There is no criticism of Councillor Maxine Fothergill in this blog.
16 January (Part 5) -
Hiding their identities
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candidacy at a local election had to be withdrawn.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.
It’s not realistic to expect the minutes of the Code of Conduct Sub-Committee
meeting to tell the whole truth but you might reasonably expect them to record
everyone who was present, but in Bexley absolutely nothing is honest. Hence the
following Freedom of Information request.
The draft minutes of the Members' Code of Conduct Complaints Sub Committee
held on 10th December 2015 show the following individuals as being present at
the meeting - Councillors Cheryl Bacon, Nigel Betts and Stefano Borella. Also
present was Councillor Maxine Fothergill, Councillor June Slaughter, Ms Rebecca
Sandhu, Independent Person and Mr Kenneth Atmore, Investigating Officer.
As of Agenda Item 4 - Exclusion of the Press and Public, Councillors Fothergill
and Slaughter were not present at the meeting, which can be confirmed by myself,
Mr John Watson, Mr Elwyn Bryant, members of the public and Mr Dave Easton.
Mr Akin Alabi, Monitoring Officer, was present at the meeting but is not shown
as being so in the draft minutes.
One other female, who was sitting between Mr Alabi and Ms Sandhu is not shown as
There is no reference, in accordance with Section 3.1(f) of the Rules of
Procedure, of any representations from Members of the MCSC, the Monitoring
Officer and/or the Subject Member, as to whether any part of the hearing should
be held in private and/or whether any documents (or parts thereof) should be
withheld from the public/press.
Please provide a copy of the minutes containing the correct details, as set out above.
has been widely speculated in the past that Rebecca Sandhu is related to
the former Conservative Mayor of Dartford making Ms. Sandhu a not very
Independent Person. There are also persistent rumours to the effect that Ms.
Sandhu did not believe Councillor Fothergill had done anything wrong at all.
Neither of these stories has yet been substantiated.
Index to related blogs.