I’m going to guess Handforth Parish Council doesn’t normally have this many attendees on its Zoom meetings...
Apparently 82 people are watching on Zoom and another 150 on YouTube.
The chair Brian Tolver has broken his silence. He's started the meeting saying "A lot of people are watching because of recent viral events. The meeting is open to the public and may be seen by a very wide audience". #HandforthParishCouncil
Tolver is trying to appeal to people to be aware there are privacy implications about contributing to the meeting: "You probably don't want to appear in an Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical playing the part of Julie's iPad".
Yes, really. There is now a debate with a member of the public about the standing orders. He does appear to have read them. It is down to interpretation as to whether you believe he has understood them...
Barry Burkhill will not be present it seems. The chair says he's at another meeting. Could have implications if anything contentious comes up as the council is split into two factions of 3 cllrs each - and Burkhill is on the chair's side (in a tie the chair has a casting vote).
They are now onto doing the one of the things a parish council is supposed to do - comment on planning applications. "How many stories does this proposed porch have?" ... "What shall we tell the local planning authority?" This is normal parish business, folks.
This is 'George'. He is a member of the public. He has read the Standing Orders and is challenging the chair on them. Specifically about whether a planning application can be discussed in this meeting. Strained voices perhaps, but no shouting.
I said this is the kind of thing parish councils are supposed to do - but they've actually spent the last ten minutes debating whether they can debate a planning app. Now random members of the public are interjecting - telling 'George' he has no authority - and should "shut up".
Read the comments at the side...
Around 500 people are watching Handforth Parish Council LIVE tonight across Zoom and Facebook:
Roger Small is back. With what seems like a point of order (which members of the public can't make). They've only gone and forgotten to approve the minutes of the previous meeting...
So everyone knows - Jackie Weaver will not be in attendance tonight. The council's actual clerk is back. She told the BBC News Channel she may watch but won't be here as a member of the public. Cllr Aled "Read The Standing Orders" Brewerton also appears not to be here.
The word "unlawful" has already reared its head in this Handforth Parish Council meeting. Not whether the meeting is unlawful - but whether it's unlawful to discuss 2 planning apps where the app numbers are wrong on the agenda. The word "shambles" has been shouted a few times.
The chair is at times being drowned out by a metallic voice arguing with him, some people shouting "shambles", some sniggering and one making what sounded like a fart sound...
The meeting is almost a normal parish council meeting now. A garage extension is being discussed. Concerns about whether the neighbours knew. Very normal. Except the interjections from a member of the public who's just been removed...
There is now an argument about ... whether there has to be a vote over whether the approval of the minutes of the last meeting should be deferred to a future meeting. The clerk says there has to be a vote. The chair says there doesn't. The other councillors voted anyway.
Now ... really ... the chair Brian Tolver appears to have gone...
He's back. In the chair's absence they approved the minutes of the last meeting. Cllr Tolver says he's deferring them. The other councillors say there needs to be a vote on deferring them. He's asked to refer that to the clerk. He's refusing and has "declared the meeting closed".
There are now 15 minutes for members of the public to raise issues. The two who've spoken so far have both been actual residents of Handforth. Roger Small of course and now David Pincombe...
We are now at the heart of the issue - 'Resident PL' has asked why Jackie Weaver "ejected" people from the last meeting and effectively whether she had the authority to. Looks like there'll be a discussion on this when they look at the minutes of the last meeting soon...
...'iPad (3)' has chimed in to defend Jackie Weaver and tell the chairman his actions have been "wholly inappropriate" tonight. iPad (3) even says the chairman hasn't been following standing orders tonight.

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More from @phi1mccann

17 Feb
There is now an argument over what the relationship between NALC (National Association of Local Councils) is to ChALC (Cheshire Association of Local Councils) which Jackie Weaver is a part of. Chair Brian Tolver is giving quite a lengthy answer on this technical issue...
Cllr John Smith is now trying to bring the meeting back to the question of whether the meeting that went viral was "unlawful" as Cllr Tolver tried to claim it was before he disappeared.
Cllr Tolver said he didn't get the requisite notice (as chairman) that two councillors wanted to call a meeting of the council, as is their right under the standing orders and the law. Cllr Smith says he did get that notice...
Read 22 tweets
17 Feb
It's the return of Barry Burkhill. As mayor of @CheshireEast, he's chairing today's full council meeting. There's a motion of no confidence in him after the viral #HandforthParishCouncil meeting - but it won't be discussed today as it has to go to another committee first...
Barry Burkhill has addressed the #HandforthParishCouncil meeting - he said "it's a matter of regret that these important issues (due to be discussed by @CheshireEast today) have become overshadowed by events elsewhere":
Cheshire East councillors are talking about next year's budget, which includes £20m of savings incl cuts to some social care svcs and less regular grass cutting. Dep leader Craig Browne said govt covid funding doesn't cover all @CheshireEast's lost revenue...
Read 5 tweets

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