Petitions - information and advice
We welcome petitions and recognise that they are an important way in which people can tell us about their concerns. Anyone who lives, works or studies in North Yorkshire can sign or organise a petition and trigger a response.
Paper petitions of any size may be sent to:
Assistant chief executive (legal and democratic services)
North Yorkshire County Council
Guidelines for submitting a petition
Petitions submitted must include:
- A clear and concise statement about the subject of the petition;
- A statement of what action the petitioners wish the county council to take;
- The name and address (including postcode) and signature of any person supporting the petition; and
- Contact details, including an address, for the petition organiser.
If a petition does not follow the guidelines, we may decide not to do anything further with it. In that case, we will write to you to explain the reasons.
When a petition is received
All petitions are acknowledged within ten working days. If we can do what the petition asks for, the acknowledgement may confirm that we have taken the action requested and the petition will be closed.
If the petition has enough signatures, it will trigger either:
- A debate at the relevant area committee; or
- A debate at a county council meeting; or
- A senior officer giving evidence at a meeting of the relevant overview and scrutiny committee.
The acknowledgment will confirm the course of action and tell you when and where, if appropriate, any meeting will take place. If the petition needs more investigation, we will tell you the steps we plan to take. We will not take action on any petition which we consider to be "vexatious, abusive or otherwise inappropriate" and will explain our reasons in our acknowledgement. To ensure that people know what we are doing, the details of all petitions submitted to us will be published on our website, except where it would be inappropriate.
How a petition is debated
Petitions supported by a significant proportion of people from a district or the county as a whole will be presented to a meeting of the relevant area committee or to the county council for debate, depending on the number of people who have signed it, and whether it is of local or country-wide interest. If your petition contains signatures from one per cent or more of the district population, it will be scheduled for debate at the next meeting of the appropriate area committee. For each district area, one per cent is equal to the following number of signatures:
- Craven: 562
- Hambleton: 871
- Harrogate: 1,605
- Richmondshire: 515
- Ryedale: 535
- Yorkshire coast and moors: 1,085
- Selby: 820
If there is the equivalent of five per cent of the county-wide population as signatories (29,960 signatures), the petition will be scheduled for a county council debate.
At the meeting, the petition organiser will be given five minutes to present the petition and it will then be discussed by councillors for a maximum of 15 minutes. The county council will decide how to respond to the petition at this meeting. They may decide:
- To take the action the petition requests;
- Not to take the action requested for reasons put forward in the debate;
- To commission further investigation into the matter, for example by a relevant committee; or
- Where the issue is one on which the council executive is required to make the final decision, the council will decide whether to make recommendations.
The petition organiser will receive written confirmation of this decision and this confirmation will also be published on our website.