There is no reference to Councillor Maxine Fothergill in this blog.
8 December (Part 2) -
Open and transparent? I don’t think so
blog below is one of around 40 relating to Bexley Councillor Maxine Fothergill and
Bexley Council’s Code of Conduct Committee. It took that many blogs to at first factually report
what the Code of Conduct Committee had decided and then unravel the truth.
More than a dozen Freedom of Information requests eventually led to the conclusion
that Councillor Fothergill had been the victim of a plot by senior Bexley
Councillors to discredit her and the fact that she spotted a business
opportunity while canvassing for the Tories was just a convenient hook on which to hang her out to dry.
It took two months of enquiries for Councillor Fothergill’s innocence (link)
to become virtually certain and for the suspicions based on Bexley Council’s assertions to evaporate.
Eventually innocence was proved (link) beyond reasonable doubt.
This note aims to make it clear that the events reported between December 2015 and
the Summer of 2016 whilst accurate reflections of various events, disciplinary hearings and sanctions
brought against Councillor Fothergill they are individually insufficient to explain the whole story.
The most convincing explanation for the vendetta against Councillor Fothergill is that
the Tory High Command in Bexley had taken their revenge because Councillor
Fothergill embarrassed them by reporting one of their associates to the police for theft and as a result his
candidacy at a local election had to be withdrawn.
It was imperative that Councillor Fothergill was taught a lesson.
For reasons that are hard to fathom, in December 2017 Councillor Fothergill decided that the defence of her
position which unfolded on this blog over several months was criminal harassment in spite of the fact that without
it everyone who read the report on Bexley Council’s website would continue to believe she had been genuinely guilty
of breaching their Code of Conduct.
Councillor Fothergill reported the blogs to the police and Sergeant 11901 Robbie Cooke at Swanley Police Station
failed to conduct any investigation whatsoever and ludicrously decided that there was a case to be answered in
the Magistrates’ Court. Fortunately the Crown Prosecution Service had more sense.
Collecting information, taking pictures and writing the blog requires that
time is juggled efficiently and today I got it wrong. One of the research jobs
took longer than anticipated and my doctor surprised me by offering a same day
appointment. And this evening there is another Scrutiny meeting to attend.
There is a public council meeting on Thursday morning too. The Members’ Code of
Conduct Complaints Sub-Committee. They are usually
cancelled because no one can be bothered to make a complaint about a councillor
any more. I tried once and when councillor Craske was caught out
he fabricated a new excuse
which was allowed.
These days the Committee is run by
councillor Cheryl Bacon whose name is right
now in front of the Crown Prosecution Service’s Special Case Unit and councillor
Nigel Betts who would like to prevent the taking of photographs in the council
chamber, even though that would be illegal. Just the sort of people you would
expect the OBE (Overlooking Bacon’s Errors) to choose to set standards in Bexley.
However on Thursday the almost unprecedented is in prospect, a councillor is to
face Bacon and Betts to answer a complaint at a public meeting.
Except that this public meeting is going to be held in private. Of the 204 pages
in the Agenda, all but eight are blank.
The only possible purpose in a member of the public showing up is to note who goes into Public
Gallery East. As well as the aforementioned rogues, Stefano Borella is on the
committee. Anyone else will be coated in Teflon or tar and feathers
dependent on their political allegiance.
In almost every court of justice in the land the mantra is that justice must be
seen to be done. But not in Bexley where they prefer to hold private meetings that will
“resolve the situation”.