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Sadiq Khan

Bonkers Blog January 2016

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26 January - It’s Maxine Fothergill Day

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.

There won’t be much time for blogs today because of the Fothergill conference and this evening there is a Public Cabinet although the democrats are planning to chuck the public out so I may get an early night.

A subject up for discussion is the imminent destruction of youth services, they call it a redesign. The Scouts will lose £49,000 and Danson Youth Service £89,000 and the total cuts will be over £300,000. Teresa O’Neill issued an excuse note a week ago.

Further down the Agenda I see that Slasher Griffin is planning to throw her colleagues to the wolves and take the top job herself. That’ll be an awful lot of five and six figure pay offs and a 4% council tax increase to pay for them.
Cuts
Behind that smiling exterior lies a ruthless chain saw operative.

Believe it or not there are Maxine Fothergill related FOIs that have not yet been reported; I think they brings the total to thirteen.


Under the London Borough of Bexley Members Code of Conduct Sub Committee Rules of Procedure, it states in Rule 3.9(e) When considering sanctions, the MCSC will consider the following questions along with any other relevant circumstances or factors. It then lists eleven questions the Sub Committee should consider when considering sanctions. Please provide a copy of the minutes of the MCSC meeting held on 10th December 2015, containing the responses by the sub committee members to those eleven questions and any other relevant circumstances or factors, when considering sanctions against Councillor Maxine Fothergill.

And…


With reference to the decision by Councillor Maxine Fothergill to appeal the verdict of the Members' Code of Conduct Complaints Sub Committee hearing on 10th December 2015, please supply a copy of Councillor Fothergill's grounds of appeal.


A fourteenth is Mr. Elwyn Bryant’s philosophical question about the word perception which Mr. Alabi (Head of Legal) decided was beyond his feeble mind and told Elwyn he’d sent it off to the FOI department. Mr. Alabi’s priority appears to be protecting his paymasters.

It transpired a week later that Mr. Alabi had not sent the question off to the FOI people at all but somehow lost it. Mr. Bryant has had to send it in all over again.

So that makes 14 FOIs for which Bexley Council must find excuses not to answer. Presenting excuses will merely confirm Bexley’s priority to be covering up shameful activities and won’t save them. They obviously have no idea of what will be coming before too long.

 

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