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London Borough of Culture

Bonkers Blog January 2016

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Sidcup Place

11 January - A transparency request. Naive or not? Time will tell

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 Other blogs which suggest otherwise have been withdrawn.

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.

Yours sincerely,

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.


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