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Bonkers Blog January 2016

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Doubt is cast on Bexley Council’s allegations against Councillor Maxine Fothergill.

28 January (Part 4) - I’m reviewing the situation

The blog below is one of several relating to Bexley Councillor Maxine Fothergill and Bexley Council’s Code of Conduct Committee. 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.

Two members of the Bexley-is-Bonkers team met with Councillor Fothergill at a secret location on 16th September 2016 where she explained to us what had really happened. She was able to convince us that she was the victim of a miscarriage of justice.

There were compelling reasons why Councillor Fothergill should be believed. It seemed likely that the Tory High Command in Bexley had taken revenge on her because Councillor Fothergill had reported one of their associates to the police for theft.

Councillor Fothergill requested that the explanatory note prefixed to relevant blogs (which first went on line a few days earlier) be further strengthened so that readers are fully aware that reported events, whilst accurate at the time, did not reflect her innocence and that Bexley Council’s charge of misconduct and “gaining a financial advantage for herself” was malicious.

This is a modified version of the note Councillor Fothergill asked to be placed here.

What Councillor Maxine Fothergill may or may not have done in times gone by is interesting but it wasn’t where the trail started or was meant to go.

I’m beginning to realise the local investigation may not be going anywhere and the case against Councillor Fothergill may be flimsy. Bexley Council is in massive lock down mode to protect one of their own or maybe themselves.

Using detective skills learned from New Tricks I’ve gone back to review all the evidence such as it is. It didn’t make particularly good reading.

On 22nd January I was pretty sure I knew the old lady’s address. Three people had mentioned Beechcroft Avenue, but subsequent investigations drew a blank there. Maybe all three reports had the same source and it could have been a set up.

Perhaps even the names suggested for possible buyers are wrong too.

Mick Barnbrook retains some hope that his FOIs will prove to be the Council’s undoing, but with respect to Mick, anything that could prove to be the Council’s undoing will be vigorously suppressed or maybe shredded. FOIs are worth a try because blanket refusals help the case that says there is a cover up going on, but to rely on FOI responses would be mistake, in any case it all takes too long.

Actually I am a bit wrong on the FOI issue too. His question about the appointment of an Independent Person to the Code of Conduct Committee has been answered. Rebecca Sandhu was appointed in the middle of 2013 for two years expiring in May 2015. The FOI asked when that was extended.

Bexley Council has referred Mr. Barnbrook to a supplement to last May’s Full Council Agenda. In 2013 the Council advertised for an Independent Person. They rejected applications from Mick Barnbrook and Elwyn Bryant and Rebecca got the job for two years.

Her reappointment was announced in that May 2015 supplement to the Agenda. No advert, no debate, just her name. The supplement simply lists the Committee members including Rebecca Sandhu. The Council appointed her without an advert, not a word of debate, not a hint of democracy. They just do what they like. Plus ça change.

Index to related blogs.


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