Petitions and joint letters
1) The Council may by resolution accept electronic petitions received via on-line websites if it is satisfied that the petition is authentic from a legitimate website.
2) All petitions or joint letters must be tabled at the next Ordinary Meeting following receipt, unless the matter which is the subject of the petition or joint letter has already been acted upon.
3) When presented Council must resolve to receive the petition or joint letter and to refer the matter for a report or appropriate action as required to the next appropriate meeting of the Council, unless the Council agrees to deal with it earlier.
4) A written petition or joint letter must:
a) Be in legible and permanent writing; and
b) Not be defamatory, indecent, abusive or objectionable in language or content; and
c) Not relate to matters beyond the powers of Council.
5) Every page of a written petition or joint letter must bear the whole of the petition or request.
6) Any signature appearing upon a page, which does not bear the whole of the written petition, may not be considered by the Council.
7) Every page of a written petition or joint letter, must be a single piece of paper and must not be pasted, stapled, pinned or otherwise affixed to any other piece of paper.
8) On receipt of a written petition or joint letter, the Chief Executive Officer must note on the first page the total number of signatures.
9) A copy of the text of the petition or joint letter bearing the note of the Chief Executive Officer in accordance with paragraph (8) must be included on the agenda for the next Council meeting.
10) A petition or joint letter may nominate a person to whom a reply may be sent, but if no person is nominated Council may reply to the first or any person whose signature appears on the petition or joint letter.
11) Any petition or joint letter referring to a specific town planning application will not be viewed as a petition, but as a joint submission to the planning application. The Council will consider each matter on its planning merits under the Planning and Environment Act 1987.
12) A suggested sample petition is attached as Schedule 3.
In addition to the signatures of the petitioners, the names and physical addresses of all persons who signed the written petition or joint letter must be included in the petition.
Any person who fraudulently signs a petition or joint letter which is presented to the Council is guilty of an offence.
Penalty: One (1) Penalty Unit
Councillor presenting petition – obligation
Any Councillor presenting a petition or joint letter will be responsible for ensuring that:
a) He or she is familiar with the contents and purpose of the petition or joint letter; and
b) The petition or joint letter is not derogatory or defamatory.
While we take account of the broad sentiment of an online petition, the Local Government Act does not allow for these to be considered formally in the Council’s decision making.