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Public Access to Information and Petitions

An important aspect of local government is effective engagement between the Council and the local communities it represents. This is achieved through the work of individual ward councillors and public participation in the Council's decisions through specific consultation exercises, meetings and petitions.

Your District Councillors are responsible for making decisions on behalf of the local community about the local services provided by Dover District Council and for promoting the economic, social and environmental well being of the district with other government agencies. These decisions are recorded in the agendas and minutes of the Council's Committees, which are available on the web site. The public has the right to be present at meetings of the Council, except for items of business where confidential or exempt information is likely to be disclosed.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) has given members of the public the right to access recorded information held by the Council. The aim of the Act is to promote a culture of openness and accountability among public sector bodies in order to improve public understanding of the work they undertake. The Act recognises the need to protect certain sensitive pieces of information and provides exemptions for this.

Petition Scheme

Dover District Council welcomes petitions and recognises that petitions are one way in which people can let it know their concerns. All petitions sent or presented to the council will receive an acknowledgement from the council within 10 working days of receipt. This acknowledgement will set out what the council plans to do with the petition.

As an organisation, Dover District Council tries to identify and solve problems at an early stage. The Council is committed to receiving feedback as this helps us to develop and review services. There are a number of ways in which you can have your say including:

It is recommended that as a first step you contact your local district councillors to find out if he or she can be of assistance to you as an alternative to a petition.

If you wish to submit a petition, it must relate to a matter over which the District Council exercises functions, and not services provided by Kent County Council or other public bodies, and it must be a matter that affects the inhabitants of the whole or part of the district. Petitions must not be defamatory, frivolous or offensive, relate to court or legal proceedings, relate to licensing or planning matters or disclose confidential or exempt information.

If the petition is accepted, the Petitioner will be invited to address the Scrutiny (Policy and Performance) Committee. If the petition is rejected, the petitioner will be informed of the reasons why.

Anyone wishing to submit a Petition to the Council should contact Democratic Support on the details below and ensure that the petition is submitted with at least ten days notice in advance of the next meeting of the Scrutiny (Policy and Performance) Committee in writing to the Democratic Services Manager.

View, sign and create petitions online »

Contact Democratic Services

E-mail: democraticservices@dover.gov.uk

Tel: 01304 87230