Submit a petition
Petitions are a means by which the public can bring an issue to the attention of the County Council and ask for action to be taken
The information in a petition must be submitted in good faith and comply with the law. Each petition will be considered on an individual basis and it will be open to the County Council to exercise discretion in how it responds.
A petition will be considered in accordance with the petitions scheme agreed by the County Council as summarised on this page.
- Who can sign
Anybody who lives, works or studies in the administrative County of Hampshire is able to raise or sign a petition asking for an action to be taken by the County Council.
Prior to initiating a petition, petitioners are encouraged to seek the advice of the Democratic and Member Services team on 01962 845751 or by email [email protected], who will be able to provide advice on the requirements and exclusions relating to any proposed petition.
For consistency and to enable verification, the County Council requires that every petition includes key information:
- a title or other wording that clearly sets out the issue and the action that is being requested of the County Council
- a lead petitioner, including their contact details (including where the lead petitioner is under 18 years of age, contact details of the person with parental responsibility for the lead petitioner) with whom the Council can correspond in relation to the petition
- the printed full name, signature and Hampshire address (postcode and house number or name) of everyone who has signed the petition. Petitioners must live, work or study in the administrative County of Hampshire, therefore the postcode that demonstrates their connection with the County should be used. The County Council reserves the right to verify details
The County Council will accept electronic/online petitions facilitated by the various platforms available, such as Change.org, as well as paper petitions. All petitions, paper or electronic, are subject to the same verification process, and any addresses/locations which appear to be outside the administrative county of Hampshire would not be accepted. The administrative area of Hampshire does not include the unitary authority areas of Portsmouth and Southampton. The Council is unable to consider and respond to petitions until they have been closed and formally submitted. Electronic petitions will need to be closed and the signatory data downloaded and provided electronically via email or in hard copy.
- Where to send your petition
Petitions should be sent in to the following address:
Democratic & Member Services
Hampshire County Council
EII Court South, The Castle
If you have any questions about submitting a petition or would like to arrange to deliver the petition by hand, please contact Democratic and Member Services via: [email protected] 01962 845751
- Acceptable and unacceptable signatories
We count signatories that contain:
Condition Example Notes Address but no postcodes 123 Warsash Road, Fareham Providing it is a Hampshire address Postcodes only GU34 2QG Providing it is a Hampshire address Street name only Wellands Road, Lyndhurst Providing it is a Hampshire address Only a first name of surname listed Sarah or C.Jones Providing a Hampshire address or postcode is also given No signature Providing there is a printed name many names with the same address Bob Smith, Carrie Smith, Derek Smith Providing they are in the individual's own handwriting and not one person writing all three name
We discount signatories that contain:
Condition Example Notes Names but no address Susan Crook, Barrie Edwards, Sophie Carter Addresses listed without a name Bluebell Cottage, Aldershot Addresses outside of Hampshire Bond Street, London Suspected entries from the same person and entries in the same handwriting (other than entries by people with parental responsibility on behalf of children who cannot write) Entries from a couple in the same writing is counted as one signature Double entries - same listed twice or more in the petition If the address is the same Fictitious or false names Captain America
- On receipt of a petition
Once submitted a petition will be considered closed and no changes or additional signatures will be accepted.
Petitions will be verified, to confirm that they meet the requirements of this scheme. The number of acceptable signatories will be counted. Signatories where any of the required information (printed full name, signature and Hampshire address) is missing or illegible will be disregarded. Double entries and signatories where there is reason to believe the details are fictitious will also be disregarded.
Petitions will be acknowledged to the lead petitioner within five working days and a response or details of the action being taken will be provided within 20 working days of the acknowledgement letter. If a petition is not being considered under the scheme (due to the exclusions - see below), the reasons for this will be included in the response.
The timeframe for a response to a petition will not commence until it is received by Democratic and Member Services.
In the period immediately before an election or referendum petitions may need to be dealt with differently. If this is the case the reasons for this and the revised timescale which will apply will be discussed with the lead petitioner.
Responses to petitions will be appropriate and proportionate to the issue raised. If a petition relates to an ongoing consultation process, then the petition will be considered as part of that process.
Petitions of 32,000 signatures (circa 2.5% of the population of the administrative county of Hampshire) or more may request for a matter to be debated at a full Council meeting.
Any matter raised with the County Council that identifies itself as a petition will be dealt with according to this Petitions Scheme. This may include petitions on issues relating to partner organisations. If a petition raises issues that relate to a partner organisation, the petition will be considered on an individual basis to determine which organisation is best placed to respond and the lead petitioner notified.
The following exclusion criteria would normally apply and form the basis for a petition to be rejected:
- potentially libellous, false or defamatory statements
- information which may be protected by an injunction or court order (for example, the identities of children in custody disputes)
- the names of individuals, or information where they may be identified, in relation to criminal accusations
- material which is potentially confidential, commercially sensitive, or which may cause loss or personal distress without justified cause
- any commercial endorsement, promotion of any product, service or publication
- the names of individual officials of public bodies, unless they are part of the senior management of those organisations. There is a complaints process available for disputes relating to the actions of individual officers and petitions regarding a County Council officer must relate to their role in delivering public services and not their character, personality or private life
- the names of family members of elected representatives or officials of public bodies
- language which is offensive, intemperate, or inappropriately provocative. This not only includes obvious swear words and insults, but any language to which people reading it could reasonably take offence
- petitions that are substantially the same as an existing petition or a petition that has been submitted and recorded on the County Council’s website in the previous 6 months
- petitions which ask for things outside the remit or powers of Hampshire County Council to influence
- petitions that don’t request any action
- wording that is impossible to understand
- petitions without an identifiable and contactable lead petition
- Unacceptable issues
Petitions which are considered by the Head of Law & Governance/Monitoring Officer to be vexatious, abusive or otherwise inappropriate will not be accepted.
Petitions cannot target individual members of a community or County Council officers for reasons that do not relate to their role at the Council.
Some issues will not be appropriate for a petition. In order to avoid duplication, the policy areas of planning and licensing are excluded, as are other matters where there is a statutory right to a review or appeal (except where there is an alleged failure of the County Council in respect of one of its functions).
Petitions initiated by Hampshire County Council employees where the subject matter relates directly to their employment or to their immediate area of responsibility are also excluded. This would cover matters where another right of recourse exists (e.g. the grievance procedure).
Petitions are not the right route for freedom of information (FOI) requests. View information about the FOI procedure.
- Other routes to raise matters with the County Council
Sometimes a petition may not be the best way of making your feelings known. In addition to petitioning there are a variety of other ways in which you can bring a particular issue to our attention. You can contact your County Councillor, speak at a meeting, contribute to a formal consultation or make a written representation. To help you decide the best route to take, details of these options are on our Have Your Say web pages.