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Bonkers Blog January 2016

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

20 January (Part 1) - Someone must know and could help secure justice

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reporting one of their associates to the police for theft and as a result his candidacy at a local election had to be withdrawn.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

My new IT expert friend surprised me immensely when he said that including Retweets and Facebook shares, Bexley is Bonkers was sometimes reaching 70,000 people. I shall regard it as a peak figure but nevertheless it is far higher than the 5,000 or so regulars who I believed came to the website directly. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the release of those figures and the BiB Facebook page being taken down were connected in some way, indeed Mr. ErithLink thinks it is very likely.

It occurs to me that if BiB can reach tens of thousands of people it may be able to reach friends and neighbours of the lady who may have unfortunately fell victim to the financial advantage that Councillor Maxine Fothergill is said to have conferred upon herself.

It seems probable that an estate agent landlord has not gone around making an excess of friends, so who would like to spill the beans? The Contact Form is absolutely anonymous if the sender fields are not completed, so what is stopping you? Doesn’t the alleged behaviour warrant a proper investigation and justice?

Since they are proving popular here’s a couple more FOIs from Michael Barnbrook.

Please provide a copy of the recommendations made by Mr Kenneth Atmore, Investigating Officer, into allegations made against Councillor Maxine Fothergill, as a result of his investigation of those allegations.

The Independent Person’s appointment expired in May 2015 and the post was not re-advertised. Hence…

Please provide a copy of the document appointing Rebecca Sandhu as Independent Person.


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