Welcome to the municipal council of Leiden!

This website contains information about the municipal council (gemeenteraad) of Leiden. The working language of the municipal council is Dutch. For that reason, the entire website will not be translated into English. Instead, this page will provide you with the basics. If you have any questions, you can contact the municipal clerk’s office (griffie) at griffie@leiden.nl or 06 36 16 25 75.

The municipal council

The municipal council is the local government of the municipality (gemeente) of Leiden. Its main tasks are to represent the local residents, draw up the outline for our policies and supervise the execution of policies in general. The council makes important decisions on running the city and its future developments.


Elections for the municipal council are held every 4 years. In March 2022, a new council will be chosen by the residents of Leiden that are of voting age (18 years or older). The municipal council of Leiden holds 39 seats, divided among the running parties based on the number of votes. The current division of the seats can be found on the page about the parliamentary groups (fracties). This page is in Dutch.

Voting during elections

Voting during the municipal council elections (gemeenteraadsverkiezingen) is not limited to residents with Dutch nationality. You can also vote if you:

  • Have lived in the Netherlands for at least five years and possess a residence permit;
  • Have moved from a EU-member country to a Dutch municipality.

Council committees

The municipal council of Leiden has 4 council committees (raadscommissies). Each committee has its own set of topics. Before the municipal council makes decisions, topics are first discussed in the relevant council committees. The council committee itself does not make decisions, but instead advises the municipal council on decisions.

Each committee specialises in a number of topics, and has its own range of duties and team of members. Leiden has the following committees:

Council meetings

The municipal council and the four council committees come together in a cycle of 3 weeks. These meetings take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays. All meetings are open to visitors and can be viewed online on Parlaeus. You can also find the date and time of the meetings on this website. Contact the municipal clerk’s office for more information.

Addressing the committee members

During council committee meetings, it is possible to address the members of the committee on a specific topic on the agenda, or a topic that is relevant to the committee. You are given a certain amount of time to speak, after which the committee members have time to ask questions. Even though all meetings are in Dutch, it is possible to address the committee in English. Please note that not all members are fluent in English. For more information, you can contact the municipal clerk’s office.

Municipal executive

Together with the municipal council, the municipal executive (college van burgemeester en wethouders) is the governing body of the municipality of Leiden. The municipal executive consists of the mayor and aldermen. The municipal executive is assisted by a municipal secretary (gemeentesecretaris). Together, they are responsible for the daily administration of the municipality. More information can be found on the website of the municipality.

Read in your own language

If you want to view our website in your own language, there are different third party solutions for the automatic translation of webpages. The right solution for you depends on the browser you are using.