Skip to content

Guidance on rejecting petitions

Petitions which are considered to be vexatious, abusive or otherwise inappropriate will not be accepted. The information in a petition must be submitted in good faith and should not include:

  • potentially libelous, false, or defamatory statements
  • information which may be protected by an injunction or court order (for example, the identities of children in custody disputes)
  • material which is potentially confidential, commercially sensitive, or which may cause personal distress or loss
  • any commercial endorsement, promotion of any product, service or publication
  • URLs or web links (we cannot vet the content of external sites, and therefore cannot link to them from this site)
  • the names of individual officials of public bodies, unless they are part of the senior management of those organisations
  • the names of family members of elected representatives or officials of public bodies
  • the names of individuals, or information where they may be identified, in relation to criminal accusations
  • language which is offensive, intemperate, or provocative. This not only includes obvious swear words and insults, but any language to which people reading it could reasonably take offence
  • any information that discriminates unfairly against someone by virtue of their race, faith, disability, sexual orientation, age or sex.


Please note that other procedures apply if a petition relates to a planning or licensing application, is a statutory petition (for example requesting a referendum on having an elected mayor), or on a matter where there is already an existing right of appeal (for example a school admission appeal).

The council's statutory officers (Head of Paid Service, Chief Financial Officer or Monitoring Officer) will be responsible for determining the validity of a petition. In addition the Monitoring Officer will have a discretion whether or not to accept signatures from people living, working or studying outside the county border where, for example, there is a issue which is relevant to Gloucestershire and also to an area just outside of the county.

For further advice please contact Democratic Services (Stephen Bace: 01452 324204, email

Help us improve Gloucestershire County Council

Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.