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Aberdeen City Councilís petitions process goes live
Members of the public, community groups and businesses can now submit petitions to the council to be considered by the recently-established Petitions Committee.
Petitions allow people to raise issues of public concern and give Councillors the opportunity to consider the need for change. It also makes the council's decision-making process as inclusive and accessible as possible.
From today [Monday 21 October] the council is accepting petitions in electronic or paper format.
Before being considered by the Committee, petitions will need 250 signatures from people on the Register of Electors for Aberdeen City Council, or from 10 local businesses, voluntary organisations, social enterprise companies, community planning partners, and/or other bodies.
Petition forms are available to download from the council website or can be collected from staff in the council's democratic services department.
They must be completed and submitted to the Petitions Committee clerk 10 working days before a scheduled meeting of the Committee.
For details of the petitions criteria and guidance or to submit a new electronic petition visit: http://committees.aberdeencity.gov.uk/mgepetitionlistdisplay.aspx
Petitions Committee Convener Councillor Alan Donnelly said: "It is fantastic that petitions can now be submitted and I hope people will take advantage of this new platform from which their views or concerns can be aired.
"This process will give citizens, organisations and businesses of Aberdeen the opportunity to bring their concerns directly to the council.
"Elected members will consider all petitions which comply with procedures and will have a number of options open to them on the best way to deal with the issues that are raised.
"This is clear evidence of this council's desire to be as open and as helpful as possible to all of our communities and I would urge folk to get involved."
Upon receipt of a petition, Petition Committee members will be able to:
Take no action and advise the petitioner of their reasoning;
agree the matter be the subject of a report to the relevant council committee(s) and refer it with or without recommendation;
refer the matter to a relevant organisation with or without a recommendation.
The council is unable to consider petitions on the following:
matters which are the subject of current court proceedings;
planning, licensing and other matters with their own procedures;
matters which should be dealt with through the Aberdeen City Council complaints procedure or through the Ombudsman;
matters concerning individual elected members or council employees;
employees' terms and conditions;
housing allocations in respect of individuals;
a decision taken by the council in the previous 12 months;
a matter which is very similar to, or the same as, one which the committee has considered in the previous 12 months;
a matter which is the subject of an outstanding committee remit;
matters designed to gain or reduce support for one or more political parties;
matters that could damage a person's reputation or discriminate against them;
personal or business interests;
an allegation pertaining to people or organisations breaking the law or codes of practice;
an allegation or matter which could be defamatory, discriminate against someone, or contain offensive language.
If a petition adheres to the criteria, the lead petitioner and two supporters will be invited to attend the Petitions Committee where their petition will be considered.
They will be invited to speak for up to 10 minutes in support of the petition with a further 10 minutes for questions from committee. Deputations will not be permitted.
The Committee can consider two or more petitions together if they are similar or deal with the same subject.
The lead petitioners will be told about this beforehand and will be asked to make either a joint or individual statements for each petition.
Committee members have agreed to give further consideration on the mechanisms to enable young people not on the electoral roll to lodge petitions.
Council officers will report to the Petitions Committee after a year of operation on lessons learned and any potential procedural changes they would recommend.