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Bonkers Blog February 2016

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

12 February (Part 2) - Not held, held but exempt. It all gets too confusing

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reporting one of their associates to the police for theft and as a result his candidacy at a local election had to be withdrawn.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

Perhaps Mr. Barnbrook forgot he was dealing with Bexley Council and not Thanet where he now lives when he decided to seek a copy of Councillor Fothergill’s grounds for appeal against her ‘conviction’ for Misconduct. There was never any chance that the secret society would let him have a copy and I hope he wasn’t too disappointed when they didn’t.

Maybe the grounds for an appeal by Councillor Fothergill are not relevant any more, the appeal hearing scheduled for 24th April has been cancelled.

Mr. Barnbrook phoned me this afternoon with an urgent message. He said I had misread one of his emails and as a result part of yesterday’s blog was wrong. It said that Bexley Council did not hold a copy when in fact it was refusing to supply a copy. What I wrote was so odd that I should have queried it.

The blog was easily amended by removal of one sentence and an amendment to another but it was a rather serious error for which I apologise.

 

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