19 out of 33 petitions sent to Stoke-on-Trent City Council force changes
MORE than half of all petitions submitted to a council have forced bosses to back-track on controversial decisions, new figures reveal.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council has been forced to bow to public pressure following the demans of thousands of residents over the last year.
New data shows 16,257 people signed a total of 33 petitions to the authority in the 2011/12 municipal year.
And requests made by campaigners in 19 of the petitions were at least partly granted by councillors and officers.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Successful campaigns included the 673-strong petition protesting against plans to axe the historic ceremonial role of the Lord Mayor.
The biggest petition of the last year was put forward by North Staffordshire Pensioners' Convention.
Almost 7,000 members and supporters called for a full review of care services delivered in elderly people's homes amid a catalogue of concerns about standards.
Meanwhile, families fighting £2.25 million in cuts to children's centres won a series of key concessions as the saving was revised down by 10 per cent in response to a 3,346-strong petition.
Mother-of-two Emma Boote, aged 35, of Norton, a member of the Save Our Children's Centres group, said: "We would definitely do it again because our children's centres are a real lifeline to families across the city."
The authority U-turned on the cost-cutting plans to scrap the Mayoralty after the campaign won support from councillors.
Former city councillor Kieran Clarke, pictured, of Packmoor, was among those who collected signatures from objectors.
He said: "Petitions often only get a small number of signatures, but quite often it is a big issue for the people in one area.
"It is quite a tradition locally. People in the city are very used to putting forward petitions and public questions. In a lot of other areas that facility is either not there or it isn't very well-used."
Failed petitions last year included one signed by 183 people against the closure of Fenton Day Centre.
Petitions with 100 or more signatures are presented at full council meetings, allowing a representative from the group a three-minute window to address the council chamber.
Smaller petitions are usually only 'noted' by politicians but often lead to officers stepping in to resolve matters, such as a successful 53-signature petition which called for parking restrictions on Tunstall High Street to be relaxed.
If a petition is signed by more than 5,000 people it triggers a full council debate and usually leads to a committee being asked to examine the issue.
A city council spokesman said: "The council welcomes petitions and recognises they are a way in which people can let us know their concerns. It is fair to say that the petitions scheme has proved very popular and successful with petitioners and councillors alike."