Petitions

Benefits and money advice

You can submit a petition if you live, work or study in the borough of Waltham Forest. The council welcomes petitions and recognises that they are one way that you can let us know your concerns.

Petitions can be submitted by post or online as an e-petition. If your petition receives over 4,000 signatures it will be debated at a Full Council meeting.

All petitions submitted to us are published on our website, except in cases where this would be inappropriate. This is to ensure that people know what we are doing in response to the petitions we receive.

View the council's petitions scheme (53KB Word file).

Council decision making

Petitions must relate to matters that directly affect the council or Waltham Forest, and about which the council has powers to act. National and foreign political issues are not valid subjects for petitions. Vexatious or inappropriate petitions will not be acceptable. In the run up to any election or referendum we may need to deal with certain petitions differently in which case we will explain why and set out a revised timescale or process for dealing with the petition.

Petitions must include:

  • A clear and concise statement covering the subject of the petition and on each page of the petition
  • The action the petitioners would like the council to take
  • The full name and address and the signature of the person supporting the petition, and their age if under 18
  • Signatories must either live, work or study in Waltham Forest, and the address provided must be the signatory's home or work address in Waltham Forest
  • Signatories must be aged 11 or above

If the petition is an e-petition the organiser’s contact details will not appear on the council’s website. If the petition does not identify a petition organiser, we will contact the first named person on the petition.

Petitions that are considered to be vexatious, abusive or otherwise inappropriate will not be accepted.

If a petition doesn’t follow the guidelines set out above, the council may decide not to do anything further with it. In that case, we’ll write to you to explain the reasons.

Submit a new e-petition

To make a paper petition complete and download a petitions template (Word doc, 65KB) 

Post to:

The mayor
London Borough of Waltham Forest
Town Hall
Walthamstow
E17 4JF

Presenting a petition at a full council meeting

Petitions can also be presented (without being debated) at a meeting of the full council. If you would like a councillor to present your petition, please use this link to find your councillors' details.

It would be helpful if arrangements are made at the latest by ten working days before the council meeting. Council meetings can be viewed on the monthly meetings calendar.

How to make an e-petition Click to get info

E-petitions must follow the same guidelines as paper petitions.

The petition organiser will need to provide us with their name, postal address and email address. An e-petition will be open for signatures for three months.

When you create an e-petition, it may take five working days before it is published online. This is because we have to check that the content of your petition is suitable before it is made available for signature.

Once an e-petition has submitted, the petition organiser will receive an acknowledgement within ten working days. If the petition is accepted for publication the organiser will be informed on the day of publication.

If we feel we can’t publish your petition, we’ll contact you within this time to explain. You’ll be able to change and resubmit your petition if you wish.

Submit a new e-petition 

How to sign an e-petition Click to get info

You can view all e-petitions that have been submitted to the council online

When you sign an e-petition you’ll be asked to provide your name, your address and a valid email address.

When you’ve submitted this information, the council will send an email asking you confirm the email address you have provided.

Once this step is complete, your signature will be added to the petition. (We won’t publish your email address or your postal address).

Petition organisers will receive an acknowledgement within 10 working days of receiving the petition. We’ll let you know what we plan to do with the petition and when you can expect to hear from us again.

Our response to a petition will depend on what a petition asks for and how many people have signed it, but may include one or more of the following:

  • Taking the action requested in the petition
  • Considering the petition at a council meeting
  • Making enquiries to find out more about the matter
  • Holding a meeting with petitioners
  • Writing to the petition organiser setting out the Council's views about the request in the petition

Petitions with less than 4,000 signatures will be referred to a relevant officer and lead member who will arrange for a response to be sent to the petition organiser.

A petition will be referred to the relevant officer or committee if it’s about:

  • planning or licensing applications
  • a matter where there are other specific statutory provisions for a petition (for example requesting a referendum on having an elected mayor),
  • a matter where there is already an existing right of appeal, such as Council Tax banding and non-domestic (business) rates

If your petition contains at least 4,000 signatures, and you’ve asked for it to be debated by Full Council, the issue raised in the petition will be discussed by councillors at the next available meeting.

The petition organiser will be given three minutes to present the petition at the meeting and the petition will then be discussed by councillors.

The council will decide how to respond to the petition at this meeting. They may decide to:

  • take the action the petition requests
  • not to take the action requested for reasons put forward in the debate, or;
  • commission further investigation into the matter, for example by a relevant committee

If the council’s cabinet needs to make the final decision on an issue, the councillors will decide whether to make recommendations to inform that decision. The petition organiser will receive written confirmation of this decision.

If you don’t feel that your petition has been dealt with properly you can write to the council’s chief executive, setting out the reasons why you are dissatisfied. The chief executive will arrange for your complaint to be investigated and a response will be sent to you.

This is subject to review by the council.

Please contact us if you would a copy of this scheme (or other documents relating to petitions) in a particular format suited to your needs e.g. large print. We are pleased to discuss arrangements which will make accessing or understanding our information easier for you, so do get in contact with us.

Contact Click to get info

Write to

Councillor Services
Waltham Forest Town Hall
Forest Road
Walthamstow
E17 4JF

Phone 020 8496 3000

Email councillors@walthamforest.gov.uk