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The Role of the Petitions Committee

The Assembly has established the Petitions Committee to consider all admissible petitions and decide what action to take.

Made up of four Members, one from each political group represented in the Assembly, the Committee meets once every two weeks when the Assembly is sitting.

The Committee cannot itself take any direct action to implement what a petition calls for, or overrule decisions made by the Welsh Government or other public bodies. However it can hold the government and other decision makers to account, seek information from them and give petitioners the opportunity to make their case directly to Assembly Members.​

The actions the Committee might take include:

  • Seeking further information from the Welsh Government, other decision makers or organisations that may have a view on, or interest in, the petition - for example, professional bodies, local authorities, health boards, trade unions or community groups;

  • Undertaking external visits;

  • Asking another Assembly committee to look at the petition as part of its work programme;

  • Inviting petitioners, the Welsh Government and others, to attend a meeting of the Petitions Committee to answer Members' questions about the petition and the issues it raises;

  • Conducting a short inquiry into the issue;

  • Seeking time for a debate on the issue at a full meeting of the Assembly (the Committee will automatically consider this option for any petition which gathers more than 5000 signatures).

  • Closing the petition.

Whatever other action the Committee takes, before it considers a petition for the first time, the Chair will write to the Welsh Government, seeking its views on the issue raised by the petition. The Assembly's Research Service will also prepare a background briefing paper setting out factual information about the issue. All of this information is published and made available to petitioners.

 

Possible Outcomes


Petitions can:

  • Bring about a change in Welsh Government policy;

  • Raise publicity for, and awareness of, an issue;

  • Influence the development of new legislation;

  • Prompt a National Assembly Committee to hold an inquiry on the issue;

  • Lead to a debate in the Assembly;

  • Prompt individual Assembly Members to take further action themselves - for instance by asking questions of the Welsh Government or seeking time to debate an issue in the Assembly.

 

For more information about meetings of the Petitions Committee, including meeting dates, papers and agreed actions, please see the Petitions Committee pages.

 

Contact us

The Petitions Committee clerking team can help guide you through the petitions process. If you need help or further information, contact:

Telephone: 0300 200 6379

Email: seneddpetitions@assembly.wales

Twitter: @SeneddPetitions

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