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 council meeting
Read more in our constitution: Appendix 8: Public Participation Protocol (this file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology; request an accessible format).
You must make a 'request to speak' 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 interested in speaking.
Requests to speak at a council meeting are:
- taken on a 'first-come, first-served' basis
- limited to 10 speakers per meeting (groups or organisations are asked to choose a spokesperson)
- limited to a maximum of 3 minutes to speak
When registering to speak, please let us know of any accessibility requirements, and we'll do our best to accommodate your needs.
Our Democratic Services team will confirm your registration and provide further information on speaking at the meeting.
When and where council meetings take place
Dates, times and agendas for meetings are available via the calendar of council meetings and on the West Offices notice board, usually 5 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. When they cannot take place at the Guildhall, Full Council will be held at alternative venues which will be confirmed ahead of the meeting taking place.
Who usually attends council 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're not voting members and cannot make decisions.
What happens at council meetings
The public speaking session is usually near the beginning of the meeting. When it's your turn you'll be invited to address the councillors. You'll 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 3 minutes and when answering questions.
If you've spoken about something on the agenda the councillors will usually discuss it and announce their decision immediately. You're free to leave the meeting when you wish.
Council 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; you may be asked to leave while such an item is discussed. The agenda will list any items that will be discussed in private.
Attendance of children under the age of 16 at council meetings
Please do not bring children under the age of 16 to the meeting unless absolutely necessary. If you do need to, please ensure they are supervised at all times and let us know at least 24 hours in advance so that our reception team can be made aware.
Other ways to have your say
Get involved with local democracy:
- take part in current consultations
- submit or sign ePetitions (Download details of our petitions scheme)