Author Topic: W-fi report won’t blame individuals  (Read 8059 times)

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Offline jennyb

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Re: W-fi report won’t blame individuals
« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2013, 07:57:24 PM »
When I worked at the borough, I had a line manager who was very keen to try innovative new materials and/or ground breaking techniques. I remember him being very disappointed when his manager continually slapped him down and explained that SBC was a small unitary authority and could not afford to make mistakes. He argued that SBC should be using tried and tested materials and techniques (industry best practice) and leave the risky innovation to the larger authorities who could afford to get it wrong.

If Birmingham spend £100k on a trial project and it works, SBC might use it next time. If the trial is unsuccessful, £100k represents a small percentage of Birmingham's budget and they can afford to take the hit.

Have any of Swindon's risky innovative projects been successful?


It would appear that Class Solutions can't even find a market in Swindon. Millions spent to try to compete with real businesses.

Brought to fruition with secretive groups spending tax payers money for which no records appear to exist.
It takes wisdom to know what you know and wisdom to know what you don't know and when to call in those who do. Often the people who do know will advise that evidence and research are very helpful when making decisions. Who knows it might even save a bit of money.

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Re: W-fi report won’t blame individuals
« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2013, 09:49:18 PM »
Very unusual using the Adver as the font of knowledge. As stated previously the alternative of no one is responsible is impossible.
The report is being produced and I think Des is wise to keep to the facts revealing responsibility.

For someone who is normally so eloquent and can talk the hind legs off a donkey, in this case you seem to be very brief but not to the point.   You seem to be saying that no one being responsible is impossible but at the same time endorsing Des saying no one is responsible...

Is he protecting all politicians or just some with such an economical statement?  I don't mind politicians running the town, however a tax payer voting for Perkins is like a chicken voting for Colonel Saunders and are the councillors on the review group now acting as agents?

Offline Mickraker

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Re: W-fi report won’t blame individuals
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2013, 10:37:59 PM »
And someone has to accept responsibility for the failure of the scheme and for the 'brainless' decision to give Mr Hunt the second tranche of £250k.

If you read other threads I think you may learn it was cabinet and scrutiny that decided after two goes at it to hand it over  :-\
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Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: W-fi report won’t blame individuals
« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2013, 10:51:14 PM »
And someone has to accept responsibility for the failure of the scheme and for the 'brainless' decision to give Mr Hunt the second tranche of £250k.

If you read other threads I think you may learn it was cabinet and scrutiny that decided after two goes at it to hand it over  :-\

and I went to both and at Cabinet said to them that 'do you realize that you are jointly and severly liable for this money if things go wrong?,' at which point Rod Bluh leapt to his feet 'No we are not' and sat down!!  That should say it all really and how responsible that individual feels for any impending possibility of failure of anything with which he is or was associated.

So Scrutiny and Cabinet voted for this hand over of money without question and are just as culpable as anyone else in this disastrous sequence of incompetence!  The question remains who is to blame, or is it the electorate for voting in these people in the first place?

The only good that seems to have come out of all this is that the Lead Member for Finance no longer talks of the necessity for us to find alternative ways of raising money outside of normal Council Activity.
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Offline Mickraker

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Re: W-fi report won’t blame individuals
« Reply #24 on: May 06, 2013, 10:56:45 PM »
Not yet anyway but would it be done as publically after the wifi  :-\
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Offline Des Morgan

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Re: W-fi report won’t blame individuals
« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2013, 07:49:20 AM »
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The only good that seems to have come out of all this is that the Lead Member for Finance no longer talks of the necessity for us to find alternative ways of raising money outside of normal Council Activity.

One of the most over used expressions, often heard from publicly funded organisations is - 'Where there are lessons to be learned we will learn them'

I hope Swindon Council will learn from there past errors. I suspect there will be a period of purdah where members shy away from anything which has the faintest whiff of a 'risky deal' more likely there will be a few 'wiser heads' saying "hold on - lets think this though"

Coun  Renard will not, I suspect, be enamoured of the Bluh fascincation for being 'the first' at everything, and I doubt he will be allowing offciers as much free rein as was displayed under the previous regime.

Having said all of that, there is no doubt in my mind that the Strong Leader/Cabinet model of Local Government has tendency to produce leaders who feel a need to assert their alpha side and demonstrate who is boss.

So the challenge, after Wi-Fi is over and it is not yet close to the finishing line, will be to continue keeping a close eye on the machinations of the Civic Offices, looking for the little things which officers slip into documents and which councillors overlook. It will also mean keeping an eye open on the machiavellian ways of polticians and asking the simple but quite effective question "why do they reallywant to do that"

Gone are the days when we will ever trust the word of a local politician without questionning their motivation. It's sad but they have brought it on themselves. Some by their actions and others by their inaction.

Des Moffatts mea culpa says it all - he knows that opposition councillors could and should have done more to stop the release of at least £250k plus over £20k of expenditure - he recognises that there should have been greater rigour dipslayed in seeking answers to questions asked and more, he is aware that the proof of 'something wrong' was presented but people simply turned a blind eye, closed ranks and defended the indefensible.

Offline Des Moffatt

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Re: W-fi report won’t blame individuals
« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2013, 04:58:58 PM »
Groupthink explained
http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_82.htm

Offline Muggins

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Re: W-fi report won’t blame individuals
« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2013, 06:38:06 PM »
Quote from Des's link "Two well-known examples of Groupthink in action are the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster and the Bay of Pigs invasion. Engineers of the space shuttle knew about some faulty parts months before takeoff, but they did not want negative press so they pushed ahead with the launch anyway. With the Bay of Pigs invasion, President Kennedy made a decision and the people around him supported it despite their own concerns."

Puts the Wifi thing into perspective, doesn't it! 

The rest, the sort of recipe in the article, we've done that at training sessions and can be avoided most of the time, if everyone is asked individually, "What do you think" and then remarks debated.  'Course this should be after the training session on 'Assertiveness'.  And 'How to make meetings work' and "Barriers to good decision making".   

To speak up and then be made fun off in a snide and underhand way, does not lead to best decisions.
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Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: W-fi report won’t blame individuals
« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2013, 09:06:57 PM »
Having been a member of Talkswindon for approx 6 months, I have read widely differing opinions on a diverse variety of topics.

It seems that wi-fi is the one topic that everyone agrees on. Says it all really.

Offline Mickraker

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Re: W-fi report won’t blame individuals
« Reply #29 on: May 07, 2013, 10:54:55 PM »
Having been a member of Talkswindon for approx 6 months, I have read widely differing opinions on a diverse variety of topics.

It seems that wi-fi is the one topic that everyone agrees on. Says it all really.

Groupthink maybe  :-\

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Offline bobwright

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Re: W-fi report won’t blame individuals
« Reply #30 on: May 07, 2013, 11:27:37 PM »
For the record I am not faceless although I am partially colour blind.

I supported the idea of borough wide Wifi. I have already tried through Scrutiny, Cabinet and Full Council to get those responsible to step up. The council is now seeking an explanation for the use of the second tranche and the way it went about its release. This will be in a scrutiny report and this will be presented at a council scrutiny meeting, not through the Adver etc.

Offline Tobes

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Re: W-fi report won’t blame individuals
« Reply #31 on: May 08, 2013, 10:25:47 AM »
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This will be in a scrutiny report and this will be presented at a council scrutiny meeting, not through the Adver etc.

As this was public money, supposedly spent for the benefit of the public, based on a decision and clearance by publicly elected councilors before being squandered on and by another member of the public, can we (the public) ask why?!

The democratic process can only be served if those responsible are accountable to the public. Closed session scrutiny committees in which no one is held responsible or where the full details are not shared externally do nothing to dispel the accusation of cover-up.

There should be a full, frank and honest public joint statement made by the leaders of all three parties in my view.
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Offline Martin Wicks

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Re: W-fi report won’t blame individuals
« Reply #32 on: May 08, 2013, 10:56:15 AM »
it's one thing to say it must go to the scrutiny committee first. You wouldn't expect members involved in drawing up the report to discuss it with the Adver before that. However, the report should obviously be published and open to public scrutiny, and then those who drew it up should be free to discuss it.

Offline jennyb

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Re: W-fi report won’t blame individuals
« Reply #33 on: May 08, 2013, 05:42:43 PM »
Quote
This will be in a scrutiny report and this will be presented at a council scrutiny meeting, not through the Adver etc.

As this was public money, supposedly spent for the benefit of the public, based on a decision and clearance by publicly elected councilors before being squandered on and by another member of the public, can we (the public) ask why?!

The democratic process can only be served if those responsible are accountable to the public. Closed session scrutiny committees in which no one is held responsible or where the full details are not shared externally do nothing to dispel the accusation of cover-up.

There should be a full, frank and honest public joint statement made by the leaders of all three parties in my view.

well said!
It takes wisdom to know what you know and wisdom to know what you don't know and when to call in those who do. Often the people who do know will advise that evidence and research are very helpful when making decisions. Who knows it might even save a bit of money.

Offline Des Morgan

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Re: W-fi report won’t blame individuals
« Reply #34 on: May 08, 2013, 07:26:28 PM »
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it's one thing to say it must go to the scrutiny committee first. You wouldn't expect members involved in drawing up the report to discuss it with the Adver before that. However, the report should obviously be published and open to public scrutiny, and then those who drew it up should be free to discuss it.

As a vocal critic of the activities which led to the first loan being granted and the decision to make a further payment to Mr Hunt when it was obvious the company had all but failed ( a point confirmed bt SBCs Chief Executive who said it was clear from March 2010 the Company could not do what it was supposed to) I believe the report should be considered by Scrutiny as opposed to trawled in the SA.

However, the report was originally due to be presented to Scrutiny in January and we in May and fast heading towards June.

There are some who would not be surprised if the ploy of the Council, both corporate and political was to delay publication until the summer.  Moreover, there are fears that the Borough Solicitor will attempt to 'strike fear' in the hearts of the four councillors compiling the report by threatening them with all sorts of litigation if they name names.

Come to think of it - who would you think might have taken a robust approach to any leagl issues regarding DC - such as whether a legal charge had been taken out on the assest of Dc to cover the loan.  Oh silly me - the Council (corporate) and the Council (Political) maintained they had until I challenged their assertion.

I hope the report will be a warts and all expose - but i am not holding my breath.

I do suspect it will be 'uncomfortable reading' but possibly lacking any 'edge'

Offline Outoftowner

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W-fi report won’t blame individuals
« Reply #35 on: May 08, 2013, 08:54:17 PM »
When we do get the report ladies and gentlemen may I suggest one thing?
I suggest that we  say nothing at first but individually analyse the content, comparing the report with the facts as we believe them to be. Then double check any inconsistencies. Then PM one another comparing notes, then go public on TS and wherever else.
This ploy does risk losing any impetus generated by the report's publication so we must act very, very quickly once the report is in the public domain. 
What's it all about?

Offline Mart

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Re: W-fi report won’t blame individuals
« Reply #36 on: May 08, 2013, 09:07:44 PM »
So, I can't say it's bollocks yet then?
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 boothill

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Re: W-fi report won’t blame individuals
« Reply #37 on: May 08, 2013, 09:55:29 PM »
                             So, I can't say it's bollocks yet then?


ooh matron..what are you like, and in the presence of a Presbyterian philatelist at that  ?
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Offline Outoftowner

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W-fi report won’t blame individuals
« Reply #38 on: May 08, 2013, 10:44:57 PM »
I would suggest Mart that a generalisation  like "Bollocks", would be quite acceptable and most likely, a very apt, overarching, description of the report. I'm just trying to make sure that the detailed comments are well thought through before we go back to the Council. We must pre- empt any whitewash judging by past events.
What's it all about?

Offline Mickraker

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Re: W-fi report won’t blame individuals
« Reply #39 on: May 09, 2013, 07:55:00 AM »
Will it depend when detailed well thought through comments are presented. Before the meeting takes place at the meeting or after it  has taken place :-\
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