Parish council planning and environment committee meetings are usually quite a dull and sleepy affair.
But for the people of Handforth in Cheshire, one such event turned into an explosive trail of insults, power grabs and chaos as councillors lost control of what was meant to be a very simple agenda.
Footage of the absurd meeting in December has since gone has gone viral with thousands of people left in stitches by the hilarious cast of characters.
One of the participants, Jackie Weaver, who found herself at the centre of the furore became an internet sensation.
A sleepy parish council meeting in Handforth, Cheshire turned into chaos as furious councillors traded insults and the chairman was blocked from the video call meeting. Pictured: Jackie Weaver, who threw chairman Brian Tolver out of the meeting
Weaver, Cheshire Association of Local Councils, clashes with chairman Brian Tolver who claims he was chucked out of an earlier meeting by her and refuses to accept the meeting’s legitimacy. He is later thrown out again for telling Weaver to ‘stop talking’
The meeting on December 10 was the second time chair Brian Tolver had been removed, having previously been evicted from the earlier 7pm Planning and Environment Committee.
The 7.30pm extraordinary meeting began with an unseen councillor mumbling ‘f*** off’ under their breath.
Tolver, in an apparent dig at Jackie Weaver who is clerking the meeting, says: ‘Can we be assured that we won’t be thrown out of the meeting like we were last time?
Weaver replies: ‘As long as we have reasonable behaviour from everyone.’
But claiming she is not the proper officer, Tolver refuses to accept the meeting is legitimate and demands Weaver, from the Cheshire Association of Local Councils, to ‘stop talking’, saying ‘you have no authority here’.
The meeting on December 10 is attended by several other councillors (clockwise from top left: Susan Moore, Barry Burkill who is also thrown out, John Smith who takes over as chairman, and Cynthia Samson)
In one of several interruptions throughout the meeting, another attendee, named as Julie’s Ipad, stops the pair’s bickering by taking a phone call while unmuted, and can be heard saying: ‘Yeah I’m just in a meeting at the moment, can I give you a call back when it’s done?’
In shocking response, Weaver then removes Mr Tolver from the Zoom call and places him in a virtual waiting room. She then calls for another chair to be elected.
But Tolver’s eviction sends vice-chair Aled Brewerton into a furious rant at Weaver over the ‘illegally’ held meeting.
Demanding that he take charge, Brewerton, accompanied by another man, screams at Weaver to ‘read the standing orders’ and ‘understand them’.
When fellow councillor Susan Moore calls for civility, the meeting erupted into hysterical laughter and two further councillors, Brewerton and Barry Burkill are removed (presumably by Weaver).
There was then confusion over Mr Tolver’s Zoom username, in which he had labelled himself the ‘clerk’.
Ms Weaver said: ‘The chairman simply declared himself ‘clerk’ and notified everybody of the case. But the remaining members have quite rightly refused to accept that position.
‘There is no way of stopping him from calling himself clerk. Please refer to me as Britney Spears from now on.’
As a sign of goodwill, Weaver then asks the remain members if they would like the three men kicked of the room to return.
But the members then vote to not allow the three men back into the meeting, with Cllr Cynthia Samson labelling one of them a ‘laughing hyena’.
The hilarious clips of the meeting have been viewed thousands of times on twitter, with people creating several memes of Jackie Weaver removing councillors and jokes about standing orders.
TV presenter Richard Osman tweeted: ‘Am busily writing Jackie Weaver into the next Thursday Murder Club novel.’
Presenter Steph McGovern said: ‘But what happens next???’
Another person joked that she had become a front-runner for the Nobel Peace Prize, ahead of Greta Thunberg.
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