An incredible parish council Zoom meeting descended into chaos when the clerk booted the chairman out of the call.
We can all sympathise with the woes of Zoom. Throughout the pandemic, it’s seen a massive uptick with people using it to socialise and do quizzes, as well as practical uses for work catch-ups and other meetings.
Sometimes, it can all get a bit loud and crowded. People can lose their tempers. For one English parish, things got rather heated when a clerk overstepped her ‘authority’.
The meeting of the Handforth Parish Council Planning and Environment Committee was originally held on December 10 last year. However, it was brought to the attention of the masses recently when Twitter user @janinemas0n shared a small clip online of the exact moment the chairman is kicked out.
From the very start of the call, tensions are fraught. Chairman Brian Tolver asks if he can be assured by clerk Jackie Weaver that he wouldn’t be thrown out of the meeting ‘like last time’. Clearly, some beef exists between the two. She asks for reasonable behaviour – but soon, it all kicks off when Weaver starts discussing ‘points of order’.
He says, ‘Points of order, according to our standing orders, are determined by the chair. If you want to raise a point of order as a councillor, you ask if you can raise a point of order, you state it, and then the chair decides. It’s not for the clerk to raise a point of order… you must be aware of that, or at least, god knows what you’re doing in your job if you’re not.’
That’s only the beginning – the fuse has been lit. Weaver then says, ‘So, Chairman, albeit late, shall we get this meeting started?’
Tolver then takes a moment to remind everyone the meeting ‘hasn’t been called according to the law’, which prompts Weaver to pipe up again. ‘If you disrupt this meeting, I’ll have to remove you from it,’ she tells Vice Chairman Aled Brewerton, who tries to defend Tolver.
Tolver says, ‘It’s only the chairman who can remove people from a meeting, you have no authority here Jackie Weaver, no authority at all.’
Boom goes the dynamite – Weaver kicks Tolver out of the meeting. Brewerton can’t believe his eyes, struggling to control his rage. He says the meeting has been called illegally. In the background, his father softly urges him, ‘Don’t.’
The full call can be watched below:
Weaver says a new chairman can now be elected, to which Brewerton screams, ‘No they can’t, because the vice chair’s here. I take charge. Read the standing orders, read them and understand them!’
Soon after, he storms off camera, muttering with intense fury as others in the meeting giggle away. It’s still unclear what authority Weaver has.
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