Online petitions policy to be reviewed by Isle of Wight Council

By Emily Pearce

Thursday, June 19, 2014

 

Online petitions policy to be reviewed by Isle of Wight Council

A petition calling for the Isle of Wight Council to take action over the Frank James Hospital is among those affected by a council policy on e-petitions. Picture by Robin Crossley.

THE Isle of Wight Council is to review its policy on petitions with a view to accepting those submitted online.

According to the constitution, any petition signed by at least 2,500 people must be debated by full council. But recent e-petitions, opposing the introduction of parking charges and calling for urgent repairs to the Frank James Hospital, have not been accepted because the signatories could not be validated.

Currently only written signatures are accepted.

Executive member for corporate governance Cllr Jonathan Bacon said the council was reviewing its approach, and it was hoped a revised policy would be brought before next month’s full council for approval.

He said: "It is hoped a review will provide us with a more adaptable yet still robust way in which we deal with petitions. This will include how we deal with electronic petitions. We will find a way to deal with these issues which will then allow most, if not all, petitions which attract a sufficient number of signatures to be debated by the full council, whether in paper or electronic form."

Cllr Bacon said although online petitions were not sufficient to prompt a full council debate, they were not ignored.

"It is not the case that petitions which do not currently satisfy the rules in the constitution to secure a debate are not ignored or not taken account of. Valid expressions of views are always given attention and taken account of," he said.

Reporter: emilyp@iwcpmail.co.uk

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