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Big Local Issues & Enquiries => Talkswindon WiFi Inquiry => Topic started by: Francoise De Lampe on January 31, 2011, 12:46:06 PM

Title: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Francoise De Lampe on January 31, 2011, 12:46:06 PM
 
   
Following the WiFi'asco Announcement Imminent - Or Is It? (http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=6960.0) topic, in which SBC Cllr/Digital City Director  Garry Perkins intimated two weeks ago that a 'cheque is in the post' from a mysteriously private investor for Swindons failed Wifi Scheme, Francoise can reveal that she has received two tips from Lamplighters (http://www.talkswindon.org/lamplighters/lamplighters.htm) today:

1. SBC Cllr/Digital City Director Garry Perkins (http://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/mgUserInfo.aspx?UID=269&J=2) will, at tonights conservative group meeting, announce that he will now make a WiFi announcement on the 7th of February 2011 - almost 1 month on from his boast of an announcement being 'imminent'.

2. Chairman of SBC's audit committee (http://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/mgUserInfo.aspx?UID=249&J=2), Cllr Michael Dickinson has leaked the news that the committee will be re-examining the circumstances under which the un-met WiFi progress measures were deliberately 'varied' by SBC cabinet members in March/April 2010 to speed making a further £300,000 of public loan money available to Digital City (UK) Ltd.

Des Morgan said at the time:

.
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 forbade them from ever acknowledging they got this one wrong.


Despite £250,000 of the available money being drawn down on by Digital City as soon as it became available, it appears that no further installation work was started and the Highworth project remains unfinished.  There remains considerable scepticism as to whether there existed a serious intention to continue installation work in Highworth because planning applications related to the installation of several new lamp columns had not been submitted by either SBC or Digital City, (as expected), when enquires were recently made.


Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: ph1lc on January 31, 2011, 01:32:24 PM
Maybe the audit commmittee will also look into why the loan has not been registered as a charge. Do SBC think they have any security?

Simple answer  - they don't! To have any security the charge should have been registered within 21 days -Companies Act 2006.

Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Geoff Reid on January 31, 2011, 04:51:50 PM
Is the adver reading Francoises' post?

At 1:00pm Monday 31st January 2011 the Adver publish Update due on WiFi'asco (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/8822604.Update_due_on_wi_fi_project/) - Garry Perkins making an announcement next week.

Quote
AN update on Digital City’s wi-fi project for Swindon will be given next week.

At the next meeting of Swindon Council’s scrutiny committee on February 7, deputy leader of the council, Coun Garry Perkins will be giving an update on the progress of the project and any problems left to iron out.

The meeting comes just weeks after the council announced it was looking for other investors to get involved with the project.

The council have put up a loan of £400,000 to kickstart the project and Coun Perkins sits on the board of directors to monitor the council’s investment.

The meeting on Monday, February 7, will be held in the Civic Offices, Euclid Street, at 6pm.



Despite the Local Tory party spinning the line that 'few people believe we did anything wrong with the wifi deal", the opposite is still very much the case.  And interest in the WiFi'asco is not restricted to the Borough.


I bet Garry is pissed off that the Tory group now have the chance to discuss this before they arrive at tonights group meeting.

I think Garry Perkins might be in for an interesting meeting. 

I suggest Michael Dickinson wears an incontinence pad to the meeting.

I wonder if Bluh will bother turning up to this one.


Looking forward to hearing the news from the group later tonight.  May not get a chance to report it until tomorrow afternoon though.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Ringer on January 31, 2011, 05:27:58 PM
It will be an interesting announcement and will we all have sight of the cheque and its envelope to examine the date samp postmark on it?
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Des Morgan on January 31, 2011, 10:32:05 PM
So here is the big question - will Conservative councillors who think the Wi-Fi project was less than the success it has been hyped up to be and was a 'gamble' too far - now have the courage to disappoint the leadership and do the right thing. Be honest?
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Mart on January 31, 2011, 10:49:48 PM
No.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: 20Eyes on January 31, 2011, 11:47:34 PM
All hinges on the announcement, I guess. But I'd tend to share Mart's view whatever the announcement may contain.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: I Could Do That on February 01, 2011, 12:16:11 AM
Tonight's Episode of Drag In A Den

Hi. We are Micky Dunt, Ronald Bloop, and Carefree Perkup.
We would like to secure a £400k investment in our business, in exchange for  10% of the profits.
We are setting up a free WiFi system, throughout an entire town. soon we will go national, then global, then take over the world.
Any Questions?

Hi Lads, I'm Dunkem Bad At Times.
This WiFi system? How do you make money  at it

Well we only let the pundits have two hours free, then we get complicated.

Och I don't like the sound of that I'm out.

Hello boys, I'm Deborah MeerKat. Tell me a little bit about yourselves.

Well Mickey used to run a football club, but we don't like to talk about that. Ronald has been responsible for lots of expensive business projects, and I'm a master of suspense.

Well I don't like suspense. I need to be able to trust the people I go into business with, so I'm out.

Gentlemen, I'm Flames  Calm. Give us some account figures. How much profit have you made, in relation to investments

Oh we haven't made any profit yet. It's not exactly running, but we've invested £350k, in the business so far......

Oh I think that's a pretty high risk. I don't fancy having a punt at that , I'm out.

Hmmm. Hi Chaps, I'm Feal M'Feetup. Do you mean to say that you've invested £350k, of your own money,  in a business that hasn't made any profit?

No, No. Of course not. We've invested money, from the local  bank of  council taxes, but with your investment, we'll be able to pay them back, and then spend some more money.

Well I'm outraged! We don't invest in debts, when you're clearly not offering us a business.
You're wasting my time, I'm angry. I'm out.

Guys........ I'm Peter Knot Tooby Confiustwiv  Gavin Jonas. Tell me what is unique about your product. Who are your competitors?

Well It's free......... sort of. You can use it anywhere, in town, so you don't have to sit in a nice cosy cafe, to get a signal. It's unique.

Guys I don't want to sit out in the cold to use a laptop. I have a mobile phone that has the internet on it, as we speak. I'm sending a picture of you all to PC SOS, Rag Traders, and Cowboy Billsers. I'm currently emailing you, to tell you, I'm out

Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Des Morgan on February 01, 2011, 08:28:58 AM
It's a pity Coun Perkins was unable to delay making another quite absurd statement regarding the Wi-Fi saga, albeit this time in the Scrutiny Committe papers for next mondays meeting.

Having used his position to accuse unnamed people of 'attempting to derail' the project and others for causing the project to falter, he now joins Mr Hitesh Patel (who is hardly a disengaged figure in the issues which have blighted the scheme) in suggesting that folk like me have devoted 'a disproportionate amount of time' on the matter.  Such a view is clearly prevalent within the hallowed portals of the Civic Offices as the comment was endorsed by even more senior officers than Mr Patel.  In the words of Corporal Jones - 'They don't like it up 'em - Captain Mainwaring'   

Coun Perkins and Mr Patel clearly have trouble in following a timeline and observing a sequence of events. If they were able to do so they would realise their protestations about delays etc are quite absurd and in fact have no support from hard evidence contained in documents issued by the Council.

Quote
However, this latest quite irresponsible outburst requires a rebuttal which i have attempted to make in a letter to the Chief Executive and the Chair of the Scrutiny Committee.

I have down loaded the Agenda reports pack for the Scrutiny Committee meeting to be held on Monday 7 February 2011. I am sure you will not be surprised that I consider the comments at Agenda Item 6 and in particular 2.2 to be quite amazing.

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

The comments are authored by the Deputy Leader of the Council and The Group Director of Business Transformation and further endorsed by the Director of Finance and the Director of Law and Democratic Services.

I am not sure it is the place of officers to express or endorse such an opinion even if they believe it is true, in particular when the primary author is as senior Political figure as the Deputy Leader of the Council and a Director of the Company who received the loan.  The independence of officers is brought into question when they offer a subjective view on what or is not a correct or proportionate level of attention in a matter of concern to the public. The value of the loan to Digital City UK Limited at £400,000 might be considered ‘inconsequential’ in terms of a total investment portfolio of £70millions, but to simply refer to an amount of money in isolation to the benefits the loan was to secure is to ignore completely the broader argument of why the loan was made and what has been achieved.

In fact the sub line to the comment at 2.2 can be regarded as a less than subtle snub to members of the public whose scrutiny of the Wi-Fi project revealed some quite surprising issues which clearly embarrassed the Council, councillors and some senior officers. I suspect the ‘amount of attention given to this subject’ is a matter of concern to many parties, however their concern is of little importance when considered against the back cloth of the democratic process which not only allows scrutiny but actively encourages its use to examine process and performance.

It is to be hoped that members of the Scrutiny Committee will not be improperly influenced by the inappropriate observations made by the Deputy Leader of the Council and The Group Director of Business Transformation.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: DarkAuror on February 01, 2011, 08:58:10 AM
If certain members of the cabinet believe a disproportionate amount of time has been spent on find holes, lies, mistruths about a £400,000 loan to a high risk venture. What about the other investments in the £70m portfolio.

If delved in to, will members of the public find that these investments went through the correct processes? i.e. Passing scrutiny and audit commission before money was allocated. Or will this open up a black hole where certain members of the cabinet makes decisions on behalf of the council and the electorate without actually consulting them?
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: 20Eyes on February 01, 2011, 08:59:26 AM
£400,000 out of £70m is actually quite a significant chunk IMO.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Richard Symonds on February 01, 2011, 12:29:40 PM
So here is the big question - will Conservative councillors who think the Wi-Fi project was less than the success it has been hyped up to be and was a 'gamble' too far - now have the courage to disappoint the leadership and do the right thing. Be honest?

I am hearing nothing came from that meeting, and in response feel that they are jointly and severely responsible for this obscene waste of public if they do not start speaking up on the subject.    Anything less will be seen as their complicity and will be evident at the poles in May.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Spectre on February 01, 2011, 04:04:47 PM
So here is the big question - will Conservative councillors who think the Wi-Fi project was less than the success it has been hyped up to be and was a 'gamble' too far - now have the courage to disappoint the leadership and do the right thing. Be honest?

I am hearing nothing came from that meeting, and in response feel that they are jointly and severely responsible for this obscene waste of public if they do not start speaking up on the subject.    Anything less will be seen as their complicity and will be evident at the poles in May.

Oops Richard. Would that be dancing around the May poles then. ;D
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: James on February 01, 2011, 08:28:52 PM
£400,000 out of £70m may be small.
But how much of that 70m is actually discretionary spending?
I'd bet a substantial proportion is committed before the money can even be considered...

And could a handful of people, however well informed, commit to spend that much on a project, now?

J



Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: moley on February 01, 2011, 08:33:05 PM
£400,000 out of £70m may be small.
But how much of that 70m is actually discretionary spending?
I'd bet a substantial proportion is committed before the money can even be considered...

And could a handful of people, however well informed, commit to spend that much on a project, now?

J

It would be interesting to see the council budget ranked by project size... I'd expect wifi to be pretty high up the list.  Plus when you add in free office space for a year plus it's never been clear to me who pays for the electricity for the system.... PLUS the amount of council officer time that must have been spent on it.

(Let's ignore the scrutiny aspect - but there's clearly been other council officer activity involved in setting it up, discussing street furniture etc.)

So it's unclear to me what the real cost of the project has been - but I bet it's more than the 400K....

Moley
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Geoff Reid on February 01, 2011, 09:27:57 PM
I thinks it's worth reminding mssr's Perkins, Taylor, McKellar and Patel that the amount of time spent scrutinising the WiFi'asco is directly related to the number of mistakes, misleading comments made, and innaccurate statements and outright bullshits issued by officers & members of the council.

Makes me chuckle that, even now, they are trying to blame other people for their own mistakes, even though the public record tells a different tale.

Perhaps that is the intention from this point onwards - they wish the public record to show them blaming others.

Anyone noticed that Bluh has stayed well away from the WiFi'asco since Perkins became the designated shit-carrier for the pRodject?

Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: James on February 01, 2011, 11:08:37 PM
Smart chap, that Mr Bluh...
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Des Morgan on February 02, 2011, 12:00:13 AM
Gather he didn't make the group meeting on Monday
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Ringer on February 02, 2011, 08:45:35 AM
Gather he didn't make the group meeting on Monday

Des

As you appear to know this information. Do you think the leader's shockingly high level of lost bottle absenteeism is being talked about all over the place, internally externally and no doubt amongst the partner agencies as well?
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Geoff Reid on February 02, 2011, 07:19:43 PM
Gather he didn't make the group meeting on Monday

Again?

I wonder if he was at home putting the finishing touches to the curriculum vitae he recently uploaded to a 'well known association' that he's currently seeking to become leader of.

I don't know whether Roddy is hoping to be able to squeeze in a bit of moonlighting alongside his councilloring/council-leading/accountancy/property/general hob-knobbing sort of stuff, or whether he's hedging his bets against the day his services at SBC will no longer be tolerated required.

Leaks, tit bits and gossip about this to: leaks@talkswindon.org

Today, down at the Civic, the name Rod 'Hosni' Bluh has been heard more than once.

Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Steve Wakefield on February 03, 2011, 08:39:40 AM
At Cabinet in public question time, Des Morgan asked his questions and his last question was I have not received answers to my questions put at Cabinet 10 days ago, without hesitation  an envelope appeared, which was handed over to Des.   However Des read his answers then asked to come back with a question, which was refused, he was told he will have to ask them at scrutiny. I think Coun Perkins gave Des answers about Digital City UK Limited and the appropriate interest payments to the Council. It must have also answered the one about the £250k given in May and how it has been used by the company.

I think Des will be on here to also explain why he did not answer the Leader's question to him. One question Des asked was about what had been said about a private buyer/investor, which Cllr Perkins  started to answer but broke off maybe Des will be following that one up at scrutiny?



 


Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Ringer on February 03, 2011, 09:27:58 AM
Des Morgan is quiet this morning has the cat got his tongue?  :coffee:
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Des Morgan on February 03, 2011, 10:27:43 AM
Hi Ringer - nothing stops me expressing aview but after last nights work over I am a bit bruised.  Big issue for me is what's happened to the £250k according to Coun Perkins - "It has been spent on activities in relation to progressing the business plan objectives"

The problem i have with this statement is two fold.

1. Which business plan is Coun Perkins referring to (he promised to get back to me on this one) which you may think is odd as he is the representative director of Digital City and you would think if anyone knew it would be him.

You will recall that when the loan was first given it was subject to a business plan, absolutely normal practise.  In March the Council agreed to relax some Key Performance Indicators and they were also required to 'Risk Assess' a revised business plan. It was against this plan that the loan of £250k was approved. On October 6th Rikki Hunt was interviewed by the Adver and he is quoted as saying "the firm was in the process of reshaping its business plan" On the 19 January I was advised by Coun Perkins that "any further committments to the roll out are subject to the agreement of the amended business plan"

So if it's not plan 1 or plan 2 is it plan 3 or plan 4.  Interestingly plans 3 and 4 have never been 'risk assessed' by SBC.

My second issue is even simpler. The reason for the release of the £250k was very clearly set out in the Cabinet papers of 10 March 2010. If the money was not given it would result in DC not being in a position to progress full Borough coverage. Further the £150k would be in jeopardy. The Council gave DC the £250k but the project has stalled and there has been no progress towards full Borough coverage.

Let's be clear the £250k was not given in order that Mr Hunt could spend it on ancilliary projects, it was laways about providing a Wi-Fi package for Swindon
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Geoff Reid on February 03, 2011, 04:47:25 PM
Des, I wonder if it's worth you taking a step backwards and looking again at the wood?

I'm hearing that, whatever is going on within the upper-echelons of the Rodigarchy, 'Hosni' Perkins is being kept well away from it.  I'm even beginning to credit an earlier leak which said: 'GP doesn't know the half of it' - with a bit more weight.

Q1: Did Cllr Perkins look surprised when Cll Finualala Foley produced the envelope containg your written answers?

Q2: Do you think Cllr Foley produced the envelope at the earliest available opportunity, or did she do so at the point which would cause Hosni P the greatest amount of surprise/embarrassment?

Q3: What does your gut instinct tell you?


Mine tells me to reflect on this holistically rather than examine it forensicly and, having spent a couple of hours doing that in a darkened room, I think Hosni Perkins is nowhere near as central to current WiFi'asco affairs as he's making out.

If there is a secret investor waiting to pay off Digital City's debt to SBC, does anyone really entertain the notion that they'd want Hosni Perkins to be briefing the media/public on their activities?.....

....I'm buggered if I'd want a psychotic clown opening their gob anywhere near the media on my behalf..... 
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Des Morgan on February 03, 2011, 04:59:40 PM
Hi Geoff

Q1: Did Cllr Perkins look surprised when Cll Finualala Foley produced the envelope containg your written answers? I think he did

Q2: Do you think Cllr Foley produced the envelope at the earliest available opportunity, or did she do so at the point which would cause Hosni P the greatest amount of surprise/embarrasment? Coun Foley had plenty of time to hand me the envelope between the Open Forum and the Cabinet proper.  Indeed a number of people have commented how she came to where i was sitting prior to the meeting doing her mother hen impression organising mics and telling at least two councillors where they should sit. I honestly have no doubt the theatricals were nothing more than a 'smart arse' attempt to embarrass and intimidate me, something that Coun Foley does with aplomb  but does her no credit whatsoever

Q3: What does your gut instinct tell you? That Coun Perkins isn't the villain of the piece and I think while he may not like the intensity of my scrutiny he is more adult about it than Coun Bluh who demonstrated the bombast he is fast becoming famed for - his outburst at the end of my questions was degrading to the office he holds and a demonstration of the contempt in which he clearly holds me

Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Geoff Reid on February 03, 2011, 05:18:49 PM
 

Q3: What does your gut instinct tell you?

A: That Coun Perkins isn't the villain of the piece and I think while he may not like the intensity of my scrutiny he is more adult about it than Coun Bluh

Yes. My instincts have been telling me for a while that Hosni Perkins is now little more than the designated Wifi'asco shit-carrier for Roderick Bluh.


I don't know what Bluh said to you at the end of your questions, but if his outburst was aimed at you I'd suggest the meeting wasn't going according to his script, so well done :)


I wonder when Bluh hears about the other job he's applied for....
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Muggins on February 03, 2011, 06:49:16 PM
Des: "a demonstration of the contempt in which he clearly holds me"


Des, let me reassure you that you are by no means on your own!   

We are in this together!

Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: I Could Do That on February 03, 2011, 07:12:33 PM
"Coun Bluh who demonstrated the bombast he is fast becoming famed for - his outburst at the end of my questions was degrading to the office he holds and a demonstration of the contempt in which he clearly holds me"

You mean, he was actually there? :o
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Richard Symonds on February 03, 2011, 10:57:29 PM

I don't know whether Roddy is hoping to be able to squeeze in a bit of moonlighting alongside his councilloring/council-leading/accountancy/property/general hob-knobbing sort of stuff, or whether he's hedging his bets against the day his services at SBC will no longer be tolerated required.


Don't forget his membership of the Police Authority Geoff! 

How does he have the time to do all his responsibilities justice?
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Richard Symonds on February 03, 2011, 11:16:29 PM
I have just heard that the letter I wrote on January 18th has been published in the Swindon Advertiser having been put on line on January 31st.  Did they publish it in full in the paper though?

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/yoursay/swindonletters/8809512.Letter_from_Richard_Symonds/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/yoursay/swindonletters/8809512.Letter_from_Richard_Symonds/)
Letter from Richard Symonds


3:50pm Monday 31st January 2011

I WRITE with reference to your report in yesterday’s Advertiser (Jan 18) about the current position of the wifi project. I am very pleased you are at last taking an interest in this subject and urge you to investigate further.

I find it absolutely incredible that Digital City is seeking further private investment when only a very small amount of the project has been completed to date following a very controversial £400,000 investment, as a shareholder, from Swindon Borough Council.

Just exactly how much of his own money has Mr Rikki Hunt invested in this project and also councillors Rod Bluh and Mark Edwards, the people who instigated this project without reference to fellow council members, and also Digital City director Coun Garry Perkins.

The councillors have continuously told us what a wonderful opportunity this represents to the people of Swindon, so if it is that good why aren’t investors queueing up down the M4 to get involved? Is it because like so many of us they believe the whole concept is flawed?

RICHARD SYMONDS The Bramptons Shaw Swindon

Has the last but one paragraph been left off the paper copy?


Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Geoff Reid on February 04, 2011, 01:45:38 PM

Let's be clear the £250k was not given in order that Mr Hunt could spend it on ancilliary projects, it was laways about providing a Wi-Fi package for Swindon


That's a very good point Des and one which I am sure will become increasingly uppermost in Cllr's minds as we approach the Scrutiny meeting next Monday night. (http://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/mgChooseDocPack.aspx?ID=4332&J=5)

Agenda item 6 of the Public Reports Pack (http://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=4332&T=10&J=6) will be of particular interest to connoisseurs of the WiFi'asco, (even though it is incomplete as present), because paragraph 2, (pg 11) confirms that the decision by Swindon Borough Council to invest in a wifi scheme was
considered in detail by Scrutiny Committee on no less than 6 occasions and still decided to lend Digital City (UK) Ltd £400,000 of tax payers money.


Quote
2. Detail

2.1. The decision by Swindon Borough Council to invest in a wifi scheme was considered in detail by Scrutiny Committee, both through reports and through Public Question Time on:

2.1.1. 14th December 2009 (minutes 45 and 48 refer),
2.1.2. 11th January 2010 (minute 58 refers),
2.1.3. 25th January 2010 (minute 60 refers),
2.1.4. 15th March 2010 (minute 73 and 74 refer),
2.1.5. 8th April 2010 (minutes 77 and 78 refer)


In the interests of absolute clarity, to date,  £400,000 of the loan has been drawn down by Digital City (UK) Limited.   The first amount of £150,000 was drawn down in October 2009 and the second amount of £250,000 was drawn down in April 2010.

A sum of £50,000 remains undrawn by Digital City (UK) Ltd.  This sum remains untouched because, before this £50,000 could be drawn down, Digital City (UK) Ltd had to have at least 100 paying customers.  I understand that Digital City has never exceeded 30 paying customers.

I'm interested in how the £250,000 sum was used, or where it went, in the period between April 2010, (when it was drawn down by Digital City (UK) Ltd), and November 2010 - the point at which I believe the money actually ran out.

You see, I think Cllr Perkins is being simultaneously truthful and disingenuous when he tells us that payments on the loan have been made on time.  I believe that, initially at least, loan payments were being made on time each month....

....but I also happen to believe that they stopped being made at some point last year and,  using my own, (unofficial*), methods of intelligence gathering I think it would be fairly accurate to suggest that Swindon Borough Council has not received any loan repayments from Digital City (UK) Ltd for the last 4 or 5 months. 

Has Councillor Perkins lied about this?, no, not exactly.  He has not been asked exactly the right questions so has not given the answers one might reasonably expect from reasonably clear and concise questions.

Unfortunately, this is where the leadership of Cllr Roderick Bluh has taken the council - a tremendous amount of effort is put into avoiding answering even simple questions fully and transparently.  Semantics are employed to the nth degree to deliberately mislead, confuse and deter members and the public from both 'engaging' with the adminstration, or holding it to account.

So here's a couple of simple questions:


Q1:  On what date did Digital City (UK) Ltd make its last interest payment to SBC?


Councillor Perkins, deputy leader of Swindon Borough Council and Director of Digital City (UK) Ltd says they have been made on time.  I'd like to know if this is true for every interest payment that has fallen due.


 :popcorn:




* they may be 'unofficial' sources but they have proved themselves reliable.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Richard Symonds on February 04, 2011, 01:56:58 PM
Excellent question to ask Geoff, but who is going to ask it?
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Francoise De Lampe on February 04, 2011, 02:02:25 PM
A tip just received.

Quote from: TomTom
"I work for Capita and, because what I do for them, I am pretty sure I would have heard something if we were about to do a corporate buy-in or take over.

I have heard nothing to suggest that we would be interested in the Swindon Wireless project."
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Geoff Reid on February 04, 2011, 02:28:25 PM

Ah, just taken an odd phone call. Caller suggested I took a look inside the DMJ.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Outoftowner on February 04, 2011, 04:15:37 PM
Drat. I just left Swindon half an hour ago I could have called in to the DMJ.

I wonder what I would have seen? Perhaps the Digital City floor looks like the bridge of "The Marie Celeste"?
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Richard Symonds on February 04, 2011, 04:50:49 PM
Drat. I just left Swindon half an hour ago I could have called in to the DMJ.

I wonder what I would have seen? Perhaps the Digital City floor looks like the bridge of "The Marie Celeste"?

or completely empty Outoftowner!
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Des Morgan on February 04, 2011, 05:27:09 PM
Quote
I'm interested in how the £250,000 sum was used, or where it went, in the period between April 2010, (when it was drawn down by Digital City (UK) Ltd), and November 2010 - the point at which I believe the money actually ran out.

With the aid of my 'brown envelope' courtesy of coun Foley i can provide an answer.

Quote
It has been spent on activities in relation to progressing the business plan objectives

How that accords with the primary purpose for eleasing the £250k is beyond me - for ease of reference the primary reason was stated by officers to be

Quote
The key risk in delaying further 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 £150k will be in jeopardy. Until such time as the full network is in place the ability of DC to deliver public and private sector sales is significantly diminished
Ref p99 of the Cabinet paper dated 10 March 2010
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Des Morgan on February 04, 2011, 05:30:06 PM
Quote
You see, I think Cllr Perkins is being simultaneously truthful and disingenuous when he tells us that payments on the loan have been made on time.  I believe that, initially at least, loan payments were being made on time each month....

You are too kind. Payments for November, December and January were not made and the February payment is due before the end of this month.  The relevance of these dates will become clear in due time
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Richard Symonds on February 05, 2011, 10:16:00 AM
Quote
You see, I think Cllr Perkins is being simultaneously truthful and disingenuous when he tells us that payments on the loan have been made on time.  I believe that, initially at least, loan payments were being made on time each month....

You are too kind. Payments for November, December and January were not made and the February payment is due before the end of this month.  The relevance of these dates will become clear in due time

Does this mean they are going to own up to failure on Monday night then Des?
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Des Morgan on February 05, 2011, 02:53:26 PM
Quote
Does this mean they are going to own up to failure on Monday night then Des?

The word 'failure' isn't in their vocabulary. Sadly, I think their primary tactic now is simply to 'rubbish' any scrutiny.

Let's remember Coun Bluh, only in October 2010 said - 'he was unsure on what basis Chris watts considered the Wi-Fi project a failure. He noted that it was still proceeding'

One has to say that the latest comment as found in Monday's Scrutiny Meeting agenda pack is most illuminating "The original Digital City UK Limited buisness plan projections for sales revenue and network coverage have not been met" Now I know Councillors like to interpet words as it suits their argument, but can anyone truly put any interpretation on this statement other than the business is a failure. Digital City had but two commercial objectives - develop a Borough wide Wi-Fi network and sell the packages, it did neither. That is a failure
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Ringer on February 05, 2011, 03:30:50 PM
Quote
Does this mean they are going to own up to failure on Monday night then Des?
The word 'failure' isn't in their vocabulary. Sadly, I think their primary tactic now is simply to 'rubbish' any scrutiny.

What has changed? Nothing, but its just another brick in the wall all politically bankrupt regimes come to a tragic end no matter how glittering the start of their reign was. The Tory councillors may close ranks behind the Bluhlighans, but it will be something that comes back haunts them all.  :bottom:
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Mart on February 05, 2011, 04:01:08 PM
The Tory councillors may close ranks behind the Bluhlighans, but it will be something that comes back haunts them all.

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

You would think the time was ripe for an ambitious sort to make their move.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Des Morgan on February 05, 2011, 04:13:48 PM
Interestingly the SBC website for the Scrutiny meeting under item 6 has two Wi-Fi reports.
 
http://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=34803&J=41 (http://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=34803&J=41)

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

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

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


This quote demonstrates the contempt reserved for real scrutiny.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Richard Symonds on February 05, 2011, 05:27:33 PM
Interestingly the SBC website for the Scrutiny meeting under item 6 has two Wi-Fi reports.
 
[url]http://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=34803&J=41[/url] ([url]http://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=34803&J=41[/url])

[url]http://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=34806&J=41[/url] ([url]http://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=34806&J=41[/url])

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

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


This quote demonstrates the contempt reserved for real scrutiny.


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

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

I do not believe these people, they have more neck than Garaffe
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Outoftowner on February 06, 2011, 02:12:46 PM
I think that we need to look into the rest of the "investment portfolio of £70M". Is this the total "investment" over many years, in which case £400,000 is a very large chunk, or is it an annual investment figure?

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

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

(Surely the council tax hasn't been used to trade the cow for several  bags of beans?)
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: 20Eyes on February 06, 2011, 07:40:42 PM
Well, it's a matter of documented record now (although I'm assuming the Adver has managed to screw up the quote):

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

[url]http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/8836168.Swindon_Wi_Fi_firm_not_paying_its_way/[/url] ([url]http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/8836168.Swindon_Wi_Fi_firm_not_paying_its_way/[/url])


There's no way back from that if any money is lost.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Geoff Reid on February 06, 2011, 07:53:26 PM
 
The cat is coming out of the bag.

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


Quote
Swindon Wi-Fi firm not paying its way

7:30pm Sunday 6th February 2011


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



....but which councillor resembles the bit of the cats anatomy which looks uncannily like a pencil sharpener?
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Chris Watts on February 06, 2011, 08:37:37 PM
Cabinet briefing Note 12th October 2009

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

The current assets are not worth a tenth of that.

Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Mart on February 06, 2011, 09:27:35 PM
Wonder if Rodders will stick this on his CV.

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

What are the chances of:

The money being returned

A fulsome apology being made and resignations tendered

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

and finally

It all being made to quietly go away.

I do have an order of preference.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Geoff Reid on February 07, 2011, 12:55:15 AM
I don't think Bluh and 'Hosni' Perkins can make this go quietly away unless we decide to let them get away with doing it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interesting times. 
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: 20Eyes on February 07, 2011, 07:56:01 AM
Although I suspect a private investor may not be forthcoming, it would be unwise of anyone to assume the absolute death of the project/non-repayment of the loan at this stage.

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

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

What to do, though. Even the WiFi scandal isn't bad enough to consider electing the Labour group to run the Council... so, if things don't come to pass as the current Council have indicated, what's the way forward?
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: DarkAuror on February 07, 2011, 09:19:05 AM
So from the Adver, Mr Perkins was quoted;

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

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

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

And people wonder they have no faith in the political system. :bash:
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: 20Eyes on February 07, 2011, 09:26:20 AM
So, are we seriously expected to believe that as (a) Director of Digital City he was told by the staff responsible that the company had met the repayments and (b) as Deputy Leader of The Council specifically overseeing this project he was told by Council staff that the repayments had been received?

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

Seriously?

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

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

Either way, they are not going to come up smelling of roses!
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: I Could Do That on February 07, 2011, 09:57:26 AM
20 - "What to do, though. Even the WiFi scandal isn't bad enough to consider electing the Labour group to run the Council... so, if things don't come to pass as the current Council have indicated, what's the way forward?"

I've been called a lefty, by you, so many times I simply must vote Labour >:D
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: 20Eyes on February 07, 2011, 10:18:05 AM
When they finally admit that this is a huge mistake, do you think they will come out admitting to being incredibly gullible and sleep walking through the whole start of the project. 

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

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

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

If that doesn't happen, I'm sure the necessary scapegoat(s) will be in place before any official announcement of 'non-success' is made.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Geoff Reid on February 07, 2011, 10:31:03 AM
I just cannot see how they can now backtrack on this. They've all but promised a backer will appear and they've definitely promised that all of the loan will be repayed.

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

The Adver sets up the question/answer with:

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

To which Hosni replies [direct quotation]:

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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




Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: 20Eyes on February 07, 2011, 10:50:57 AM
While I understand your points, I don't see how he could be published as saying "and there will be not a penny lost to the council" and then have the Council lose £400k.

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

Therefore I still believe that Perkins must be held to his statement in direct relation to the £400k loan money... which is money already lost and which can only return to a state of "not a penny lost to the council" once repayed in full.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Muggins on February 07, 2011, 10:56:07 AM
"not a penny lost to the council"

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

So no arguing with that statment which ever way you read it.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Chris Watts on February 07, 2011, 11:03:30 AM
So, are we seriously expected to believe that as (a) Director of Digital City he was told by the staff responsible that the company had met the repayments and (b) as Deputy Leader of The Council specifically overseeing this project he was told by Council staff that the repayments had been received?

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

Seriously?
This adds to the lists of thing they allegedly did not know.

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

Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: 20Eyes on February 07, 2011, 11:14:45 AM
"not a penny lost to the council"

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

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

 ;D

Although, sadly, you're technically absolutely correct.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Des Morgan on February 07, 2011, 12:39:44 PM
With regard to the 'incoming investor' at Cabinet on 19 January Coun Perkins responded to a written question by declaring "There will be no additional public money leantnor is the project seeking new investors.

When I asked him how that squared with the Adver headline stating the exact opposite, he said that "DC was not looking for new investors becasue they had found them"

So impressed was I that I wrote to him on 20 January expressing my delight that he had secured this new funding. 

He had previously replied by email  on 19 January when he told me that 'The Loan is not due for repayment until the end of the year, but it will be paid in the near future to allow the project to move forward' he then went on to confirm 'the fcat that investment is coming to Digital City to allow this project to move forward'

All crystal clear and unambiguous to me, looking forward to him putting flesh on the bones tonight.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: James on February 07, 2011, 12:53:14 PM
I'm fascinated to find out who the new investor is, and what their track record in IT is.
I certainly wouldn't want anyone who did not have a lot of experience in the field to try.

I'd also love to know how much discretionary spending the council has out of the £70m...

The list of errors/omissions that Chris identified is a worry too. Will the people who made them be involved in the next big thing make the same mistakes...
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Ringer on February 07, 2011, 02:21:33 PM
With regard to the 'incoming investor' at Cabinet on 19 January Coun Perkins responded to a written question by declaring "There will be no additional public money leantnor is the project seeking new investors.

All crystal clear and unambiguous to me, looking forward to him putting flesh on the bones tonight.

Talking of flesh on bones is that your cryptic speak for is there going to be fattening of a sacraficial lamb to the before slaughter ??
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Muggins on February 07, 2011, 04:21:38 PM
Didn't Perkins say that SCS would be a contender for partnership?
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Geoff Reid on February 07, 2011, 07:09:16 PM
If we really want to get technical, interest repayments on loans are not money 'lost' if they're not paid - because the money was never 'had' in the first place..

The loan was for £400,000 repayable after 24 months with 3% interest being due each month.

If no further interest payments are made the sum due at term will be £400,000 plus accrued interest - appprox £420,000

The interest generated is real when paid on time and equally real in accounting and debt-recovery terms when it is not paid on time, or not paid at all.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: I Could Do That on February 07, 2011, 08:07:21 PM
Should I keep watching Dragon's Den?
Who do you think will perform the pitch? :angel:
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Mart on February 07, 2011, 08:48:11 PM
Didn't Perkins say that SCS would be a contender for partnership?

Mmm, that's what worries me, something morally reprehensible but within the rules.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Geoff Reid on February 07, 2011, 09:16:26 PM
Didn't Perkins say that SCS would be a contender for partnership?

Mmm, that's what worries me, something morally reprehensible but within the rules.

It might be worse than that. How would you feel about SBC becoming the majority shareholder of Digital City (UK) Ltd ? - I.e, the council turned out to be the mystery invester Hosni-P has been babbling about?
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: I Could Do That on February 07, 2011, 11:12:45 PM
Duncan, Deborah, Pete, Theo, and James all said no then?
How much of my council tax will they steal invest on this dead duck for our benefit now
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Steve Wakefield on February 08, 2011, 08:19:35 AM
At Scrutiny meeting last night Mr John Hunt (Rikki) CEO of Digital City made 2 things clear, DC has not paid the three interest payments due, and they will be paid when the investor deal has been completed.

Mr John Hunt (Rikki) CEO of Digital City offered to gift his shares in DC to SBC, to mitigate any dilution of the value of SBC share, he was also asking the other shareholders if they would consider gifting their shares to SBC.

There was more/numerous admission/confirmations of stalling and freezing of the project.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Muggins on February 08, 2011, 08:33:13 AM
He's just been on the radio,  I heard the bit about gifting his shares to SBC.  Surely the shares are at present worthless, so in effect he's giving over nothing?

He was also asked would he still be with DC and he said yes, then asked would that be as CEO, he said yes, and he would be happy so to be.

Ummm, isn't there something even more weird about that than has happened thus far?

He says the project is recognised 'all over the place' as being inventive, exciting, creative etc. etc. if that's so, why has it stalled?

Either he's daft or I'm daft!
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Steve Wakefield on February 08, 2011, 08:44:48 AM
Muggins

Was anything mentioned of the Bathgate bid? Only last night there were not only *allegations but much was made of UWOs unidentified Wi-fi Objectors whose voices  mysteriously contacted  Bathgate and somehow affected the outcome of the project in that Town, I did question that assertion. I know that this may appear I am making light of this Captain Scarlet episode, but it had no relevance to the progress of the Swindon Wifi Digital City project roll out. It was a distraction last night and as so much was being made of it. In my opinion it could have been one of the distratcions that stalled the progress of the rollout.

*IMO. At more than one point during the meeting Cllr Perkins held a piece of paper Chamberlain politician like in the air waving it at/in direction of wi-fi questioners/detractors.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Muggins on February 08, 2011, 08:59:46 AM
Not as far as I heard, to be fair, I wasn't concentrating on the radio and I don't recognise Rikki's voice, and didn't hear him being introduced, so I didn't hear the whole piece.  If I had, and was prepared I would have tried typing verbatim.   

But I know what you mean, there does seem to be a lot of losing focus lately at a lot of meetings, probably to deflect the real issue.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Steve Wakefield on February 08, 2011, 09:06:13 AM
But I know what you mean, there does seem to be a lot of losing focus lately at a lot of meetings, probably to deflect the real issue.

I think that the Chair Cllr Kevin Small kept the meeting on track and kept it flowing, he did not allow the meeting to stall or freeze and Cllr Bob Wright was advised not once, but three times to address his questions to the chair. I was not disappointed by the meeting lat night I learned much from it. I reflected on the meeting last night and I am reflecting on it this morning, maybe others present are also in a mood of reflection? I am now awaiting the outcome of the deep under cover negotiations with the secret millionaire investor(s) that was referred to teasingly during last night's meeting several times and the timeline of which was questioned by several councillors.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Chris Watts on February 08, 2011, 09:08:56 AM
Muggins

Was anything mentioned of the Bathgate bid? Only last night there were not only *allegations but much was made of UWOs unidentified Wi-fi Objectors whose voices  mysteriously contacted  Bathgate and somehow affected the outcome of the project in that Town, I did question that assertion. I know that this may appear I am making light of this Captain Scarlet episode, but it had no relevance to the progress of the Swindon Wifi Digital City project roll out. It was a distraction last night and as so much was being made of it. In my opinion it could have been one of the distratcions that stalled the progress of the rollout.

*IMO. At more than one point during the meeting Cllr Perkins held a piece of paper Chamberlain style in the air and waved it at/in direction of the wi-fi detractors/questioners.
Yes, that is very curious. It would seem that a single well aimed email at Bathgate Council will derail any possible tender that they may be looking into. It is a bit concerning for the people of Bathgate if their council is so easily moved. Is it not against EU procurement laws that they would reject a bid on such a flimsy premise? Could DC arguably take legal action against Bathgate Council to recover costs?

I was also surprised that Cllr Perkins read out emails from Bathgate stating how excited they were about the project, and how well they were working together. He then went on to state that it could only have been external forces that derailed the project, as there is no other reason why a council would back out of the deal at the eleventh hour.

I suggest Cllr Perkins look a little closer to home a more plausible reason. Is it not the case that the SBC were in lengthy negotiations with street traders to build kiosks in 2009 and at the eleventh hour they pulled out in very much the same way, leaving the street trader high and dry, BECAUSE THEY DID NOT HAVE THE FUNDS TO PROGRESS.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Outoftowner on February 08, 2011, 09:11:48 AM
So does it look like the real reason for the project stalling was that Bathgate dropped out, thus removing the first level of the pyramid? (i.e. Bathgate, rudely, did not pay up, so that SBC's equipment could not be bought and the interest could not be paid.)

I thought that Rikki had lived for a while in Scotland. He obviously hasn't heard of the Scot's famed prudence with the contents of their sporrans. The Scots also have acces to the internet and could easily look up what is going on in Swindon by googling and finding sites like.............TS.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Steve Wakefield on February 08, 2011, 09:13:55 AM
Muggins

Was anything mentioned of the Bathgate bid? Only last night there were not only *allegations but much was made of UWOs unidentified Wi-fi Objectors whose voices  mysteriously contacted  Bathgate and somehow affected the outcome of the project in that Town, I did question that assertion. I know that this may appear I am making light of this Captain Scarlet episode, but it had no relevance to the progress of the Swindon Wifi Digital City project roll out. It was a distraction last night and as so much was being made of it. In my opinion it could have been one of the distratcions that stalled the progress of the rollout.

*IMO. At more than one point during the meeting Cllr Perkins held a piece of paper Chamberlain style in the air and waved it at/in direction of the wi-fi detractors/questioners.
Yes, that is very curious. It would seem that a single well aimed email at Bathgate Council will derail any possible tender that they may be looking into. It is a bit concerning for the people of Bathgate if their council is so easily moved. Is it not against EU procurement laws that they would reject a bid on such a flimsy premise? Could DC arguably take legal action against Bathgate Council to recover costs?

I was also surprised that Cllr Perkins read out emails from Bathgate stating how excited they were about the project, and how well they were working together. He then went on to state that it could only have been external forces that derailed the project, as there is no other reason why a council would back out of the deal at the eleventh hour.

I suggest Cllr Perkins look a little closer to home a more plausible reason. Is it not the case that the SBC were in lengthy negotiations with street traders to build kiosks in 2009 and at the eleventh hour pulled out, leaving the street trader high and dry, BECAUSE THEY DID NOT HAVE THE FUNDS TO PROGRESS.

Very Curious? Are you referring to that particular bit of the project DC business or the progress/rollout of the whole Swindon project?
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Chris Watts on February 08, 2011, 09:18:03 AM
Just that bit of the business. To me they seemed to be suggesting that it was the fulcrum to the ongoing business plan as they had been knocked back on all the other tenders.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Steve Wakefield on February 08, 2011, 09:36:08 AM
Was the first duty of Digital City and project due diligence not to other council's etc but to rolling out wi-fi across Swindon as per their business plan business case?
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Richard Symonds on February 08, 2011, 10:21:10 AM
At Scrutiny meeting last night Mr John Hunt (Rikki) CEO of Digital City made 2 things clear, DC has not paid the three interest payments due, and they will be paid when the investor deal has been completed.

Mr John Hunt (Rikki) CEO of Digital City offered to gift his shares in DC to SBC, to mitigate any dilution of the value of SBC share, he was also asking the other shareholders if they would consider gifting their shares to SBC.

There was more/numerous admission/confirmations of stalling and freezing of the project.

and Councillor Steve Councillor Perkins the Deputy Leader of the Councillor and Director of Digital City admitted he did not know that Interest Payments had not been made when enquiries were made.  I believe him, but don't you think he, as being the custodian of the people of Swindon's interest (forgive the pun) in this matter, and as Director, should have or at the very least have checked it carefully before saying otherwise?

As for Mr Hunt he could sell ice cream to the Eskimos but on the basis of his lack of delivery of Sales Results should have been shown the door, I was, when I failed to obtain an order promised way back in 1985.

This whole aspect of last nights business was pure theatre and as such is worthy of a sitcom.  As I know Jimmy Perry of Dads Army fame shall I give him a call, but which actors would you use for the protagonists?

One further serious point I would like to congratulate Councillor Kevin Small, the Chairman of Scrutiny, for the very balanced way in which he conducted business.  A very commendable performance in very difficult circumstances when it would have been very easy to have been partisan.

Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Richard Symonds on February 08, 2011, 10:28:50 AM
One question that was not asked last night was - What has happened to the Money loaned?
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: 20Eyes on February 08, 2011, 10:30:00 AM
From what I've read here, is it fair to conclude that last night's meeting hasn't really updated or progressed the situation at all?
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Chris Watts on February 08, 2011, 11:43:13 AM
Another interesting point: when Cllr Perkins and Mr Hunt stated that the project had stalled due to being over scrutinised, Cllr Perkins then stated that they are lobbying parliament for the right to exclude future PPP projects from the scrutiny process.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: 20Eyes on February 08, 2011, 11:47:22 AM
Another interesting point: when Cllr Perkins and Mr Hunt stated that the project had stalled due to being over scrutinised, Cllr Perkins then stated that they are lobbying parliament for the right to exclude future PPP projects from the scrutiny process.

Wow. Can't see them being granted that priviledge, but it's an amazing thing to even ask for. Kind of gives the game away somewhat.

If it were to be agreed, the Swindon WiFi project will become notorious not only for never having worked.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: DarkAuror on February 08, 2011, 01:08:52 PM
Adver has the story about last night's meeting up on their site;

link (http://"http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/8838308.Date_is_not_yet_set_for_wi_fi_interest_payments/")
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Steve Wakefield on February 08, 2011, 01:10:08 PM
Another interesting point: when Cllr Perkins and Mr Hunt stated that the project had stalled due to being over scrutinised, Cllr Perkins then stated that they are lobbying parliament for the right to exclude future PPP projects from the scrutiny process.

I recall that and found myself saying out aloud  this is public money wea are talking about here. The money that the council uses, invests etc  is Tax Payers Money except for that raised from car parking and similar services etc. It was Maggie Thatcher that opened up such process to scrutiny with Compulsory Competitive Tendering (CCT). To make sure council's of all political administrations and public bodies did business transparently. I cannot see the Coalition changing this Thatcher tenet.

PPP deals are not new to this council some of our schools are built/provided this way. Pre contract scrutiny  was rigid and and contract monitoring are built into the process. At the risk I am repeating myself PPP PUBLIC private PARTNERSHIPS are always going to be under the spotlight regardless of, which  government is in power. Maybe to think otherwise is a matter of how well you have  grasped the relevance/importance  of  the first P that points out  funding from the  PUBLIC is an intrinsic part of the private PARTNERSHIP?

Private companies have to understand that when you ally/partner/hold joint shares etc with a Poltical Organisation, there will be a tad more than a little p in it ie reputational risk, financial risk and intellectual property risk(TSR2) BlueStreak IT projects etc can be cancelled. You have take such risks into account with SWOT, PEST, Risk assessments etc, etc. The implications for your company are in fact in the private business world no different either. We all here of one company supplying 80% of its product to one Company/outlet only to be told one day it has cancelled. There is a risk in all businesses and you have to make sure you have a strategy to deal with it.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: ph1lc on February 08, 2011, 01:13:46 PM
Do DC prepare monthly managment accounts, and who at SBC is responsible for monitoring them? As a major shareholder, with a significant exposure it would be scandalous if SBC haven't insisted on this.

Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: 20Eyes on February 08, 2011, 01:17:59 PM
Interesting comment in the latest Adver article:

Quote
When asked why he (Perkins) had told people in December that all payments were up to date when that was not the case he said he had no reason to doubt council officers at that time.

Fair enough, but now he's fully aware that they either lied to him or somehow said 'Yes' to something that was easily verifiable as a 'No', what's he going to do with the staff responsible? Surely that's a serious professional error to make. Or, maybe, nobody actually did make a mistake...

Sounds awfully like the 'Administrative error' excuse that was so widely used and perfected by the previous national government.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Ringer on February 08, 2011, 02:14:22 PM
Sorry DarKAura, this link is working. http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/8838308.Date_is_not_yet_set_for_wi_fi_interest_payments/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/8838308.Date_is_not_yet_set_for_wi_fi_interest_payments/)

Was Des Morgan there as he has stayed away from TS today, is he skulking hidden away in a darkened room?  :popcorn:
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: DarkAuror on February 08, 2011, 02:29:19 PM
Sorry DarKAura, this link is working. [url]http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/8838308.Date_is_not_yet_set_for_wi_fi_interest_payments/[/url] ([url]http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/8838308.Date_is_not_yet_set_for_wi_fi_interest_payments/[/url])

Was Des Morgan there as he has stayed away from TS today, is he skulking hidden away in a darkened room?  :popcorn:


Thank you!
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Geoff Reid on February 08, 2011, 02:49:19 PM

I feel spoilt for choice after last nights scrutiny but I'm not inclined to rush-to-reply.  The WiFi'asco is going nowhere quickly, and neither is the smell.

One think I will say at this point is that Cllr Keith Williams might wish to consider making a public apology for accusing Chris Watts of politically motivated industrial espionage.  Cllr Keith may wish to confer with Justin Tomlinson MP who happily repeated the same slander.

A member of the public did make contact with another public body - (no, I won't be saying any more than that - Lamplighters (http://www.talkswindon.org/lamplighters/lamplighters.htm) trust & protect each other) - so Swindons' Lamplighters network will be closely watching SBC as it seeks to discover the identity of the correspondent.

'Bathgate-Gate' will, I am sure, add yet another paragraph to the next set of papers being finalised for submission to other bodies.

I expect Rod, John Hunt and Hosni Perkins felt quite good about themselves last night, (especially Hosni-P because he's hoping the WiFi'asco has been kicked into the long grass until well after his 2011 re-election campaign has returned him to council, or not). 

They should savour that feeling because it won't last long, in fact it will have started to evaporate by about 6pm today....

Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Richard Symonds on February 08, 2011, 03:31:29 PM
Another interesting point: when Cllr Perkins and Mr Hunt stated that the project had stalled due to being over scrutinised, Cllr Perkins then stated that they are lobbying parliament for the right to exclude future PPP projects from the scrutiny process.

Did  hear somewhere that Rod Bluh is spending a lot of his time is Westminster?

To what end?

Don't forget us Rod?

Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Des Moffatt on February 08, 2011, 03:44:40 PM
Garry Perkins did not say that officers had misled him on whether the interest was being paid. I was there and listened very carefully. Had Garry said that I would have jumped down his throat. Swindon's finance officers simply don't tell lies and others were not in position to know, apart from Ricky Hunt of course.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Des Morgan on February 08, 2011, 04:28:05 PM
Quote
Was Des Morgan there as he has stayed away from TS today, is he skulking hidden away in a darkened room

I was there.  I asked 6 questions 4 of which received answers of a sort and 1 which did induce an apology from Coun Perkins.

1.  Will it now be recognised that the WI-Fi project as originally conceived and set out in the press release of 17 November 200 has been a commercial failure?
2.  Will it now be acknowledge that the seven objectives indentified in the cabinet Briefing Note dated October 2009 page 10 item 2 sub clause 2.1 – have not been met?
3.  At what point between May 2010 and February 2011 did the company directors know there would be insufficient funds to discharge its liabilities to the Council?
4.  Would the Deputy Leader now acknowledge he misled me in his letter dated 20 December 2010?
5.  Would the Deputy Leader advise whether he may have misled his cabinet colleagues in particular Coun Williams and members of the Conservative Group
6.  In a letter to me dated 2 February 2011, the Deputy Leader advised me that Digital City UK Limited owns the hardware in Highworth, subject to a charge to the Council. Would the Council confirm that a charge has been properly registered against the assets of Digital City UK Limited?

The last item was not able to be answered and the Chairman promised me a ‘quick reply’.  I had never seen Coun Small in action, it was an object lesson in how things should be done.

I am not hiding away, had a good interview with Bill Fisher of SCS on Swindon 105.5 today.

Have spoken to at least 4 people on Wi-Fi issues including my paper/complaint before the Audit Committee.

Nearly fainted to hear that Mr Hunt thinks he is going to be the next CEO of any newly created organism - is agreeing to gift his shares to SBC the price of his posiition?  Worrying that Coun perkins felt unable to expand upon this aspect of the 'new company' at Scrutiny or is this Mr Hunt going out on a limb.

I was also intrigued as to why Mr Hunt even needed an office in the DMJ.  It was obvious that he never had any staff on the books of DC a point he confirmed last night.

As for where has the money gone - £250k in 6 months!!! Geoff's right - it's not over yet, not by a long chlak.

Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Steve Wakefield on February 09, 2011, 03:06:06 PM
Quote

1.  Will it now be recognised that the WI-Fi project as originally conceived and set out in the press release of 17 November 2009 has been a commercial failure?
2.  Will it now be acknowledge that the seven objectives indentified in the cabinet Briefing Note dated October 2009 page 10 item 2 sub clause 2.1 – have not been met?
3.  At what point between May 2010 and February 2011 did the company directors know there would be insufficient funds to discharge its liabilities to the Council?
4.  Would the Deputy Leader now acknowledge he misled me in his letter dated 20 December 2010?
5.  Would the Deputy Leader advise whether he may have misled his cabinet colleagues in particular Coun Williams and members of the Conservative Group
6.  In a letter to me dated 2 February 2011, the Deputy Leader advised me that Digital City UK Limited owns the hardware in Highworth, subject to a charge to the Council. Would the Council confirm that a charge has been properly registered against the assets of Digital City UK Limited?

I Have spoken to at least 4 people on Wi-Fi issues including my paper/complaint before the Audit Committee.

Nearly fainted to hear that Mr Hunt thinks he is going to be the next CEO of any newly created organism - is agreeing to gift his shares to SBC the price of his posiition?  Worrying that Coun perkins felt unable to expand upon this aspect of the 'new company' at Scrutiny or is this Mr Hunt going out on a limb.

I was also intrigued as to why Mr Hunt even needed an office in the DMJ.  It was obvious that he never had any staff on the books of DC a point he confirmed last night.

As for where has the money gone - £250k in 6 months!!! Geoff's right - it's not over yet, not by a long chalk.

Des

These are very searching questions and I think that you did get answers, but they are questions that will constantly turn up until September depending on the Rescue Plan/Package that will snatch this project out of the frozen stalled state it is currently in owing 3 interest payments with one due in a few days time.  I still find it hard to take in that the Deputy Leader and Leader were complaining of highlighting public/political noise/scrutiny of this project. With just six questions ( I had 27, but only asked 3 that were relevant to the 13th June email)  like you have listed it is not rocket science to understand why, or is it?

Quote
As for where has the money gone - £250k in 6 months!!!

Is that possibly the $64,000 dollar  Columbo question?

Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Des Morgan on February 09, 2011, 03:56:54 PM
1.  Will it now be recognised that the WI-Fi project as originally conceived and set out in the press release of 17 November 200 has been a commercial failure?   

What worries me is that Coun Bluh and his cohoarts simply do not get it. To the man in the street failure is easy to measure. In the case of this project a statement which says 'projections for sales revenue and network coverage have not been met' is not failure. I can only wonder if Coun Bluh's accountancy education was ever completed?

2.  Will it now be acknowledge that the seven objectives indentified in the cabinet Briefing Note dated October 2009 page 10 item 2 sub clause 2.1 – have not been met?

The seven social and socio economic objectives were the outcomes most related to the project. As benefits they underpinned the reason why the deal was done - if we do it this is what you get. According to Coun Bluh - they haven't not been delivered it's still a work in progress.

3.  At what point between May 2010 and February 2011 did the company directors know there would be insufficient funds to discharge its liabilities to the Council?

December according to GP. So he clearly wasn't followoing events too closely and his friend and colleague Mr Hunt wasn't keeping him too well informed.

4.  Would the Deputy Leader now acknowledge he misled me in his letter dated 20 December 2010?

H=Graciously apology made

5.  Would the Deputy Leader advise whether he may have misled his cabinet colleagues in particular Coun Williams and members of the Conservative Group

GP wouldn't exactly come clean on this one - but I believe KW was honestly unaware of any failure on the part of DC to have paid interest. What will be interesting is to see how many Conservatives have a scintilla of courage and come out telling what was told to them at various group meetings

6.  In a letter to me dated 2 February 2011, the Deputy Leader advised me that Digital City UK Limited owns the hardware in Highworth, subject to a charge to the Council. Would the Council confirm that a charge has been properly registered against the assets of Digital City UK Limited?

 I will wait with bated breath for the Civic offices to provide an answer

Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Des Morgan on February 09, 2011, 04:08:29 PM
Quote
As for where has the money gone - £250k in 6 months

Let's be very clear, this money was given in order to ensure the roll out process continued.  There is absolutely no other way the following Council officer statement can be interpreted.

'The key risk in delaying further funding is that Digital City will not be in a position to progress full Borough coverage, meaning that the project is likley to stall and the original loan amount of £150k will be in jeopardy'

What i have been told is as opaque as the statement is clear.

It (the £250k) has been spent on activities in relation to progressing the business plan objectives
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: ph1lc on February 09, 2011, 04:38:05 PM
Des

In answer to your question 6 - no it has not been registered! If it had it would be a matter of public record at companies house.

The failure to register, if indeed the charge is valid against the assets of DC is an offence against the Companies act 2006 ( both by the company and the officers in default).
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Outoftowner on February 09, 2011, 04:52:00 PM
Des Morgan said,

Quote
I was also intrigued as to why Mr Hunt even needed an office in the DMJ.  It was obvious that he never had any staff on the books of DC a point he confirmed last night.


So no staff!! Way back when, an IT jobs web-site said they had 30 staff,

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


Quote
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.
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.


I wonder. Have 30 people been made redundent by DC or did those jobs never really exist? 
Write your answer on a small piece of paper, screw the piece of paper up into a tight ball and put it in one of your hands. Hold both of your hands behind your back. Now try and quess which hand has the answer in it
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Muggins on February 09, 2011, 05:10:34 PM
Crikey, it's like we are living in some parallel virtual world. 

Do you think maybe, that if '30 people were already employed' they might just be with a contractor rather than Digital City?
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Geoff Reid on February 09, 2011, 05:36:10 PM

I have just one question today:

Q: Is it illegal for a company to continue trading while insolvent?
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Chris Watts on February 09, 2011, 05:54:48 PM
1.  Will it now be recognised that the WI-Fi project as originally conceived and set out in the press release of 17 November 200 has been a commercial failure?   

What worries me is that Coun Bluh and his cohoarts simply do not get it. To the man in the street failure is easy to measure. In the case of this project a statement which says 'projections for sales revenue and network coverage have not been met' is not failure. I can only wonder if Coun Bluh's accountancy education was ever completed?

What if Digital City was a football club, that needs to attract 7000 supporters to home games to be commercially viable? But instead it has an average gate of 20, loses every game and finds itself in a position that it can not service its debts and is about to be wound up unless it can be rescued.

If an investor is then found that supplies a financial rescue package, injects a wad of cash and takes the club forward, would the previous management be seen as the all conquering saviours?


Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Spectre on February 09, 2011, 06:06:14 PM
1.  Will it now be recognised that the WI-Fi project as originally conceived and set out in the press release of 17 November 200 has been a commercial failure?   

What worries me is that Coun Bluh and his cohoarts simply do not get it. To the man in the street failure is easy to measure. In the case of this project a statement which says 'projections for sales revenue and network coverage have not been met' is not failure. I can only wonder if Coun Bluh's accountancy education was ever completed?




What if Digital City was a football club, that needs to attract 7000 supporters to home games to be commercially viable? But instead it has an average gate of 20, loses every game and finds itself in a position that it can not service its debts and is about to be wound up unless it can be rescued.

If an investor is then found that supplies a financial rescue package, injects a wad of cash and takes the club forward, would the previous management be seen as the all conquering saviours?


Is there a link here between Swindon Town FC and Digital City?

I wonder what or who it could be.  ))))
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Des Morgan on February 09, 2011, 06:56:26 PM
Quote
Is there a link here between Swindon Town FC and Digital City?

Perhaps a councillor could tell TS just how much SBC lost in that debacle
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: peach on February 09, 2011, 07:15:02 PM

I have just one question today:

Q: Is it illegal for a company to continue trading while insolvent?

Yes, but as to whether DC was insolvent - I guess it depends on how you define insolvent?  With no customers and no means to pay the loan back - you could consider DC insolvent from the moment it spent any of the money it received from SBC.
Title: Is the WiFi market place about to take off thanks to the Olympics?
Post by: Chris Watts on February 09, 2011, 07:18:50 PM
Its all going off in London for control of the WiFi.

In one corner you have Europe’s largest mobile Wi-Fi provider (The Cloud, part of BSkyB group)recently announcing:

The City of London and The Cloud launch free Wi-Fi service for Londoners
LONDON, Tuesday 1st February – The City of London and The Cloud, Europe’s largest mobile Wi-Fi provider, today launched a new initiative to give Londoners 15 minutes free Wi-Fi access per day within the square mile of London.
The move aims to enhance the quality of communications access within the capital while easing pressure on individuals hit hard by the VAT increase and new restrictions on mobile internet data use by some mobile operators. It will allow anyone with a Wi-Fi enabled device, including smart phones and laptops, to access mobile broadband via The Cloud, free of charge.
It is expected that more than 350,000 city workers and visitors to the area will be able to take advantage of the free 15 minutes per day within the Square Mile. Based on the success of the same offer in Glasgow, which experiences thousands of log-ins every day, The Cloud is expecting the initiative to have overwhelming appeal

http://www.thecloud.net/en/about-us/News-and-PR/The%20Cloud%20Says/The-City-of-London-and-The-Cloud-launch-free-Wi-Fi-service-for-Londoners.aspx (http://www.thecloud.net/en/about-us/News-and-PR/The%20Cloud%20Says/The-City-of-London-and-The-Cloud-launch-free-Wi-Fi-service-for-Londoners.aspx)

Whilst in the other corner you have the might of BT announcing:

BT considering public Wi-Fi network for London 2012 Olympics
London Flame 2012 - Wed Feb 02, 2011 @ 02:19PM
BT is negotiating with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) about the possibility of delivering a public Wi-Fi network that will cover the Olympic Park during the 2012 games.
The company has no official remit to provide Wi-Fi for the games, but a network would provide better internet access to those attending the games and help ease the burden on mobile operators.

http://www.redswhitesandblacks.com/blog/entry/1521391/bt-considering-public-wifi-network-for-london-2012-Olympics. (http://www.redswhitesandblacks.com/blog/entry/1521391/bt-considering-public-wifi-network-for-london-2012-Olympics.)

All in the space of 2 days. Heavy hitters indeed.



Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Des Morgan on February 09, 2011, 08:59:32 PM
Do you think Garry Perkins that will blame you and me for Digital City not being chosen by Boris?
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Geoff Reid on February 09, 2011, 10:00:50 PM
Do you think Garry Perkins that will blame you and me for Digital City not being chosen by Boris?

That reminds me, I'll be publishing the infamous letter to Bathgate later.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: I Could Do That on February 09, 2011, 10:32:28 PM
Do you think Garry Perkins that will blame you and me for Digital City not being chosen by Boris?

We'll need to compete with the Olympics.
I can swim a width, throw a frisbee, and (maybe still) run a marathon (eventually).
Anyone got a trampoline, or a sandpit?
I know a bloke, called Rick, who said he'd sort it.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Muggins on February 10, 2011, 09:08:12 AM
Do you think Garry Perkins that will blame you and me for Digital City not being chosen by Boris?

We'll need to compete with the Olympics.
I can swim a width, throw a frisbee, and (maybe still) run a marathon (eventually).
Anyone got a trampoline, or a sandpit?
I know a bloke, called Rick, who said he'd sort it.

Makes your blood run cold just thinking there might be someone similar up there helping out, don't it!
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Steve Wakefield on February 11, 2011, 08:21:19 AM
Do you think Garry Perkins that will blame you and me for Digital City not being chosen by Boris?

Who was it who said are you thinking what we're thinking?

(After reading your article in today's Swindon Advertiser, who know's what anybody will be thinking?)

Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: ph1lc on February 11, 2011, 08:47:29 AM
Quote from: Geoff Reid on February 09, 2011, 05:36:10 PM

I have just one question today:

Q: Is it illegal for a company to continue trading while insolvent?


It is perfectly Legal for a company to continue to trade if the Directors feel that they can trade out of their insolvent position.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Ringer on February 11, 2011, 10:44:09 AM
Do you think Garry Perkins that will blame you and me for Digital City not being chosen by Boris?


Who was it who said are you thinking what we're thinking?

(After reading your article in today's Swindon Advertiser, who know's what anybody will be thinking?)


What a well balanced article, about wifi, however is councillor Garry Perkins suffering from harmless delusions when it comes to his involvement and responsibility in wifi? How come officers are not mentioned in this article or Mr John Richard (Rikki) Hunt? Is it only Bill and Ben councillors Bluh & Perkins that are in the caca carrying the can for the failure to roll out, achieve the progress that council tax payers money has paid for? http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/8846898.What_is_next_for_town___s_wifi_scheme_/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/8846898.What_is_next_for_town___s_wifi_scheme_/)
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Geoff Reid on February 11, 2011, 04:41:33 PM
Anyone else spot the big lie Garry squeezed out before he got to the Royal 'We' ?

(http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/newspaper_articles/2011%2002%2011%20Garry%20Perkins.jpg)


I reckon Garry doesn't want to discuss his involvement in the WiFi'asco anymore because:

1. He incriminates himself further every time he opens his mouth.

2. He's up for re-election in May and doesn't want his electors realising that he's an incompetent bullshitter.

Does Councill Garry really think he can escape and deny the public record?

I think Councillor Garry now deserves an icon of his very own.  Bluh earned one quite early on, but what to do for the cllr formerly known as 'The Perkinator', now he's definitely gone nutter.  I'm thinking a cross between Comical-Ali and Hosni Murbarak.......
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Des Morgan on February 11, 2011, 05:28:41 PM
To take a leaf out of Geoff's book (hope he doesn't mind) my question for today is this:-

Just how long will it take for Coun Perkins to come clean on the financial state of the other shareholder - aQovia?

My little emissary assures me that all is not hunky dory in that neck of the woods.  I wonder at what point Coun Perkins and the officer corps knew about that?  Strange they didn't see the need to mention it at Scrutiny?  But hey, please don't let me be accused of being highly personal or subjective!!
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Des Morgan on February 11, 2011, 05:51:46 PM
Quote
How come officers are not mentioned in this article or Mr John Richard (Rikki) Hunt?

The article was intended to be a balanced factual analysis within the perspective of a personal viewpoint, as such it set out to deal with issues not personalities. I have said before that Rikki Hunt proposed a plan which was eagerly devoured by 'greedy' politicians as providing a potential source of income - 40% of £700k per annum and leading to cost savings, again measured in tens of thousands. Mr Hunt's plan might have had merit but it was based on the flimsiest of foundations. That councillors and officers welcomed it with open arms when it looked too good to be true, from many different aspects, says more about their judgement than it does about Mr Hunt; who is after all a salesman par excellence.  There are lots of 'blue sky thinkers' like Mr Hunt - very sadly they do not often translate their thinking success into operational success, for that they need people to do things for them.

I attributed quotes to Coun Perkins and Bluh which I can support from documentary evidence and i challenge Coun Perkins to justify his slur that I have debated this matter in a highly personal and subjective nature.  It is rich to hear such comments coming from Coun Perkins who is the man who accuses others of derailing the project and employing delaying tactics, yet when asked to substantiate such remarks simply goes into hideaway mode. Or does he consider my request dated 30/11 for him to explain his words to be a request beneath his rank?

With regard to implying impropriety on behalf of members and officers, I think it is Coun Perkins who uses  a word which i have not used in my article.  The word 'impropriety' does not feature whereas the word 'inept does, they certainly have different meanings

Quote
This claim has one purpose, to detract attention from the management of the project by Digital City and oversight by the council. To understand how inept both were one need only ask, what happened to the marketing strategy which was so integral to the success of the Highworth phase?

Why were key positions, identified as critical to success, never filled and why important measures of performance were ignored? Even worse, why were key elements diluted in order to facilitate the granting of the second part of the loan?




Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Chris Watts on February 11, 2011, 06:45:14 PM
Anyone else spot the big lie Garry squeezed out before he got to the Royal 'We' ?

([url]http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/newspaper_articles/2011%2002%2011%20Garry%20Perkins.jpg[/url])



It did not go to Scrutiny 6 time as far as I can recall.
Also the District auditor did not investigate it.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Richard Symonds on February 11, 2011, 07:16:31 PM
This becomes more distasteful as every day passes.

some observations

1.  If it is that good why is there no a queue to invest in it?

2.  How much of their own money have Mr Hunt, Councillors Bluh, Edwards and Perkins invested?

3.  A project that has merit will always survive despite its detractors, why is Digital City exempt and therefore special?

In the absence of any other information is it reasonable that Mr Hunt's investment is to the value of his shareholding alone and that none of the Councillors have invested so much as a penny of their own money despite their enthusiasm to use ours?
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Steve Wakefield on February 12, 2011, 09:29:02 AM
This becomes more distasteful as every day passes.

some observations

1.  If it is that good why is there no a queue to invest in it?

2.  How much of their own money have Mr Hunt, Councillors Bluh, Edwards and Perkins invested?

3.  A project that has merit will always survive despite its detractors, why is Digital City exempt and therefore special?

In the absence of any other information is it reasonable that Mr Hunt's investment is to the value of his shareholding alone and that none of the Councillors have invested so much as a penny of their own money despite their enthusiasm to use ours?

Richard

On TV yesterday was an interview did you hear that some expert point out it would have been several millions needed to do what was planned for Swindon? If so, did you record it?
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: peach on February 12, 2011, 10:47:55 AM
This becomes more distasteful as every day passes.

some observations

1.  If it is that good why is there no a queue to invest in it?

2.  How much of their own money have Mr Hunt, Councillors Bluh, Edwards and Perkins invested?

3.  A project that has merit will always survive despite its detractors, why is Digital City exempt and therefore special?

In the absence of any other information is it reasonable that Mr Hunt's investment is to the value of his shareholding alone and that none of the Councillors have invested so much as a penny of their own money despite their enthusiasm to use ours?


Richard

On TV yesterday was an interview did you hear that some expert point out it would have been several millions needed to do what was planned for Swindon? If so, did you record it?


IS currently on iPlayer starts a 8m 50s http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00ycvmj/BBC_Points_West_11_02_2011/ (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00ycvmj/BBC_Points_West_11_02_2011/)
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Des Morgan on February 12, 2011, 11:28:50 AM
One has to smile at Mr Hunt's comments.  If he is correct then the claim made by officers in the paper requesting variations to a number of conditions were simply not true.  The Council cannot have it both ways. According to officers, investors were not prepared to commit on the basis of a 'pilot scheme' alone, they wanted a display of long term committment from the council which was to be by way of the release of further funds. The Council made available the further funds and still there was no inward investment.

Isn't the reality that the project was over egged, over sold and under resourced a more likely explanation for its failure?

An expert in the field suggested that a sum of £5 to £10millions will be required to do what Digital City said they would do for less than £2million - a very sobering thought.

Oh and if the observations made by officers in the report I have referred to were wrong then we have another issue to resolve.

Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: ph1lc on February 12, 2011, 12:19:32 PM
Des
Congratulations on your article in the adver yesterday. Despite what Messrs Hunt and Perkins are saying it was very fair and balanced.

What I fail to understand is how the Council can reconcile their share of the proposed profits given that the project was going to cost £2million. To reconcile the two figures DC would need around 50% of households to be subscribing to the basic package.

Furthermore - where did they thing the other £1.5 mill was coming from? Investors are going to want equity and that would waterdown the Councils share too much.

As it now stands the Councils share is worth precisely NIL and their chances of seeing any of the £400K are remote at best.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Richard Symonds on February 12, 2011, 02:50:03 PM
So following Rikki Hunt's interview on Points West we should know the outcome of the 'investment' by the end of March.

Just in time for the local elections five weeks later..............
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Chris Watts on February 12, 2011, 02:55:50 PM
Furthermore - where did they thing the other £1.5 mill was coming from? Investors are going to want equity and that would waterdown the Councils share too much.

I raised this issue back in Dec 2009.This is a question that I put to scrutiny:
10.In the event of Digital City not reaching the market share, will the council further invest tax payers money in order to maintain the 35% share or will further investment from aQovia dilute this share and jeopardize any potential meaningful return into the council coffers?

I received the following answer from the Council Director Business Transformation:

The Council share is not directly related to the value of the loan, therefore there is no need to invest further in order to retain the Council’s share ownership.

I think, from this evasive side stepping answer that did not address the question, it is fair to say that it was a given that SBC would not maintain its share %. If they were looking for further investment to complete the borough wide mesh, then it would have had to have been secured, at least before the end of Jan 2010, if they were to have any chance of completing by April 2010. At this point the council share would have been, at least, halved. This would have been politically embarrassing as it would have made a nonsense of previous press releases.

Try and work out the turnover required for the council to receive a dividend of £700,000 pre-tax after year 2 if the council were only a 20% share holder.

The answer was contemptible and designed to fob me off in the hope that I would creep back under the rock from whence I came and be a good compliant little citizen.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Des Morgan on February 12, 2011, 04:30:46 PM
Quote
What I fail to understand is how the Council can reconcile their share of the proposed profits given that the project was going to cost £2million. To reconcile the two figures DC would need around 50% of households to be subscribing to the basic package.


Chris makes the point very well.  All i can add is that i asked Coun Bluh back in December 2009 to explain how sales to 7% of Swindon households in year one was feasible and how that would raise more than £700k of turnover never mind net profit. The sum is easy enough 80k homes x 7% equals 5,600 and say a max of £10 per month equals £56k x 12 months equals £672,000. And that assumes they achieved their entire target 100%.  I know there were 'commercial' targets as well but let's be serious, what serious company would use DC ahead of BT et al?  Safe enough to say with certainty that SBC had not chosen to change!

Oh and before you hear any different - the £700k net profit did NOT include sales of the concept to other authorities such as Bathgate, such extras were the cream on the cake
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Geoff Reid on February 12, 2011, 06:28:30 PM


The numbers quoted by Digital City (UK) Ltd, Doirectors of SBC, leader of the council Rod Bluh or deputy leader of the council, (& director of Digital City), Garry have never added up or made any sense.

Last year I asked a friend of mine to look through my 'publicly records' file.  This file does not include personal statements or opinion, just the cold hard facts as they appear on the public record. 

My friend was not exactly 'enthused' with admiration for SBC officers, Councillors or those individuals involved in arranging 5 different companies around one source of public money.

I should disclose that my friend was the director of acquisitions for a major, (and I mean major), international blue chip company.  I would summarise their comments as follows: "It looks bent".


BTW:  Lamplighters is having a busy weekend with much traffic flying around.  I think, on Monday or Tuesday, we'll be shedding a little more light onto the conjoined subjects of Cllr Perkins' mystery 'Investor' and why Digital City (UK) Ltd suddenly veered 'off plan' shortly after the BluhnderBirds authorised the second loan tranche of £250,000 to be released early.


Kepp watching  :popcorn:
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: ph1lc on February 12, 2011, 07:25:28 PM
Furthermore - where did they thing the other £1.5 mill was coming from? Investors are going to want equity and that would waterdown the Councils share too much.



I received the following answer from the Council Director Business Transformation:

The Council share is not directly related to the value of the loan, therefore there is no need to invest further in order to retain the Council’s share ownership.


The Director of Business Transformation is clearly seriously deluded, and has not the faintest idea of the way business is conducted today.

Any further funds for DC can come will either be in the form of debt or equity. No one in their right mind is going to advance DC a loan unless it is backed by a Directors or Shareholders guarantee. I suggest that the only possible guarantee could come from SBC.

The other alternative is to attract an investor by issuing shares - given the sum required and the current value of DC that makes SBC's likely new shareholding virtually nil.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Richard Symonds on February 13, 2011, 12:51:20 PM

Any further funds for DC can come will either be in the form of debt or equity. No one in their right mind is going to advance DC a loan unless it is backed by a Directors or Shareholders guarantee. I suggest that the only possible guarantee could come from SBC.


That, they would not dare to do or otherwise the roof will come crashing around their heads.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: I Could Do That on February 13, 2011, 01:52:35 PM
I Hope you're right. All councillors, supporting this WiFiasco, should be publicly named and shamed, so that people can make a better informed, local election, vote. :spin:
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Outoftowner on August 07, 2011, 12:09:38 PM
I’ve just carried out my regular review of my favourite companies.

Digital City UK , now with Cllr Perkins and Mustafa Arif as Directors, still haven’t filed their accounts at Companies House. I expect them to be notified of the first “Intention to strike off “the company any day now. (Unless they can fudge some numbers up.)

Now, the two companies that joined SBC in the fantastic Wi-fi esque deal of the century;

Avidity Consulting
DS01    04/08/2011    APPLICATION FOR STRIKING-OFF

I don’t know who made the application, perhaps the sole Director, Laura Hunt.

And of course Aqovia, where Mustafa Arif has been joined by a new director. I’m sure that the dates are coincidental?

Aqovia
AP01    04/08/2011    DIRECTOR APPOINTED MR MICHAEL LEE IACONIS
 
:coffee:
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Mart on August 07, 2011, 04:36:53 PM
Iaconis?

Didn't he run Chrysler?

Thought not....
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 07, 2011, 05:35:20 PM
Avidity Consulting
DS01    04/08/2011    APPLICATION FOR STRIKING-OFF

I don’t know who made the application, perhaps the sole Director, Laura Hunt.


Is this a means by which they can hide the financial truth, PERMANENTLY?

and how long will it be that DC follows suit?

and who will make the application to strike?
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Muggins on August 07, 2011, 07:20:28 PM
Last night I had evidence about what we are up against, when probably the one of the cleverest, most educated people I know, asked me

"HAS SWINDON GOT IT'S FREE WIFI YET?"

Yes, they do live in Swindon.

Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: boothill on August 09, 2011, 09:56:55 PM
Last night I had evidence about what we are up against, when probably the one of the cleverest, most educated people I know, asked me

"HAS SWINDON GOT IT'S FREE WIFI YET?"

Yes, they do live in Swindon.


SO...Muggins ol' Gal

        Just what IS the latest state of play....does anyone know ????

or is it another a case of the cat poo pong behind the aspidistra pot, that if ignored for long enough will eventually go away ? .... :WTF:
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Chav on August 09, 2011, 10:39:57 PM
Last night I had evidence about what we are up against, when probably the one of the cleverest, most educated people I know, asked me

"HAS SWINDON GOT IT'S FREE WIFI YET?"  ;D

Yes, they do live in Swindon.
just to clarify. ... It wasnt me ;D
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Muggins on August 10, 2011, 08:45:37 AM
Yes Chav, I can confirm it was not you!   ;D  ;D 

Although, I must admit that you are rising up the ranks.    O0

We've got quite a clever family haven't we, shame no one told us earlier so that more of us could have taken advantage of our brains.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Des Morgan on August 12, 2011, 09:44:51 PM
Quote
just to clarify. ... It wasnt me


I don't know - after all you were a clever little thing to go out and buy a real electric car - i only had a scalectric :'(
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Bogomil on August 13, 2011, 10:01:10 AM
Quote
just to clarify. ... It wasnt me


I don't know - after all you were a clever little thing to go out and buy a real electric car - i only had a scalectric :'(

Cor blimey Des you must have been from a well modern family as they were only introduced at the Harrogate toy fair in January 1957 and were quite expensive.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Chav on August 13, 2011, 10:23:57 AM
Quote
just to clarify. ... It wasnt me


I don't know - after all you were a clever little thing to go out and buy a real electric car - i only had a scalectric :'(
  When i was a kid, my most prized pocessions were my typewriter that my dad gave me (he bought it from the old cattle market) , my oil crayons and paper, my box of fossils, my Enid Blyton books and The Far Away Tree, and last but not leastmy evil knevil, and leggo
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 13, 2011, 11:03:41 AM
Do you think they will put one of Rikki's Wi-fi boxes in the Swindon Museum to account for the £400,000 of wasted Council Taxpayers money?

Or a Waxwork of Garry Perkins - the Announcement Man that never was!!  >:D
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Outoftowner on August 13, 2011, 11:17:30 AM
If a "Wi-Ki" Wi-Fi box was put in a museum, it would need to be placed in an armoured glass case, protected by a laser anti-theft device, as it is worth so much money!

Perhaps one of the Wi-Fi boxes should be donated to science, so that an expert in electonics can find out why they cost so much?

On the other hand, perhaps a wax likeness of "Wi-Ki", with his hand in the back pocket of a pensioner, while a statue of Bluh and the Perkinator look on, clapping their hands in glee, should be put in a museum, showing, in a Madam Tussaud like way, the folly of dealing with "successful entrepreneurs" and their crooked chums!

Just a thought.

Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 13, 2011, 02:20:02 PM
On the other hand, perhaps a wax likeness of "Wi-Ki", with his hand in the back pocket of a pensioner, while a statue of Bluh and the Perkinator look on, clapping their hands in glee, should be put in a museum, showing, in a Madam Tussaud like way, the folly of dealing with "successful entrepreneurs" and their crooked chums!

But Rod's statue will be placed next door to Le Pissoir, surely?
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Des Morgan on August 14, 2011, 10:42:04 AM
Quote
Cor blimey Des you must have been from a well modern family as they were only introduced at the Harrogate toy fair in January 1957 and were quite expensive.

Ah but i was conned - I didn't know you had to have a track as well!!!


I suppose it's like Wi-Fi - you've got to have some customers to make it work??
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Muggins on August 14, 2011, 05:08:18 PM
"But Rod's statue will be placed next door to Le Pissoir, surely?"

Hopefuly we won't have to pay for special journey to get that scene in the Museum, if Le Pissoir lasts as long as other art works in town, it will be in there before you can say "Waxen Rod"
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Weebleman on August 14, 2011, 06:17:36 PM
On the other hand, perhaps a wax likeness of "Wi-Ki", with his hand in the back pocket of a pensioner, while a statue of Bluh and the Perkinator look on, clapping their hands in glee, should be put in a museum, showing, in a Madam Tussaud like way, the folly of dealing with "successful entrepreneurs" and their crooked chums!

But Rod's statue will be placed next door to Le Pissoir, surely?

Good idea. Perhaps it could take a traditional form such as a cherub with a teeny weeny willie permanently pi$$ing into Le Pissoir as a tribute to the way he took the urine when in office. :coolsmiley:
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Bobby Bingo on August 15, 2011, 03:04:36 PM
"Good idea. Perhaps it could take a traditional form such as a cherub with a teeny weeny willie permanently pi$$ing into Le Pissoir as a tribute to the way he took the urine when in office. "

You could also add an active right hand with backward and forward movement!

Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 15, 2011, 06:19:50 PM
"Good idea. Perhaps it could take a traditional form such as a cherub with a teeny weeny willie permanently pi$$ing into Le Pissoir as a tribute to the way he took the urine when in office. "

You could also add an active right hand with backward and forward movement!

Now now boys this is getting rather rude isn't it?

Have just come back from town through the traffic chaos caused by the Mannington roadworks and I went to have a looked at Le Pissoir but it was dry so we now have a £259,000 piece of crinkly tin as an overview for the dirty paving slabs which are looking older by the day. 

What an obscene waste of public money.
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Outoftowner on August 15, 2011, 06:36:48 PM
When I was a kid everyone around our way had a piece or crinkly tin in their back garden. They were Anderson shelters that, once erected on top of the ground rather than in it, made perfectly good garden sheds.

If my dad had known then that each section could have been flogged off as "Public Realm Art" he could have retired!
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Muggins on August 15, 2011, 06:54:59 PM
Outer:  I remember that stuff - it was called corrugated iron? I don't know where it came from but our house had a proper air raid shelter, (which I don't remember!), I think because we were only four doors from school.

Richard, what's rude about Bobby describing a banker?
Title: Re: Jan 31st 2011 - Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 16, 2011, 12:19:13 AM
Richard, what's rude about Bobby describing a banker?

Banker Muggins?