It has been 50 days since the petitions.gov.je website went live – a website which allows residents of Jersey to press Ministers for action by creating and/or signing petitions about topics of concern to them.
Below we give a brief snapshot of how Islanders have embraced e-petitions since the new service was launched.
Since its unveiling on 2 August 2018, petitions.gov.je has received 30 petitions1, 29 of which are live with one having been withdrawn by the creator. Petition topics vary widely, ranging from asking for compensation for asbestos victims to legalising cannabis, and from allowing assisted suicide to requesting GST exemption on essential products and services. Of the 29 live petitions, a total of 14,064 signatures have been received.
Four petitions2 are awaiting a response from Ministers having achieved over 1,000 signatures and two3 have received a Ministerial response. None of the petitions have yet reached 5,000 signatures, at which time they will be considered for debate by politicians in the States Assembly. The petition which has achieved the highest number of signatures to date – 3,025 signatures – requests a rental price cap law to limit property rental and received a Ministerial response on 19 September.
The website has also welcomed 35,057 visitors from 99 countries around the world. The top three locations from which the website has been visited outside of Jersey are the UK (7.66%), USA (2.35%) and Guernsey (1.07%). However, only people resident in Jersey are allowed to create and sign petitions. In addition, 71.34% of users have visited the site using their mobile phone, whilst just under 30% have visited on a desktop computer (14.99%) or tablet such as an iPad (13.67%).
Greffier of the States, Dr. Mark Egan says, “Petitions.gov.je was created to deliver an online solution for the public to quickly and easily engage with the States Assembly (Jersey’s parliament) by submitting and/or supporting online petitions, and as a result, engaging more of the public in Jersey’s democracy. I am confident that we are meeting these objectives having welcomed over 35,000 visitors and seen 30 petitions created in just 50 days – a great achievement for a new concept in an island of just 100,000 people.”
The website is also now fully operational having undergone a period of testing. The States Greffe welcomes continued feedback about the website before it is developed further in 2019. You can send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
States of Jersey Press Release.