Sign an online petition

Visit our petitions homepage and select the title of the petition you'd like to sign.

You can only sign a petition once and when you do you'll be asked to provide your name and email address.

We'll send you an email with a confirmation link. You have to click this link before your signature will be counted.

Your name will be visible on the petition but your contact details will be hidden.

Submit an online petition

The easiest way to submit a petition is through our petitions homepage.

  1. Select 'Submit a new ePetition'
  2. Log in or register for an account
  3. Enter the title of your petition. The system will show you if a similar pattern has been considered recently
  4. Select 'Continue' to move on and tell us more about your petition
  5. Select 'Finish' to send your petition request to us

Petitions hosted on other websites

We request that you submit your petition through our website but we can accept petitions hosted on other well known sites like change.org and 38 Degrees.

If you’re running a petition on another website you need to tell us by midday 10 working days before the meeting. When you contact us, please include what the petition is about, how many signatures you’ve collected and a link to the petition.

Submit a paper petition

You’ll need to contact us by midday 10 working days before the meeting on 01273 291 066 or by emailing democratic.services@brighton-hove.gov.uk. You need to tell us what your petition is about and the number of signatures you have collected.

If you’re presenting your petition at a meeting you can keep hold of it until the meeting. You’ll be able to tell us the final number of signatures you collected on the day.

Alternatively, you can send your paper petition to us by midday 10 working days before the meeting you’ll present at.

Please post your petition to:

Democratic Services
Room 167
Hove Town Hall
Norton Road
Hove
BN3 3BQ

What to include

Your petition has to include:

  • a short, clear statement that tells us the subject of the petition
  • what action you'd like us to take

Paper petitions must also include:

  • your name, address and contact details so we can explain how we'll respond to your petition
  • the name, address and signature of anyone supporting your petition

Your petition can only ask us to take action on something we have control over or something we could work with our partners to change. You can see a list of our partners on the last page of this guide.

If you're submitting an online petition, you can also collect signatures on a paper petition. You'll have to remove names that appear more than once and if we find any doubles we will remove them.

Please let us know when you submit your online petition if you're also collecting signatures on paper.

After you submit your petition

Once you’ve submitted your petition we’ll send you an acknowledgement as soon as possible. We try to send this response within 2 working days.

You need to tell us how long you want the petition to run. Petitions can run for a maximum of 6 months. You’ll also need to tell us whether you want to:

  • present your petition at the next council meeting
  • present it directly to the relevant committee or
  • receive an officer response

Your petition can run until the day before the meeting. For online petitions we’ll publish the number of signatures you’ve collected on the day we publish the agenda. 

You can tell us the final number of signatures at the meeting.

You can find the dates and times of all council meetings in the meetings calendar.

It’s your responsibility to promote your petition and collect signatures.

Present your petition

We’ll invite you to the next council or committee meeting and you’ll have up to 3 minutes to present the petition. A councillor or someone else can present it on your behalf if you prefer.

You can also ask for the relevant officer at the council to respond to your petition without presenting it at a meeting. If you request a response from an officer, we’ll send it to you within 21 working days.

How we'll respond to your petition

Our response to a petition depends on what it asks and how many people have signed it.

We may:

  • take the action you've requested in the petition
  • consider the petition at a council meeting
  • hold an inquiry into the issue
  • research the issue
  • hold a public meeting
  • run a consultation on the issue
  • hold a meeting with you and anyone who's helped put the petition together
  • call a referendum
  • write to you to let you know our views on the action suggested in your petition

If your request is about something we have no direct control over, like railways or hospitals, we’ll consider putting the action forward to the relevant organisation on your behalf.

We work with lots of local partners and, when we can, we’ll work with these partners to respond to a petition. If this isn’t possible for any reason, we’ll let you know why.

If the issue you’ve raised in your petition is something that’s dealt with by a different council we’ll think about the best way to respond. This might just mean forwarding the petition to the relevant council but it could involve other steps.

Whatever happens, we’ll always tell you what action we will take.

Full council debates

Full council can debate your petition if you’ve collected more than 1,250 signatures. You have to let us know that you’ve reached 1,250 signatures at least 10 working days before the meeting. This gives us enough time to verify the number and publish it in the agenda.

Although the councillors will try to discuss your position at the meeting, it’s not always possible. If this happens your petition will be considered at the next full council meeting.

You’ll have up to 3 minutes to present your petition and the appropriate committee chairperson will respond. Councillors with then have up to 15 minutes to discuss the petition and decide how they’ll respond to it.

Councillors may decide:

  • to note the petition and suggest an appropriate committee should consider it
  • to take the action you've requested in your petition
  • not to take the action you've requested for reasons put forward in the debate
  • to suggest further investigation into the matter by a relevant committee

If councillors suggest that the relevant committee should make a decision on the issue, they may make recommendations to inform that decision.

We’ll send you written confirmation of this decision and publish it on our website.

If the action you’ve suggested has any financial or legal implications and councillors decide to take the action, we have to submit a report to the next meeting for consideration. Then the action can finally be approved or denied.

Exceptions

We will not consider petitions that are about:

  • a planning or licensing application
  • changing council governance, like requesting a referendum on having an elected mayor. These are called statutory petitions
  • an issue that already has an appeals process, like Council Tax banding

We will not act on any petition that our Monitoring Officer believes is vexatious, abusive or otherwise inappropriate. If this happens we will explain our reasons in the acknowledgement that we send you.

If your petition is submitted immediately before a referendum or election we may need to deal with it differently. If this is the case, we’ll let you know how this will impact the timescale of your petition.

If your petition does not follow our guidelines we may decide not to do anything further with it. If this happens, we’ll contact you with the reasons for our decision.

If you feel that we have not dealt with your petition properly you can make a complaint through the Customer Feedback team. You can email the team on customerfeedback@brighton-hove.gov.uk or call 01273 291 229.

Customer Feedback team

Hove Town Hall

Norton Road

Hove

BN3 3BQ

Partner organisations

  • East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (East Sussex Fire Authority)
  • South Downs National Park Authority
  • East Sussex Police
  • a chief officer of police
  • a joint waste authority
  • South East England Development Agency (SEEDA)
  • National Health Services for Brighton & Hove
  • Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company
  • South Downs National Health Service Trust
  • Arts Council of England
  • English Sports Council
  • Environment Agency
  • Health and Safety Executive
  • Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission
  • Education Funding Agency
  • Skills Funding Agency
  • Museums, Libraries and Archives Council
  • Natural England
  • Secretary of State for securing local employment under section 2 of the Employment and Training Act 1973 and as highway and traffic authority for trunk roads (like the A27 Brighton bypass) and special roads