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Bonkers Blog January 2016

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

29 January (Part 3) - We’re saying nothing and we don’t like residents nosing into Council business

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.

If I counted correctly Michael Barnbrook submitted twelve Freedom of Information requests relating to Councillor Fothergill’s ‘Misconduct’ and a question from Mr. Bryant was converted to a Freedom of Information request so that the Council can say the question is not an appropriate one for an FOI. Bexley Council knows all the best FOI avoidance tricks.

It was always likely that the FOIs would produce nothing of any use but that was not the object of the exercise, that was to see by how much Bexley Council was prepared to exploit or bend the rules to suppress the truth.

At least eight of Michael’s FOIs have been rejected out of hand over the past 48 hours. There was another response which was said to be an answer but wasn’t (the Independent Person’s appointment) and another admitted there was no evidence that the complainant had asked for anonymity but the Council is taking the precaution of acting as though he or she did. They don’t want us to trace him/her. That would be disastrous.

The only real fact that came from the FOIs is that the lady I didn’t recognise in the 2nd January photograph is Lynn Tyler, the Legal Team Manager, the Team Manager Greenwich Police investigated for Misconduct in Public Office following the Cheryl Bacon affair. The case is still with the CPS.

My summary of the FOI responses is not as detailed as I would like because there is no time to be spent analysing every reason for rejection but the overall situation does not require it. It is enough to simply report that Bexley Council is not going to say anything that might lead to details of what might be a crime getting into the public domain. At present the only indication that there has been criminal activity is that Bexley Council is in total lockdown mode because the facts known to me are inconclusive.

I asked a Councillor while attending a recent meeting if Councillors are allowed to know the detail of complaints against their colleagues and the reply was “yes normally, but in this case all requests are being refused”. Read into that what you like.

As I see it, to make real progress towards the truth, the old lady’s name and address and the identity of the complainant must be found and on that score there has been a significant breakthrough this morning which should make Part 4 interesting reading and induce consternation in Watling Street. At least I hope it does.


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