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Public consultation – what is a petition worth?

When it comes to a formal public consultation - such as the Safer Together consultation – here are a few guidelines for how to make the most (and best) of your opportunity to respond.

  • Petitions are useful in gauging the amount of feeling around a subject and are noted as part of a consultation, but they don’t provide the much-needed context to help Fire Authority members make a decision. This is why feedback provided through the consultation form is the most valuable.    
  • We need to know what exactly is being supported or signed for – if you are setting up a petition please add a column where signatories can add their specific thoughts and reasons for signing. For example, ‘I don’t support the closure of my station because….’

  • Give as much detailed and specific feedback as you can. Think about local issues, population, geography, types of industry, housing, issues you know as a local resident. 
  • This consultation is not a referendum – it’s not a vote for which option is most popular – the Fire Authority want to hear from the public of Devon and Somerset and understand views about the different options and how these options could impact on them, their family and the community.

  • From the informal drop-in events, we are noting themes of discussion but not taking formal notes – your way to get your views and voices heard is to complete the consultation questionnaire. The aim of the drop-in events is to promote the consultation to local people and respond to any questions they may have in an informal 1:1 or small group setting.


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