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Bonkers Blog April 2013

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18 April (Part 2) - Monitoring the situation

Bexley council has been ignoring the Local Government Act 2000 for nearly two months while their Monitoring Officer Akin Alabi has turned a blind eye. When his employment depends on the whim of councillors it’s almost inevitable.

LegislationNick Dowling went to the Civic Offices on 21st March to view the paper copy of the council’s Constitution but there wasn’t one. A message was left for Mr. Alabi so what do you think he has since been doing to ensure Bexley behaves lawfully?

He promised to complete an investigation by 5th April. One might have expected something quicker given the serious breach of the law but in the event he failed ignominiously.

On the 7th April Mr. Dowling complained via email about Alabi’s neglect of his duties and requested details of any professional bodies to which he might be affiliated so that a secondary complaint could go there. The response was precisely as before; nothing!

A couple of days ago Mr. Dowling caught up with Akin Alabi while on a visit to the Civic Offices. This is a summary of his account of the encounter…

A smirking Mr. Alabi said he was no longer able to discuss the matter with me as I had complained about his investigation. (Not strictly true as I only complained that he had failed to keep his word and investigate the matter by the time he had himself specified.)

I accepted it might not be possible to discuss a matter that had been escalated to Director Paul Moore but I asked Alabi about his professional associations as I wished to have his conduct judged independently.

The smirk left his face and he refused to inform me of any of the professional organizations he belonged to insisting that this aspect of my complaint would be dealt with by Mr. Moore. He was by now most definitely trying to get away from me but I asked if he could explain what his role as a monitoring officer entailed. He flatly refused and scurried away down a key coded corridor.

Akin Alabi is the Head of Legal Services and the council’s Monitoring Officer but he won’t discuss law breaking by his employer!

Blocked by the security locked door I turned to find a beaming Mike Ellesmore, Director of Finance. Something had amused him greatly.

As revealed earlier today, a revised Constitution has sneaked back on line and the reason for for the earlier withdrawal has become apparent. It advocated breaking the Data Protection Act and now they are trying to hide the fact by rewriting history. Probably Nick Dowling should report Alabi to his professional associations. When the Monitoring Officer is involved in a cover up what other course is left open?


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