OVER the last few days, we've seen thousands of submissions to a new website that will let the public tell politicians what issues they want discussed in the House of Commons.

E-petitions have been created on everything from ensuring Formula One remains free-to-air to establishing an English Parliament.

It sounds simple – and it is. If you can secure over 100,000 other signatures, your e-petition could be the subject of a parliamentary debate.

Of course, there have been some suggestions which are frivolous. That's the nature of the internet. But those petitions that have got over the moderators’ hurdles have already been published, allowing other people to add their signatures in support.

Those that reach the threshold will be considered by a committee of backbench MPs, who have the power to allocate time in the Chamber of the Commons – pushing matters of public interest on to the House's agenda, with the potential for a vote.

Parliamentary time is not unlimited and we want the best e-petitions to be given airtime. That’s why we will be closely monitoring the site over the coming months to assess whether the threshold is right, or whether it should be lowered or raised.

The site has been widely welcomed as a realistic way to revitalise public engagement in Parliament. But there have been some who have been concerned by some of the subjects that could end up being debated.

If lots of people want Parliament to do something which it rejects, then it is up to MPs to explain the reasons to their constituents. What else is Parliament for? People have strong opinions, and it does not serve democracy well if we ignore them or pretend that their views do not exist.

People are beginning to wake up to the fact that this is a new era for the House of Commons. Two years ago, battered by scandal and with public confidence at an historic low, many wrote off Parliament as irrelevant.

Over the last 12 months, it has not only been more responsive to the public. It has been fighting for the public interest, for instance by leading the debate on the phone hacking revelations.

There’s no room for complacency. Parliament needs to keep on connecting with the outside world. But if politicians want to regain the trust of the public, then they need to trust the public. Giving people more power is the right place to start.

l To view the e-petitions and to have your, say visit http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/.