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 Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of York, Keith Orrell and Lady Mayoress, Judith Orrell


The Lord Mayor for the civic year 2018 to 2019 is Councillor Keith Orrell, pictured here with the Lady Mayoress, Mrs Judith Orrell.

Keith was born in Wigan and lived in Leyland, near Preston until he went to college in Sunderland.

He spent nearly 30 years working in special education becoming Deputy Head teacher of a school for Children with Moderate Learning Difficulties and then Head of a Unit for Autistic children.

During this time in 1972 he was in the first cohort of graduates at the Open University and took an Advanced Diploma in Special Educational Needs at Newcastle University.

He then retired to spend “more time with politics.” He has been a Councillor and Opposition Leader on South Tyneside Council and Ryedale District Council and Parliamentary candidate for Jarrow and Ryedale.

Keith has been a Councillor for the Huntington and New Earswick Ward since 2003 and served on the Council’s Executive from 2003 to 2007. He was then elected to the North Yorkshire Police Authority and served on the authority until its abolition in 2012.

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 2018/19 is:

  • The Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of York, Councillor Keith Orrell
  • Lady Mayoress, Mrs Judith Orrell
  • Sheriff of York, Mrs Verna Campbell
  • Sheriff’s Consort, Prof. Colin Campbell

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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