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Bonkers Blog February 2016

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Doubt is cast on Bexley Council’s allegations against Councillor Maxine Fothergill.

6 February (Part 2) - Ignorance is bliss

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reporting one of their associates to the police for theft and as a result his candidacy at a local election had to be withdrawn.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

There has been another batch of Freedom of Information responses from Bexley Council which as anticipated, dodge the questions.


Post itThe Council has a copy of the complainant against Councillor Maxine Fothergill but is not prepared to provide any details.

They do not have any papers relating to the time of the meeting or any invitation to attend it, or any advice of the result to the complainant either. Is she still in ignorance of it?

No information is held that records what individual Sub-Committee members had to say about the complaint. You would think in a quasi-legal situation someone would have made a few notes. On the other hand Bexley’s Legal Team Manager, Lynn Tyler, made a right old mess of recording the Cheryl Bacon business too. Notes, but no dates and no signatures on statements and innumerable inconsistencies which are still under consideration by the Crown Prosecution Service.

There is no knowledge of what benefits were obtained by Councillor Fothergill even though she was found guilty of Misconduct by benefitting from them.

Bexley Council is unwilling to make their own report into Councillor Fothergill’s Misconduct public or any indication of what the allegation was. I am beginning to think the evidence against her must have been very flimsy but Bexley Council is implying something more extreme by their refusal to write anything down.

 

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