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Monday, 10 February 2020
Page: 692


Mrs ELLIOT (Richmond) (16:40): I would like to take this opportunity to make a statement. Although only seven of the 58 petitions presented today are paper, you can see they're responsible for a large number of signatures, with one over 500 signatures, one over 1,000 signatures and one over 2,000 signatures and the largest with over 13,000 signatures, all hand-gathered, which continues to show the motivation and dedication of petitioners to their causes.

Although the chair of the Petitions Committee presents the majority of petitions to the House, individual members may also present petitions if they wish to do so. Petitioners sometimes approach their local member to present a petition on their behalf and, on occasion, they are approached by people from outside their electorate as well. This may be because the member has been known to have an interest in a particular policy area and wishes to be associated with and support the subject matter of the petition. This way, the member may speak on the subject matter of that particular petition, thereby creating a greater focus on the issue.

Standing order 207 states that members wishing to present petitions may do so at certain times of the sitting day. They are during 90-second statements in the House or Federation Chamber, the three-minute Constituency Statements debate in the Federation Chamber or adjournment debates in the House or Federation Chamber and grievance debates in the Federation Chamber. The Petitions Committee secretariat liaise with the member to arrange the delivery of the petition for presentation to the House. On occasion, the petitioner will arrange to be in the gallery when their petition is being presented by a member, as this does represent a significant moment in their life or the life of the petition and that of the principal petitioner, and it marks the culmination of all their hard work gathering signatures. I look forward to further updating the House on the work of the Petitions Committee in the future.