Author Topic: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?  (Read 246573 times)

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Offline mikbrains

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Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #80 on: May 28, 2011, 07:40:51 PM »
Richard........hope so..........but do you really believe we will get answers (all of them)
Let us all work for a better Swindon.

Offline boothill

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Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #81 on: May 28, 2011, 08:30:38 PM »
One WiFi Story Too Many ??


Despite attempts to secure a High Court Super Injunction, the news has been leaked that I am leaving the Adver! I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for your encourgement, support and occasional coercion.
In June, Gary Lawrence will be taking over at the helm as Group Editor for Newsquest titles in Wiltshire. Both Gary and Adver deputy editor, Pauline Leighton, will be your points of contact for the Adver.
Best wishes,
Dave.
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Office: 01793-501842.
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Offline mikbrains

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Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #82 on: May 28, 2011, 08:55:18 PM »
Oh my God....will the adver survive?
Let us all work for a better Swindon.

Offline Des Morgan

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Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #83 on: May 29, 2011, 09:55:46 AM »
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will the adver survive?

I think it will, the bigger question is in what format will it survive.  I imaging Coun Bluh and his politburo are hoping it will become a weekly paper which in turn will make it a weakly scrutineer of all things SBC.  A sad day for all who prize transparency but a good day for those who really do prefer the opaqueness of political speak.

Offline mikbrains

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Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #84 on: May 29, 2011, 11:22:19 AM »
Des
Politics is politics......open and honest it will never be.
Let us all work for a better Swindon.

Offline Muggins

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Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #85 on: May 29, 2011, 03:01:09 PM »
"which in turn will make it a weakly scrutineer of all things SBC"

Fruedian slip on the spelling there, Des? .
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: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #86 on: May 29, 2011, 06:20:29 PM »
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Fruedian slip on the spelling there, Des? .

Absolutely not Muggins - very carefully chosen

Offline Des Morgan

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Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #87 on: June 01, 2011, 06:55:07 PM »
I asked Coun Perkins a series of questions relating to the Digital City UK Limited 'Business Plan' and very sepcifically which one they were working to.  The import of this is that as part of the condition to release the second tranche of money (£250k) the 'Forward Business Plan' had to be reviewed and signed off by two different groups of officers.

I have had it confirmed that the Forward Business Plan was risk assessed and signed off in line with the requirement.

Payment of the £250k was then made in May but as we know by June a 'new business plan' was being worked up by Rikki Hunt - my question was simply this - Was this June plan being risk assessed by officers.  In late 2010 Coun Perkins himself refers to 'yet another' business plan being worked on and the same question applies.

Interestingly Coun Perkins adopts a very aggressive stance in suggesting that i have accused the Council of being 'tardy' in their response to me (i suppose in his world a 3 month delay isn't tardy - but in fairmess to Coun Bluh he thought it was and offered a very real apology for the delay at the last cabinet meeting prior to the election)

Here is the 1st response from Coun Perkins

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Thank you for your latest question about Digital City UK’s business plan and revised business plan that you raised at Cabinet on 20th April. 

Neither of these is the current business plan as the business plan has been revised several times since January 2011.

The current business plan has not been subject to risk assessment by Council officers

I wanted clarification on the use of the January 11 date and sent this request

Quote
Thank you for this. Just to be absolutely clear and to avoid any misunderstanding, does Coun Perkins really mean January 2011?

The original business plan was formulated pre October 2009

The second business plan was agreed post March 2010

A reference to another business plane was made in June 2010 and further reference made yet another business plan was made in the last quarter of 2010.

Digital City has not functioned post December 2010 and any business plan for DC post January 2011 is immaterial insofar as my question is concerned.

Coun Perkins also refers to ‘the current plan’ in responding to my question as to whether or not officers have conducted a risk assessment.  As Coun Perkins will know I am not asking whether the current plan post January 2011, whatever number plan than may be has been ‘risk assessed’ – my question was directed specifically with regard to the business plan being worked to immediately post the March 2010 plan against which the additional loan of £250k was advanced.  So to avoid any further confusion can I assume that there was no officer risk assessment of any business plan post the March 2010 business plan which is referred to in the minutes of the Cabinet dated 10 March 2010 as ‘the forward business plan’?

Having waited over 3 months for an answer to my question, please may I ask that a response to this clarification be forthcoming without further delay

Today I received this response

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Thank you for your latest questions that you sent by email on 18th May 2011.  I do not accept your premise that the Council has been tardy in answering your questions.

In answer to your latest questions:

1)     The original business plan was formulated pre-October 2009?

It is my understanding that this is true, however, I was not a member of Digital City UK’s Board at this time

2)     The second business plan was agreed post March 2010.

It is my understanding that this is true.

3)     Digital City has not functioned post December 2010.

This statement is not correct.  Digital City UK is still functioning; it is not trading at present.

4)     Was there no Officer risk assessment of any business plan post March 2010?

It is my understanding that this is true.


So to finish the sequence i sent this reply

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Dear Garry

Clearly you have managed to read something into my enquiry for a simple clarification of a date, something which simply was not present in my email.

You begin by stating with certainty that “I do not accept your premise that the Council has been tardy in answering your questions”  Perhaps you will direct me to a point in my email where I accuse the council of being tardy, otherwise I request that you apologise and withdraw the comment, as I have not accused the council of ‘tardiness’ in the email.


However, as the word ‘tardy’ used by you does have a definition, let us see if it can in any way be applied to this particular subject’s correspondence. The word ‘tardy’ is defined to mean ‘delayed beyond the expected or proper time’  As Coun Bluh has already readily acknowledged the response has been delayed beyond the expected or  proper time and has been gracious enough to apologise in open Cabinet for the delay, an apology I accept on the basis that he really was quite shocked that a response had not been forthcoming, I think if I had used the word ‘tardy’ I would have been well within my rights but I didn’t use the word and you have read something into the email which is non existent

With regard to my question of which there were only two as suggested by the question marks (remember you previously castigated me for asking a question for which there was no question mark, so I thought it best to be precise this time) you seem to have ignored it completely. ‘Do you really mean January 2011 as set out in your reply (copied below)  If so I cannot understand why Digital City UK limited’s business plan post January 2011 would have been revised several times.

I am concerned as to whether the Business Plan referred to in June 2010 had been ‘Risk Assessed’ by officers of the Council as it was the case that the Forward Business Plan as presented in March 2010 and on which the £250k was loaned – had been Risk Assessed.

  am grateful that you have clarified the matter regarding Digital City and the fact that it is not trading, I meant functioning in exactly that way, however your use of the words ‘not trading’ is far more eloquent and enlightening.

« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 07:50:18 PM by Des Morgan »

Offline Outoftowner

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Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #88 on: June 01, 2011, 08:51:26 PM »
Hum? "Not trading."

I prefer "never has traded"!

What's it all about?

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #89 on: June 02, 2011, 07:49:28 PM »
In the absence of an announcement of a trillion pound investment I suspect the funeral is imminent!

and then the inquest will begin

in Ernest!! 
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Offline mikbrains

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Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #90 on: June 02, 2011, 08:39:16 PM »
Any inquiry would I believe not tell us more than we know already. The war drums are pounding and I hope that next year the good people in Swindon will remove the negative so called Councillors responsible for the desperate state our town finds itself in. How can they get so many so many things wrong?
Let us all work for a better Swindon.

Offline Mart

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Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #91 on: June 02, 2011, 08:54:40 PM »
Functioning but not trading?

That one is right out of the politicians lexicon.

More than a hint of the Norwegian Blue I reckon and a voyage through an ocean of semantics beckons.

Stand by to be patronised until your spleen combusts, it's like a having a burglar come back and take the piss.
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 Richard Symonds

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Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #92 on: June 02, 2011, 11:25:14 PM »
Any inquiry would I believe not tell us more than we know already. The war drums are pounding and I hope that next year the good people in Swindon will remove the negative so called Councillors responsible for the desperate state our town finds itself in. How can they get so many so many things wrong?

I want more than that Mik, I want accountability and then and only then will be people be discouraged from ever doing this again.
All my posts are my own opinion and do not represent any political organization or group

Offline mikbrains

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Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #93 on: June 02, 2011, 11:57:23 PM »
Any inquiry would I believe not tell us more than we know already. The war drums are pounding and I hope that next year the good people in Swindon will remove the negative so called Councillors responsible for the desperate state our town finds itself in. How can they get so many so many things wrong?

I want more than that Mik, I want accountability and then and only then will be people be discouraged from ever doing this again.

Well Richard maybe there should be a campaign to change the codes of practice for both Councillors and officers which was drafted by a very clever lawyer. In real terms it prevents the Councillors from being accountable to the electorate and they cannot go against the decisions of officers as that means going against the Council. Work it out; if someone takes the Council to Court; the action is against an officers decision; not a Councillors. All clever stuff. On that edict; who gave Rod Bluh permission to loan the money for WiFi and who
authorised the repairs to the Mechanics?
Let us all work for a better Swindon.

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #94 on: June 03, 2011, 06:47:24 AM »
1   Not consulting experts in this field before commiting.

2   Not abiding by their own loan stipulations.

3   Relying on the charisma of one person, without qualification in the subject, to carry the project through.

4   Downright stupidity in the way they have handle the media interest in Wifi.

So, best of luck SBC


Let's go through those points:

1 - Not getting a consultant in, that must be a first for SBC! Just asking an IT lecturer at Swindon College probably would have done the job.

2 - Yup.  What happened to due diligence I wonder?

3 - If you've ever watched The Apprentice (BTW I owned an Amstrad radio once - it was rubbish) you'll see that that is allegedly what "makes a good manager" in UK plc.

4 - I'd go further, downright stupidity in the way they handled everything.


But they did have a consultant. His name was John Richard (Rikki) Hunt and he was, until recently, the managing Director of Avidity Consulting Ltd, which owns 40% of Digital City (UK) Ltd.

Avidity consulting remains a 40% shareholder of/in Digital City (UK) Ltd despite Mr Hunts earlier promises to 'gift' the shares to SBC.  Mr Hunt is no longer the MD at Avidity because he stepped down some time back and was replaced by Mrs Laura Hunt who has, thusfar at least, not repeated the promise to 'gift' the DC shares to anybody.

I suppose some might think me cynical, (I'm sure Rikki's mate in Eastcott and a couple of his other apologists certainly will), but I wonder if Mrs Hunts retention of those shares has anything to do with the long-awaited and now overdue announcement of the WiFi rescue deal?  If the rescue deal happens, and the rescuer investor does manage to turn the WiFiasco into a WiFiSuccess, then presumably that 40% shareholding might be quite valuable one day....

....or perhaps the rescue deal has been done and Avidity consulting have already sold, not gifted, that 40% share away.

 

Offline Tobes

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Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #95 on: June 03, 2011, 07:06:38 AM »
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suppose some might think me cynical, (I'm sure Rikki's mate in Eastcott and a couple of his other apologists certainly will),

Who's that Geoff?
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #96 on: June 03, 2011, 07:18:19 AM »
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suppose some might think me cynical, (I'm sure Rikki's mate in Eastcott and a couple of his other apologists certainly will),

Who's that Geoff?

Ah, not you Tobes  :wink:

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Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #97 on: June 03, 2011, 07:24:49 AM »

But they did have a consultant. His name was John Richard (Rikki) Hunt and he was, until recently, the managing Director of Avidity Consulting Ltd, which owns 40% of Digital City (UK) Ltd.

Avidity consulting remains a 40% shareholder of/in Digital City (UK) Ltd despite Mr Hunts earlier promises to 'gift' the shares to SBC.  Mr Hunt is no longer the MD at Avidity because he stepped down some time back and was replaced by Mrs Laura Hunt who has, thusfar at least, not repeated the promise to 'gift' the DC shares to anybody.

I suppose some might think me cynical, (I'm sure Rikki's mate in Eastcott and a couple of his other apologists certainly will), but I wonder if Mrs Hunts retention of those shares has anything to do with the long-awaited and now overdue announcement of the WiFi rescue deal?  If the rescue deal happens, and the rescuer investor does manage to turn the WiFiasco into a WiFiSuccess, then presumably that 40% shareholding might be quite valuable one day....

....or perhaps the rescue deal has been done and Avidity consulting have already sold, not gifted, that 40% share away.


Just because local tax payers have lost out, we shouldn't assume that the Hunts are making money from this, somehow. A shares sale would be one way of doing it. I'd also like to know how much of the £450,000+ has gone on wages and directors' expenses.

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #98 on: June 03, 2011, 07:39:12 AM »
I'm willing to bet that not one penny has been drawn in wages by senior staff at either Avoidity Consulting or Digital City.

It was rumoured that upwards of £20,000 per month was being paid from one company to another in 'consultancy' fees during the gravy days of  Digital City. I don't have any documentary evidence to properly confirm or utterly refute that rumour although I would happily peruse anything on the subject which arrived at the TS leakline and report back on it where appropriate.


Re: Leakline - I'm currently considering whether it would be appropriate, (given that I recently became a member of the Labour party), for me to continue being involved with lamplighters and the TS leakline.  I wouldn't want to give Swindon's right-wing nutters the opportunity to claim Lamplighters is a left-wing party political organ.

Volunteers to take it on? (some vetting would apply).

Offline Mart

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Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #99 on: June 03, 2011, 09:19:27 AM »
I read on Talkswindon the other day that Lamplighters is a left wing party political organ and is run by a member.

Of the Labour party.

Any information relating should be sent to, um.......

I don't think it matters but I is fick and naive.
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