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Bonkers Blog February 2014

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16 February (Part 2) - Sorry to say so but Bexley council employs a Monitoring Officer with a fact phobia

I may have caught up with most of the email backlog but the stack of documents is barely touched. Some I’ve not yet made any attempt to read, but an exception is the letter the council’s Monitoring Officer wrote to Mick Barnbrook about Cheryl Bacon’s ‘Closed Session’.

AttendeesThe M.O. is of course stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place. Tell the truth and he blows his job prospects. Stuff his letter full of lies and Mick takes his file to the police.

There were 16 councillors present when councillor Cheryl Bacon was advised to break the law. Who cares about that, we all make mistakes under pressure, but there is no excuse for the enormous number of lies which followed.

So that makes 16 people who know for certain that Nicholas Dowling did nothing beyond ask permission to use his recorder and stand his ground by sitting in his chair. 16 people know that no other member of the public did anything to justify their exclusion and all but one of them said nothing throughout the meeting.

16 people know that access to the reconvened meeting was barred and 16 people cannot deny that the police, when they eventually arrived, were perfectly happy that no one misbehaved and did not ask them to leave the building - for the simple reason that none of the 16 were there.

Cheryl Bacon Nicholas DowlingHowever it has not stopped them from going along with all of Cheryl’s Bacon’s lies as have the highly paid officers who have written letters in her support. Two very senior officers have expressly ruled out seeking comments from any councillor bar Cheryl Bacon. Can there be greater proof that they prefer lies to truth? (The answer to that is actually ‘Yes’ but not everything can be made public.)

The reason for Bexley council’s, the Head of Legal services in particular, reticence is that there is a risk associated with seeking more witnesses, for my reference to the figure 16 is not wholly accurate. Some, and I do mean plural, have given me pretty good accounts of what they saw happen and Cheryl Bacon is well and truly exposed as a liar by her peers. The problem for the Monitoring Officer is that he doesn‘t know which councillors they are and I am certainly not going to tell him. When Mick B. makes his allegations to the police I shall be right behind him with evidence that the Monitoring Officer has either been forced to hide from the truth or isn’t interested in it.

This is a selection of extracts from his most recent untruthful letter.

A disturbance in the public gallery eh? Well if just one man sitting in the gallery doing absolutely nothing other than holding a tiny audio recorder and Eric Pickles’ guidance note constitutes a disturbance, then yes there was a disturbance.
It’s true that Nicholas hadn’t put his recorder away though he was not in fact recording. What a pity, we would have Cheryl Bacon banged to rights straight away, but Bacon did not engage with various members of the public. She spoke only to Nicholas, there was no reason to do otherwise. Two were not sitting nearby and they were excluded from her meeting too. According to the Chief Executive I was excluded not because of bad behaviour but because Nicholas is known to me. If that is not an admission of illegality I am not sure what is. What is his excuse for excluding Danny Hackett, prospective Labour candidate for Lesnes Abbey? I doubt he has ever spoken to Nicholas.
Quite right, there was an implication that Lynn Tyler fabricated her notices. She is supposed to be a Legal Officer and none of the statements were signed. We know that a councillor was unhappy with what she attributed to him and I was present when a council employee (name blurred above) gave Mick Barnbrook every reason to believe he had not seen a statement. Maybe Tyler had spoken to him but what she wrote on his behalf bears no sign that he wrote it or had even seen it. Where’s the signature?
A Legal Officer not interested in witness statements or getting at the truth. Whoever recruited him must be well versed in Bexley council’s culture of lies.
Left alone‘Security’ had asked Nicholas to leave at about 19:50 but he was not asked to leave again. Not by ‘security’ in the presence of the police later certainly because security wasn’t there; and not by the police who are on record as saying (News Shopper report) that no one had done anything wrong.

None of the people present saw a council officer in the chamber. Most definitely none spoke to them. The police officers came in alone and were very friendly. Mick Barnbrook had no need to tell them much about what had happened for, as they put it, “we read Bexley is Bonkers”. I doubt they would have said that in front of a council officer. I am absolutely convinced that the Monitoring Officer is lying and you would be too if I could show you certain documents passed to me from inside. No one asked anyone to leave. The council had left six people in the chamber alone without any concerns that there might be trouble. One took pictures on his phone. (I do not own a mobile phone.)

The police could not have truthfully said what is recorded above, it simply didn’t happen. Elwyn Bryant was keen to take a note of the officer’s names and numbers and it was me who said that they had been more than reasonable with us and there was no need. Do you think I would have been so docile if entirely innocent men had been threatened with ejection? In retrospect I was naive. Never trust Bexley council not to seek out a dishonest senior police officer to corroborate their fantasies and if they fail, just make it up.
I shall refrain from comment on this except to say it isn’t remotely true and that information received proves it. I will say it is a near certainty that the Monitoring Officer will be added to Mick’s misconduct list along with the Independent Person, the Legal Team Manager, the Human Resources Manager, the Chief Executive and the Chairman of the Public Realm Scrutiny Committee. And if it is proved that the police have lied in order to support Bexley’s criminal council, that will be another name or two. How much simpler it would have been if Cheryl Bacon had just said "I got it wrong, I’ll try not to do it again”. Habits of a lifetime are probably hard to break.

Cheryl Bacon’s story is not supported even by Bexley council’s specially selected witnesses. They all draw back from confirming her outrageous dishonesty.

The Cheryl Bacon index.


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