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Bonkers Blog February 2016

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There is no criticism of Councillor Maxine Fothergill in this blog.

9 February - Bexley Council. Perceived to be self-serving liars

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reporting one of their associates to the police for theft and as a result his candidacy at a local election had to be withdrawn.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

Bexley Council’s decision on Councillor Maxine Fothergill was that she could be perceived to have brought the council into disrepute.

Mr. Bryant wrote to Akin Alabi, the Head of Legal Services to make the point that nothing could be perceived from something the Council was desperate to keep secret.
Question
The answer was obvious, they couldn’t, but Mr. Alabi did not want to be the one who who destroyed the tower of playing cards, so he sent it off to the hapless Complaints and FOI Officer. She replied as follows…
Answer
The question, as you can see, has been totally ignored. For the record, Mr. Bryant also posed his question to the Council Leader and her Deputy. The Deputy acknowledged it but there has been no answer from either. What did he expect?

The alleged victim of this affair is close to 100 years old and must obviously be treated with extreme delicacy although there is no indication that her faculties are impaired. Through an intermediary who knows her well she is being asked if she wishes to take the matter further.

Bexley Council’s plan for a news blackout has not stood up well against public opinion.

 

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