Author Topic: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again  (Read 35879 times)

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Offline Ringer

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Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
« Reply #40 on: February 05, 2011, 03:30:50 PM »
Quote
Does this mean they are going to own up to failure on Monday night then Des?
The word 'failure' isn't in their vocabulary. Sadly, I think their primary tactic now is simply to 'rubbish' any scrutiny.

What has changed? Nothing, but its just another brick in the wall all politically bankrupt regimes come to a tragic end no matter how glittering the start of their reign was. The Tory councillors may close ranks behind the Bluhlighans, but it will be something that comes back haunts them all.  :bottom:
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Offline Mart

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Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
« Reply #41 on: February 05, 2011, 04:01:08 PM »
The Tory councillors may close ranks behind the Bluhlighans, but it will be something that comes back haunts them all.

Won't the uniquely closed nature of the decision making allow them the option of a 'Not me Guv'? I'd kind of expect to hear the pitter patter of feet trotting in the opposite direction to establish as much distance as possible. A nice little Adver article recalling how everyone had misgivings but had received assurances blah blah blah.....

You would think the time was ripe for an ambitious sort to make their move.
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Offline Des Morgan

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Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
« Reply #42 on: February 05, 2011, 04:13:48 PM »
Interestingly the SBC website for the Scrutiny meeting under item 6 has two Wi-Fi reports.
 
http://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=34803&J=41

http://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=34806&J=41

The first contains this comment whereas the second does not, in other respects they are almost the same.

Quote
2.2. This investment of £400,000 out of a total investment portfolio of around £70m
has received, it is believed, a disproportionate amount of attention relative to the
value of the loan


This quote demonstrates the contempt reserved for real scrutiny.

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
« Reply #43 on: February 05, 2011, 05:27:33 PM »
Interestingly the SBC website for the Scrutiny meeting under item 6 has two Wi-Fi reports.
 
http://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=34803&J=41

http://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=34806&J=41

The first contains this comment whereas the second does not, in other respects they are almost the same.

Quote
2.2. This investment of £400,000 out of a total investment portfolio of around £70m
has received, it is believed, a disproportionate amount of attention relative to the
value of the loan


This quote demonstrates the contempt reserved for real scrutiny.


amd the important bit is how important £400,000 is to this Council!!

As if we can afford to throw away this type of money when £5m is being cut from the Adult Services budget.

I do not believe these people, they have more neck than Garaffe
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Offline Outoftowner

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Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
« Reply #44 on: February 06, 2011, 02:12:46 PM »
I think that we need to look into the rest of the "investment portfolio of £70M". Is this the total "investment" over many years, in which case £400,000 is a very large chunk, or is it an annual investment figure?

If the council are investing on behalf of the tax-payers of Swindon, then that would make the tax-payers, per se, "share-holders" in those investments.

It would would be nice to know what the tax-payers have invested in, how much each investment cost and what the financial return from each investment is.

(Surely the council tax hasn't been used to trade the cow for several  bags of beans?)
What's it all about?

Offline 20Eyes

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Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
« Reply #45 on: February 06, 2011, 07:40:42 PM »
Well, it's a matter of documented record now (although I'm assuming the Adver has managed to screw up the quote):

Quote
Coun Perkins: “there will be not a penny lost to the council”

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/8836168.Swindon_Wi_Fi_firm_not_paying_its_way/


There's no way back from that if any money is lost.
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Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
« Reply #46 on: February 06, 2011, 07:53:26 PM »
 
The cat is coming out of the bag.

Arse first, claws well and truly stuck in the material as it resists....


Quote
Swindon Wi-Fi firm not paying its way

7:30pm Sunday 6th February 2011


FLOUNDERING Wi-fi provider Digital City has failed to pay its last three monthly debts to the council.

It missed November, Decem-ber and January’s interest payments on the £400,000 it has borrowed.

The news has sparked renewed criticism of the internet firm’s horrendous performance.

And it contradicts an earlier assurance by deputy council leader Garry Perkins (Con, Shaw and Nine Elms).

In an email on December 20 to Des Morgan, a long-standing critic of the scheme, Coun Perkins wrote: “As with all the council’s loans, we have an active treasury management policy.

“Interest payments are still being made, the loan is not due for repayment.”

But by that stage, two of the monthly payments had been missed.

Mr Morgan, 59, of Caraway Drive, Moredon, said: “I’m concerned that the deputy leader of the council, who’s also a director of Digital City UK Ltd, appears to be unaware that the company he represents had defaulted on its interest payments.

“As a director, Garry Perkins should know if they’ve made payments or not.

“If, in the last 14 months, you haven’t met your objectives in terms of sales, you have to wonder if it’s a commercial viable business.

“They’ve got 20 customers – that’s pretty horrendous.”

Coun Perkins said: “I’ve never been involved with the day-to-day running of the company.

“I was asked in December whether it was up to date with its payments, and I said yes – because that’s what I had been told.

“When I made that statement it was correct, based on the information I had at the time.”

He said negotiations with a new investor in Digital City were under way, and that once that had been agreed, the overdue payments would be “squared off.”

“They will be paid once the deal is sorted out, and there will be not a penny lost to the council,” he said.

The revelation of the unpaid cash is in a report due to come before the Scrutiny Committee at the Civic Offices, in Euclid Street, at 6pm tonight.

The last time the issue was aired at a council meeting, it led to a heated exchange between Mr Morgan and council leader Rod Bluh (Con, Dorcan).

As Mr Morgan complained about the late arrival of answers to his latest set of wi-fi questions, Coun Bluh said: “Do you actually want this to succeed?”

Mr Morgan said: “We’re asking the questions on this, with respect.”

Coun Bluh replied: “I’ll take that as a no.”

Head of Digital City Rikki Hunt could not be reached for comment.



....but which councillor resembles the bit of the cats anatomy which looks uncannily like a pencil sharpener?

Offline Chris Watts

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Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
« Reply #47 on: February 06, 2011, 08:37:37 PM »
Cabinet briefing Note 12th October 2009

"Risk Management: ...The new Company [DC] will need to generate sufficient income to repay the loan provided by the council. Should this not be the case, security is provided through the loan agreement which requires transfer of the ownership of the company's assets to the council in the event of default. The physical assets will be purchased at a cost of around 250K..."

The current assets are not worth a tenth of that.

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Offline Mart

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Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
« Reply #48 on: February 06, 2011, 09:27:35 PM »
Wonder if Rodders will stick this on his CV.

To continue with the cat wossname I shall be shocked and amazed if certain members do not come to resemble a sack of angry cats.

What are the chances of:

The money being returned

A fulsome apology being made and resignations tendered

Some arrogant bastards getting their full comeuppance and suffering so much that even I feel a teeny bit sorry for them.

and finally

It all being made to quietly go away.

I do have an order of preference.
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
« Reply #49 on: February 07, 2011, 12:55:15 AM »
I don't think Bluh and 'Hosni' Perkins can make this go quietly away unless we decide to let them get away with doing it.

The WiFi'asco has already had one Parliamentary outing and it's possible it may yet get another.

Late last night, someone observed that I'm being quite sanguine about current events, to which I said: I'm deliberately keeping away from the forensics until we carry out the post-mortem, determine the time and cause of death, and reach a judgement on who is to blame for the loss of £400,000 (plus interest which is stacking up at about £1,000 each month).

For the time being I'm patiently waiting to see which of the WiFi-teer's will come clean first and tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

I do foresee the possibility that men in pointy hats may wish to take a long hard look at this.

I note that there is no mention of Cllr Perkins 'mystery investor' in the wifi report being presented to the scrutiny committee tonight. Perhaps Hosni will discuss that orally when he makes his 'presentation' to the committee...

...Or maybe he'll announce another date for another announcement about an upcoming announcement. 

Do we think a commercial rescue is likely?, I don't think one is, although I am willing to entertain the notion that a political rescue is being desperately sought -  but how many wealthy donors with £400,000 to waste will think Rod Bluh is worth saving, or want influence in Swindon that badly that they'd be prepared to buy it?

Interesting times. 

Offline 20Eyes

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Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
« Reply #50 on: February 07, 2011, 07:56:01 AM »
Although I suspect a private investor may not be forthcoming, it would be unwise of anyone to assume the absolute death of the project/non-repayment of the loan at this stage.

If (and it's a big 'if') they do have someone lined up to step in, nothing suits their purpose better than a general belief that they don't have.

It's getting to the point where I just cannot see how they can now backtrack on this. They've all but promised a backer will appear and they've definitely promised that all of the loan will be repayed. They must surely know that these things now either happen or they're out on their ear.

What to do, though. Even the WiFi scandal isn't bad enough to consider electing the Labour group to run the Council... so, if things don't come to pass as the current Council have indicated, what's the way forward?
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Offline DarkAuror

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Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
« Reply #51 on: February 07, 2011, 09:19:05 AM »
So from the Adver, Mr Perkins was quoted;

“I was asked in December whether it was up to date with its payments, and I said yes – because that’s what I had been told.

“When I made that statement it was correct, based on the information I had at the time.”

But from Des Morgan's information that DC have missed interest payments in November, Mr Perkins has been misinformed/given incorrect information at the time he made the statement. Either way, how can Mr Perkins accuse members of this forum of misinformation and lies when he is a director of a company that is doing exactly the same. ???

And people wonder they have no faith in the political system. :bash:

Offline 20Eyes

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Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
« Reply #52 on: February 07, 2011, 09:26:20 AM »
So, are we seriously expected to believe that as (a) Director of Digital City he was told by the staff responsible that the company had met the repayments and (b) as Deputy Leader of The Council specifically overseeing this project he was told by Council staff that the repayments had been received?

That seems painfully difficult to accept as being the case; TWO sets of people providing completely incorrect (yet very basic, 'yes/no') information for a period of two different months? That's potentially (at least) four instances of people telling him the complete opposite of the reality.

Seriously?

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Offline Muggins

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Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
« Reply #53 on: February 07, 2011, 09:43:15 AM »
When they finally admit that this is a huge mistake, do you think they will come out admitting to being incredibly gullible and sleep walking through the whole start of the project. 

Or will they hate to do that and prefer to hold their hands up and say they gambled with our money?

Either way, they are not going to come up smelling of roses!
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Offline I Could Do That

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Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
« Reply #54 on: February 07, 2011, 09:57:26 AM »
20 - "What to do, though. Even the WiFi scandal isn't bad enough to consider electing the Labour group to run the Council... so, if things don't come to pass as the current Council have indicated, what's the way forward?"

I've been called a lefty, by you, so many times I simply must vote Labour >:D
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Offline 20Eyes

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Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
« Reply #55 on: February 07, 2011, 10:18:05 AM »
When they finally admit that this is a huge mistake, do you think they will come out admitting to being incredibly gullible and sleep walking through the whole start of the project. 

Or will they hate to do that and prefer to hold their hands up and say they gambled with our money?

Either way, they are not going to come up smelling of roses!

In a weird way, I'm starting to think they might actually have a 'donor' lined up. As Geoff has hinted, it'll likely be a bail-out intended to absolve the Council and gain some influence for the benefactor.

If that doesn't happen, I'm sure the necessary scapegoat(s) will be in place before any official announcement of 'non-success' is made.
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Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
« Reply #56 on: February 07, 2011, 10:31:03 AM »
I just cannot see how they can now backtrack on this. They've all but promised a backer will appear and they've definitely promised that all of the loan will be repayed.

Nope, take another look at the latest statement by Hosni Perkins and reflect on what he actually said:

The Adver sets up the question/answer with:

He said negotiations with a new investor in Digital City were under way, and that once that had been agreed, the overdue payments would be “squared off.”

To which Hosni replies [direct quotation]:

Quote from: Cllr Garry 'Hosni' Perkins
“They will be paid once the deal is sorted out, and there will be not a penny lost to the council,”

He said 'they': With 'they' meaning the missed interest payments which are currently about £4,400 and expected to rise to £5,500 by the end of February.

Nowhere in the above article did Hosni-P make any reference to his earlier statements/inferences that an incoming investor will settle the entire (£400,000) loan, plus accrued interest, before the loan becomes due at the end of 2011.

Anything and everything Hosni P says must be examined through a lens of semantic-critique. Nothing he says can be taken on good faith as meaning what you think it means because almost everything he says about WiFi has proven to be duplicitous, deliberately ambiguous or evasive.

And he has the nerve to accuse others of lying and spreading misinformation to derail the WiFi'asco ?


Anyway, Digital City seems unable to meet it's liabilities and the value of its assets do not exceed its liabilities - so it's insolvent isn't it? - the WiFi'asco does not have enough customers to service its debt, cover its running costs or have enough, (or any?), capital to meet it's stated aim of Borough-wide coverage, so what would possibly tempt a genuine investor to invest in a project which has market-tested itself for a year, cost £400,000 and only has approximately 20 customers supplying a monthly income of about £200 ?

In its current form it is already dead, and has been so for nearly a year.  I think it was March 2010 that Rikki Hunt was reported to have quietly admitted to a few people that he knew it "wasn't going to fly" - his words, not mine :)

I stand ready to be amazed by a positive revelation at tonight's WiFi presentation, but I expect to be underwhelmed again.   





Offline 20Eyes

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Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
« Reply #57 on: February 07, 2011, 10:50:57 AM »
While I understand your points, I don't see how he could be published as saying "and there will be not a penny lost to the council" and then have the Council lose £400k.

If we really want to get technical, interest repayments on loans are not money 'lost' if they're not paid - because the money was never 'had' in the first place.

Therefore I still believe that Perkins must be held to his statement in direct relation to the £400k loan money... which is money already lost and which can only return to a state of "not a penny lost to the council" once repayed in full.
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Offline Muggins

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Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
« Reply #58 on: February 07, 2011, 10:56:07 AM »
"not a penny lost to the council"

He's probably dead right 'A' penny won't be lost to the council - it will be more like 400,000,000.

So no arguing with that statment which ever way you read it.
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Offline Chris Watts

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Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
« Reply #59 on: February 07, 2011, 11:03:30 AM »
So, are we seriously expected to believe that as (a) Director of Digital City he was told by the staff responsible that the company had met the repayments and (b) as Deputy Leader of The Council specifically overseeing this project he was told by Council staff that the repayments had been received?

That seems painfully difficult to accept as being the case; TWO sets of people providing completely incorrect (yet very basic, 'yes/no') information for a period of two different months? That's potentially (at least) four instances of people telling him the complete opposite of the reality.

Seriously?
This adds to the lists of thing they allegedly did not know.
  • SBC allegedly did not know that a senior officer was a Director of DC
  • Also the senior officer allegedly did not know he was a director (even though he had put this on his LinkedIn web page)
  • SBC allegedly did not know that DC shares had been allocated to an Isle of Man registered company, instead of the UK company listed in the cabinet briefing note
  • SBC allegedly did not know that DC shares had been allocated to the MD of DC directly , instead of the UK based consultancy company listed in the cabinet briefing note
  • They did not know that the alleged MD of the technology partner company was not a registered director of that company.
  • SBC did not know the director status within DC of the technology partner.

Who would put £400K into a company without knowing the basics, such as Directors and share holdings?

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