Not much. The law in England & Wales no longer requires local authorities to have a petition scheme, and the law in Scotland never has.
Try legal and democratic services (or equivalent) section of your council’s website, or search either for ‘petitions’, ‘e-petitions’ or ‘petitions scheme’ is a good start, or for ‘get involved’/’have your say’ or similar.
Take it up with your local councillor. Stress that lots of councils embrace them because they help alert elected members and officers to local concerns.
If you live, work or study in the area, then you probably are – but check the council’s guidance.
Around half of local authorities in England and Wales have an e-petitiion facility, with some authorities in Scotland also offering them.
If you’re using a council’s electronic facility, creating your petition is usually simple and self-explanatory, but you’ll probably have to register as a site user.
The council should acknowledge your petition either accept it and publish it on their website, or tell you why not.
Some councils without an e-petition scheme explicitly refer potential petitioners to alternative platforms.
Most councils offer advice on how to submit paper petitions and/or will supply a template that you can print off.
Generally speaking, you are advised NOT to petition about:
Who can sign it?
Almost always, councils stipulate that signatories must live, work or study in the area.
You may need a minimum number of signatures to render your petition valid.
Beyond that number, the more signatures you collect, the more substantial your council’s response is likely to be. There’s often a set scale, ranging from simply taking note to a full council debate.
Promoting your petition is entirely down to you and your supporters. Use all the channels you can think of to attract signatories:
Usually, councils who publish guidance outline a range of actions. These are the most common:
Most of the councils who produce detailed guidance will outline what you can do if you’re not satisfied with the way they’ve handled your petition.