Petitioning the House of Lords

From STOP HS2 website

Following HS2 being passed by the House of Commons, the Phase 1 Hybrid Bill now moves on to the House of Lords. The period to deposit petitions to the Lords has already opened, and runs until 5pm on Monday 18th April.

The good news is threefold; first there petitioning the Lords for HS1 saw quite a few positive outcomes, secondly the language you have to write the petition in is more modern, but most importantly petitioning the House of Lords is easier in that you don’t have to physically turn up.

You can actually deposit your petition by email or post, though with email please don’t leave emailing until the last minute as you have to send a PDF document with your scanned signature. Also, it is recommended that you ring the office on 020 7219 2468 to make sure your petition has been received as occasionally genuine emails may be marked as spam.

If you do send your petition by email, you still have to follow it up by sending a copy in the post, though that can be after the 18th April deadline. The postal version should contain your petition reference number, so you have to wait until you have that before sending it. The one downside is you still have to pay £20 for the privilege of petitioning, whether you did or didn’t petition the Commons, again this can be sent in the post after the deadline has passed.

There are some other changes between petitioning the Commons and Lords.

  • Parish Councils and Action Groups need to appoint an agent, though obviously that can be anyone, eg one of the councillors.
  • As mentioned, the wording of the petition is simpler, but again there are some bits that must be there. A sample petition can be found here.
  • As mentioned you can post or email petitions. By post they must be sent to House of Lords Private Bill Office, House of Lords, London, SW1A 0PW or emailed to hlprivatebills@parliament.uk. Emailed petitions must the be posted afterwards, with the petition reference number, but this can be after the deadline as long as the email one beats the deadline.
  • You have to be over 18, but an adult can submit a petition on behalf of someone under 18.
  • If you were a Roll B agent, you have to reregister again. We have had conflicting information about whether you need another certificate of respectability or not and will clarify this guide when we have a definitive answer.
  • If you want to physically turn up to deposit your petition, you have to go to Committee Room 2A, on the same corridor in the House of Commons as where Commons petitions where heard. However, instead of just turning up, you have to book an appointment via this form. The opening hours will be 10-5, but on 13th April they will stay open until 9pm.
  • The £20 can be paid in only two ways, either cash or cheque made payable to “The House of Lords Account”.
  • Whilst organisations such as Parish Councils and Action Groups need to provide a copy of the minutes of the meeting (or the extract of the minutes) agreeing to petition against the bill, this can be minutes from the original meeting taken to petition the Commons.

The relevant documents can be found here. The first two are word documents, the others are PDFs:

Template Petition

Information Sheet (Petition Cover Sheet)

Roll B Application Form

Roll B Certificate of Respectability

Letter of Authority to Appoint an Agent

The House of Lords webpage is here, and the checklist for depositing petitions here.

A presentation prepared by Sharpe Pritchard on petitioning the Lords can be found here.