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Bonkers Blog January 2016

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

12 January (Part 1) - They will not know

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reporting one of their associates to the police for theft and as a result his candidacy at a local election had to be withdrawn.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

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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