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Sadiq Khan

Bonkers Blog December 2015

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

This blog is one of several relating to Bexley Councillor Maxine Fothergill and linked from the relevant Index page. Together they cover five different subjects all related in some way to Ms. Fothergill.

• Some cover her Code of Conduct Committee hearing which resulted in sanctions against Councillor Fothergill. It was alleged that she used her position as Councillor to obtain a financial advantage. viz. that she bought a bungalow from a vulnerable Bexley resident at an advantageous price.
No evidence that Ms. Fothergill paid less than the market price ever came to light and the alleged victim did not make the written complaint necessary to cause a Code of Conduct hearing. When Bexley Council was pressed to provide evidence it could only point to a document written by a Member of its own Code of Conduct Committee, Judge and Jury.
The probability is that the Leader of Bexley Council was unwilling to forgive the fact that Maxine Fothergill had brought down the Leader’s preferred election candidate by reporting him to the police for more than one theft. The sanctions appeared to be nothing but retribution. The Leader of Bexley Council is renowned for her ruthless retribution.
The police issued a caution.
• Others show how she was alleged to have conducted her business affairs in a way that some of her associates considered ethically dubious and have almost no link to Bexley Council.
• Councillor Maxine Fothergill fought Sevenoaks Council over an unauthorised house extension and lost. There is again no Bexley Council link apart from it becoming clear that her main residence is not in the borough
• When a resident requested a Judicial Review of Bexley Council’s refusal to state that it would always comply with the law they managed to convince a barrister that he was taking issue with them over the entirely unconnected issue of the verdict given by the Code of Conduct Committee Committee in the Maxine Fothergill case.
Nothing could be further from the truth and there is documentary evidence to that effect that Bexley Council lied to their barrister.
Nevertheless the barrister persuaded a judge to refuse to hear the Judical Review and Bexley Council, dishonest to the last, billed the resident the cost of hiring their tame barrister.
• Councillor Fothergill was sued for libel and lost.

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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