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Sadiq Khan

Bonkers Blog January 2016

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12 January (Part 1) - They will not know

This blog is one of several relating to Bexley Councillor Maxine Fothergill and linked from the relevant Index page. Together they cover five different subjects all related in some way to Ms. Fothergill.

• Some cover her Code of Conduct Committee hearing which resulted in sanctions against Councillor Fothergill. It was alleged that she used her position as Councillor to obtain a financial advantage. viz. that she bought a bungalow from a vulnerable Bexley resident at an advantageous price.
No evidence that Ms. Fothergill paid less than the market price ever came to light and the alleged victim did not make the written complaint necessary to cause a Code of Conduct hearing. When Bexley Council was pressed to provide evidence it could only point to a document written by a Member of its own Code of Conduct Committee, Judge and Jury.
The probability is that the Leader of Bexley Council was unwilling to forgive the fact that Maxine Fothergill had brought down the Leader’s preferred election candidate by reporting him to the police for more than one theft. The sanctions appeared to be nothing but retribution. The Leader of Bexley Council is renowned for her ruthless retribution.
The police issued a caution.
• Others show how she was alleged to have conducted her business affairs in a way that some of her associates considered ethically dubious and have almost no link to Bexley Council.
• Councillor Maxine Fothergill fought Sevenoaks Council over an unauthorised house extension and lost. There is again no Bexley Council link apart from it becoming clear that her main residence is not in the borough
• When a resident requested a Judicial Review of Bexley Council’s refusal to state that it would always comply with the law they managed to convince a barrister that he was taking issue with them over the entirely unconnected issue of the verdict given by the Code of Conduct Committee Committee in the Maxine Fothergill case.
Nothing could be further from the truth and there is documentary evidence to that effect that Bexley Council lied to their barrister.
Nevertheless the barrister persuaded a judge to refuse to hear the Judical Review and Bexley Council, dishonest to the last, billed the resident the cost of hiring their tame barrister.
• Councillor Fothergill was sued for libel and lost.

FothergillWhilst I thought too much Maxine Fothergill would prove monotonous there is no doubt that her name has been bringing more and longer staying readers to the blog. The Facebook reaches tend to be higher too, not that I have much idea of what they are.

So in the absence of anything else before Bexley Council comes back from its Christmas holiday (Public Cabinet on 26th January †), here’s another of the truth-seeking Freedom of Information requests.

As reported last Friday the Chairman is only allowed to change the sequence of Code of Conduct Agenda items in order to make things more ‘fair’. However Cheryl Bacon appears to have done so only to keep secrets.

The FOI seeks to find out what Councillor Bacon was thinking of when she made the changes

Under the London Borough of Bexley Members Code of Conduct Sub Committee Rules of Procedure, Rule 3.2 states that the Chairman 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.

Please provide a copy of the minutes of the MCSC meeting held on 10th December 2015, containing the reasons why Councillor Cheryl Bacon, Chairman of the meeting, considered it expedient to amend the order of business, so that the public and press were excluded from the meeting before she introduced the individuals present, including the complainant, the subject Member and her representative.

I bet there aren’t any reasons.

† A few sub-committee meetings take place before Cabinet.


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