

Democratic Services Manager,
Guildford Borough Council,
Millmead House,
Millmead,
GUILDFORD,
Surrey
GU2 4BB

What will the Council do when it receives my petition? 

An acknowledgement will be sent to the petition organiser within ten working days of receiving the petition. This acknowledgement will set out what we plan to do with the petition. 

We will write to the petition organiser at each stage of the petition's consideration.

How will the council respond to my petition?

We will write to you to acknowledge your petition within 10 working days of receiving it. We will let you know what we plan to do with the petition and when you can expect to hear from us again. 

Your petition will be published on our website, except in cases where this would be inappropriate. 

Where the subject matter of the petition affects particular wards, the councillors representing those wards will be notified. 

We will write to you at each stage of the petition's consideration. If the petition needs further investigation, we will tell you the steps we plan to take. Whenever possible we will also publish correspondence relating to the petition (personal details will be removed). 

The type of response the council provides may be dependent on the number of signatories to the petition. Below is a  summary of the council's approach:

  • fewer than 50 signatories: response from relevant director/service leader (treated as standard correspondence)
  • 50 - 299 signatories: response from relevant lead councillor
  • at least 300 signatories: referred to the Leader/ Executive for response.
  • at least 500 signatories: referred for debate at a meeting of the full council
  • at least 500 signatories: senior officer(s) called to provide evidence at a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Our response will depend on what your petition asks and how many people have signed it. It may include one or more of the following:

  • taking the action requested in the petition
  • considering the petition at a meeting of the council or Executive 
  • holding an inquiry into the matter
  • holding a public meeting 
  • holding a meeting with petitioners or the petition organiser
  • undertaking research into the matter
  • writing to the petition organiser setting out the council's views about the request in the petition
  • referring the petition to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for consideration

The council's Petition Scheme can be found in Section 4 of our Constitution alongside the Public Speaking Procedure Rules.