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Burntwood councillor challenges ‘rushed’ introduction of online petition system

The leader of Lichfield District Council’s Labour group is planning to challenge the introduction of a proposed electronic petitioning scheme.

The authority has moved to bring in the system as all councils are required to have an online petition programme in place before the end of the year.

Cllr Steve Norman

Cllr Steve Norman

However, Cllr Steve Norman (Lab, Summerfield) has accused Lichfield District Council of rushing through the system’s introduction.

He explained:

“I was the first member of the public to set one up on the County Council’s website when they tried to close Burntwood’s Waste Site earlier this year. Other councils brought them in months ago and it is a great shame that the District is rushing this through Full Council right up against the deadline.

“What I will ask for is for the Council’s main Scrutiny Committee to have a look at it in January to spend some time learning from other local authorities and see how it would best work in Lichfield District.

“I am unhappy that the petition would go to the Cabinet rather than Full Council or a Scrutiny Committee – whichever was the most appropriate for the issue that was being raised. I am also unhappy that the number of proposed signatures required to make this happen is 5,000 – the same as the County Council’s scheme.

“I will be proposing that we look at a figure of 1,000 in line with a number of other authorities of our size and bigger.  I hope councillors will support me in making the scheme work effectively and that we review the scheme in 12 months time in any case.”

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