We welcome petitions as we recognise that petitions are one way in which people can let us know their concerns.

All petitions sent or presented to the council will receive an acknowledgement from us within 10 working days of receipt. This acknowledgement will set out what we plan to do with the petition. We will treat something as a petition if it is identified as being a petition, or if it seems to us that it is intended to be a petition.

Generally, a petition must be signed by at least 10 people, and any persons who sign should live, work or study in the council’s area.

Paper petitions can be sent to the Chief Officer (Governance), Town Hall, Lancaster LA1 1PJ. Petitions can also be created, signed and submitted online.

Petitions can also be presented to a meeting of the council. Dates of these meetings can be found in our online meetings calendar.

If you would like to present your petition to the council, or would like your councillor or someone else to present it on your behalf, please contact us on 01524 582065 or email at least 10 working days before the meeting and they will talk you through the process.

If your petition has received 1500 signatures or more (or 200 where it relates to a local matter which affects no more than two wards), it will also be scheduled for a council debate, and if this is the case we will let you know whether this will happen.

Full details of our petition scheme can be found in the council's constitution (Part 10 - Petition Scheme)

What are the guidelines for submitting a petition?

Petitions submitted to the council must include:

  • A clear and concise statement covering the subject of the petition and what action the petitioners wish the council to take
  • The name and address and signature of any person supporting the petition

Petitions should be accompanied by contact details, including an address, for the petition organiser. This is the person we will contact to explain how we will respond to the petition.

What will the council do when it receives my petition?

An acknowledgement will be sent to the petition organiser within 10 working days of receiving the petition. It will let them know what we plan to do with the petition and when they can expect to hear from us again. It will also be published on our website. Copies of all petitions received will be passed to relevant ward councillors.

How will the council respond to petitions?

Our response to a petition will depend on what a petition asks for and how many people have signed it, but may include one or more of the following:

  • 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 the relevant cabinet member, Cabinet or the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee
  • Calling a referendum
  • Writing to the petition organiser setting out our views about the request in the petition

If your petition is about something over which the council has no direct control (for example the local railway, hospital or school) we will consider making representations on behalf of the community to the relevant body.

Full Council debates

If a petition contains more than 1,500 signatures (or 200 where it relates to a local matter which affects no more than two wards) it will be debated by the full council unless it is a petition asking for a senior council officer to give evidence at a public meeting (see below).

Officer evidence

Your petition may ask for a senior council officer to give evidence at a public meeting about something for which the officer is responsible as part of their job. For example, your petition may ask a senior council officer to explain progress on an issue, or to explain the advice given to elected members to enable them to make a particular decision.

If your petition contains at least 500 signatures (or 200 where it relates to a local matter which affects no more than two wards) the relevant senior officer will give evidence at a public meeting of the council’s overview and scrutiny committee.


The council welcomes e-petitions which can be created and submitted on our e-Petitions page. E-petitions must follow the same guidelines as paper petitions as set out above.

What can I do if I feel my petition has not been dealt with properly?

If you feel that we have not dealt with your petition properly, the petition organiser has the right to request that the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee review the steps that the council has taken in response to your petition.

Once the appeal has been considered the petition organiser will be informed of the results within five working days. The results of the review will also be published on our website.

Is there anything else I can do to have my say?

We recognise that petitions are just one way in which people can let us know about their concerns. There are a number of other ways in which you can have your say including asking questions or making an address at council meetings, public participation at Cabinet and Planning and Highways Regulatory Committee, and through the council’s complaints procedure.

If you have any queries about the Petitions scheme, please contact us.

Last updated: 21 March 2017