In order to present a valid petition to Council for consideration it must meet the requirements of Section 57 of the Local Government Act , this includes;
- A petition is to be addressed to ‘The Mayor and Councillors of the Brighton Council’ and must contain a clear and concise statement of the subject matter and the action requested of Council.
- The petition may be lodged by presenting it to the General Manager or a Councillor. The wording of a petition must be temperate, respectful and factual, and the action proposed must be within Council’s legal capacity to achieve.
- The petitioners may wish to also provide the background or reason for the petition, and this may be done in successive paragraphs. Where this is provided on a separate page, it must be clearly marked as an addition to the petition.
- The names and addresses of the petitioners are to be printed on the petition and each person shall sign beside their name and address.
- Each signatory page must contain the same statement of subject matter and action requested, as on the face of the petition.
- Every signed page of a petition presented to Council shall be an original and not a photocopy, and each signature shall be placed directly onto the petition page and not be pasted or otherwise transferred.
- a statement specifying the number of signatories; and
- at the end of the petition –
- in the case of a paper petition, the full name, address and signature of the person lodging the petition; and
- in the case of an electronic petition, the full name and address of the person lodging the petition and a statement by that person certifying that the statement of the subject matter and the action requested, as set out at the beginning of the petition, has not been changed.
The petition must have enough signatures to equal 5% of the population or 1000 signatures whichever is less for a public meeting to be held. These must be elector signatures, which are ratepayers or residents in the area. The signatures will be crosschecked with the electoral roll.
The General Manager who has been presented with a petition or receives a petition from a Councillor is to table the petition at the next ordinary meeting of the Council.
A petition will not be tabled if:
- it does not comply with the above requirements; or
- it is defamatory; or
- any action it proposes is unlawful.
The General Manager is to advise the lodger of a petition that is not tabled the reason for not tabling the petition within 21 days after lodgement.
The General Manager is to give reasonable written notice to the person lodging the petition of when it is to be considered by the Council.
The Council is to record in the minutes of the meeting to which it is presented the subject matter and number of signatories of the petition.
The Council is to determine any action to be taken in respect of the petition within 42 days after it has been tabled and the lodger of the petition will be advised of that decision.
If a petition does not comply with the relevant requirements then it will not be presented to the Council but will otherwise be dealt with by the Council as correspondence and responded to by Council Officers.
From time to time petitions are prepared that relate to specific development applications before the Council. To be properly considered by Council in respect of that application, a petition must be lodged as a representation during the advertising period for that application.
Any compliant petition that relates to a development application that is not lodged during the advertising period will be considered by the Council, however, the petition cannot be considered as part of or affect the outcome of the development application.
This is due to the specific legal requirements for which Council deals with an application as a planning authority under the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993.