Under the Council’s current Scheme of Delegation, petitions can only be accepted in paper/physical form, and only if they relate to decisions taken by the Council which are more than six months old.
The ability to consider physical/paper petitions has been significantly impacted through the ongoing restrictions and closure of Council offices and facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To address this, and the wider implications of the pandemic on all operational functions of the Council, a COVID-19 Shortlife Working Group has been considering how the petitions process should be amended, along with all other future operations of the Council.
Last week, a Special Meeting of the Council was requisitioned, and held today (Tuesday, 4 August) on Microsoft Teams, to propose immediate changes to the Scheme of Delegation, which would:
- Allow Councillors to consider petitions on Council decisions within in a six month period
- Allow consideration of petitions on change.org applicable to policies of Stirling Council which have attracted more than 1,000 signatures.
At today’s meeting (available on YouTube), Cllrs voted against the requisitioned motion 13-8 in favour of the following amendment from the Leader (Cllr Scott Farmer) and Depute Leader of the Council (Cllr Danny Gibson):
“Council recognises the vital role that the petitions process plays in our local democracy.
“Council welcomes that the recently established COVID Short Life Working Group has already considered all aspects of our future operation including electronic submission of petitions (which all political groups have supported).
“Council continues to support the proposals made by Cllr Neil Benny in the December 2015 Council meeting until further changes are brought forward to Council from the COVID 19 Short Life working group process.”
The current scheme of delegation, including the petitions process, remains unchanged and it is anticipated that new proposals for improving the petitions process will be brought to an upcoming meeting of the Council as part of wider recommendations for adapting the Council’s essential services to life during and after COVID-19.