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Bonkers Blog December 2015

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19 December (Part 1) - Who has been a naughty boy or girl?

The 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reporting one of their associates to the police for theft and as a result his candidacy at a local election had to be withdrawn.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.

CouncillorBexley council is going to enormous lengths to protect the identity of the councillor accused of misconduct recently. Their Code of Conduct Committee tried to hide the hearing away with a sub-Committee that met at 10:30 in the morning and declared the heart of the meeting closed.

When three members of the public showed up they were escorted around the Civic Centre in a manner never seen before and when written complaints went to both the Acting Chief Executive and the Committee Officer both have ignored them (†). Probably they have gone off on their Christmas break by now so information will be even harder to come by.

Meanwhile we can only speculate and guess who stood accused but usually what gets a councillor a rap over the knuckles would result in a court appearance for anyone less privileged. It would be surprising if this case was any different.

† This is no longer true but the requested information has not been forthcoming.

 

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