Headlines: April 19th, 2010

Wolverhampton has joined the handful of English local authorities allowing residents the opportunity to petition the council online. The city’s website now enables local people to create their own petition or to add their name in support of an existing one.

The site also allows petitioners to follow the progress of their action as it moves through the process up to the point where the petition is considered in public when those supporting it are welcome to attend. There is also provision for people without access to the web to ask for printed versions of any petition to which they want to add their signature.

The council’s new chief executive, Simon Warren said: “A petition can raise awareness of a particular campaign, put issues on the agenda which might not otherwise be considered by the council or let the authority know the strength of feeling in the community about a particular issue.” The new online system, he said, would mean petitions and any supporting information would be available to a much wider number of people.

Mr. Warren added: “As a council we are committed to ensuring our citizens have the best access to our services and this means embracing modern technology so everyone can make the most of the digital age. Our new e-petition facility will help to ensure more people are involved in the democratic process.”