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Nwicker60
22-Jul-13, 11:28
Council launches new petition procedures
The Highland Council will launch its new petition procedure on Thursday 1 August, providing a new avenue for individuals, communities or groups to have their concerns or issues considered and debated by the full Council or one of its strategic committees.Petitions may be submitted by:-
A group of citizens with at least 50 signatures from people living within the council area; or
A group of at least 10 local businesses, voluntary organisations or social enterprise companies with a business address within The Highland Council area.
They may be lodged in relation to:
matters concerning the council’s activities or responsibilities, including where other organisations deliver services on behalf of the council
matters of concern to the interests and welfare of residents, voluntary organisations or businesses in the council area.
Council Depute Leader Councillor David Alston said: "Taking part in a petition is one way that a community, individuals or groups can be involved in what the council does. When a petition is submitted to the council it can have positive outcomes by creating informed debate which may result in the council taking further action to address concerns raised in the petition."
He said petitioners should consider raising their issue using other forums before a petition is submitted, including:
• raising the issue with the local community council
• raising the issue with the appropriate local councillor(s), member of Parliament or
Member of the Scottish Parliament.
If these routes have been explored, this information and copies of any correspondence should be included in the petition as background information.
Petitions may be submitted electronically by email to legal.hq@highland.gov.uk (legal.hq@highland.gov.uk)or by letter to the Chief Executive at the following address: The Highland Council, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness IV3 5NX.
Upon receipt, the petition will be verified by the Assistant Chief Executive and/or Head of Legal & Democratic Services as having been correctly completed and submitted and that it meets the criteria for the petitions procedure. Once verified, the petition and its subject matter will be considered by the Chief Executive in consultation with the Convener, Leader, Depute Leader, appropriate Committee Chair and Leader of the Opposition, Assistant Chief Executive and relevant Service Director. The purpose of this consideration is to determine the future direction of the petition not to assess the merits of the matters being raised.
Petitions may, at this stage, be referred to another organisation for their consideration. You will be advised how the Council will deal with your petition and, if appropriate, when your petition will be considered by Council/Committee. Normally, petitions will need to be received at least 4 weeks prior to the date of the appropriate Council/Committee meeting, to allow time for officers to consider the petition and to issue it along with the agenda and papers for the meeting. Petitions to be heard at a Committee/Council will be the subject of an accompanying report from officers.