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As you may have guessed, I have been away. If I had not been there might
still have been no blog because apart from
the Maxine Fothergill business there
is nothing much going on. It would be possible to bring a new Freedom of
Information request to your notice every day into the middle of next week but
that may become monotonous. I suspect that one or two will be enough.
To me the interesting thing will be how Bexley Council chooses to refuse to answer every enquiry. Every refusal will further emphasise their reputation for being the most secretive and dishonest council in London. No other has a record like theirs.
One of the things I pondered last week was how Bexley Council could have been brought into disrepute by an event the public knew nothing about. A bit like the old conundrum, ‘if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it still make a sound?’
Bexley village resident Mr. Elwyn Bryant decided to test it out with a simple letter…
Dear Mr. Akin Alabi,
Having read the minutes of the Members’ Code of Conduct Sub-Committee meeting held on 10th December 2015, I find myself somewhat confused by Paragraphs 3(1) and 3(8) which states that I, as a member of the public, could have certain perceptions about actions taken by Councillor Fothergill.
I must put this question to you Mr. Alabi. How can I have perceptions on actions that I know nothing about?
Will you please forward to me by email full details of the actions that Councillor Fothergill took that caused her to be accused of Misconduct and found guilty of breaching the Code of Conduct.
I wish to emphasize that I am not requesting names of any other individuals that may have been involved in the allegation and actions of Councillor Fothergill in this particular case. In granting my request I am sure you will agree it will make the situation much more transparent.
Transparency? I think that is the last thing that Bexley Council will want and probably Mr. Alabi (Head of Legal Services) will have to do what the Committee Chairman Councillor Cheryl Bacon tells him to do, just as former Chief Executive Will Tuckley was forced to support her fantasies the last time she made a big mess as a chairman. And look where that took him? (A criminal investigation - for those who may have been away enjoying Life on Mars.)
Without transparency the rumours will spread. One that reached me says that the old lady who wanted to finance sheltered accommodation from the proceeds of a house sale is having part of the bill paid by Bexley council. The other says the complainant was bunged a large sum of money to keep his mouth shut. I very much doubt the former but gagging clauses are a tactic which Bexley insiders claim has been used before.