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Petitions

Anyone who lives, works or studies in the City of Westminster can organise and sign a petition. This includes the under 18s.

Published on: 11 February 2021

Last updated: 11 February 2021

Steps after petition has been submitted

Once your petition has been submitted to the council it will be passed to the relevant Head of Service for consideration. The form of the council’s response will depend on how many people have signed the petition and whether it has been presented formally by a councillor, but could include:

  • considering the petition at a council/Cabinet meeting
  • writing to the petition organiser setting out the council’s views about the request in the petition
  • submitting a formal report to the Executive/Executive Member for decision
  • taking the action requested in the petition
  • considering the petition at a council meeting
  • holding an inquiry into the matter
  • undertaking research into the matter
  • holding a public meeting
  • holding a consultation
  • holding a meeting with petitioners
  • referring the petition for consideration by one of the council's Policy and Scrutiny Committees

Policy and Scrutiny committees are committees of councillors who are responsible for scrutinising the work of the council. They have the power to hold the council's decision makers to account. 

  • in all cases where a petition has been presented by a councillor to an ordinary council meeting the relevant Chief Officer shall, within 28 days of the date of the meeting, (sooner if possible) report to the relevant Cabinet Member or Committee setting out proposals for the formal response to the petition and also advise the petition organiser
  • petitions, which do not trigger a debate at a full council meeting or have not been presented by a councillor to an ordinary council meeting, shall be acknowledged by the Head of Committee and Governance and referred to the relevant Chief Officer who shall advise the petition organiser, within 28 days, but sooner if possible, of the council’s response, including the relevant Cabinet Member(s) and Ward Members. The Head of Committee and Governance  will inform the relevant Cabinet Member(s) and Ward Members that the petition has been received

The response

Every person who signs an online petition will receive an email detailing the response to the issues raised within three months after the period for collecting signatures has closed. In the case of a paper petition, the response will be forwarded to the petitioner organiser.

Other procedures apply if the petition is one of the following:

  • planning or license application
  • statutory petition (for example requesting a referendum on having an elected Mayor)
  • a matter where there is already an existing right of appeal, such as council tax banding and non-domestic rates

More information on the procedures for planning and licensing and how you can express your views is available on the planning and licensing pages. 

For information on any other procedures please contact Georgina Wills, Committee and Governance Officer, on 07870 548348 or email [email protected].

To ensure people know what we are doing in response to the petitions we receive the subject details of all the petitions submitted to us will be published on our website, except in cases where this is considered to be inappropriate. It should be noted that petitions presented to the council are public documents and any member of the public can ask to see a copy.