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Bonkers Blog February 2016

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Sidcup Place

13 February (Part 2) - Not another complaint!

The following blog relates to unspecified allegations against Councillor Maxine Fothergill for which Bexley Council found her guilty of obtaining a perceived financial advantage for herself (not an actual one you will note) and bringing Bexley Council into disrepute.
Over time it became apparent, well beyond any reasonable doubt, that the case against Maxine Fothergill was in every respect a dishonest attempt to pervert the course of justice. A wholly fabricated allegation without any foundation whatsoever which circumstantial evidence suggests was instituted by Council Leader Teresa O’Neill in connivance with Councillor Cheryl Bacon, already on record with supporting documentation of being a serial liar. Bacon is Chairman of Bexley’s Code of Conduct Committee and currently being considered by the Crown Prosecution Service for a charge of Misconduct in Public Office.
The motive was almost certainly revenge for Councillor Fothergill’s refusal to overlook criminal activity within the Conservative Party which the Leader had decided to cover up.
No one made a written complaint against Councillor Fothergill, it was manufactured by Bexley Council. There have been reports that the complaint was the work of a member of the Code of Conduct Committee which heard and judged the case against Councillor Fothergill.
Bexley Council has refused to reveal any information that would indicate that Maxine Fothergill committed any sort of ‘offence’ beyond conducting her property business in a perfectly normal manner. Those who have questioned the Council’s abuse of the law have been banned from making any further contact. The action of an organisation with dark secrets to hide.
All the circumstantial evidence points to Bexley’s corrupt Council continuing an unjustified vendetta against Councillor Fothergill.
The following blog has been retained because it contains none of the allegations against Councillor Fothergill which later proved to be entirely false. Other blogs which suggest otherwise have been withdrawn.

Barnbrook BaconIt seems to be the day for complaints. Three in one day. One from an illiterate who accused me of publishing an email without the author’s permission, then I was called a you know what for not believing that Bexley Council had IRA connections when no evidence had been forthcoming, and finally one from Michael Barnbrook who said I had not mentioned his complaint about Councillor Cheryl Bacon. I told him that I had but he said there were two.

So for those who still have the stomach for pursuing the Councillor Fothergill business here is another of Michael’s attempts to tie Bexley Council in knots.

It seems to me he is handing Councillor Fothergill grounds for appeal against the Misconduct verdict on a plate. It’s another well argued case that Bexley Council has ignored its own rules. Don’t they always?


Dear Mr Moore,
I wish to register a formal complaint against Councillor Cheryl Bacon.

My complaint relates to her failure to comply with the Members’ Code of Conduct Complaints Sub - Committee Rules of Procedure at a meeting of the Members Code of Conduct Complaints Sub - Committee held on 10th December 2015.

The Rules of Procedure 3. Conduct of the Hearing state:

3.1 Subject to paragraph 3.2 below, the order of business will be as follows:

(d) Chairman’s introduction of Members of the MCSC, the Monitoring Officer, the Independent Person, the Investigating Officer, the Complainant, the Subject Member and their representative.
(f) to receive representations from Members of the MCSC, the Monitoring Officer, and/or the Subject Member as to whether any part of the hearing should be held in private and/or whether any documents (or parts thereof) should be withheld from the public.
(g) determine whether the public/press are to be excluded from any part of the meeting and/or whether any documents (or parts thereof) should be withheld from the public/press.

3.2 The Chairman of the MCSC may exercise their discretion and amend the order of business, where they consider that it is expedient to do so in order to secure the effective and fair consideration of any matter.

I was present at the Sub Committee meeting on 10th December 2015.

The Chairman, Cheryl Bacon, did not introduce the Members of the MCSC, the Monitoring Officer, the Independent Person, the Investigating Officer, the Complainant, the Subject Member and their representative.

The Chairman, Cheryl Bacon, did not receive representations from Members of the MCSC, the Monitoring Officer and/or the Subject Member as to whether any part of the hearing should be held in private and/or whether any documents (or parts thereof) should be withheld from the public, prior to excluding the public from the meeting.

The Chairman, Cheryl Bacon, knowing that the Subject Member, Councillor Maxine Fothergill and her representative, Councillor June Slaughter, were present in the building, started the meeting without their attendance, thereby failing to give them the opportunity to make any representations as to whether any part of the hearing should be held in private and/or any documents (or parts thereof) should be withheld from the public/press.

The Chairman, Cheryl Bacon, exercised her discretion to amend the order of business without appropriate grounds that it was expedient to do so.
A Freedom of Information Request No. 2754396, requested the reasons why Councillor Bacon considered it expedient to amend the order of business of the meeting on 10th December 2015.

The Council has failed to provide any reasons and none are contained in the minutes of the meeting held on 10th December 2015.

The decision by the Chairman, Cheryl Bacon, to exclude the public from the meeting, prior to any introductions and representations, was an arbitrary decision made by her alone and therefore a material failure to follow procedure, as set out in the Rules of Procedure for the Members Code of Conduct Complaints Sub - Committee.

Rule 6.3(a) of the Rules of Procedure states that an appeal may only be raised on grounds including a material failure to follow procedure.

By failing to follow procedure, Councillor Cheryl Bacon has given Councillor Maxine Fothergill, the Subject Member, grounds to successfully appeal her conviction, grounds that would not have been available to her, had Councillor Bacon carried out her role of Chairmen, according to the correct procedures.

I consider this to be serious case of Misconduct by Councillor Cheryl Bacon, not only because she has given Councillor Fothergill good grounds of appeal that she would not have been entitled to, but because she also exceeded her authority by excluding myself and other members of the public from the meeting before she was legally entitled to do so.

It is also apparent from the minutes of the meeting, that the decision to exclude the public and press from part of the meeting, was made prior to the meeting and not during the meeting itself, which is a serious breach of procedure.

I am therefore requesting a full investigation into the professional conduct of Councillor Bacon, as Chairman of the meeting and should any investigation result in disciplinary proceedings, I am prepared to attend those proceedings in order to give evidence.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Barnbrook

 

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