The Lord Mayor is Chairman of City of York Council and the first citizen of the city. It's an appointment made by the council each year in May.

At the same time each year we also appoint a Sheriff of York, the city's other civic head.

York's Lord Mayor is second only to the Lord Mayor of London in precedence and its Sheriff holds the oldest office of Sheriff in England and Wales.

The current Lord Mayor

The Lord Mayor of York for 2019/20


The Lord Mayor for the civic year 2019 to 2020 is Councillor Janet Looker.

Janet came into local politics in 1985 standing for North Yorkshire County Council to represent the Guildhall ward in York.

She remained a North Yorkshire County Councillor until 1996 when York became a unitary council, standing for Guildhall ward, as a founder member of the new City of York Council and has continued as a member for over 20 years.

As well as being a local councillor, Janet worked as a solicitor in private practice in York, retiring in 2003. She was a long standing governor of what was then St. John's College, when she was then offered the post of Clerk to the Governors. During this time she supported the successful bid for the college to convert to a university. She later retired from that role in 2015.

As a Councillor she has always been committed to the wellbeing and the education of children and young people, and continues to maintain a keen interest in their activities.

Role of the Lord Mayor of York

The Lord Mayor chairs meetings of full council and, together with the Sheriff:

  • represents the city on ceremonial occasions
  • welcomes international visitors
  • attends events organised by local people and community groups

Attendance at public events

The civic party welcome invitations to events in the city. If you would like to invite the Lord Mayor and members of the civic party to an event you are planning, please contact the civic office.

Invite The Lord Mayor to your event

If you prefer, you can download a form to invite the Lord Mayor to your event.

The Civic Party for 2019/20 is:

  • The Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of York, Councillor Janet Looker
  • Lord Mayor’s Consort, Mrs Patricia Castle
  • Sheriff of York, Mrs Jo Trythall (from Thursday 25 July)
  • Substitute Sheriff of York, Dafydd Williams (from Thursday 25 July)

The Mansion House

The Lord Mayor hosts formal and informal functions at the Mansion House which is the Lord Mayor's residence during their year of office.

The Mansion House is also available for tours and private hire, full details of which can be found on The Mansion House website.

The Guildhall

Full Council meetings, chaired by the Lord Mayor, are held in the council chambers within the Guildhall.

The Guildhall was built in the 15th century and is situated on the River Ouse behind the mansion House.

Also see

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