NEWS: Hartlepool Borough Council look to improve local democracy through INOVEM e-Petitions

8th July 2010
Hartlepool Borough Council will use INOVEM's e-petition software to allow residents and local communities to raise and seek support for issues and ideas.

London, UK, 8th July 2010 - INOVEM, a pioneer of Web 2.0 technologies for online collaboration and consultation has been selected by Hartlepool Borough Council as their e-petitions provider. The council plan to go live with this new service as soon as their petitions scheme and internal process are in place.

To ensure this new service was 'fit for purpose', INOVEM invited Hartlepool Borough Council, along with other existing clients, to preview and comment on their draft product specification. Andrew Atkin, Hartlepool Borough Council's Assistant Chief Executive, commented "We found the specification easily met all of our requirements. Factoring in the high quality of service we have previously received from INOVEM, and the affordability of the product, we find INOVEM e-Petitions to be excellent value for money."

Andrew added, "As with Hartlepool Borough Council's e-consultation site 'Your Town, Your Say', INOVEM e-Petitions will be fully branded to fit seamlessly within our Council website. We find this encourages members of the public to engage with us, as they do not feel they have been moved to an external site."

The Council believes that in line with a move to more online methods of public engagement, an e-petitions system could help create more community engagement and reach out to a wider audience, and could potentially help to engage younger residents in debating and interacting with the council. Online petitions will assist in bringing transparency to petitions, and will help avoid the problem of duplicate signatures.

With regard to the benefits of going online, John Glover, an INOVEM Director, stated "In discussing our new service with local authorities there seems to be growing support for how e-petition software will allow officers and councillors to have earlier sight of petitions so that they can advise lead petitioners as to how to improve the quality of their petitions. This can only be good for everyone concerned. We are delighted to be working with Andrew and his team to improve Hartlepool's petition service."

In support of this Andrew pointed out, "Overall, e-petitions are a much needed supplement to the traditional paper petition, and will help engage all members of society with the democratic process. Hartlepool Borough Council has chosen INOVEM e-Petitions to help us achieve this goal."

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