Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Anger over council plans to raise petition threshold

A plan to increase the number of signatures required for a petition has been criticised by some Portsmouth city councillors.

The threshold for a petition to trigger a council debate is currently 1,000.

Councillors at the Lib Dem-led authority are being asked to consider raising the threshold to 5,000 signatures on issues that have already been determined.

Opposition Tory councillor Donna Jones said she was "appalled" at the idea.

She said: "I think its an absolute disgrace. We need to be getting people as engaged as possible, not turning them off.

"For the mums and families, for example, who got involved in the recent Sure Start campaign, 5,000 signatures would be a step too far."

Ms Jones wants the threshold brought down to 500 signatures.

The proposal, supported by council leader Gerald Vernon Jackson, comes after a meeting of the authority on 11 June in which three petitions, each supported by over 1,000 signatories, resulted in full council debate.

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