Talkswindon

Big Local Issues & Enquiries => Talkswindon WiFi Inquiry => Topic started by: Geoff Reid on August 02, 2010, 10:59:48 AM

Title: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Geoff Reid on August 02, 2010, 10:59:48 AM

Also Blogged Here: http://www.geoffreid.com/?p=573 (http://www.geoffreid.com/?p=573)

(http://www.geoffreid.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/wheres_my_signal_august2010x280.jpg)

The tax paying residents of Swindon continue to ask where the promised Digital City/Swindon Borough Council operated WiFi network is, and after Cllr Garry Perkins - Deputy leader of the council and Director of Digital City (UK) Ltd - bizarrely  refused to answer (http://www.geoffreid.com/?p=442) questions on the subject at a recent council meeting, it once again falls to members of the public to inform other members of the public what is happening to their 'investment'.

Some of you may have noticed Roger Ogle published a WIFi related story in the August edition of the Link Magazine.  Apart from stating that the Audit Commission had 'ratified' the WiFi decisions taken by the Borough Council - It didn't 'ratify' anything, it merely stated that it found no evidence of an illegal act taking place - it was quite an informative piece because it went some way to answering the questions that Cllr Perkins found too difficult and which also saw Rikki Hunt blaming 'delays in getting council funds' for the scheme now being many months behind schedule.

I can tell readers, with a higher degree of honesty than you'll get from official channels, that the 'delay' Mr Hunt suffered in getting his hands on the publicly funded loan to his company  should have been no longer than 14 days.  This 'delay' may have been caused by members of the public asking legitimate and searching questions about the scheme. Questions which should have been asked by the council itself well before the £450,000 public loan was ever agreed.  Unfortunately for Mr Hunt, and probably the public purse, the public and the council council were both prevented from asking any questions prior to the loan being agreed and contract signed because Cllr's Bluh and Edwards 'did the deal' secretly, thereby deliberately preventing the entire council from properly scrutinising the arrangement before it had begun.  As it turned out Cllr Bluh still managed to circumvent much of the subsequent public scrutiny process in his rush to release the remainder of the loan to Digital City (UK) Ltd, and managed to do so before many questions had been satisfactorily and fully answered.   Just another day at the office for the democratic Councillor Bluh.

So where's our WiFi now?

Industry sources tell me that nothing has yet been installed in Swindon Town centre and that Highworth still remains unfinished despite Mr Hunt telling the Link magazine that technical problems there had been overcome.  I suspect that the project in Highworth remains stalled because there is a shortage of lamposts in appropriate positions although this hasn't prevented Mr Hunt from trying out some interesting applications, (probably telemedicine, CCTV and the energy monitoring he mentioned a while back), on the residents of a well known sheltered housing scheme in Highworth.  Are we witnessing the birth of  'Digital Wardens' in Swindon I wonder?

A little gentle sniffing around further afield reveals that Mr Hunt has been approaching other bodies for funding, notably the soon-to-be-axed RDA, (Regional Development Agency), and submitting multiple bids to the Governments Technology Strategy Board, and not forgetting his approaches to several  local authorities, some of which might just be daft enough to lend out money based on an unfinished pilot project which still has a mere handful of paying customers (under 20)  after 7 months of operation.  Bluh was stupid enough to buy into it, and I expect he's been hawking around his Local Government Association pals whenever he can.....

There are still about 600 people using the free-service in Highworth although Mr Hunt is greatly cheered by approximately 25 users pre-registering for the 'upgrade' to the £9.99 subscription service.  I hope this number accelerates rapidly upwards because I'd like nothing better than to see Digital City (UK) Ltd being able to pay the public loan of £450,000 back, in full, as promised, by December 2011.  I have to say that, based on DC's performance so far, I'm not at all confident.

About 2,700 people elsewhere in the borough have expressed an interest in having, or have actually applied for, the WiFi free-service as, when or if it becomes available to them.

Although Digital City still claim that their intention is still to cover the entire Borough with its 'mesh', I am not taking this statement at face-value because I understand some businesses on trading estates have already been told that their locations will be looked at individually on a 'business case' basis.  Presumably industrial estates will largely remain hard-wired with their existing providers unless they happen to next to a Council owned public building or school on which Digital City can easily, and cheaply, install their equipment.

I wouldn't get too excited about this if I were the proprietor of a small to medium sized business because, I am afraid, Mr Hunt has already passed you by in his rush to schmooze the local authority in Bathgate, (West Lothian), where he is scheduled to begin conducting  a 'WiFi feasibility study' on the 3rd of August 2010.  Readers may wish to keep an eye on the local paper in Bathgate, the West Lothian Courier (http://www.westlothiancourier.co.uk), to read the almost inevitable Digital City press-release as soon as it appears.

Speaking of the press, contacts in the local media tell me that Mr Hunt appears to be gearing up for a frenzy of activity in Mid August.  I expect this will centre around news that new 'interest' in the scheme has been shown, by which I also mean 'new funding has been obtained'.   Swindon Borough Council remains tight-lipped although I'm told there's a lot of nervous buttock-clenching still going on around the WiFi'asco.

Further updates as and when.....
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Outoftowner on August 02, 2010, 02:04:12 PM
I have asked my cousins in Bathgate to pre-empt any approach by Digital City, et al, by getting their council to ask the proposed providers of Wi-fi to tell them of any successful schemes that they have up and running.
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010 - update
Post by: Geoff Reid on August 10, 2010, 12:02:16 PM

Also Blogged here: http://www.geoffreid.com/?p=617 (http://www.geoffreid.com/?p=617)

(http://www.geoffreid.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/wheres_my_signal_august_10_2010x280.png)


"Digital City dream will soon take off" John (Rikki) Hunt tells SwindonLink Magazine


John Hunt, (also commonly known as  'Rikki' Hunt),  managing director of Digital City (UK) Ltd, recently promised  Swindon Borough Councillors a 'wide media session' after many of them began openly speculating about the lack of visible progress made by the joint public/private partnership between the Borough Council and Mr Hunts 'One Man Band' operation.

Borough Councillors are still lagging behind the general public in airing their concerns. Much of the town noticed several months ago, (in April 2010 to be precise), that nothing about this project had gone according to to small section of the 'plan' that we've been allowed to see.  Councillors, I am told, are expected to believe what the leader of the Council tells them until such time as his words become unbelievable in the face of empiric evidence.

Most of 'the plan' remains hidden from the interested eyes of the public and the publicly elected councillors to this day.  This is worrying because  Â£450,000 of public money was secretly lent to Mr Hunts company (http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=5063.msg31722#msg31722) by just two councillors, without the prior knowledge or consent of the other 57 councillors.

Councillors recently received a 'teaser' email from Mr Hunt which contained little they didn't already know but was accompanied by a stern message warning them against copying, showing, using or discussing its contents but Councillors were promised they would receive more news as part of Mr Hunts 'wide media session' on the 13th of August.

How irritating it must have been for our councillors when, leafing through the latest copy of the SwindonLink magazine (http://www.swindonlink.com), they came across a huge article about Mr Hunt and the WiFiasco (http://www.swindonlink.com/news/wi-fi-ricky-hunt) which had been published and distributed almost a whole month before his promised 'media session'.  Some Councillors are still wondering whether Mr Hunt had, quite easily it seems, tricked them into keeping their grumbles and concerns under wraps.

Anyway, we've only 3 more days to wait until John 'Rikki' Hunt starts his promised 'wide media session', but you'll forgive me if I don't get too excited, based on the recent history (http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=5527.0) of the WiFiasco progressing on a timetable set by Mr Hunt himself.  I imagine the media session will also begin several months later than 'planned'.

John Hunt says that his "Digital City Dream Will Soon Take Off!"....

....well, call me cynical but I happen to know where there is an entire squadron of Digital Piggies that are fully fuelled and also ready to fly.
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: DarkAuror on August 10, 2010, 12:56:53 PM
Hi, Long time lurker, first time poster.

Thought you might be interested in this.

Link to BCS (http://www.bcs.org/server.php?show=conWebDoc.36536)
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Bogomil on August 10, 2010, 02:02:23 PM
Hi, Long time lurker, first time poster.

Thought you might be interested in this.

Link to BCS ([url]http://www.bcs.org/server.php?show=conWebDoc.36536[/url])

Very interesting if not somewhat frightening if you look at the “Unexpected Problems” that DC has been facing. You’d have thought all these would have been thought through at the project planning stage  and should have been questioned asked by the Bluh & Edwards before they agreed to give lend them our money.
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Tobes on August 10, 2010, 03:02:33 PM
Quote
Very interesting if not somewhat frightening if you look at the “Unexpected Problems” that DC has been facing. You’d have thought all these would have been thought through at the project planning stage  and should have been questioned asked by the Bluh & Edwards before they agreed to give lend them our money.

 :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Chris Watts on August 10, 2010, 05:26:07 PM
Hi, Long time lurker, first time poster.

Thought you might be interested in this.

Link to BCS ([url]http://www.bcs.org/server.php?show=conWebDoc.36536[/url])

Very interesting if not somewhat frightening if you look at the “Unexpected Problems” that DC has been facing. You’d have thought all these would have been thought through at the project planning stage  and should have been questioned asked by the Bluh & Edwards before they agreed to give lend them our money.


That is what happens when you work within an incestuous, secret, cosy little group. No sanity checking. The business plan sanity check was retrospective and, to a man outside the inner sanctum, was judged insane.

Just a reminder (as well as targeting completion of the WiFi installation in April 2010) this was a correspondent that I had from Hitesh Patel's office in Jan 2010:

"We believe that Digital City are being realistic about target sales to households, business, public sector organizations and business visitors, their model is based on:
Selling to 7 % 0f households in year one.
Having between 5000 and 7000 free users, and we expect that a proportion of these will want to upgrade to a paid service.
Selling a 1000 business packages"

To clarify, that is upwards of 5600 paying household by the end of year 1 which would have been by November 2010.

On a positive side, at least Mr Hunt is not trying to blame local opposition for the abject failure to date.


Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Outoftowner on August 10, 2010, 06:53:55 PM
In the BCS Link Mr Hunt admits that it is news to him that some lamposts do not have a continuous power supply. (Perhaps they do not have individual light sensors or time clocks but are switched on at night in groups. Not too difficult to imagine I suppose, if you have the wit to notice that all the lights in one street sometimes come on and go off together!) Also the mind numbing observation that radio waves will not penetrate metal film. ("O" level physics stuff that! Sheet metal and metal films are used to block out electromagnetic fields from sensitive equipment)

Would you buy a service from someone who lacks the basic knowledge of how it works?
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Chris Watts on August 10, 2010, 07:29:00 PM
Apparently, another problem with coverage was caused by hills. The clue is in the name. Highworth.
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Jarvis on August 10, 2010, 08:40:50 PM

Interesting comment left on Mr Reid's blog:

Quote from: Lt Col A.E Shattering-Buttocks
"Hunt has submitted multiple applications to several quango’s for further investment into what looks like a pyramid scheme.

He has to maintain an air of confidence if he is to convince potential lenders/investors that his scheme might work.

Which, based on the evidence of the last 9 months, looks dubious at best."

Why can I never leave comments on it but A.E Shattering-Buttocks can?  Is it 'cos I is black?

Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Tea Boy on August 10, 2010, 09:53:06 PM
Apparently, another problem with coverage was caused by hills. The clue is in the name. Highworth.

Things are looking up for our Rikki then, the rest of town should be a doddle what with........

Toothill
Penhill
Eascott hill
Gorsehill
Taw hill
Kingshill
Victoria hill

not to mention vast swathes of Swindon already covered by super fast cable broadband and nearly every town centre pub and eatery full wi-fi'ed to the hilt.

Still doesn't matter does it, he's got our £450,000....... and £20,000 per month in consultancy fees      kerching!!
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Geoff Reid on August 11, 2010, 12:33:23 AM

Why can I never leave comments on it but A.E Shattering-Buttocks can?  Is it 'cos I is black?

No. It's because I know you to be a Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkey  :)
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Geoff Reid on August 11, 2010, 08:08:33 AM
Hi, Long time lurker, first time poster.

Thought you might be interested in this.

Link to BCS ([url]http://www.bcs.org/server.php?show=conWebDoc.36536[/url])


Thank you for that most interesting link DA  :) 

It's a great article, but not for the reasons Digital City would hope.

Chuckled at the readers comments:

Quote
Sceptic wrote on 10th Aug 2010

Lots of ordinary Swindon residents appear deeply sceptical about the viability of this offering - opinions that they're perfectly entitled to hold, given that around £450k of their tax money (so far) has been used to help fund this experiment.

After months and months of hyperbole, the vast majority of Swindon's residents still have yet to see even the merest glimmering of a WiFi service - and yet Mr Hunt appears to be off to the next potential investor before he's begun delivering his promises on his own home turf.

Readers wanting more information might do well to visit the non commercial Talkswindon chat forum which has plenty more background on the tendering process and questions about the roll out and delivery.


and

Quote
Paolo Nutini wrote on 10th Aug 2010

Did someone say Monorail!

reminds me of a certain Simpsons epidode


and

Quote
Geoff Reid wrote on 11th Aug 2010

I suggest the author(s) of this article check their facts more carefully before republishing Digital City press releases.

The following statement is directly at odds with what Mr Hunt recently told 59 Swindon Borough Councillors:

"Highworth now has 90 per cent coverage, with 2,500 homes using the service. This represents a 28 per cent penetration of the market, where Digital City were only expecting around 8 per cent."

Odd then, that Mr Hunt recently admitted to councillors that:

"We have over 600 unique users each month in Highworth"

600 users into 2,500 homes simply does not work Mr Hunt.....but accurate maths has never been a hallmark of this project.

In my opinion this article and the figures it contains look like the latest example in a growing list of 'media presentations' which are intended to make this failing project look more attractive to potential investors and lenders than it really is.

i notice there is no mention in this article that Digital City has applied to the Technology and Strategy Board and Regional Development Agency for funding. Now why is that?

I understand that, after 9 months of commercial operation, Digital City (UK) Ltd still has less than 25 paying customers in the entire borough of Swindon.

Shouldn't these points make any sensible bod question whether this is, was, or will ever be a sound investment?

Nothing about the Swindon Wifi project is 'as it seems'. There are many good resons why it is referred to locally as the Wifi'asco

I'd love to know how many genuine industry experts have read this article and laughed wryly when they realise that Mr Hunt is more Eddie the Eagle than Alan Sugar.
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Outoftowner on August 11, 2010, 10:39:14 AM
The "business plan" does look very pyramid-like. Digtal City need funding from another sucker to try to provide Swindon with something Wi-Fi (ish).

I don't want to pre-empt the expected media frenzy on the 13th but now that Rikki is starting to discover basic physics, maybe he is going to show a new, world shattering, discovery to a few selected members of SBC in order to establish another scheme?

[13th August 2010. Rikki enters the council chamber, which is packed with Sadver jounalists, carrying an old pram wheel: "Your eminences I have invented  a new astounding thing and I am calling it,  The Wheel. With this Wheel we can found a new (Riech) Empire that will last a thousand years."

Emperor Rodders thinks quickly and bungs our chum some money to be going on with while he works out the royalties on all the wheels that can be sold and how the money (minus 10%) will relieve the suffering of the poor of Swindon.]

Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: itspavagain on August 11, 2010, 10:52:35 AM
In the article it states:

"At the moment Digital City have been offering only the free service..."

Which is at odds with DCs claim of having "less than 25 paying customers".

Although I guess that none is less than 25.
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Geoff Reid on August 11, 2010, 10:54:50 AM
 
I'm also interested in how easily Mr Hunt gagged councillors with one short email containing some accurate 'wifacts', and then - knowing that our councillors can't comment on the facts he 'disclosed' to them in the email, he then goes on to give a completely different and misleading set of facts to every magazine and paper that will reprint his promotional material.

Is he clever enough to come up with that by himself, or was he instructed in Spanish Practices by Rod Bluh & Chums, who, incidentally, are now refusing to answer any wifi relating questions by referring questioners directly back to Digital City (UK) Ltd.

Quiet neat really.

The Rodigarchy & it's co-conspirators are employing a digital toolkit to disable the quill Pen democracy when it suits them, while simultaneously using quill pen democracy to block digital democracy when it doesn't.

I don't think any of them are clever enough to keep it up tbh.  :)
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Bogomil on August 11, 2010, 11:12:51 AM
looks like TS'er will have to attend the next meeting of Cabinet on the 8th Sept or Full Council on the 23rd Sept.
Suggest you go Video camera in hand and well equipped with plenty of pubic questions.

You never know, TS posts, particularly the revelations and inconsistencies of information in the BCS article, might prompt some of our gagged councillors to also ask some questions (but don’t hold your breath)
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Chav on August 11, 2010, 01:26:24 PM
looks like TS'er will have to attend the next meeting of Cabinet on the 8th Sept or Full Council on the 23rd Sept.
Suggest you go Video camera in hand and well equipped with plenty of pubic questions.

You never know, TS posts, particularly the revelations and inconsistencies of information in the BCS article, might prompt some of our gagged councillors to also ask some questions (but don’t hold your breath)

I heard that our local councillor Andy Harrison - who is very vocal,  was taken outside by the borough solicitor at a council meeting and politely asked to zip the lip  :-X

So if Councillors do want to ask questions about anything - who determines how long they get and how much they say ????
Are there time limits ?
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Geoff Reid on August 11, 2010, 01:58:28 PM
 
I see Swindoncentric has noticed that the Chartered Institute for IT also thinks Digital City (UK) Ltd has no paying customers (http://swindoncentric.blogspot.com/2010/08/confirmed-wi-fi-scheme-has-no-paying.html) whatsoever.
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: itspavagain on August 11, 2010, 02:13:09 PM
Monorail, monorail, monorail.

Mono, doh!
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Geoff Reid on August 11, 2010, 03:50:45 PM
Monorail, monorail, monorail.

Mono, doh!

Shall we agree on it's a puppet pyramid-monorail scheme?
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Bogomil on August 11, 2010, 10:33:12 PM
In the BCS Link Mr Hunt admits that it is news to him that some lamposts do not have a continuous power supply.

I too saw this and thought what tw@ts….  :uglystupid2:

But a while later (and I know I am a bit slow at times) I thought, hang on WE TAXPAYERS cough up for the electricity that Tricky Rikki is going to hack into for his Wifi nodes. I know they may not take much power, but with all the nodes that’ll be required to provide the 24/7 Swindon wide Wifi net (OK I know it’s a bit pie in the sky but stay with me) it could add up to a substantial cost, so how will they calculate how much DC pays back to Swindon Council in electric usage or will this be another backhander from Rodders to good old Rikki and DC?

Then bang… it hit me again… I remember reading that Swindon council was looking to switch off some of the street lights to save money. So will this mean that in some areas (if it’s ever completed) their WiFi will also be turned off?

I heard that our local councillor Andy Harrison - who is very vocal,  was taken outside by the borough solicitor at a council meeting and politely asked to zip the lip  :-X

Can anyone every gag this gobby git  :-X :-X :-X :-X

Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Chav on August 11, 2010, 10:54:29 PM


Can anyone every gag this gobby git  :-X :-X :-X :-X

eerrr ummm NO !
He is a man of many many words  O0
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Steve Wakefield on August 11, 2010, 11:02:34 PM
The conservative administration clearly stated as a proposal that switching some street lights off would save about £6,000 per year. (About the same as the amount of electricity used by the big screen I am told) I am never sure where they get these figure from as Lamps are or used to be provided on an unmetered supply, and I believe the big screen is too.

A charge is made for the electric used, but it does not cover anything like the electric consumed. The reason for this is that it was determined that street lamps were just consuming the power that was already being generated. In power stations you cannot turn steam generating boilers on and off.  They have to ensure that generators are running at a minimum capacity at all times there to meet any demand that may occur during the night.

Anyway Bogie food for thought :-\

Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Bogomil on August 11, 2010, 11:10:49 PM
The conservative administration clearly stated as a proposal that switching some street lights off would save about £6,000 per year. (About the same as the amount of electricity used by the big screen I am told) I am never sure where they get these figure from as Lamps are or used to be provided on an unmetered supply, and I believe the big screen is too.

A charge is made for the electric used, but it does not cover anything like the electric consumed. The reason for this is that it was determined that street lamps were just consuming the power that was already being generated. In power stations you cannot turn steam generating boilers on and off.  They have to ensure that generators are running at a minimum capacity at all times there to meet any demand that may occur during the night.

Anyway Bogie food for thought :-\

Bet I'd soon get nicked if I hacked into the my nearest lamp post though..... :knuppel2:
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Steve Wakefield on August 11, 2010, 11:16:28 PM
If you think that is happening then report it to your local councillor I am sure they will be interested in any hacking into nearest lamp posts :azn:
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Bogomil on August 11, 2010, 11:33:24 PM
If you think that is happening then report it to your local councillor I am sure they will be interested in any hacking into nearest lamp posts :azn:

Bit hard mate… I live in Eldene and bloody Rod’s the one giving Rikki permission
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Steve Wakefield on August 11, 2010, 11:48:27 PM
What can i say to that? :-X
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Bogomil on August 11, 2010, 11:58:27 PM
What can i say to that? :-X

Oh you've had a visit from the cHarm police and been gagged too  :-X
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Steve Wakefield on August 12, 2010, 12:18:50 AM
 :2funny: you should  be on the stage like all councillors bar those on Cabinet and scrutinty I have been kept out of this process deliberately  :wakeup:
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: DarkAuror on August 13, 2010, 04:55:44 PM
Monorail, monorail, monorail.

Mono, doh!


Shall we agree on it's a puppet pyramid-monorail scheme?


Substitute Norwich for North Haverbrook, shall we?  :popcorn:

Link (http://www.egovmonitor.com/node/7064)
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 14, 2010, 12:10:53 PM
I have just read on Geoff's Blog that DC now have 24 paying customers.  Wow that means that the income of DC has increased to £143.76 a month or £1725.12 a year and that SBC Council Tax Payers will see their loan repaid in 260 years time.  This assumes that its Chief Executive doesn't take it in salary and SBC do not impose the 'commercial' rates of interest agreed.

No wonder Rikki Hunt has become my salesman of the year.  No other contenders!!
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Geoff Reid on August 14, 2010, 04:09:35 PM
I have just read on Geoff's Blog that DC now have 24 paying customers.  Wow that means that the income of DC has increased to £143.76 a month or £1725.12 a year and that SBC Council Tax Payers will see their loan repaid in 260 years time.  This assumes that its Chief Executive doesn't take it in salary and SBC do not impose the 'commercial' rates of interest agreed.

No wonder Rikki Hunt has become my salesman of the year.  No other contenders!!

Actually, according to Charley Morgan's article in todays (Parer Edition) Advertiser, Mr Hunt has told her that he has about 40 registered subscribers.

Starting to look like Mr Hunt has more definitions for customers than he has actual customers.
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Tea Boy on August 14, 2010, 10:25:16 PM
Surely with such a small number he could be or specific... its not hundreds or thousands, i woudl liek to bet he was very specific about how much Rod was give lend him?

Can we assume about 40 means it coud be anywhere from 35 to 45?

Its all  abit 'shrodingers cat' for Rikki isn't it, an unknown qualitiy until he looks? Is he expecting mass resgistering at any moment?
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Mart on August 14, 2010, 10:50:54 PM
Found ten of them.

Virginia Dare
Ambrose Bierce
Anastasia Romanov
The Lindbergh Baby
Amelia Earhart
Frank Morris and John and Clarence Anglin
D.B. Cooper
Abbie Hoffman
Oscar Zeta Acosta
Jimmy Hoffa


You can thank me later.

Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Geoff Reid on August 14, 2010, 11:03:50 PM
Found ten of them....

Good point, I reckon not one name on that list is likely to deny being a paying customer of Digital City.
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 15, 2010, 09:53:33 AM
But the most interesting aspect of the Adver article is that they may just have realised the merits of actually reporting this Wi-fi saga in asking 'where is ours?'

Have they finally realised that in a very thin Saturday edition this may increase sales and maybe it is no longer an option to be the Council's mouthpiece if they are to survive in this hard economic climate?

Would love to have been a fly on the wall to watch Rikki in action with Boris.  He will have to get up early to get an order from the present Mayor of London.

and one final point is our Rod looking for a new career beyond politics?
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: komadori on August 15, 2010, 10:37:00 AM

Speaking of the press, contacts in the local media tell me that Mr Hunt appears to be gearing up for a frenzy of activity in Mid August.  I expect this will centre around news that new 'interest' in the scheme has been shown, by which I also mean 'new funding has been obtained'.   Swindon Borough Council remains tight-lipped although I'm told there's a lot of nervous buttock-clenching still going on around the WiFi'asco.


It's certainly beginning to look that way. First the BCS article (http://www.bcs.org/server.php?show=conWebDoc.36536), now another puff in the Adver. Seems Mr Hunt and Mr Bluh have been visiting London (at our expense, I presume).

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/8332274.Boris_learns_more_about_Swindon_s_wi_fi_experiences/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/8332274.Boris_learns_more_about_Swindon_s_wi_fi_experiences/)

Mr Hunt's ability for marketing abject failure as success really is quite astounding.

Quote
One of the interesting things is that the Government has been paying a lot of attention to Swindon because of what we have achieved in Highworth, which is a better product and a better speed of internet in a rural location, which isn’t being achieved anywhere else in the country at the moment.

Well with £½M of our money that was meant to have been enough to fit-out the whole borough with wi-fi, rather than just one small rural town, it damn well ought to be 'a better product'. :tickedoff:

The Adver article also gives us yet another figure for the number of subscribers: 40.
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Bobby Bingo on August 15, 2010, 11:10:59 AM
and one final point is our Rod looking for a new career beyond politics?

Yes he is. "Turn again Tricky Ricki Whittingdon" not quite Lord Mayor of Swindon but watch your back Boris he could be after your job!
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 15, 2010, 11:15:46 AM
The adver article has now appeared on the internet version of the paper, but I spoke too soon about them starting to report 'facts' because they have not included the comments section.

Sorry folks this was a false dawn and the adver sadly remains incapable of actually reporting what is actually happening here.

and one final point a comment attributed to a well known politician 'Every town is judged by the quality of its Newspaper.'

So what does that say about Swindon?
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Outoftowner on October 28, 2010, 09:07:20 AM
I saw some time ago the following on an Internet IT jobs page:

http://www.cwjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/news/swindon-wi-fi-city-creates-tech-jobs-008

Quote
The good news is that the pilot has already created many new jobs with the first tranche going to network experts and technicians. To date, a 30-strong army of network and software engineers has been hired for the pilot implementation and that will scale rapidly as the rest of Swindon is wirelessly enabled.
"The key people we need at this initial stage are network planners, engineers and also the software  engineers to do the optimisation and configuration when there are problems with signal," reports Rikki Hunt, chief executive officer of Digital City, the company tasked with talking Swindon into a new digital era.

Some of the thornier tech problems that Digital City has had to solve include how to maintain signal around an undulating neighbourhood and how to turn old-fashioned lamp posts into hosts for wi-fi. “When they’re kitted out with a time switch rather than a solar sensor, then you get problems”, says Hunt.
Hunt outlines the opportunities for local IT jobseekers and the business community: the wi-fi city is already creating a second wave of jobs for the IT community as developers start to code and package applications to run over the network. "Some popular apps are already emerging, including a security webcam device, which can monitor private and business properties," he explains.
Additionally, a team of CRM experts currently maintains and tunes the back-office system. A third tier of jobs is expected to arrive soon in the shape of customising and managing wireless apps for the local business community. These jobs will be hoovered up by the local small and medium business tier.


Does any know of, or are they one of the 30 people who hold these new jobs?

Also has anyone, who is involved in IT in the "local small and medium business tier" been "hoovered up"  by Digital City to become a partner. (Have you heard any inside info on this Chris?)

[Love the bit about Solar sensors and Time switches. They are both switches Rikki and one side of them is always live.  Confusus say, "It is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought of as an idiot rather than open it and confirm the fact."
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Steve Wakefield on October 28, 2010, 09:28:04 AM
Scale rapidly?

Interesting  :popcorn:
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Richard Symonds on October 28, 2010, 09:48:17 AM
I could not resist pulling out this particular bit from the article!!

"London has ambitions to become the wi-fi capital of the world by the 2012 Olympics with every lamp post and bus stop destined to become wireless hotspots, according to London’s mayor, Boris Johnson. [Published 28/5/2010]

The bad news (for Boris, that is) is that Swindon got there ahead of London – it has just finished wi-fi-enabling a northern suburb called Highworth in a pilot exercise, which will be extended to the rest of the city in the coming months."

Oh if only I had had Rikki as my Sales Director in the 1970's when my companies stopped production lines for lack of supplies and products were made from a cheaper material than had been costed in order to make more profit, I would never have had any lost sleep, Rikki would explain it away in an instant.

You have go to hand it to him he has more neck than giraffe!!
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Mart on October 28, 2010, 11:15:07 AM
Scale rapidly?


Mmmm, hard water can play havoc with your WiFi. I've just poured a bucket of water over my router and it stopped working immediately.

Got to hand it to the man.

Calgon prevents limescale build-up in your washing machine   computer to protect the heating winky blinky light element thingy, pipes valves and drum keyboard of the machine. It is completely safe for all fabrics computers and colours dongles and has a unique phosphate-free formula.

Calgon is for use in every wash browsing session at all temperatures. With Calgon you only have to use the minimum amount of detergent advised for washing surfing in soft water areas and so can save up to 30% on detergent.

Calgon Water Softener is available in a range of products to suit your needs: Powder, Tablet, Downloads and Gel.

Do Microsoft sell anti-scaling software does anyone know?

Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Outoftowner on October 28, 2010, 11:23:25 AM
Rikki will flog you some Calgon from his barrow by The Canal.
Now that you've given the game away Mart, it'll be his next "Marketing Opportunity". He probably expects to overcome consumer inertia by networking, while offering sponsored apprenticeships to young Del Boys to prevent them turning to crime...like Fagin did.
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Mart on October 28, 2010, 11:47:25 AM
As a customer I resent being labelled 'inert' because I don't buy the product. Then if I don't buy the product am I a customer? So is there such a thing as an inert customer?

Perhaps the product is shoite, there's a new angle to exploit, 'Nobody is buying my product, my product is, in my eyes, oh, I dunno, vibrant, therefore the non purchasers are blinkered dull plodding and clearly not vibrating, inert if you will. My failure is not, in fact, mine. My failure is their fault because they won't buy my product because, apparently, there are better offers in the market. Get with the vision you slackers!'

However the genius of this specific plan is that you are obliged to subsidise it whether you want the poxy thing or not.

Will SBC be subbing Sony TV cos I bought a Samsung?

I bet he gets another bung.
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Muggins on October 28, 2010, 02:20:48 PM
"The bad news (for Boris, that is) is that Swindon got there ahead of London – it has just finished wi-fi-enabling a northern suburb called Highworth in a pilot exercise, which will be extended to the rest of the city in the coming months."

Two things here show the how wobbly it all is - could be bad reporting., of course.  Highworth is a blessed TOWN, not a 'northern suburb' and the rest is not a CITY, it's a TOWN.  Maybe a the two ends of the definition of TOWN but still town's nonetheless.

Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Richard Symonds on October 28, 2010, 05:55:41 PM
Hey folks is Rikki going to build Rod's Canal?
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Outoftowner on October 29, 2010, 11:05:57 AM
2015 Swindon Town Centre.

Rikki is speaking, "We didn't know that canals had to have water in them and when we researched this and carried out some trials we found that the flowed downhill. Working with our partners and provided that there is no more political interference, we hope to have everything up and running in about a years time."
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Richard Symonds on October 29, 2010, 12:25:46 PM
Water runs downhill, - did Rikki tell you that outoftowner?
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Steve Wakefield on October 29, 2010, 12:31:47 PM
Good point and the drop along fleet st Faringdon road is 40ft how many locks is that?
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Mart on October 29, 2010, 08:09:23 PM
One very big one?
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Richard Symonds on October 30, 2010, 10:32:41 PM
Good point and the drop along fleet st Faringdon road is 40ft how many locks is that?

Who was that very well known engineering consultancy firm who did that very expensive survey for this route?
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Bobby Bingo on October 31, 2010, 08:18:56 AM
Halcrow.
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Drone on October 31, 2010, 08:19:35 AM
We could always have a boat lift... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peterborough_Lift_Lock (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peterborough_Lift_Lock)
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Richard Symonds on October 31, 2010, 09:41:03 AM
We could always have a boat lift... [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peterborough_Lift_Lock[/url] ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peterborough_Lift_Lock[/url])


But Rod will have to find yet more money for a further survey Drone!
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Mart on October 31, 2010, 03:32:12 PM
You want that Brunel bloke, his Dad was french, but I'll forgive him that.

Swindon needs a canal like it needed regeneration and WiFi.

And that bloke Blah. Or whatever his bloody name is.
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Des Morgan on November 05, 2010, 07:09:15 PM
The whole issue of 'delay' in the Wi-Fi roll out needs to be clarified.

According to Coun Perkins 'because of delaying tactics employed, this project was held up for six months"  This statement of course is simply a nonsense.

The Wi-Fi project was set in motion under the terms of a Cabinet Briefing Note dated 12 October 2009 (this was the decision that Coun Bluh decided should not be referred to or made by the whole Cabinet due to commercial sensitivities)

The first phase, Highworth was agreed to be completed by 'end of November 2009' followed by the rest of the Borough within 4 to 6 months.

It therefore follows that, as DC had been given £150,000 (the first drawdown) the project timetable started immediately after the signing of the minute confirming acceptance of the loan agreement.  There was no delay to the start of the project as the first opportunity for members of the public, never mind councillors, to ask questions was circa 17 November when a Press Release was issued by SBC.  The first time the subject was raised at a Scrutiny Meeting was 14 December 2009 - some 2 weeks after the first phase was supposed to have been completed.

It is difficult to imagine how anyone could suggest that asking questions after the event could be in some way be categorised as employing delaying tactics.

The Scrutiny Committee and members of the public asked searching questions, some of which were decidedly uncomfortable for Councillors and Officers - sadly obfuscation and evasion were the standard responses employed until it was obvious the questions were not 'going away' - then ridicule and insult were added to obfuscation and evasion.

The delays in progressing Highworth to completion have been formally identified by both DC and SBC - these include - the weather, planning problems, technical issues and the topography of Highworth. Now Coun Perkins adds "attempts to de-rail the project".

Not only does he add this unjustified slur to the melting pot , he further states that "attempts made to de-rail this project stalled development until just 6 months ago" That timeline just happens to coincide with the decision to release a further £250,000 to DC.

As you will know the release of the £250,000 was only made possible due to the largesse of the Council in varying the terms of the original Loan Agreement.  Each of the variations reduced the performance measure aginst which DC was to be judged.  It should have been a matter of concern to the Council, it's officers and members, that DC was unable to obtain £20,000 of private sector sponsorship or committment and that after 5 months of operation with comments being made in the media which suggested Swindon was a Wi-FI Eldorado.

DC has had a further 6 months to drive the project forward.  It received the additional funding of £250,000 at the beginning of May 2010. That no physical progress has been made is not down to scrutiny of the project, it's down to DC's failure to fulfil their part of a bargain and the introspective attitude of SBC which forbide them from ever acknowledging they got this one wrong.

This is what SBC Officers wrote: "The risk in delaying funding is that DC will not be in a position to progress full Borough coverage, meaning that the project is likely to stall and the original loan amount of £150,000 wil be in jeopardy"  sadly, the project has stalled unless someone thinks no action for 6 months can be defined otherwise.



Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Steve Wakefield on November 05, 2010, 08:21:03 PM
If I recall the project was officially opened/launched on 15th december 2009 by Caroline Spelman and PPCs Justin Tomlinson and Robert Buckland and others at Highworth library. The next tranche of money was due to be released in March as per the cabinet report. which is on record. The one where the progress measures were adjusted, so payment could be made in March except for 50K, which has been held back.

As I understand the rest of the money less 50K was paid before the end of the 2009/10 financial year, if you recall to enable that to happen that is why a special cabinet meeting was held on 31st March. December 15th to March 31st is not a 6 month period  and I believe was part of the proposed timeframe as outlined in the report to cabinet. If there is a delay  or I have any of the facts wrong in my post. I am the council will email me with the facts, so that I can post  on TS any correction.
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Des Morgan on November 05, 2010, 09:32:16 PM
Steve - you are correct in that the 'big switch on' was 16th December and it was covered extensively by the Adver.

Interestingly all the comments at the time were 'positive' and very gung ho. Indeed according to Mr Hunt DC would be selling other linked servcies to Highworth residents by the end of next month - January 2010 that is.

According to Mr Hunt - Highworth was 'almost completed' and he is saying the same today nearly one year on.
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Steve Wakefield on November 05, 2010, 09:54:34 PM
Steve - you are correct in that the 'big switch on' was 16th December and it was covered extensively by the Adver.

Interestingly all the comments at the time were 'positive' and very gung ho. Indeed according to Mr Hunt DC would be selling other linked servcies to Highworth residents by the end of next month - January 2010 that is.

According to Mr Hunt - Highworth was 'almost completed' and he is saying the same today nearly one year on.

Yes Des you are correct thank you, it was the 16th! Tt was originally to have been somewhere on or around the 5th Dec, but I think there was a delay due to the snow?
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Steve Wakefield on November 06, 2010, 02:21:53 PM


As I understand the rest of the money less 50K was paid before the end of the 2009/10 financial year on 7th May, if you recall to enable that to happen that is why a special cabinet meeting was held on 31st March. December 15th to March 31st is not a 6 month period  and I believe was part of the proposed timeframe as outlined in the report to cabinet. If there is a delay  or I have any of the facts wrong in my post. I am the council will email me with the facts, so that I can post  on TS any correction.


So the money was paid in May but what work has been done? None I call on cllr perkins to stop procrastinating and deliver what is stated on the clip to by his leader on 16th November 2009. This webcast from the Civic on 16-11-2009 it is made clear at the close of the clip that the scheme will start on 7th April with a full rollout to other area by April 2010.

The clip is entitled Swindon Makes the Internet Free to all  http://www.steam-museum.org.uk/latestnews/latestnewsheader/news/newsitemdisplayv2.htm?itemid=135507 (http://www.steam-museum.org.uk/latestnews/latestnewsheader/news/newsitemdisplayv2.htm?itemid=135507)

It says along with the clip:

Trailblazing Swindon Borough Council is working with the private sector to make Swindon the first town in the UK to provide free internet access for all its residents.

The Council has teamed up with the concept’s originator Rikki Hunt and digital technology firm aQovia to create the company Digital City UK, which under the brand name ‘Signal’, will install a Wi-Fi wireless mesh covering the whole of the Borough of Swindon.

The exciting technological revolution is Swindon Borough Council’s first public/private commercial venture and will provide a range of services and applications for the whole community including free connection to the internet, free line rental and connection charge, and borough-wide movement, while staying online. The public will be able to access the internet and download emails for free but usage will be limited.

Subscribers will also be able to sign up for 20Mb upgrades for significantly less per month than major broadband competitors following a free three-month trial, while there will be pay-as-you-go options so visitors to the town can benefit from the Wi-Fi network.

The technology will also revolutionise home and business security courtesy of CCTV coverage with rapid response, allowing homes and businesses to be monitored via a control room or remotely using laptops.

Anti virus software and Microsoft and Google online services will be a key feature of the network and there are plans to deliver valuable real-time information on home electricity usage and street-wide air quality monitoring. Swindon’s Wi-Fi also has the scope to deliver free voice calls and could be used by health professionals to carry out consultations and remote medical procedures or examinations through Telemedicine.

The Wi-Fi project will be run by Digital City UK Ltd, of which Swindon Borough Council has a 35 per cent share, with the intention of working on similar roll-outs of the technology in other towns and cities across the UK.

The first phase of Swindon’s Wi-Fi network will be switched on in Highworth in early December with the remainder of the project being completed by the end of April.

Rod Bluh, Swindon Borough Council Leader, said: “This is a truly groundbreaking partnership which will have real benefits for everyone living in Swindon.

“Not only will residents in the Borough be able to access the internet for free, the Council and its partners will be able to use the technology to provide cutting edge services to the areas or individuals who need them.

“Digital City will also provide the Council with a unique funding stream and it is our intention to use our expertise to help other local authorities follow our lead.”

Rikki Hunt said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the whole of Swindon creating total social inclusion through our free service and, while others talk, Swindon is delivering a Digital City which will benefit both the public and business communities.”

Mustafa Arif, director of aQovia, said: “Ubiquitous wireless internet is essential to the realisation of a ‘Digital Britain’. Sadly the city Wi-Fi hype died out a few years ago with scant examples of any sustainable networks.

“Digital City’s business model is built around subsidising free access with revenues from business and community services that are delivered over our wireless network. This innovative partnership demonstrates a viable way forward for other towns and cities.”

Anyone wishing to find out more about Swindon’s Wi-Fi network can log onto: www.getsignal.co.uk (http://www.getsignal.co.uk)



Mustafa Arif, director of aQovia, said: “Ubiquitous wireless internet is essential to the realisation of a ‘Digital Britain’. Sadly the city Wi-Fi hype died out a few years ago with scant examples of any sustainable networks.

Why was that Mustafa, Cllr Perkins?

Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Geoff Reid on February 14, 2011, 02:14:11 PM

Bump.

AW:  I think this is the topic you mean/need :)
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Outoftowner on March 02, 2011, 11:30:54 AM
Pop around to your corner shop, if you still have one, and get this weeks copy of Private Eye. The ever popular "Rotton Boroughs" section features Swindon's WiFi and as a bonus, another Cotswold Water Park / Watermark story.
Title: Why Has Swindon WiFi Made it Into Private EYE Rotton Boroughs Twice?
Post by: Ringer on March 02, 2011, 12:06:34 PM
Pop around to your corner shop, if you still have one, and get this weeks copy of Private Eye. The ever popular "Rotton Boroughs" section features Swindon's WiFi and as a bonus, another Cotswold Water Park / Watermark story.

Was it so good they named it twice?
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: I Could Do That on March 02, 2011, 12:46:13 PM
I'm so "proud"
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Geoff Reid on March 02, 2011, 03:54:04 PM


(http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/newspaper_articles/why%20oh%20wifi_swindon_rod_bluh_garry_perkins_digital_city.jpg)
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Des Morgan on March 02, 2011, 04:07:45 PM
How is this for a real piece of 'hubris'

The recommendation from officers (one assumes as GJ is the lead in this issue he agrees with the recommendation) is that the job of negotiating with the 'potential investor' should be left to The Leader, the Cabinet Member for Finance and the Chief Executive  As they were responsible for the negotiations which saw us embroiled with Rikki Hunt, which failed to spot the weak points in the business plan and simply ignored any proper examination of the deal, one would imagine they should be the last people on the planet to be entrusted with any negotiations for the future of Wi-Fi in Swindon. They start from a position of weakness - in that they need to recover the £400k plus. They are wedded to the idea that a Wi-Fi system is reuqired. They have failed to accept any sort of responsibility for the position the project is in at present and each had a determining voice in sanctioning the second tranche of the loan - they should have known better than throw good money after bad.

Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Geoff Reid on March 02, 2011, 04:13:26 PM
This is interesting:

Agenda item 19 - (right at the bottom of the document) 'Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Arrangement' re:

Quote
The Cabinet is requested to: -

• Authorise the Chief Executive to enter into the ‘confidentiality and nondisclosure
arrangement outlined in the report, between the Council and a
potential investor allowing both parties to confidentially conduct and conclude
commercial discussions regarding private sector investment in a high-speed
wireless data infrastructure for Swindon.
 
• Authorise the Leader and the Cabinet Member for Finance, in consultation with
the Chief Executive, to enter into confidential commercial discussions with the
potential investor and to report back to the Cabinet on the conclusion of these
discussions.


http://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=4216&T=10&J=7 (http://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=4216&T=10&J=7)

Or, you can save yourself 10 minutes of scrolling through the wreckage of Cllr Edward's budgets, and click here: relevant 3 pages here: http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/sbc%20cabinet/2011%2003%2009%20Cabinet%20Confidentity%20&%20non-disclosure%20arrangement%20-%20Digital%20City.pdf (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/sbc%20cabinet/2011%2003%2009%20Cabinet%20Confidentity%20&%20non-disclosure%20arrangement%20-%20Digital%20City.pdf)

Or here:


(http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/sbc%20cabinet/2011%2003%2009%20Cabinet%20Confidentity%20&%20non-disclosure%20arrangement%20-%20Digital%20City_Page_1_thumb.jpg) (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/sbc%20cabinet/2011%2003%2009%20Cabinet%20Confidentity%20&%20non-disclosure%20arrangement%20-%20Digital%20City_Page_1.jpg)  (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/sbc%20cabinet/2011%2003%2009%20Cabinet%20Confidentity%20&%20non-disclosure%20arrangement%20-%20Digital%20City_Page_2_thumb.jpg) (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/sbc%20cabinet/2011%2003%2009%20Cabinet%20Confidentity%20&%20non-disclosure%20arrangement%20-%20Digital%20City_Page_2.jpg)  (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/sbc%20cabinet/2011%2003%2009%20Cabinet%20Confidentity%20&%20non-disclosure%20arrangement%20-%20Digital%20City_Page_3_thumb.jpg) (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/sbc%20cabinet/2011%2003%2009%20Cabinet%20Confidentity%20&%20non-disclosure%20arrangement%20-%20Digital%20City_Page_3.jpg)

Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Richard Symonds on March 02, 2011, 04:27:01 PM
In other words we can do anything we like without having to answer or account for anything.

They are getting dangerously near the edge aren't they?

I wonder how long it will be before someone 'sits' on them because they have become an embarassment?
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Des Morgan on March 02, 2011, 04:31:31 PM
Am I simply 'not getting it'?? In the minutes of the Cabinet meeting at which Coun Perkins was Chair for the night, according to the committee clerk Coun perkins told the assembled company the money £400k)  would be coming back to SBC within MONTHS - now i actually heard him say WEEKS which in fairness to him i was prepared to accept.  However, he never ever said MONTHS 
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Geoff Reid on March 02, 2011, 04:32:16 PM

I thought, according to Cllr/Director Perkins last month, that: "The cheque is as good as being in the post"

If there's a genuine 'investor', and given that the Bluhnderbirds usually dole out generous sweeteners, (a £14,000,000 car park to kick-start the Union Square development anyone?), what's the betting that our investor offers a sum far below the £400,000+ Digital City owes Swindon taxpayers and the Bluhnderbirds will still manage to give away something expensive on top of it?

'I'll give you £25,000 for the equipment, and £250,000 for unlimited and exclusive rights to use every lamp post in the Borough for whatever I want, including the £1,200,000 pounds worth of new lamp posts you're putting in over the next couple of years....."
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Geoff Reid on March 02, 2011, 04:35:54 PM
 
Am I simply 'not getting it'?? In the minutes of the Cabinet meeting at which Coun Perkins was Chair for the night, according to the committee clerk Coun perkins told the assembled company the money £400k)  would be coming back to SBC within MONTHS - now i actually heard him say WEEKS which in fairness to him i was prepared to accept.  However, he never ever said MONTHS

Ah, so they've massaged the minutes again.  Can't stop 'emselves can they?

Tell one little lie and the next one has to be a little larger. Repeat ad nauseum and Voila!, you have a fully dysfunctional Bluhnderbird Council in which the administration puts more effort into hiding, obfuscating, shuffling and lying than it does into being a working council.
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Outoftowner on March 02, 2011, 04:56:45 PM
Excuse me if I get these sums slightly wrong, as all I used to get at school for sums was slapped legs BUT:

The document that Geoff has obtained seems to be seeking a confidentiality agreement that will last 60 days, starting I presume on the day that the document is dated, March 9th 2011. Now that means it will be valid right up to and including the local elections which are on May 5th 2011. I make that 57 days after the start date. Is this a coincidence, or is someone seeking to shut everyone up during the upcoming "Election Fever"?
If someone knocks on your door seeking your vote, what will you want to talk about?
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Jarvis on March 02, 2011, 05:06:30 PM
Excuse me if I get these sums slightly wrong, as all I used to get at school for sums was slapped legs BUT:

The document that Geoff has obtained seems to be seeking a confidentiality agreement that will last 60 days, starting I presume on the day that the document is dated, March 9th 2011. Now that means it will be valid right up to and including the local elections which are on May 5th 2011. I make that 57 days after the start date. Is this a coincidence, or is someone seeking to shut everyone up during the upcoming "Election Fever"?
If someone knocks on your door seeking your vote, what will you want to talk about?


Eggzackerly  :agreed:
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Des Morgan on March 02, 2011, 05:36:53 PM
Quote
Now that means it will be valid right up to and including the local elections which are on May 5th 2011.


Join the sceptics amongst us O0
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: moley on March 02, 2011, 06:23:13 PM
Well I certainly will be raising it with any Conservative councillors who come calling... However I may have got a black mark against our address after raising it with Nick Martin last year...

The timing of this seems pretty awful.. so I'll raise that as well.

Moley
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Richard Symonds on March 02, 2011, 06:52:43 PM
Does this administration actually have any residual respect left for their electorate when they treat them with such disdain?

Remember folks he who laughs last laughs longest and what goes around comes around.
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Mart on March 02, 2011, 07:32:53 PM
Residual implies there was any to start with.

They've been playing survival politics for months.

Can anyone, seriously, explain to me what place confidentiality has in local government?

Think about it, it is intrinsically wrong. How on earth did we get to the situation where public servants think it hunky dory to conceal things from the, erm, public.

I've no doubt some apologist will say that if they didn't they would get shafted when the went to procure goods and services, I take the entirely opposite view.

First off, stop procuring goods and services you have no business procuring, thus no requirement for secrecy.

Openly procure the goods and services that you do not supply yourself, that way said suppliers can't do any grubby little deals by bedazzling, befuddling and generally bamboozling our local authorities Happy Shoppers.  That way if some scrote asks for, I dunno, half a mill to invent and supply something that has already been invented and supplied a responsible adult can say 'I don't fecking think so'. Mebbe one supplier is knocking out binwagons at £20k to the private sector and £25k to our Happy Shoppers. Again, 'I don't fecking think so' and so one, for cleaning services, stationery supply, building maintenance etbloodycetera and so bloodyon.

Hide nothing and nobody has a need or anywhere to hide.

If all local authorities ganged up and adopted this method imagine the purchasing grunt they'd have.
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Ringer on March 02, 2011, 11:48:21 PM
This is interesting:

Agenda item 19 - (right at the bottom of the document) 'Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Arrangement' re:

Quote
The Cabinet is requested to: -

• Authorise the Chief Executive to enter into the ‘confidentiality and nondisclosure
arrangement outlined in the report, between the Council and a
potential investor allowing both parties to confidentially conduct and conclude
commercial discussions regarding private sector investment in a high-speed
wireless data infrastructure for Swindon.
 
• Authorise the Leader and the Cabinet Member for Finance, in consultation with
the Chief Executive, to enter into confidential commercial discussions with the
potential investor and to report back to the Cabinet on the conclusion of these
discussions.


[url]http://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=4216&T=10&J=7[/url] ([url]http://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=4216&T=10&J=7[/url])

Or, you can save yourself 10 minutes of scrolling through the wreckage of Cllr Edward's budgets, and click here: relevant 3 pages here: [url]http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/sbc%20cabinet/2011%2003%2009%20Cabinet%20Confidentity%20&%20non-disclosure%20arrangement%20-%20Digital%20City.pdf[/url] ([url]http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/sbc%20cabinet/2011%2003%2009%20Cabinet%20Confidentity%20&%20non-disclosure%20arrangement%20-%20Digital%20City.pdf[/url])

Or here:


([url]http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/sbc%20cabinet/2011%2003%2009%20Cabinet%20Confidentity%20&%20non-disclosure%20arrangement%20-%20Digital%20City_Page_1_thumb.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/sbc%20cabinet/2011%2003%2009%20Cabinet%20Confidentity%20&%20non-disclosure%20arrangement%20-%20Digital%20City_Page_1.jpg[/url])  ([url]http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/sbc%20cabinet/2011%2003%2009%20Cabinet%20Confidentity%20&%20non-disclosure%20arrangement%20-%20Digital%20City_Page_2_thumb.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/sbc%20cabinet/2011%2003%2009%20Cabinet%20Confidentity%20&%20non-disclosure%20arrangement%20-%20Digital%20City_Page_2.jpg[/url])  ([url]http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/sbc%20cabinet/2011%2003%2009%20Cabinet%20Confidentity%20&%20non-disclosure%20arrangement%20-%20Digital%20City_Page_3_thumb.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/sbc%20cabinet/2011%2003%2009%20Cabinet%20Confidentity%20&%20non-disclosure%20arrangement%20-%20Digital%20City_Page_3.jpg[/url])


Geoff

Is this relevant?
Quote
2.3. As part of this arrangement, the potential investor is asking the Council to
commit to an ‘exclusivity’ condition, lasting for a period of 60 calendar
days whereby the Council agrees that it shall not approach, enter into
discussion with or enter into any agreement with a third party in relation to
a high speed wireless network for Swindon.

2.4. This arrangement does not bind the Council to any financial or operational
commitments, other than those of confidentiality and exclusivity set out
above.


What does Exculisivity actually mean?  :fish:

I ask this as I wonder how the council can do this with a private ltd company, which coincidentially has the Deputy leader of the council as a Director? Its relationship is tenuous as it stated here
Quote
Ref: FOI101000235945 Freedom of Information Request

Thank you for your attached request received in our office on 24 August
2010.
The Council has to respond 'promptly' or no later than 20 working days
which in this case is 22 September 2010.

I enclose for your attention the following information;

Swindon Borough Council have a loan agreement with Digital City (UK)
Limited on commercial terms and secured by a shareholding in the company.
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/classification_of_relationships#incoming-116358 (http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/classification_of_relationships#incoming-116358)

I am really confused here as if it is to set up a high speed wireless data infrastructure, why is the council involving itself as a public sector organisation in a private company? Or is the council putting out a tender/expression of interest exclusively?

What Did The Leader of The Labour opposition know when on 22nd February his letter stated?
Quote
I understand that the CEO of Digital city informed the committee that it was his intent to ‘gift’ his shareholding in the company to the council. This would result in the council becoming a majority shareholder of Digital City and would mean a private sector company being effectively nationalised by Swindon Borough Council. This deeply concerns me as it is not the role of the council to be a key player in a private market, which the Wifi market most certainly is.

 
  http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/yoursay/swindonletters/8853714.Letter_from_Coun_Derique_Montaut/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/yoursay/swindonletters/8853714.Letter_from_Coun_Derique_Montaut/)

The whole the letter is here
Quote
Letter from Coun Derique Montaut
11:10am Tuesday 22nd February 2011

Print Email Share

THE events and revelations at the recent Scrutiny Committee meeting were marked by a number of important statements.

The first was the failure of Digital City UK to have achieved its sales revenue targets and network coverage as set out in the business plan agreed between the company and the council. These targets were considered by officers and cabinet members to be realistic and achievable, it is a matter of concern that they have proven to be unattainable by such a wide margin.

I understand that the CEO of Digital city informed the committee that it was his intent to ‘gift’ his shareholding in the company to the council. This would result in the council becoming a majority shareholder of Digital City and would mean a private sector company being effectively nationalised by Swindon Borough Council. This deeply concerns me as it is not the role of the council to be a key player in a private market, which the Wifi market most certainly is.

It was also clear from comments made by the Digital City CEO at the meeting that there are insufficient funds available to Digital City UK Ltd to meet even its most basic payment of interest on the loan of £400k provided by the council. This situation is a matter of regret especially as the relationship was supposedly formed on the basis of a mutually beneficial commercial loan. Mr Hunt made it quite clear that the value of such a relationship was considerably offset by the real world he occupies when he suggests that not paying the debt he owed to the council was ‘just business’.

The Labour Group supports the efforts of the council leader to develop a rescue plan which should at least see the council receive back its original loan of £400k plus any unpaid interest. The Labour Group also calls on the administration to prevent a newly-invested Digital City from undertaking the following, unless payments are made to the council for these at market rate:

• Mounting transmitters on Swindon’s lampposts and other publicly owned structures.

• Making an unmetered connection to the council’s electricity supply.

• Connect up to Swindon Borough Council’s internet connection.

If all these actions are undertaken by a newly-invested Digital City Ltd without that company paying the market rate, Swindon council taxpayers money would be at risk as the council would be vulnerable to legal challenge under State Aid guidelines.

COUN DERIQUE MONTAUT Leader of the Labour Group

 


What did Cllr Montaut know and when did he know it? Is it coincidental? or is it just a simple case a of Mystic Monty says?

Finally 2.1
Quote
  Detail
2.1. Digital City requires additional funding in order to continue to extend the
wireless network beyond Highworth. Currently the Highworth network
generates limited revenue from domestic sales and there are no business
sales. There is a high level of usage for the free service in Highworth, 600unique users per month, however, only 20 paid for packages have been
sold.
Does that statement not conflict with why the £250,000 was released wern't we told that they needed that money to prevent the project stalling and to continue the roll out? This statement appears to be  contradicatory to the reason given for releasing £250,000 is it not?

Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Geoff Reid on March 03, 2011, 02:18:07 AM

Crikey. I've just, (at 02.00hrs) finished my last call for the night about this. A lot of confused and unhappy people out here want to know what the council leadership is playing at.

Will try to shed some lamplight on it later in a blog.

Only one caller tonight was a TS member - I think the Bluhnderbirds have angered a fresh swathe of the population...
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: MsD Meanor on March 03, 2011, 07:12:55 AM
I wonder if the non-TSers were Private Eye readers.

Shame P Eye didn't publish a link to this thread.

This is so dodgy the fraud office should be involved.
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: I Could Do That on March 03, 2011, 07:24:43 AM
"This is so dodgy the fraud office should be involved."

Oooh yes please. They might investigate and uncover a few more dodgy deals whilst they're at it
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Outoftowner on March 03, 2011, 08:11:55 AM
You are so right ICDT.

I didn't know that you ran an all night "Samaritan" phone service Geoff! WTF. I would never phone someone that late at night....... unless "they" are putting you on a sleep deprevation programme. :2funny:

I think that the "alledged" incoming company have their eye on a lot more than Wi-Fi. For a £400,000 contract entrance fee, plus maybe the odd plain brown envelope, they must want to run all of the, soon to be outsourced, council services for a very long time. Wi-Fi will be one of them; for now. They'll probably put a couple of "Hot-Spots" in the town centre then declare the whole borough project  not to be commercially viable ( which we all know) and then drop it.

Swindon will be left with a long term contract to supply services, bought in below the present cost but where everything from changing a light bulb to pruning a plant is a "contract variation" thus attracting an "on-cost". Swindon will pay many times over for this £400,000....... Millions and millions.

Meanwhile the Bluhigans will be OBN to "Dave  the Plate Spinner" for jobs in Westminster saying that they did his bidding and want their reward.

Thats my Mystic Meg prediction and where I'll put my one pound bet.
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Steve Wakefield on March 03, 2011, 09:01:08 AM
Sleep deprivation interesting thought. :wakeup: I doubt anyone is losing much sleep about this new development :coolsmiley:
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Des Morgan on March 03, 2011, 09:04:20 AM
It is an odd situation where the Council appears to be negotiating on behalf of Digital City.  It is the responsibility of the directors of Digital City to work out their salvation and it is upto them to determine whether or not they enter into an agreement offering a prospective buyer/investor a period of time in which to undertake due diligence enquiries.  Incidentally, this conflicts with what Coun Perkins has previously said - he told the Cabinet that 'discussions were in an advanced state and a deal would be announced imminently'

In an email to me date January, he also said that "The loan will be paid in the near future to allow the project to move forward"  and he also said "Investment is coming to Digital City to allow this project to move forwards".

I am not sure how the position he now identifies corresponds with those statements.

I am concerned that SBC appears to be acting on behalf of a private company, to the point it is asking Cabinet to approve a course of action which it should not be involved in.

How can SBC and the Chief Executive enter into a 'confidentiality and non-disclosure' agreement on behalf of a company in which it is only a shareholder? What role is aQovia playing? It is upto Digital City and its board to enter into such an agreement.

How can SBC, the CE, RB and ME enter into confidential commercial discussions with a potential investor in Digital City.  Such discussions should be between the potential investor and Digital City's board of directors.

The role of SBC is very clear.  It is to recover the loan and they have a mechanism to do this.  In the loan agreement there is a clause which covers 'default' and in the event they have a clear route to recover the loan.  Sadly due to a  level of ineptitude which characterises this saga the recovery will not be by way of any form of security against the assets of DC - that was a story which will be examined later, but as at 2 February Coun Perkins was still of the mind that enforcement under the default clause was not being considered.  One can only wonder why the Council is reluctant to take such action which might include requiring individual directors liable for the debt.
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Outoftowner on March 03, 2011, 09:08:42 AM
I think that Des' "Flabber," is well and truely "gasted."
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Ringer on March 03, 2011, 09:26:53 AM
It is an odd situation where the Council appears to be negotiating on behalf of Digital City.  It is the responsibility of the directors of Digital City to work out their salvation and it is upto them to determine whether or not they enter into an agreement offering a prospective buyer/investor a period of time in which to undertake due diligence enquiries...........

I am concerned that SBC appears to be acting on behalf of a private company, to the point it is asking Cabinet to approve a course of action which it should not be involved in.How can SBC and the Chief Executive enter into a 'confidentiality and non-disclosure' agreement on behalf of a company in which it is only a shareholder? What role is aQovia playing? It is upto Digital City and its board to enter into such an agreement.

How can SBC, the CE, RB and ME enter into confidential commercial discussions with a potential investor in Digital City.  Such discussions should be between the potential investor and Digital City's board of directors.
The role of SBC is very clear.  It is to recover the loan and they have a mechanism to do this.  In the loan agreement there is a clause which covers 'default' and in the event they have a clear route to recover the loan.  Sadly due to a  level of ineptitude which characterises this saga the recovery will not be by way of any form of security against the assets of DC - that was a story which will be examined later, but as at 2 February Coun Perkins was still of the mind that enforcement under the default clause was not being considered.  One can only wonder why the Council is reluctant to take such action which might include requiring individual directors liable for the debt.

Are you saying that the council/ Gavin Jones CEO  is using democracy to protect its Deputy Leader Garry Perkins? Or some unknown unclear objective? Or that the senior officers of SBC are failing in their duty to recover the arrears of interest payments/determine the loan?  :fish:

I ask as once again the wifi project indicates for some there are more questions than answers. I think the point about the Labour leader's letter it is another document that now for some may  be about to lead to more questions? There is a programme to replace concrete lamp posts over the next 3 years to do with the age of the lighting?

May the 8th will soon be here and then if there is any positive/good/helpful news, will we be told before that date? I think if it is 60 days then it may be best if the news is embargoed until 8th May? I say this otherwise some cynical people may be thinking that this is to do with the election political longevity  of the Deputy Leader?

Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: ph1lc on March 03, 2011, 10:52:15 AM
Attracting a new investor is the only way there is any hope of recovering a single penny. For the Council to enter into a confidentiality agreement is pretty standard practice.

As Des points out, they cannot enter into an agreement on behalf of DC, but given that the only bit of leverage that the Council has is the fact that it owns the lamposts that are needed, there is plenty to discuss with a potential investor. Indeed this is the only hope of recovering any of the loan at all. Without the lamposts there is no project at all.

As far as recovering any of the loan from the Directors, that's extremely unlikely. There is no evidence of the type of misconduct that would be needed. It would be interesting to find out how much has been paid to R Hunt / Avidity.
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Des Morgan on March 03, 2011, 10:55:07 AM
Quote
Are you saying that the council/ Gavin Jones CEO  is using democracy to protect its Deputy Leader Garry Perkins? Or some unknown unclear objective? Or that the senior officers of SBC are failing in their duty to recover the arrears of interest payments/determine the loan

I couldn't possibly comment on what the Chief Executive's motives are !!!!

I would say that i think Gavin Jones is wrong to involve himself in any negotiations between a potential investor/buyer of Digital City.  SBC is simply a 'shareholder' albeit the largest (thanks to the gifting of shares by RH) but it is not the only shareholder and as such it should not be 'managing the situation' it should be 'influencing' the board of DC.  The Cabinet has no part to play in the matter of an investor/buyer of Digital City and I fail to see how it can legitimately involve itself in respect of a private company's future.  Let us be very clear, the deal isn't about SBC it's about DC.  The matter of the loan being repaid is a matter for DC and it is only for SBC to decide whether it is prepared to wait on the outcome of negotiations between DC and the alleged investor/buyer or whether it invokes the default clause.

I have to say that for me there is no doubt that the default clause should be invoked as it sets a marker, if the alleged investor/buyer is as interested as Coun Perkins made out then they will acknowledge the action taken by SBC to be good business practise.  I would remind SBC that they are playing with public money and as such their first duty is to take action to recover that money. That duty overrides any concern for Coun Perkins or Mr Hunt.

Lord Woolf MR said 'It is of the greatest importance that any individual who undertakes the statutory and fiduciary obligations of being a company director should realise that these are inescapable personal responsibilities"
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Ringer on March 03, 2011, 10:58:50 AM
Attracting a new investor is the only way there is any hope of recovering a single penny. For the Council to enter into a confidentiality agreement is pretty standard practice.

As Des points out, they cannot enter into an agreement on behalf of DC, but given that the only bit of leverage that the Council has is the fact that it owns the lamposts that are needed, there is plenty to discuss with a potential investor. Indeed this is the only hope of recovering any of the loan at all. Without the lamposts there is no project at all.

As far as recovering any of the loan from the Directors, that's extremely unlikely. There is no evidence of the type of misconduct that would be needed. It would be interesting to find out how much has been paid to R Hunt / Avidity.

So is it a tender? Or is the council going to exclude any other company? If so where is the VFM for the council tax payers of Swindon and is it not a closed tender?  Where are our two MPs in all this? Have they contacted the Gherkin about it? His department has been going on all week about transparency and openness in councils. 
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: peach on March 03, 2011, 10:59:15 AM
don't think Rikki is concentrating to hard on the negotiations :: http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/8885194.Rikki_and_Hempleman_Adams_head_for_Everest/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/8885194.Rikki_and_Hempleman_Adams_head_for_Everest/)
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: ph1lc on March 03, 2011, 11:11:28 AM
Tender - no chance, they'll be lucky to find one mug!

Sorry Des I disagree about the Councils involvement. As a major shareholder they have every need to be involved in the negotiations, and as the major creditor it is in their best interests.

I guess that the only chance of a neew investment is going to be for the investor to aquire the total capital of DC for a nominal £1. The fact that by far the cheapest and easiest way of rolling out wi-fi is to use the Councils lamposts. This will be the only lever the Council have, without them it would make sense to put DC into administration. The few assets that DC own can be bought very cheaply from the administrators.

Referring to an earlier post of yours Des, given that it is unlikely that the Council are going to remaim a shareholder then they must not allow free access to thier electricity and no access to their network.
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Ringer on March 03, 2011, 11:13:20 AM
I would remind SBC that they are playing with public money and as such their first duty is to take action to recover that money. That duty overrides any concern for Coun Perkins or Mr Hunt.

Does the word SBC mean ergo the whole council, which would include all the Conservative councillors all the Labour councillors and all the liberal councillors? 

Lord Woolf MR said 'It is of the greatest importance that any individual who undertakes the statutory and fiduciary obligations of being a company director should realise that these are inescapable personal responsibilities"

Do companies house understand their own blimmin laws?  And does the council's solicitor know what laws apply to the Director of Digital City and Deputy Leader of the Council Councillor Garry Perkins? Who is coincidentially up for election in Shaw and Nine Elms in May unless he retires?

On a completely unrelated matter Does the Director of Financial services have a duty placed upon their position to protect council tax payers funds and to recover debts when they fall due?

Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Des Morgan on March 03, 2011, 12:04:59 PM
Quote
Sorry Des I disagree about the Councils involvement. As a major shareholder they have every need to be involved in the negotiations, and as the major creditor it is in their best interests.

Hi Phil - I don't think we actually disagree on this.  I accept they have every right to be involved both as a major creditor and shareholder which i why i refer to 'influencing' the process. What i am amazed at is that they appear to have 'taken over the role of the board of Digital City' and are acting as if SBC and Digital City are one and the same.

SBC are worried about the repayment of the loan, indeed they quote this at 1. Reasons. in the agenda paper. Where i get uneasy is where they say they need to explore options for securing investment to ensure the loan is repaid. No they don't - that's up to Digital City.  SBC can initiate action to recover the loan by implementing the clause in the loan agreement which details what should happen in the event of a default.

Of course if SBC are saying they are talking to investors on their own account (ie they have given up on Digital City) that is a different matter, but they can't use such negotiations to justify not taking action against Digital City for the recovery of the £400k


Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Geoff Reid on March 03, 2011, 12:37:17 PM


I haven't read the posts between my last one and this - apologies if I repeat anything already said - but I will come back and read them in a while.

I have a theory, it's a good one, and if it's correct I have to say that the Bluhnderbirds are being more duplicitous than any of us have imagined thusfar and are actually using the failure of the Digital City wifi as a smokescreen to do something else entirely.

I'll be back.  :)
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Ringer on March 03, 2011, 12:47:24 PM
Quote
Sorry Des I disagree about the Councils involvement. As a major shareholder they have every need to be involved in the negotiations, and as the major creditor it is in their best interests.

Hi Phil - I don't think we actually disagree on this.  I accept they have every right to be involved both as a major creditor and shareholder which i why i refer to 'influencing' the process. What i am amazed at is that they appear to have 'taken over the role of the board of Digital City' and are acting as if SBC and Digital City are one and the same.

SBC are worried about the repayment of the loan, indeed they quote this at 1. Reasons. in the agenda paper. Where i get uneasy is where they say they need to explore options for securing investment to ensure the loan is repaid. No they don't - that's up to Digital City.  SBC can initiate action to recover the loan by implementing the clause in the loan agreement which details what should happen in the event of a default.

Of course if SBC are saying they are talking to investors on their own account (ie they have given up on Digital City) that is a different matter, but they can't use such negotiations to justify not taking action against Digital City for the recovery of the £400k

Is this one of the problems risks with this new way of doing business it appears you no longer know where the council starts and business finishes? Is it a sticky mess or is it totally planned, thought out and executed as the new way of doing business the council way?
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: ph1lc on March 03, 2011, 12:59:57 PM
Des

I understand what you are saying. The truth of the situation is that DC are defunct. They have nothing to offer an investor, and no money to repay SBC.

By negotiating with investors SBC are pursueing the only hope they have of recovering any of our money.

It is unlikely that SBC will retain any of DC going forward, but if they can off load the project then there is hope of getting the taxpayers money back.

SBC have been particularily incompetant in the managing of this whole process the Chief Exec and Director of Finance bout have serious questions to answer. I only hope that someone can persuade the Audit Commission to investigate.
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: MsD Meanor on March 03, 2011, 01:31:40 PM
How does one go about asking the Audit Commission to investigate ( before they no longer exist)...? And who would they take notice of?
Title: Re: Where's Our WiFi: August 2010
Post by: Geoff Reid on November 11, 2012, 05:31:49 PM
Bump.