Local democracy during coronavirus
It's crucial that residents, organisations and councillors across York can engage with 'council business'. We were using virtual meetings during coronavirus lockdown, however, the temporary regulations implemented by the government have now come to an end, the amendment to the Council’s Standing Orders for Procedure Rules is no longer in force, and committee meetings are now returning to being held in person.
There are changes to the way in which members of the public can register to speak on an item on the agenda. They can choose to do this in person, or remotely and dial in and speak by audio to the Committee.
Complete our online form to arrange to speak at a council meeting in order to request to participate.
After making the request, a Democratic Services Officer will contact those who have registered to speak confirming arrangements and logistics.
Speakers will continue to have a maximum of 3 minutes to speak.
Some meetings will retain their remote status and will be held as a public forum meeting. Where this is the case, this will be published along with the dates and times of the meeting on our social media channels, with agendas published online.
As a resident of York there may be times when you want to attend council meetings to have your say. You might want to bring a particular issue to the attention of councillors or give your views on a planning application or development.
Arrange to speak at a meeting
Anyone may attend a public council meeting to observe. If you want to speak at a meeting, please complete our online form.
Requests to register should be made by 5.00pm, 2 working days before the meeting. For a Monday meeting, this would be 5.00pm on the previous Thursday. This is to give sufficient time to set up public participation for the number of people who register interest in speaking.
Requests to speak are registered on a first-come, first-served basis as numbers are limited at the discretion of the Chair. Groups or organisations are asked to choose a spokesperson to represent them.
After completing the form you will be contacted by the Democratic Services team who will confirm your registration and provide further information on speaking at the meeting. If you have any questions please contact Democratic Services by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
When registering, you are able to let us know of any accessibility requirements, and we will do our best to accommodate them.
When and where meetings take place
Dates, times and agendas for meetings are available via the calendar of council meetings, at local libraries and on the West Offices notice board, usually five days before the meeting. You can also contact Democratic Services to find out when a meeting is taking place or to request an agenda.
Most council meetings take place at West Offices, although meetings of the 'full council' are held at The Guildhall. At this time, as the Guildhall is undergoing refurbishment works, Full Council will be held at alternative venues which will be confirmed ahead of the meeting taking place.
Who usually attends meetings
The councillors who sit on a particular body will be present at meetings, one of whom chairs the meeting. Council officers may also attend meetings to give expert advice. However, they are not voting members and cannot make decisions.
What happens at meetings
The public speaking session is usually near the beginning of the meeting. When it is your turn you will be invited to address the councillors. You will have up to 3 minutes to speak and then the councillors may ask you some questions. You're not entitled to address the meeting other than during your three minutes and when answering questions.
If you have spoken about something on the agenda the councillors will usually discuss it and announce their decision immediately. You are free to leave the meeting when you wish.
Meetings you can't attend
Most of the council's business is conducted in public, unless it is commercially sensitive or is about an individual. The public may be asked to leave while such an item is discussed. The agenda will list any items that will be discussed in private.
Other ways to have your say
Get involved with local democracy: