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The E-petitioning System was part of the "information, communication and citizenship" strand of the Local e-Democracy National Project, involving English local authorities and funded by the UK Government (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister).
It aimed to explore e-petitioning as a way for citizens to raise their own concerns within the formal processes of the local authority. E-petitioning was implemented and piloted by two local authorities, the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames and the Bristol City Council.
The tool would allow visitors to the website to raise a petition, to read petitions underway and sign them if they wished; to read background information provided by the person raising a petition ("principal petitioner"); and to exchange comments about the petition in a discussion forum.
The two main aims of the e-petitioning system were:
- to outline requirements for the design and management of e-petitioning processes that can stimulate active citizen participation in local communities;
- to trace the path of e-petitions through the committees of the Councils and assess whether or not, and, if so, how input by the public via e-petitioning impacts on decision-making at different levels.