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council has belatedly published its sanctions against
councillor Maxine Fothergill, for it
is confirmed that it is she, for what some people might think is attempted fraud.
The council prefers to use the weasel words of “conferring financial gain or material benefit for herself”. The verdict strongly suggests an offence and not a legitimate business deal.
That verdict should have become public knowledge 13 days ago. It was announced at a public meeting on 10th December, except that there was no public there.
There should have been, three showed up at 10:30 in the morning but were kicked out.
They were told that they would be readmitted when the verdict was announced but as that wasn’t until after five, they were, not unnaturally, no longer there.
Emails requesting the information were either ignored or refused. Certainly against the spirit of the council’s published procedures and probably against the letter too.
However the following has just popped up on Bexley council’s website…
The Sub-Committee, having considered the evidence in conjunction with the Members’ Code of Conduct…
RESOLVED that Councillor Fothergill breached the following paragraphs of the Council’s Members’ Code of Conduct:
1. Paragraph 3(1) of the Members’ Code of Conduct in that Councillor Fothergill’s actions could be perceived by an ordinary member of the public, as conferring an advantage or disadvantage on any person or act to gain financial or other material benefits for herself, her family, friends or close associates.
2. Paragraph 3 (8) of the Members’ Code of Conduct in that, whilst serving in her public post, an ordinary member of the public could reasonably perceive that she had conducted herself in a manner, which could reasonably be regarded as bringing her office or the London Borough of Bexley into disrepute.
The Sub-Committee considered the range of sanctions as set out in the Council’s Members’ Code of Conduct. The Sub-Committee also considered the factors to be taken into account, as set out in the Members’ Code of Conduct Complaints Sub-Committee Rules of Procedure, prior to determining the sanction(s).
1. Councillor Fothergill should undertake training to be arranged by the Monitoring Officer into potential conflicts of interest between her role as a business person and her role as a Councillor; and
2. a recommendation be made to the Chief Whip or the Leader of the Council that Councillor Fothergill be removed from the Appeals Committee for the duration of the Council administration.
In the new year when people are not so preoccupied with festivities, I’ll let you know what the grapevine says councillor Maxine Fothergill is supposed to have done. Seems outrageous if rumour is true, but then I am not a councillor so uphold different standards to theirs and we all know something of the standards the Code of Conduct committee‘s chairman adopts.
If Maxine Fothergill is ‘Woman of the Year’ she may have brought the entire property industry into disrepute.