Jackie Weaver’s Handforth Parish Council Makes Bizarrely Insignificant Name Change In Bid To Escape Negative Stigma

by : Emily Brown on :
Jackie Weaver's Handforth Parish Council Makes Bizarrely Insignificant Name Change In Bid To Escape Negative StigmaZoom/HandforthParishCouncil

After footage of its incredible Zoom meeting took the world by storm, Handforth Parish Council has decided to change its name. 

Until February 2021, Handforth Parish Council was about as well known as any other local town council – as in, not very, unless you happen to be from Handforth.


However, with a little help from Zoom, Twitter, and the iconic Jackie Weaver, that all changed overnight.

Footage from one of the council’s meetings was thrust into the spotlight after chief officer Jackie Weaver ruthlessly kicked three other members of the group off the call for telling her she had ‘no authority’ at the meeting and for ordering her to ‘read the standing orders’.

Weaver was branded a hero by many people online for her no-nonsense handling of the situation, and in the months after the clip went viral, all three members who were removed from the Zoom call have left the council.


The group has now decided to change its name in a bid to ‘move away from the toxic side of Handforth’, according to new chairman John Smith, who discussed the decision with BBC News.

While rebranding in a bid to create new associations isn’t unheard of, the council’s new name is not so different that people won’t be able to recognise it. In fact, some might not even notice the change at all.

Rather than Handforth Parish Council, the group is now named ‘Handforth Town Council’.


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It doesn’t seem like much, but Smith said the name change had helped with the ‘disconnect between the old and the new’.

He commented:

We’re just getting back to what we used to be doing, which was doing stuff for the town council. We’re trying to deliver a number of projects that will improve people in Handforth’s lives.

What we’d like is, by definition of what we’re doing, people don’t refer to the viral issue any longer.

As well as moving away from the viral story, Smith said the new name aims to make the council more inclusive due to the links the word ‘parish’ has with the church.


He explained many people ‘believed it to be something to do with the church [and] the Vicar of Dibley didn’t help’, explaining the members wanted to ‘ensure people that [it’s] nothing to do with the church’, but rather simply a ‘town council’.

Though Handforth Parish Council is no more, Jackie Weaver’s iconic actions there will no doubt be remembered for a long time to come.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University and went on to contribute to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming Senior Journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news, trending stories and longer form features.

Topics: Viral, Twitter, Zoom


BBC News
  1. BBC News

    Handforth: Viral meeting row council changes 'toxic name'