Campaigner calls for e-petitions to be accepted

By Martin Neville

Saturday, May 31, 2014

 

A CAMPAIGNER who collected more than 3,000 names against proposals to scrap free parking at Puckpool and Appley parks has called on the Isle of Wight Council to recognise digital petitions.

Tony Gibbs, of Brading, used the website change.org to compile his petition but was not allowed to present it formally at last week’s council meeting because it did not meet strict rules, which require signatures.

However, the petition was accepted by the authority and Mr Gibbs was allowed to ask a question at the start of the meeting.

But he told the County Press afterwards: "The council should change its policy to allow recognised and verified sites, such as change.org, to facilitate public petitions.

"If it is good enough for the British Foreign Office to use to change policy with the American government and coastguard to resume the search for four British sailors, surely it is good enough for the Isle of Wight Council?"

A council spokesman said signatures allowed the authority to verify the number of people signing a petition to prevent multiple entries by the same person.

He said: "The other alternative is to accept an individual person’s e-mail address. This could still mean a person with several e-mail accounts could sign up to a petition more than once."

He said these issues would be looked at by the constitution working party when it considered the matter.

Reporter: martinn@iwcpmail.co.uk

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