Local democracy during coronavirus
During coronavirus, we've made some changes to how we're running council meetings. See our coronavirus updates for more information on meetings and decisions.
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, contact Democratic Services by email: firstname.lastname@example.org by 5.00pm the day before the meeting. We will put you on the list of speakers and answer any questions about the process.
Requests to speak are registered on a first-come, first-served basis. As only one person is allowed to speak for or against an agenda item, groups or organisations should choose a spokesperson to represent 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.
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 three 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: