Author Topic: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?  (Read 32300 times)

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Offline Des Morgan

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #80 on: January 21, 2011, 09:38:23 AM »
Quote
I don't see a genuine investor willing to stump up £400,000 to clear Digital City's loan account with SBC and then pump another £XXX,000 in to get the project going from where it essentially stalled at week 12.

Unless the incentive is sweet enough

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #81 on: January 21, 2011, 01:16:11 PM »
I think that after what was said on the radio this morning when you eat your words it will give you a great deal of indigestion.  >:D

Well Ringer or is it ........................ as they say the proof of the pudding is in the eating >:D
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Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #82 on: January 21, 2011, 01:36:21 PM »
Having updated myself since my post yesterday I find the call made to me on Wednesday night all the more extraordinary.

The caller eulogised Rikki Hunt and his extraordinary abilities and inferred I had got him wrong on this particular project.

I wonder in the light of the last 36 hours and the postings above the caller still holds the same opinion?
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Offline Des Morgan

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #83 on: January 21, 2011, 02:09:03 PM »
Quote
The caller eulogised Rikki Hunt and his extraordinary abilities and inferred I had got him wrong on this particular project.

Was it Mrs Hunt calling you?  :o

Let's just examine one aspect of Mr Hunt's abilities on this project. Sales and Marketing.

One would imagine that Sales and Marketing were integral to the success when launching a new company and what was described as a 'technolgical revolution' - indeed so important was this activity that officers referred to it such in the original Cabinet papers.

Quote
"The success of the company Digital City particularly in the early stages how much earlier than the first sales quarter can you get will depend to a large extent on the success of the marketing campaign"
The italics are mine

Dare i be so bold as to enquire 'what marketing campaign' ?

There were 3 major outcomes which had to be satisfied, number 3 was 'effective Sales and Marketing activities and plans in place to deliver short and medium term revenue streams' - I simply do not believe 'effective' begins to describe 5 sold packages against a target of 100.

In the Signal February update - Mr Hunt states that 'The following is out initial plan' bear in mind this is now February whereas the scheme was launched 'as ready to go' to great fanfare on 16 December,  'In Highworth, from the end of February, we will carry out a leaflet drop, display window signs and place an advertisement in a community magazine'

That is the real extent of DC's marketing  of Wi-Fi in Highworth. Ignore the talk about taking a shop in the High Street and being engaged with a community group about running it in return for them staffing it - that's cheap talk.

Let me quote Mr Hunt directly: 'While others talk, Swindon is delivering'  I suggest DC did nothing but talk a good game while actually doing very little, ably assisted by the Council who were possibly so in awe of the business guru himself that they simply didn't bother to ask what was happening with the implementation of the plan they had all signed up to.

Coun Perkins may well continue to blame people like Chris Watts and myself for the 'alleged' delays in progressing the WiFi project, for my part I am perfectly happy to continue showing the timeline and the poor management which ensured the project as a commercial venture was doomed to fail - as it has.

Offline 20Eyes

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #84 on: January 21, 2011, 02:17:45 PM »
Dare i be so bold as to enquire 'what marketing campaign' ?

On that point, and while it's clearly a hot topic at TS, the vast majority of people I know were not even aware that there was a plan to bring 'free' town-wide Wi-Fi to Swindon.

Barely nobody that I know bothers with the Adver, and if you don't read that (or their online version), I'm not really sure how you'd ever know that Digital City/Signal even existed.

Ironically, almost everyone I know would fall squarely into the target market that DC would presumably be focussing on.
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Offline Des Morgan

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #85 on: January 21, 2011, 03:05:41 PM »
Quote
Barely nobody that I know bothers with the Adver

Oh no - that's a blow - it means you are missing out on my letters (only joking)   

The point you raise is very interesting and quite a serious one.  Hence the importance attached to a marketing strategy as made by officers of the Council.  It was clearly recognised that with any new venture an advertising campaign was paramount. Indeed the officers also called for the appointment of a Brand Manager and a Marketing Specialist, both positions were to be filled from supposed 'pre-existing contacts' at the time the company was formed.

 

Offline bobwright

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #86 on: January 21, 2011, 03:10:17 PM »
I was present at Cabinet on Wednesday when Gary made his announcement on a potential Wi-fi investor. This was after the ‘looking for investors’ article had gone to print. Normally the relationship between the ‘Administration’ and the Adver would prevent any unnecessary slip ups. It certainly does when the Administration wants to launch something and doesn’t want the opposition to know.

My original interest in the Wi-fi project was prompted by the ‘Political’ launch by an opposition spokesperson with no local MP’s present. After all if this was a town wide project intended to promote inclusion this should not have been a political launch. There is a protocol to be observed and all sorts of excuses were given for not inviting the MP’s in time. My own business experience suggested there was something very wrong with the behaviour and subsequent review of the timeline showed there was plenty of opportunity for the MP’s to be invited.

Further examination revealed the project emerged from a personal relationship.
Whilst this relationship should not have excluded an opportunity to tender it should not also have given any advantage. Also the advice given that it was ok to use a power intended for Regeneration in order to keep the decision making process away from Cabinet and ‘Full’ council was in my view not helpful. I do question the judgement and wisdom of those involved in this decision. Suspicion about relationships and deals is not a good way for a council to behave or appear to behave. It was the Administrations own behaviour which promoted so much interest in the project.

Whilst commercial confidentiality was the reason given to keep councillors in the dark this was not an acceptable reason for many members. It is our role to ensure public money is not wasted or worse. To my mind it was only commercially confidential because of the way the project was set up;  it was not the open transparent process expected of Councils.

Chris Watts at the time of the launch was a resident who wanted to know why he had not had the opportunity to tender. He did not belong to any political party and as far as I am aware spoke to many different councillors from all the main parties. I believe it was his dissatisfaction with the Administrations behaviour that eventually led to him joining a political Party.

I like Keith Williams and I am sad he has been briefed this way. He looks like he is firing someone else’s bullets however the records will show they are blanks.

I hope lessons have been learnt that using close relationships for Council work can lead to tarnished reputations. If matters are at a sensitive stage I hope there is still time for reflection? If it is intended to use an existing business relationship to get out of this fix it is likely to backfire. It will leave a deep suspicion that private money will be stumped up to get the Administration out of a hole and this will be recovered through charges. This will again cost the residents of Swindon, just in another way. It would be a foolish person or business to risk their reputation this way, especially when Administrations can change enabling full facts to come out.

Offline Outoftowner

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #87 on: January 21, 2011, 03:19:34 PM »
I'd seen the Aquovia website a long time ago and it made me smile. I assume that most of you have seen it but for those who haven't...would you put money into an organisation that uses phraseology like this?

Quote
The Services Ecosystem is sustained by an open-architecture, which has been built organically, in concert with global partners and providers. The key building blocks of the aQovia Service EcoSystem are based on industry leading cloud-services pioneers. The Services EcoSystem seeks to enrich lives of our customers through the application of information, communications and technology. aQovia continue to promote the integration of EcoSystems through our open-architecture platforms and integrated municipal fibre and wireless networks. A services on-ramp is an integral part of the Service EcoSystem, seeking perpetual growth and sustainability of innovation. The distillation of the intrinsic and tangible value is achieved by the creation and monetisation of services.

Please see the Services EcoSystem Network and Systems member section of our website for our current family of providers and partners. Please contact us if you wish to join us, or if you wish us to become part of your EcoSystem.

Of course you wouldn't. (Translation. Global partners = SCS, open-architecture platforms = lamp-posts, monetisation of services = we'll put our hands in your back pocket etc etc)
What's it all about?

Offline Steve Wakefield

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #88 on: January 21, 2011, 09:52:20 PM »
At the Penhill Cluster last night I have it on good authority that  a Chav was on form at the Penhill Cluster and asked questions about the Wifi roll out for Penhill.
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Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #89 on: January 22, 2011, 12:26:25 AM »
I was present at Cabinet on Wednesday when Gary made his announcement on a potential Wi-fi investor. This was after the ?looking for investors? article had gone to print. Normally the relationship between the ?Administration? and the Adver would prevent any unnecessary slip ups. It certainly does when the Administration wants to launch something and doesn?t want the opposition to know.

My original interest in the Wi-fi project was prompted by the ?Political? launch by an opposition spokesperson with no local MP?s present. After all if this was a town wide project intended to promote inclusion this should not have been a political launch. There is a protocol to be observed and all sorts of excuses were given for not inviting the MP?s in time. My own business experience suggested there was something very wrong with the behaviour and subsequent review of the timeline showed there was plenty of opportunity for the MP?s to be invited.

Further examination revealed the project emerged from a personal relationship.
Whilst this relationship should not have excluded an opportunity to tender it should not also have given any advantage. Also the advice given that it was ok to use a power intended for Regeneration in order to keep the decision making process away from Cabinet and ?Full? council was in my view not helpful. I do question the judgement and wisdom of those involved in this decision. Suspicion about relationships and deals is not a good way for a council to behave or appear to behave. It was the Administrations own behaviour which promoted so much interest in the project.

Whilst commercial confidentiality was the reason given to keep councillors in the dark this was not an acceptable reason for many members. It is our role to ensure public money is not wasted or worse. To my mind it was only commercially confidential because of the way the project was set up;  it was not the open transparent process expected of Councils.

Chris Watts at the time of the launch was a resident who wanted to know why he had not had the opportunity to tender. He did not belong to any political party and as far as I am aware spoke to many different councillors from all the main parties. I believe it was his dissatisfaction with the Administrations behaviour that eventually led to him joining a political Party.

I like Keith Williams and I am sad he has been briefed this way. He looks like he is firing someone else?s bullets however the records will show they are blanks.

I hope lessons have been learnt that using close relationships for Council work can lead to tarnished reputations. If matters are at a sensitive stage I hope there is still time for reflection? If it is intended to use an existing business relationship to get out of this fix it is likely to backfire. It will leave a deep suspicion that private money will be stumped up to get the Administration out of a hole and this will be recovered through charges. This will again cost the residents oif Swindon, just in another way. It would be a foolish person or business to risk their reputation this way, especially when Administrations can change enabling full facts to come out.

Very well put.

Talkswindon carries a very accurate  chronological history of Chris Watts' involvement in scrutinising the SBC/Digital City (UK) Ltd WiFiasco.

The account given by Cllr Keith Williams on BBC Radio Swindon last Wednesday was utterly misleading and, in my opinion, slanderous.

I believe Cllr Williams knew what he was saying was untrue and will be unable to substantiate the claims he made regarding Chris Watts by supplying evidence.

There exists, however, a very clear and public record, (much of it in papers published by SBC), of how and when Chris Watts has asked Cabinet members to explain their actions and decisions.

I doubt we will wait very long for an apology from Cllr Williams.

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #90 on: January 22, 2011, 12:50:44 AM »
I hope that Councillor Keith Williams will come on here and set the record straight.

Incidentally, I received another call tonight saying the money had not been received yet and that it had been due 'in a matter of days'.  To put the record straight what exactly did Councillor Garry Perkins say at Cabinet regarding the payment of the Council loan?

I still hope to be surprised on a positive level but get increasingly concerned about the activities of our representatives here in Shaw and Nine Elms.  They seem to be giving any serious opposition a sporting chance in May.  I guess Councillor Garry will be making his four yearly visit her to ask for votes again.  What was the name of the Councillor who stood down to enable him to stand for election here in the first place after he lost his seat in Dorcan?
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Offline Muggins

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #91 on: January 22, 2011, 08:06:42 AM »
Steve, you are right, Chav did ask about Wifi and the meeting metaphorically fell about laughing.

As only Labour and Lib Dem Cllrs were present and the only Conservative that was there was as Police Rep, there was no debate. (That's how our cluster wards were chosen to lump the politcal's all together) i.e. no toru councillor has to hear what we say or need.

However, I was quite surprised to find people there were aware of it, lot's of head nodding and growling etc.
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Offline poemogram

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #92 on: January 22, 2011, 08:25:29 AM »

Re request as to what was said by Cllr Perkins at the Cabinet re wi-fi...I was there but don't have exact words...(the sooner Council meetings are webcast the better imo)

The gist was that the loan would be repaid shortly /soon but needed some ts crossing and i's dotting with conclusive talks with business confidential secret 'investor/s' before it happens...

That was the gist.

On enquiring I was told that the draft decisions for minutes would be on the web sbc by about Monday and that the draft public question time minutes will be on web by tuesday.

As we all know...minutes are a highly politically charged document and tend towards the 'less is more' end of the spectrum with many details missed out ...however, the finally agreed DECISION column is of course key...let us all wait a little longer and see.

 

Offline Muggins

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #93 on: January 22, 2011, 08:31:55 AM »
Did anyone see the bit about the investment might be coming from SCS?

Odd.
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Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Justin Tomlinson wades into the fray
« Reply #94 on: January 22, 2011, 06:16:10 PM »
And now Justin Tomlinson wades into the fray and repeats Keith Williams' slander about Chris Watts:   At 8 Minutes and 30 seconds of this Macknugget


I think they are suddenly desperate to discredit Chris, we know it's bullshit but who are they trying to convince that the WiFiasco was bolloxed by political sabotage.

It occurs to me that Perkins' comments are covered by privilege, Tomlinsons and Williams' are not.

Offline Steve Wakefield

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #95 on: January 22, 2011, 06:56:49 PM »
I hope that Councillor Keith Williams will come on here and set the record straight.
Which record?

Incidentally, I received another call tonight saying the money had not been received yet and that it had been due 'in a matter of days'.  To put the record straight what exactly did Councillor Garry Perkins say at Cabinet regarding the payment of the Council loan?

All I know is that I am not repeating what Cllr Perkins said at Cabinet, as I may be accused of interpreting  what was said. There is no verbatim recors or audio/visual. As I know in politics what is said is always open to interpretation! Let Cllr Perkins write down exactly what he said and what it meant. Des Morgan pushed Cllr Perkins up that cul de sac during the meeting. I am not sure if Des recieved the answers he is looking for?

What was the name of the Councillor who stood down to enable him to stand for election here in the first place after he lost his seat in Dorcan?

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Offline Chav

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #96 on: January 22, 2011, 07:17:19 PM »
Quote
Steve said:
Was it Moi et mon fourgon? If so then, Non, je ne regrette rien!

Steve, have you been on google translator again !  :2funny:
or you referring to the Lyrics in that song sung by the lady with a gruff voice  >:D
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Offline Des Morgan

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #97 on: January 22, 2011, 07:31:45 PM »
The Wi-Fi fiasco will not go away - even if Coun Perkins somehow manages to get the £400k back.

The issues surrounding the deal - the broken promises by Coun Bluh, the failure of DC to perform their part of the deal (get Wi-Fi throughout the borough by April 2010) never mind into the town centre by September 2010, the management failures - possibly within the council, all of these need to be examined.

Why?  Well there has to be a process put in place which ensures that never again will a decision like this be made in isolation of the full Cabinet and even the full council. It is not for any Councillor to speculate taxpayer pounds to score political points.

Risk is one thing - gambling is quite another.
 

Offline Chav

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #98 on: January 22, 2011, 07:49:53 PM »
The Wi-Fi fiasco will not go away - even if Coun Perkins somehow manages to get the £400k back.

The issues surrounding the deal - the broken promises by Coun Bluh, the failure of DC to perform their part of the deal (get Wi-Fi throughout the borough by April 2010) never mind into the town centre by September 2010, the management failures - possibly within the council, all of these need to be examined.

Why?  Well there has to be a process put in place which ensures that never again will a decision like this be made in isolation of the full Cabinet and even the full council. It is not for any Councillor to speculate taxpayer pounds to score political points.

Risk is one thing - gambling is quite another.

Well said Des  O0

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Offline Des Morgan

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #99 on: January 22, 2011, 09:54:13 PM »
Let's see if i can assist Coun Perkins in his quest to understand the reasons for the failure of Wi-Fi in Highworth.  Here is the sales plan as set out by Rikki Hunt CEO of DC.

"Our plan is based on selling to around 5,000 homes out of the 88,000 in the Borough. 50% of which are not online. On the basis that Highworth is 5% of our population, this gives us a target for new/converted private users of between 200/250. I am targeting and expect more"

One month after Rikki Hunt wrote this, sales reported to Cabinet totalled 5 and yet this did not deter the officers from determining that DC was good for another cash injection of £250k.

And wait for it - Coun Perkins somehow thinks that the public scrutiny SBC and DC is the reason for this poor sales performance.  Get real councillor, the reason for poor sales perfomance is down to two things - poor management of a sales and marketing programme and the startlingly obvious - no one wants to buy the product !!