North Lincolnshire

Petitioners must be on electoral roll under new rules

Campaigners looking for a petition to be heard by North Lincolnshire Council will now have to be signed onto the electoral register.

Councillors voted through a change to the council’s constitution making it a requirement for people signing to be on the register in order for it to be valid.

Under the rule, ten or more people supporting a petition must be signed up to the electoral register for the local area and provide their full name, address and postcode to the local authority.

The change also includes an increase in the signature threshold from 1,500 to 6,400 in order for campaigners to present their case before a full council meeting.

The new number would mean anyone organising a petition would need to get 5% of the electorate in the region to back the cause.

Meanwhile, campaigners will need to gather 3,200 signatures for a petition to be heard by a panel consisting of a council cabinet member, a ruling group member and a councillor from the opposition.

Leader of the Labour group on North Lincolnshire Council, Councillor Len Foster.

Leader of the Labour group, Councillor Len Foster, told councillors at a full council meeting that the move would only “disenfranchise” young people.

“What we have here is a change because local people are becoming more of aware of social media,” he said.

“The ruling group do not take too kind to their role being challenged.”

Opposition councillors said that the proposal would prevent young people in the region from engaging in local issues.

But cabinet member, Councillor Julie Reed, said that the change would allow for local people to become involved in decisions instead of people from outside the county.

“The change will continue to allow North Lincolnshire residents to be heard,” she said.

“I think local people should influence local decisions and they will continue to do so.”

Councillors voted 24 to 13 in favour of the change to the council’s constitution.