The London Assembly welcomes petitions and recognises that petitions are one way in which people can let us know about their concerns.
Petitions to the Assembly take the form of a written request, typically signed by many people, making an appeal for a response from: the Mayor of London, the London Assembly and/or Transport for London (TfL), the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA), the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC).
The guidance here is intended to provide some broad help to allow you to use a petition to raise the issue you care about with the appropriate organisation.
A petition may be presented at a London Assembly meeting if it relates to the work of the Mayor, the London Assembly, any of the GLA’s functional bodies or is otherwise of importance to people who visit, work or live in Greater London.
The petition should include a clear and concise statement of its subject and it should state what action the petitioners would like the Mayor, the London Assembly or any of the GLA’s functional bodies to take.
The London Assembly will accept petitions that jointly call on one of the above bodies and another organisation to take action (for example your borough council) provided it is a matter that falls within the GLA Group’s area of responsibility.
There are two methods you can use for gathering signatures – either a paper petition, or an electronic one. In either case, the final petition must be presented in paper form.
In order for the London Assembly to consider your petition, it must:
- Be addressed to the Mayor, the London Assembly, and/or a functional body (ie TfL, LFEPA, LLDC or MOPAC)
- Show clearly the name, address and contact telephone number of the person organising the petition or, where the petition was organised on the internet, its data controller*
- Include on each printed sheet the prayer of the petition - the prayer is the matter that the petition is about. For example “We ask that person/organisation shouldstop/start/consider/discuss etc…”. If the petition was organised on the internet, you must clearly demonstrate that internet users who subscribed to the petition knew what the prayer was
- Include each petitioner's’ name (either printed, or as a legible signature) and address if you used a paper petition. If the petition was organised on the internet, the petitioners’ names and email addresses must be included (the GLA does not publish signatories’ addresses or email addresses, both of which are kept confidential, but the information is required to validate the petition)
- Include the total number of manual or electronic signatories to the petition.
Young people aged 17 or under signing a petition may give their address as that of their school or other recognised youth group or similar organisation that they attend (with details of their class name where appropriate), provided that the lead petitioner is a teacher at or leader of that school or youth group or similar organisation.
Examples of previous petitions that have been submitted to the Assembly can be found via links on the left hand side of this page.
*A Data Controller is a person who (either alone or jointly or in common with other persons) determines the purposes for which and the manner in which any personal data are, or are to be, processed. (The Information Commissioner's Office has more detail.)
Petitions which are considered to be vexatious, abusive or otherwise inappropriate will not be accepted. The Assembly is obliged to take account of the Government’s Recommended Code of Practice for Local Authority Publicity and so must ensure that anything that it publishes is lawful, cost effective, objective, even-handed, and appropriate and has regard to equalities and diversity requirements.
Only an Assembly Member may present a petition at a London Assembly (Plenary) Meeting (see the timetable of meetings). If you think that your petition complies with the rules set out, you can contact an Assembly Member to ask that they present the petition on your behalf.
Other than the lead petitioner, the personal details - names, signatures and addresses, including email addresses for an electronic petition - of petitioners are not published by the Assembly or provided to the Assembly Members (other than the Member presenting the petition), although these details will be processed within the GLA as necessary (in order to ensure that the petition is properly passed to the Mayor) in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998. There may also be exceptional circumstances in which other Assembly Members are able to have access to these details.
Any response received to a petition presented at an Assembly meeting will be reported formally to the London Assembly, forwarded to the petition’s organiser and published on the web.
If the Chair agrees that your petition complies with the GLA's rules, it will be presented at a Plenary meeting of the London Assembly by an Assembly Member. You are very welcome to attend the meeting to observe the presentation of your petition or watch its presentation on the webcast of the meeting.
The Assembly will at the same time decide who to send the petition to for formal response. Petitions are not debated at Assembly meetings but the presentation of your petition will be recorded formally in the minutes of the relevant Assembly meeting.
Once a response is received, it will be provided to the Assembly Member who submitted the petition (who will forward a copy to the petition organiser) and reported formally to the next scheduled Plenary meeting of the London Assembly.
If you require any help on this process, please contact:
Vishal Seegoolam, Principal Committee Manager, Secretariat; Telephone: 020 7983 4425; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ; Minicom: 020 7983 4458.
Assembly Members and members of the public or organisations may also ask the Mayor if they can present petitions to him directly, in which case it is a matter for the Mayor as to what he is content to accept. The petition would then not be routed through the London Assembly. Members of the public may also write to the Mayor directly about their petition:
Mayor of London
Greater London Authority
The Queen's Walk
London SE1 2AA