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London Borough of Culture

Bonkers Blog January 2016

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Sidcup Place

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

The following blog relates to unspecified allegations against Councillor Maxine Fothergill for which Bexley Council found her guilty of obtaining a perceived financial advantage for herself (not an actual one you will note) and bringing Bexley Council into disrepute.
Over time it became apparent, well beyond any reasonable doubt, that the case against Maxine Fothergill was in every respect a dishonest attempt to pervert the course of justice. A wholly fabricated allegation without any foundation whatsoever which circumstantial evidence suggests was instituted by Council Leader Teresa O’Neill in connivance with Councillor Cheryl Bacon, already on record with supporting documentation of being a serial liar. Bacon is Chairman of Bexley’s Code of Conduct Committee and currently being considered by the Crown Prosecution Service for a charge of Misconduct in Public Office.
The motive was almost certainly revenge for Councillor Fothergill’s refusal to overlook criminal activity within the Conservative Party which the Leader had decided to cover up.
No one made a written complaint against Councillor Fothergill, it was manufactured by Bexley Council. There have been reports that the complaint was the work of a member of the Code of Conduct Committee which heard and judged the case against Councillor Fothergill.
Bexley Council has refused to reveal any information that would indicate that Maxine Fothergill committed any sort of ‘offence’ beyond conducting her property business in a perfectly normal manner. Those who have questioned the Council’s abuse of the law have been banned from making any further contact. The action of an organisation with dark secrets to hide.
All the circumstantial evidence points to Bexley’s corrupt Council continuing an unjustified vendetta against Councillor Fothergill.
The following blog has been retained because it contains none of the allegations against Councillor Fothergill which later proved to be entirely false. Other blogs which suggest otherwise have been withdrawn.

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. Bexley Council is in massive lock down mode to protect one of their own.

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.

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