Author Topic: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?  (Read 32309 times)

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Offline Geoff Reid

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WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« on: January 17, 2011, 01:20:02 PM »
Local media sources, (several of them), have told the Lamplighters network that they are running out of patience with Director of Digital City (UK) Ltd and Deputy Leader of Swindon Borough Council, Councillor Garry Perkins.

When Journalists from different publications have approached Cllr Perkins, (in connection with articles they are writing), they are told:  a 'Major announcement' regarding the Wifi'asco is coming tomorrow, next week, month etc.   The general consensus seems to be that bad news is on the way but Cllr Perkins is stalling for time.

I understand that John 'Rikki' Hunt has been unavailable for comment for some weeks.

leaks (in confidence) to: Swindon Lamplighters

Discuss



Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2011, 01:45:39 PM »
 
David Runard says:


Offline Ringer

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2011, 02:12:03 PM »
Is it anything to do with the 2012 Race Online Scheme by the government and Remploy? http://raceonline2012.org/

Get involved http://raceonline2012.org/get-involved

Or Maybe its not as Race Online has been about a while I think  it was started in August
Quote
Thursday, 26 August 2010

'A race online', a new white paper from the IAB, outlines the importance of digital inclusion, and advises all IAB members to sign up as partners of Martha Lane Fox's Race Online 2012 initiative.


http://www.iabuk.net/media/images/raceonline_6945.pdf


For Twitter  see http://twitter.com/RaceOnline_2012

To qualify for inclusion there is only one rule - something described must have been said to have happened. `If the facts don`t fit the legend, print

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2011, 02:42:21 PM »

Difficult to see how Digital would benefit commercially from this initiative when other, much larger and more successful, internet providers are already aboard, and driving, the digital inclusion bus.

Quote
Marc Allera, sales and marketing director at Three, explains that as part of the mobile operator?s pledge to support Race Online 2012, they are committed to provide the opportunity for 100,000 people who are currently not online to discover the internet. To this end, at the beginning of August, Three launched the „Mobile Broadband Bus? which will provide several „Mobile Get Online Days? run by trainers from UK Online Centres to help people discover the benefits of the internet.

Perhaps I'll be pleasantly surprised and we'll soon hear that work to finish Highworth has begun, and installing Digital Citys' WiFi across the Borough is finally going to happen.

Afterall, we've been waiting over a year and Swindon Borough Council has already paid for it with our money.....

Offline 20Eyes

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2011, 08:22:22 AM »
Rikki wants more money:

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/8795963.Now_new_investors_sought_by_wi_fi_firm/
"Censorship reflects society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime." ~ Potter Stewart

Offline Des Morgan

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2011, 08:28:24 AM »
More likely it will reveal a sad truth which many of us have higlighted over the last 15 months which is that the partnership was wrong, based on the principle of 'shifting sand' and hopelessly optimistic rhetoric.  One can only hope that Coun Perkins and his friends plus to a lesser degree officers like Gavin Jones will have the courage and courtesy to apologise to TS members for the disrespect shown towards us when we highlighted the flimsy 'commercial case'.

I also hope that if they are making an anouncement of this nature they will accept they have to answer a very simple question - which is why their post March 2010 Risk Assessment was so woefully wrong. More on this later

Offline 20Eyes

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2011, 08:43:32 AM »
Risk Assessments are guesses. Educated guesses, if we're lucky, but guesses all the same. I rarely trust them and feel that the rise in people relying on them as if they were genuinely little glimpses of the future is quite worrying.

There's been a dramatic cultural change over the past decade or so which has seen people told that 'experts' are always right. I genuinely believe it was encouraged by the 'We know best, do as we tell you' attitude of the New Labour government. Very clearly, it's very often not the case.
"Censorship reflects society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime." ~ Potter Stewart

Offline Muggins

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2011, 08:50:55 AM »
Just done an in depth training session on Organisational Rick (note fruedian typo) assessment with a first class facilitator. 

Do you think I ought to send them the paperwork?

Will share line one of the how to handle the risk
'Possible Course of Action - approach'

1. Avoid the activity!
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Des Morgan

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2011, 09:00:55 AM »
Have just read the Adver (page 2) article by Scott D'Arcy - it seems that some of the fears expressed by those of us who doubted the partnership have comme home to roost.  There appears to be a shortage of money and the Council are seeking new partners (ie investors) in order to bail out the project. 

Offline 20Eyes

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2011, 09:02:26 AM »
Er, you didn't see the link five posts up?
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Offline Ringer

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2011, 09:37:52 AM »
2 different views in Swindon Advertiser
Quote
Robfm, South Marston says...
8:59am Tue 18 Jan 11

Mr B I think you will find Councillors are now legally liable for their decisions, they can be held collectively responsible for this debt if it can be shown they did not conduct 'due diligence'.

We know from the on going saga that very few in SBC knew about this until it hit the press, and there has been a lot of 'tidying up' done to make it appear a democratic decision to loan the money.

www.talkswindon.org has a mountain of information about the whole affair.
Mr B I think you will find Councillors are now legally liable for their decisions, they can be held collectively responsible for this debt if it can be shown they did not conduct 'due diligence'. We know from the on going saga that very few in SBC knew about this until it hit the press, and there has been a lot of 'tidying up' done to make it appear a democratic decision to loan the money. talkswindon.org has a mountain of information about the whole affair.
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Mr Blackwell, Swindon says...
9:01am Tue 18 Jan 11

Ah, but, no doubt, the Councillors will have plenty of evidence to show they did employ 'due diligence'. Whether they actually did, or not, is another matter entirely.
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Offline 20Eyes

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2011, 09:43:03 AM »
It's true that the only thing more inept than squandering £350k of our money for nothing would be if the people concerned hadn't adequately covered their tracks from a legal perspective.
"Censorship reflects society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime." ~ Potter Stewart

Offline I Could Do That

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2011, 10:01:53 AM »
£450k ?
Proud to be gone

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2011, 10:05:39 AM »
£400,000* of the loan has been drawn down.  £50,000 remains untouched.

I think RFM is wrong about Ultra Vires and the chance of any individual councillors being held financially responsible for the (expected) WiFi'asco losses is almost zero.


*It is possible that Mr Hunt has 'only' drawn down £200,000 of the £250,000 made available to him in the second tranch of the loan monies.

1st tranche: £150,000 - fully drawn

2nd tranche: £250,000 - between £200,000 and £250,000 drawn

3rd tranche: £50,000 - retained by SBC

Offline DarkAuror

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2011, 10:14:16 AM »
Could it also mean that Bathgate feasibility study has shown the scheme is not viable for them?

Offline 20Eyes

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2011, 10:14:42 AM »
The Adver, unsurprisingly, has it wrong then:

Quote
Yesterday’s statement made it clear that any potential deal with a private firm would include a commitment to an early repayment of the loan – of which Digital City has so far drawn £350,000.
"Censorship reflects society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime." ~ Potter Stewart

Offline Des Morgan

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2011, 12:08:57 PM »
I have it on unimpeachable authority that it's £400k

Offline I Could Do That

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2011, 12:46:24 PM »
Had a lift back from Coventry, Sunday.
Able to get internet, on iphone, pretty much all the way home.
£400k is already too much money for...... nothing.
Proud to be gone

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2011, 01:41:38 PM »
What's the betting the council have to stump up the extra cash Rikki needs?

One thing for sure - the second they say they won't then any prospective investor will simply wait and buy the company from the administrators, when it inevitably goes tits up for a few quid, then the Council will get nothing.


Offline Spectre

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Re: WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It?
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2011, 01:52:49 PM »
So, it's bust then.

It gives me no pleasure to state the obvious but it goes to prove that "if it seems too good to be true then it probably isn't".

What really makes me annoyed is the deciept and contempt that Cllrs. Bluh, Perkins and others, poured on Chris Watts, Des Morgan, Steve Wakefield and others at numerous scrutiny meetings when serious and factual concerns were submitted, both verbally and in written questions.

The likelyhood of an investor coming forward to bale out this sinking ship is unlikely but the Cabinet will make upbeat statements until after the May local council elections before they scuttle the ship. :surrender: