How to Petition the Assembly
Submitting a petition
You can submit a petition electronically using the National Assembly’s online petitions system, in other electronic formats so long as they comply with the Assembly’s rules on petitions, or in the traditional way – on paper.
If you are considering collecting signatures in paper format or by using an alternative electronic petitions system, you should contact us in advance for advice on the wording of the petition. This will help ensure that it meets our criteria for admissibility and can be considered by the Petitions Committee.
Whichever method you choose, petitions should be submitted in good faith and addressed to the National Assembly for Wales. They should call for the Assembly or the Welsh Government to take some specific action. For example:
We call on the National Assembly for Wales to… OR
We call on the National Assembly for Wales to urge the Welsh Government to…
Framing petitions in this way is a good starting point towards helping your petition to set out clearly and straightforwardly what you would like to achieve. The petitions team is happy to provide advice about the wording of a petition, particularly about whether or not a petition is admissible. However it’s important that the petition is in your own words so that it properly reflects what you would like the petition to achieve.
Only admissible petitions can be considered by the Petitions Committee. At least 50 people must sign a petition. This applies to petitions submitted by an individual or an organisation. Petitions must be about something that the Assembly or the Welsh Government are able to change.
The Assembly’s rules for the proper form and admissibility of petitions are available here.
The National Assembly currently has significant powers under the following policy areas:
- Agriculture, fisheries, forestry and rural development
- Ancient monuments and historic buildings
- Economic development
- Education and training
- Fire and rescue services and promotion of fire safety
- Health and health services
- Highways and transport
- Local government
- National Assembly for Wales
- Public administration
- Social welfare
- Sport and recreation
- Devolved Taxation (land transaction tax and landfill tax)
- Town and country planning
- Welsh language
Not all petitions can be taken forward through the Assembly's petitions process. This includes issues which the Assembly and Welsh Government are not responsible for, such as foreign policy, criminal justice and policing and the provision of social security benefits and state pensions. It also includes matters which are the operational responsibility of other elected bodies such as local authorities – such as individual planning decisions and the reorganisation and closure of schools. Issues such as these are best taken forward by contacting the UK Parliament or your local authority.
A list of inadmissable petitions is available on our website.
Submitting a petition using the Assembly’s online system
Perhaps the most straightforward way to submit a petition is online, using the Assembly’s e-petition system. You will be asked to input a title and the text of your petition along with some additional details such as your name and contact information. You will also be asked to choose a date for your petition to stop collecting signatures. There is no ideal timeframe for this. However it might be worth bearing in mind that the Committee will not consider your petition until after it has finished collecting signatures.
Once you have submitted your petition, you will receive an e-mail confirming that it has been received. The petitions team will then consider it against the rules for petitioning the Assembly and will get in touch as soon as possible to let you know whether or not the petition is admissible and what will happen next.
We also accept admissible petitions in paper format. The petition wording should be set out in full on each sheet (or side of a sheet) where signatures are asked for. Paper petitions should also contain the names and addresses of anyone supporting the petition. We will keep this information for 6 months. After that time it will be safely and securely destroyed. Please contact us if you would like a template in Word format containing the minimum information required under our rules.
Alternative electronic petitions systems
We will consider accepting petitions where signatures are collected on alternative petitions websites, providing the petition is otherwise admissible. For further information please contact us.
If your petition is inadmissible, we will let you know and tell you the reason that it cannot go forward for consideration by the Petitions Committee. The title and text of the petition will be published as part of a list of inadmissible petitions, along with an explanation about why it wasn't admissible.
If your petition is admissible as you have worded it, we will arrange for it to be translated into Welsh or English as appropriate. It will then be published on our website and can begin to collect signatures. We will send you the website link to your petition and we will make basic information about it available on Twitter and other social media.
It might be that the issue raised by your petition is admissible in principle, but there are some aspects of the wording which fall outside the rules. In these situations the clerking team will contact you to suggest ways in which you can change the wording so that it complies fully with the rules. Once you are happy with the final wording, your petition will be published and can begin collecting signatures.
Handing in your petition
We offer the opportunity for you to hand in your petition once it has stopped collecting signatures. This is an informal occasion when you can speak to the Chair and other Members of the Petitions Committee about your petition and your reasons for bringing it forward. Photographs are taken and will be published on the Assembly’s social media outlets such as Twitter and Flickr, so it may also help to gain some publicity for the petition.
Petition handovers take place either on the steps of the Senedd or in the main reception area at 12:30 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when the Assembly is sitting and last approximately 10 - 15 minutes.
These opportunities are often taken up quickly, so if this is something you might like to consider, you should contact us as soon as possible.
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
For more information about meetings of the Petitions Committee, including meeting dates, papers and agreed actions, please see the Petitions Committee pages.