Jackie Weaver, chief executive of the Cheshire Association of Local Councils, spoke to local officials last Thursday (3 February).

Jackie rose to fame after appearing in a video of a Handforth Parish Council meeting that went viral last year.

Ms Weaver told local dignitaries:

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“If your local council doesn’t represent your interests, don’t complain – get involved!”

She focused on the need to maintain high standards of behavior in local councils. She gave some advice on how to deal with difficult situations, such as rival factions (as in Handforth) and councilors bullying colleagues or staff or using the council for their own personal or political gain. His advice was:

“Don’t let them get away with it – put them last, not first!”

Jackie’s presentation was followed by an hour of lively discussion. It has been recognized that while bad behavior harms the public image of local councils, it can have longer term positive effects. Jackie reported that the problems in Handforth had caused local concern, leading to the election of a new, much more representative council. A similar situation occurred on the island, where in last year’s elections the councils with the most competition for seats were those that had run into trouble.

Jackie also acknowledged that the publicity generated by the Handforth video had put local advice on the map. Since then, she has been invited to numerous public engagements, appeared on television and in the press and has written a book called You have the authority here. “I’m doing this because it’s good publicity,” she said.

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Jackie was asked what was the most important piece of advice she could give. She said:

“You need to be representative of your communities and engage with them.”

His advice to residents was:

“If your board doesn’t do it, don’t complain, get involved!” »

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