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Sadiq Khan

Bonkers Blog May 2016

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24 May (Part 1) - Another long winded quest for the truth

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.

A big thank you to the various senders of support with the ongoing battle against the corruption endemic in Bexley Council and the Metropolitan Police. I dearly wish I could reveal some of the information that trickles down to me from the Daniel Morgan Panel. If that ever gets into the mainstream media it will blow the Metropolitan Police apart. Hillsborough is nothing by comparison.

I rather liked the Facebook comment; “Time to get the popcorn out”. It’s true that for most of the time BiB rumbles on with a succession of B movies and then just as I despair of finding something more long running, along comes Bexley Council in some shape or other and produces a Blockbuster. The last one concerned Councillor Fothergill and her conviction by Bexley’s Code of Conduct Committee of bringing the Council into disrepute. (Links to Council website.) The case, rather than the Councillor, shows every sign of doing just that.

Since Councillor Cheryl Bacon (still with the CPS for alleged Misconduct in a Public Office) chaired that infamous Code of Conduct Committee meeting on 10th December and found Councillor Fothergill guilty of obtaining a financial advantage, a number of people have tried to get at the truth. Michael Barnbrook asked 14, I think it was, questions and learned almost nothing.

Bexley Council never has been happy with the concept of residents knowing the truth about how it operates so most enquirers have been fobbed off, given up asking and fallen by the wayside - but not John Watson.

WatsonMr. Watson’s case revolves largely around his assertion that Mr. Akin Not A Proper Solicitor Alabi, Bexley’s Head of Legal has confirmed to him that there was no legitimate complaint against Councillor Fothergill. Nothing was in writing. If Mr. Watson has sent me the proof of that I cannot find it.

Having perhaps got a little too close to the truth for Bexley Council’s liking, the Acting Chief Executive Paul Moore said he was closing down the correspondence and if Mr. Watson wrote to him again he would be declared vexatious.

Mr. Watson was not deterred and appears to be going for Bexley Council’s jugular. Someone has to try to bring these criminals to account, obviously you cannot rely on a subservient police force to do it.

His letter, sent by email and displayed here in a format more suitable for the web, sums up the present situation and sets out what is likely to happen next.


THE QUEEN V LONDON BOROUGH OF BEXLEY


Unsatisfactory conduct

• With further reference to your email of last Friday 13th May 2016, I have to say I am very disappointed at its contents.
• Having now carefully considered the contents of that email, I am wondering whether it was in fact drafted by you because it appears to me to be written in the writing style of Lynn Tyler.


Accountability

• However, at the end of the day, what you say is in black and white and it has been sent and signed by you. Thus you are personally accountable for all the untrue, misleading statements and the serious misrepresentations your email under reply contains.
• I am concerned that your email is infested with such diversionary, irrelevant statements and subterfuge.
• This is not an acceptable reply by a public servant who is being paid from public funds and in your case, very handsomely paid, at the rate of £133,000 odd pounds a year.
• It cannot be right for a public servant to write to a member of the public, from which public you are obtaining your salary, and make untrue and misleading statements and serious misrepresentations in order to avoid properly replying to correspondence.
• It appears to me your email has all the hallmarks of what is known in the vernacular as ‘a Cover-up’.
• Nevertheless, I need to press on with Judicial Review matters but I can assure you I will be addressing in detail all the untrue, misleading statements, the serious misrepresentations and the threats you make to deprive me of my human rights in your email under reply.


Summary of Bexley Council’s current position.

• You know that the only way you can obtain power to deal with allegations against Councillors is by complying with section 28 (9) of The Localism Act 2011.
• You know that section 28 (9) of The Localism Act 2011 specifically provides that allegations against Councillors must be made in writing.
• You know that no such written allegations were made by the alleged elderly lady Complainant.
• You know that without properly laid allegations under section 28 (9) of The Localism Act 2011 you have no powers to pursue allegations against Councillors.
• You know that if you act beyond your statutory powers you are acting illegally and/or unlawfully which provides a cause of action.
• You know that you have admitted that the allegations against Councillor Maxine Fothergill were not made in writing by the alleged elderly lady Complainant.
• You know that you have admitted that the allegations against Councillor Maxine Fothergill were not made by the alleged elderly lady Complainant.


Rule 2.1 of The Procedure for Dealing With Complaints Pursuant to The Members’ Code of Conduct

• You know that the only way the Members' Code of Conduct Complaints Sub-Committee can obtain power to deal with allegations against Councillors is by there being full compliance with Rule 2.1 of The Procedure for Dealing with Complaints Pursuant to The Members’ Code of Conduct.
• You know that Rule 2.1 of The Procedure for Dealing with Complaints Pursuant to The Members’ Code of Conduct specifically requires that “A complaint should be made in writing, by letter or email, to the Monitoring Officer…”
• You know that no such written complaint was made by the alleged elderly lady Complainant.
• You know that Rule 2.1 of The Procedure for Dealing With Complaints Pursuant to The Members’ Code of Conduct specifically requires that “A complaint should be made in writing, by letter or email, to the Monitoring Officer within 7 days of the alleged breach(es) of the Members’ Code of Conduct”.
• You know that no complaint was made by the alleged elderly lady Complainant against Councillor Maxine Fothergill “…within 7 days of the alleged breach of the Members’ Code of Conduct”.
• You know you have admitted that the allegations against Councillor Maxine Fothergill were not made in writing as required by Rule 2.1 of The Procedure for Dealing with Complaints Pursuant to The Members’ Code of Conduct.
• You know you have admitted that the allegations against Councillor Maxine Fothergill were not made “..within 7 days of the alleged breach of the Members’ Code of Conduct”.
• You know that if the Members' Code of Conduct Complaints Sub-Committee acts contrary to Rule 2.1 of The Procedure for Dealing with Complaints Pursuant to The Members’ Code of Conduct it is acting illegally and/or unlawfully which provides a cause of action.
• You know I have tried to meet with you at least four times to seek ways of resolving these issues but you have repeatedly refused to do so.
• You know you have sought to justify your unfair, unreasonable, illogical and unlawful conduct by writing to me in Alice in Wonderland language and refusing to treat my correspondence with respect.


What I state above shows you to be acting in a way that is unfair, unreasonable, illogical and beyond your powers. I now anticipate that the conduct of Bexley Council that I refer to above will form the basis of my Judicial Review claim.

As the person with ultimately responsible for the Members' Code of Conduct Committee and the Members' Code of Conduct Complaints Sub-Committee, will you please let me know to what extent you were personally involved in connection with the prosecution of Councillor Maxine Fothergill. For example, were any matters referred to you in connection with her prosecution and, if so, what were those matters.

I believe there is still a possibility that the situation you are in could be resolved by our meeting for this purpose and I would again ask you to reconsider doing so after you have reflected on your position as set out above. If I do not hear from you within 7 days with your proposals in this regard, I will assume you are still refusing to have a meeting.

John Watson


Index to related blogs.

 

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