Author Topic: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010  (Read 28849 times)

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Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
« Reply #80 on: March 03, 2011, 02:18:07 AM »

Crikey. I've just, (at 02.00hrs) finished my last call for the night about this. A lot of confused and unhappy people out here want to know what the council leadership is playing at.

Will try to shed some lamplight on it later in a blog.

Only one caller tonight was a TS member - I think the Bluhnderbirds have angered a fresh swathe of the population...

Offline MsD Meanor

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Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
« Reply #81 on: March 03, 2011, 07:12:55 AM »
I wonder if the non-TSers were Private Eye readers.

Shame P Eye didn't publish a link to this thread.

This is so dodgy the fraud office should be involved.

Offline I Could Do That

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Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
« Reply #82 on: March 03, 2011, 07:24:43 AM »
"This is so dodgy the fraud office should be involved."

Oooh yes please. They might investigate and uncover a few more dodgy deals whilst they're at it
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Offline Outoftowner

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Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
« Reply #83 on: March 03, 2011, 08:11:55 AM »
You are so right ICDT.

I didn't know that you ran an all night "Samaritan" phone service Geoff! WTF. I would never phone someone that late at night....... unless "they" are putting you on a sleep deprevation programme. :2funny:

I think that the "alledged" incoming company have their eye on a lot more than Wi-Fi. For a £400,000 contract entrance fee, plus maybe the odd plain brown envelope, they must want to run all of the, soon to be outsourced, council services for a very long time. Wi-Fi will be one of them; for now. They'll probably put a couple of "Hot-Spots" in the town centre then declare the whole borough project  not to be commercially viable ( which we all know) and then drop it.

Swindon will be left with a long term contract to supply services, bought in below the present cost but where everything from changing a light bulb to pruning a plant is a "contract variation" thus attracting an "on-cost". Swindon will pay many times over for this £400,000....... Millions and millions.

Meanwhile the Bluhigans will be OBN to "Dave  the Plate Spinner" for jobs in Westminster saying that they did his bidding and want their reward.

Thats my Mystic Meg prediction and where I'll put my one pound bet.
What's it all about?

Offline Steve Wakefield

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Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
« Reply #84 on: March 03, 2011, 09:01:08 AM »
Sleep deprivation interesting thought. :wakeup: I doubt anyone is losing much sleep about this new development :coolsmiley:
All posts on this forum are my own opinion and do not represent the views of any council or any political party.  :banana:

Offline Des Morgan

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Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
« Reply #85 on: March 03, 2011, 09:04:20 AM »
It is an odd situation where the Council appears to be negotiating on behalf of Digital City.  It is the responsibility of the directors of Digital City to work out their salvation and it is upto them to determine whether or not they enter into an agreement offering a prospective buyer/investor a period of time in which to undertake due diligence enquiries.  Incidentally, this conflicts with what Coun Perkins has previously said - he told the Cabinet that 'discussions were in an advanced state and a deal would be announced imminently'

In an email to me date January, he also said that "The loan will be paid in the near future to allow the project to move forward"  and he also said "Investment is coming to Digital City to allow this project to move forwards".

I am not sure how the position he now identifies corresponds with those statements.

I am concerned that SBC appears to be acting on behalf of a private company, to the point it is asking Cabinet to approve a course of action which it should not be involved in.

How can SBC and the Chief Executive enter into a 'confidentiality and non-disclosure' agreement on behalf of a company in which it is only a shareholder? What role is aQovia playing? It is upto Digital City and its board to enter into such an agreement.

How can SBC, the CE, RB and ME enter into confidential commercial discussions with a potential investor in Digital City.  Such discussions should be between the potential investor and Digital City's board of directors.

The role of SBC is very clear.  It is to recover the loan and they have a mechanism to do this.  In the loan agreement there is a clause which covers 'default' and in the event they have a clear route to recover the loan.  Sadly due to a  level of ineptitude which characterises this saga the recovery will not be by way of any form of security against the assets of DC - that was a story which will be examined later, but as at 2 February Coun Perkins was still of the mind that enforcement under the default clause was not being considered.  One can only wonder why the Council is reluctant to take such action which might include requiring individual directors liable for the debt.

Offline Outoftowner

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Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
« Reply #86 on: March 03, 2011, 09:08:42 AM »
I think that Des' "Flabber," is well and truely "gasted."
What's it all about?

Offline Ringer

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Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
« Reply #87 on: March 03, 2011, 09:26:53 AM »
It is an odd situation where the Council appears to be negotiating on behalf of Digital City.  It is the responsibility of the directors of Digital City to work out their salvation and it is upto them to determine whether or not they enter into an agreement offering a prospective buyer/investor a period of time in which to undertake due diligence enquiries...........

I am concerned that SBC appears to be acting on behalf of a private company, to the point it is asking Cabinet to approve a course of action which it should not be involved in.How can SBC and the Chief Executive enter into a 'confidentiality and non-disclosure' agreement on behalf of a company in which it is only a shareholder? What role is aQovia playing? It is upto Digital City and its board to enter into such an agreement.

How can SBC, the CE, RB and ME enter into confidential commercial discussions with a potential investor in Digital City.  Such discussions should be between the potential investor and Digital City's board of directors.
The role of SBC is very clear.  It is to recover the loan and they have a mechanism to do this.  In the loan agreement there is a clause which covers 'default' and in the event they have a clear route to recover the loan.  Sadly due to a  level of ineptitude which characterises this saga the recovery will not be by way of any form of security against the assets of DC - that was a story which will be examined later, but as at 2 February Coun Perkins was still of the mind that enforcement under the default clause was not being considered.  One can only wonder why the Council is reluctant to take such action which might include requiring individual directors liable for the debt.

Are you saying that the council/ Gavin Jones CEO  is using democracy to protect its Deputy Leader Garry Perkins? Or some unknown unclear objective? Or that the senior officers of SBC are failing in their duty to recover the arrears of interest payments/determine the loan?  :fish:

I ask as once again the wifi project indicates for some there are more questions than answers. I think the point about the Labour leader's letter it is another document that now for some may  be about to lead to more questions? There is a programme to replace concrete lamp posts over the next 3 years to do with the age of the lighting?

May the 8th will soon be here and then if there is any positive/good/helpful news, will we be told before that date? I think if it is 60 days then it may be best if the news is embargoed until 8th May? I say this otherwise some cynical people may be thinking that this is to do with the election political longevity  of the Deputy Leader?

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ph1lc

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Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
« Reply #88 on: March 03, 2011, 10:52:15 AM »
Attracting a new investor is the only way there is any hope of recovering a single penny. For the Council to enter into a confidentiality agreement is pretty standard practice.

As Des points out, they cannot enter into an agreement on behalf of DC, but given that the only bit of leverage that the Council has is the fact that it owns the lamposts that are needed, there is plenty to discuss with a potential investor. Indeed this is the only hope of recovering any of the loan at all. Without the lamposts there is no project at all.

As far as recovering any of the loan from the Directors, that's extremely unlikely. There is no evidence of the type of misconduct that would be needed. It would be interesting to find out how much has been paid to R Hunt / Avidity.

Offline Des Morgan

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Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
« Reply #89 on: March 03, 2011, 10:55:07 AM »
Quote
Are you saying that the council/ Gavin Jones CEO  is using democracy to protect its Deputy Leader Garry Perkins? Or some unknown unclear objective? Or that the senior officers of SBC are failing in their duty to recover the arrears of interest payments/determine the loan

I couldn't possibly comment on what the Chief Executive's motives are !!!!

I would say that i think Gavin Jones is wrong to involve himself in any negotiations between a potential investor/buyer of Digital City.  SBC is simply a 'shareholder' albeit the largest (thanks to the gifting of shares by RH) but it is not the only shareholder and as such it should not be 'managing the situation' it should be 'influencing' the board of DC.  The Cabinet has no part to play in the matter of an investor/buyer of Digital City and I fail to see how it can legitimately involve itself in respect of a private company's future.  Let us be very clear, the deal isn't about SBC it's about DC.  The matter of the loan being repaid is a matter for DC and it is only for SBC to decide whether it is prepared to wait on the outcome of negotiations between DC and the alleged investor/buyer or whether it invokes the default clause.

I have to say that for me there is no doubt that the default clause should be invoked as it sets a marker, if the alleged investor/buyer is as interested as Coun Perkins made out then they will acknowledge the action taken by SBC to be good business practise.  I would remind SBC that they are playing with public money and as such their first duty is to take action to recover that money. That duty overrides any concern for Coun Perkins or Mr Hunt.

Lord Woolf MR said 'It is of the greatest importance that any individual who undertakes the statutory and fiduciary obligations of being a company director should realise that these are inescapable personal responsibilities"

Offline Ringer

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Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
« Reply #90 on: March 03, 2011, 10:58:50 AM »
Attracting a new investor is the only way there is any hope of recovering a single penny. For the Council to enter into a confidentiality agreement is pretty standard practice.

As Des points out, they cannot enter into an agreement on behalf of DC, but given that the only bit of leverage that the Council has is the fact that it owns the lamposts that are needed, there is plenty to discuss with a potential investor. Indeed this is the only hope of recovering any of the loan at all. Without the lamposts there is no project at all.

As far as recovering any of the loan from the Directors, that's extremely unlikely. There is no evidence of the type of misconduct that would be needed. It would be interesting to find out how much has been paid to R Hunt / Avidity.

So is it a tender? Or is the council going to exclude any other company? If so where is the VFM for the council tax payers of Swindon and is it not a closed tender?  Where are our two MPs in all this? Have they contacted the Gherkin about it? His department has been going on all week about transparency and openness in councils. 
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Offline peach

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Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
« Reply #91 on: March 03, 2011, 10:59:15 AM »
don't think Rikki is concentrating to hard on the negotiations :: http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/8885194.Rikki_and_Hempleman_Adams_head_for_Everest/

ph1lc

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Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
« Reply #92 on: March 03, 2011, 11:11:28 AM »
Tender - no chance, they'll be lucky to find one mug!

Sorry Des I disagree about the Councils involvement. As a major shareholder they have every need to be involved in the negotiations, and as the major creditor it is in their best interests.

I guess that the only chance of a neew investment is going to be for the investor to aquire the total capital of DC for a nominal £1. The fact that by far the cheapest and easiest way of rolling out wi-fi is to use the Councils lamposts. This will be the only lever the Council have, without them it would make sense to put DC into administration. The few assets that DC own can be bought very cheaply from the administrators.

Referring to an earlier post of yours Des, given that it is unlikely that the Council are going to remaim a shareholder then they must not allow free access to thier electricity and no access to their network.

Offline Ringer

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Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
« Reply #93 on: March 03, 2011, 11:13:20 AM »
I would remind SBC that they are playing with public money and as such their first duty is to take action to recover that money. That duty overrides any concern for Coun Perkins or Mr Hunt.

Does the word SBC mean ergo the whole council, which would include all the Conservative councillors all the Labour councillors and all the liberal councillors? 

Lord Woolf MR said 'It is of the greatest importance that any individual who undertakes the statutory and fiduciary obligations of being a company director should realise that these are inescapable personal responsibilities"

Do companies house understand their own blimmin laws?  And does the council's solicitor know what laws apply to the Director of Digital City and Deputy Leader of the Council Councillor Garry Perkins? Who is coincidentially up for election in Shaw and Nine Elms in May unless he retires?

On a completely unrelated matter Does the Director of Financial services have a duty placed upon their position to protect council tax payers funds and to recover debts when they fall due?

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Offline Des Morgan

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Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
« Reply #94 on: March 03, 2011, 12:04:59 PM »
Quote
Sorry Des I disagree about the Councils involvement. As a major shareholder they have every need to be involved in the negotiations, and as the major creditor it is in their best interests.

Hi Phil - I don't think we actually disagree on this.  I accept they have every right to be involved both as a major creditor and shareholder which i why i refer to 'influencing' the process. What i am amazed at is that they appear to have 'taken over the role of the board of Digital City' and are acting as if SBC and Digital City are one and the same.

SBC are worried about the repayment of the loan, indeed they quote this at 1. Reasons. in the agenda paper. Where i get uneasy is where they say they need to explore options for securing investment to ensure the loan is repaid. No they don't - that's up to Digital City.  SBC can initiate action to recover the loan by implementing the clause in the loan agreement which details what should happen in the event of a default.

Of course if SBC are saying they are talking to investors on their own account (ie they have given up on Digital City) that is a different matter, but they can't use such negotiations to justify not taking action against Digital City for the recovery of the £400k



Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
« Reply #95 on: March 03, 2011, 12:37:17 PM »


I haven't read the posts between my last one and this - apologies if I repeat anything already said - but I will come back and read them in a while.

I have a theory, it's a good one, and if it's correct I have to say that the Bluhnderbirds are being more duplicitous than any of us have imagined thusfar and are actually using the failure of the Digital City wifi as a smokescreen to do something else entirely.

I'll be back.  :)

Offline Ringer

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Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
« Reply #96 on: March 03, 2011, 12:47:24 PM »
Quote
Sorry Des I disagree about the Councils involvement. As a major shareholder they have every need to be involved in the negotiations, and as the major creditor it is in their best interests.

Hi Phil - I don't think we actually disagree on this.  I accept they have every right to be involved both as a major creditor and shareholder which i why i refer to 'influencing' the process. What i am amazed at is that they appear to have 'taken over the role of the board of Digital City' and are acting as if SBC and Digital City are one and the same.

SBC are worried about the repayment of the loan, indeed they quote this at 1. Reasons. in the agenda paper. Where i get uneasy is where they say they need to explore options for securing investment to ensure the loan is repaid. No they don't - that's up to Digital City.  SBC can initiate action to recover the loan by implementing the clause in the loan agreement which details what should happen in the event of a default.

Of course if SBC are saying they are talking to investors on their own account (ie they have given up on Digital City) that is a different matter, but they can't use such negotiations to justify not taking action against Digital City for the recovery of the £400k

Is this one of the problems risks with this new way of doing business it appears you no longer know where the council starts and business finishes? Is it a sticky mess or is it totally planned, thought out and executed as the new way of doing business the council way?
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ph1lc

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Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
« Reply #97 on: March 03, 2011, 12:59:57 PM »
Des

I understand what you are saying. The truth of the situation is that DC are defunct. They have nothing to offer an investor, and no money to repay SBC.

By negotiating with investors SBC are pursueing the only hope they have of recovering any of our money.

It is unlikely that SBC will retain any of DC going forward, but if they can off load the project then there is hope of getting the taxpayers money back.

SBC have been particularily incompetant in the managing of this whole process the Chief Exec and Director of Finance bout have serious questions to answer. I only hope that someone can persuade the Audit Commission to investigate.

Offline MsD Meanor

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Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
« Reply #98 on: March 03, 2011, 01:31:40 PM »
How does one go about asking the Audit Commission to investigate ( before they no longer exist)...? And who would they take notice of?

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
« Reply #99 on: November 11, 2012, 05:31:49 PM »
Bump.