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Bonkers Blog January 2016

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13 January (Part 2) - The more one hears the worse looks

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reporting one of their associates to the police for theft and as a result his candidacy at a local election had to be withdrawn.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

Amax EstatesFreedom of Information requests relating to Councillor Fothergill’s Misconduct are proving more popular than expected so maybe another can be justified.

It is possible that you are wondering what the fuss is about, Estate Agents have a reputation for sharp practice, so maybe Maxine Fothergill played a blinder, why is Bexley Council so upset about it?

At the simplest level a Councillor is deemed to be a Councillor for every minute of the day. What they get up to outside the council chamber should be just as much beyond reproach as what they do inside it. A bit of a joke in Bexley I know but that's the theory anyway.

By that measure Councillor Fothergill is guilty of Misconduct, that was the verdict of the Code of Conduct Sub-Committee. All will probably come out in due course, meanwhile the promised FOI submitted last week.


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.

With reference to the London Borough of Bexley Members' Code of Conduct Sub Committee meeting held on 10th December 2015, to hear allegations against Councillor Maxine Fothergill, the complainant against Councillor Fothergill was not present at the meeting.

Rule 3.1(d) of the Rules of Procedure relates to the introduction of individuals present at the meeting, including the complainant.

1. Please provide copies of any correspondence received from the complainant, or any other person, requesting to be informed of any action to be taken against Councillor Fothergill and/or any other Council Officer or individual involved in the allegations against made her or them.

2. Please provide copies of any correspondence sent to the complainant, or any other person setting out the time and place of the meeting on 10th December 2015 and any request or invitation for the complainant, or any other person to attend the meeting if they so desired.

3. Please provide copies of any correspondence from the complainant, or any other person, in response to any request or invite for them to attend the meeting on 10th December 2015, or any other meeting or disciplinary proceedings involving any other individual involved in the allegations made against them and Councillor Fothergill.

4. Please provide copies of any correspondence from the complainant, or any other person, in response to being informed of the decision and the reasons, including any sanctions/recommendations made against Councillor Fothergill on 10th December 2015 and any other decisions and the reasons, including any sanctions/recommendations made against any other individual as a result of any meeting or disciplinary proceedings against any other individual involved with Councillor Fothergill.

5. Please provide copies of any correspondence relating to any other individual involved with Councillor Fothergill, being dismissed from the Council, or leaving of their own volition, as a result of the allegations made against them and Councillor Fothergill.

6. Please provide the date that any individual involved with Councillor Fothergill, was dismissed or left of their own volition, as a result of any allegations made against them or Councillor Fothergill.


FOI by everybody’s favourite Vexatious Fascist, Mr. Michael Barnbrook.

Index to related blogs.

 

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