Talkswindon

Big Local Issues & Enquiries => Talkswindon WiFi Inquiry => Topic started by: Richard Symonds on May 15, 2011, 07:51:28 PM

Title: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on May 15, 2011, 07:51:28 PM
In the Adver at 6.09pm tonight!!

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9028524.Is_final_chapter_in_wi_fi____saga____near_/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9028524.Is_final_chapter_in_wi_fi____saga____near_/)

Is final chapter in wi-fi ‘saga’ near?
6:09pm Sunday 15th May 2011
By Adam Kula »

THE end is in finally in sight for Swindon’s wi-fi saga, it has been claimed.

The council’s 60-day non-disclosure agreement with a mystery investor ended yesterday.

It allowed Swindon Council to enter into confidential negotiations with a big name company, whose name it would not disclose, with a view to getting it on board the failing wi-fi project.

Now Coun Garry Perkins (Con, Shaw) said they are close, although he refused to name a date, when any deal might be signed.

But asked if two weeks was a reasonable timeframe, he said: “I would hope it would be.

“There has been a very long meeting this week. They’ve laid out their proposals for us to look at their figures, and a very outline proposal for the next five years.

“At the moment our legal and financial people are going over the proposals put forward. There is a plan on the table.”

He also said: “One would have liked it to be completed several months ago, but one is often in other people’s hands.”

He said the objective of these negotiations, is to turn Digital City into a profitable business which will bring back revenue to the council, like Swindon Commercial Services.

Coun Perkins would only say that the mystery investor is “a very large telecoms organisation.”

Asked if it is a French company, as some rumours suggest, he said: “No, you’re wrong.”

Des Morgan, 59, a former company director, of Caraway Drive, and a regular contributor to the Adver’s letter pages on the subject, said: “We’ll be interested to see what the outcome of the deal will be. And whether the £400,000 will be paid back to the council at once.

“I hope that it is announced within the next two weeks because we have been waiting over six months since Garry Perkins first promised a deal was ‘imminent’ and ‘just around the corner.’ “I look forward to seeing what will happen to it, to the £400,000 loan and interest, and whether the proposals that come forward from the new investors bear any resemblance to the original wi-fi project put forward by the council.”

The whole wi-fi saga dates back to 2009, when the council put up £450,000-worth of taxpayers’ cash for Rikki Hunt’s firm Digital City to borrow.

The aims was to provide free wi-fi internet access for the whole of Swindon.

But it failed almost totally in meeting its deadlines or objectives, or keeping up with interest payments on the £400,000 it ended up borrowing.

Chris Watts, 44, of Dunsford Close, a Labour Party member and IT business owner, said: “I think we can believe something is going to happen. But it’s going to bear no resemblance to what’s gone before, because that has been an abject lesson in how not to bring wi-fi to a town.

“If we can have a partner that’s actually experienced in this business, it can only be good.”
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: 20Eyes on May 15, 2011, 08:29:02 PM
Will be fascinating to see how this plays out.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Tobes on May 15, 2011, 10:25:25 PM
Quote
Coun Perkins would only say that the mystery investor is “a very large telecoms organisation.”

Asked if it is a French company, as some rumours suggest, he said: “No, you’re wrong.”

3 are wedded to 3G only - I'm not sure that wi-fi in town really fits with the whole o2 'home-hub' philosophy. If we discount 'The French' it leaves the currently floundering 'Big Red' who been seemingly devoid of headline grabbing ideas in recent times. I wonder if this is a move to try and show themselves in a progressive and innovative light?

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Tobes on May 15, 2011, 10:50:18 PM
A phenomenal number of 'guests' viewing this thread at the moment. I wonder if Garry has dropped a bollock on this? By denying the French Connection, he really has narrowed the field. There can't be many realistic names in the frame.

Vodafone are nearby with their HQ in Newbury. Last year they were also completing the set up of a new office in Swindon.

Read between the lines too. The non-disclosure period has ended - but the council has still (ftp://still) refused to name them. Note that the Adver didn;t really press them on this. Perhaps a deal has been struck to give them a degree of exclusivity tomorrow?

Who-ever is behind the deal, the announcement of major ventures with potential impact on share prices normally have to wait until the city have been informed. Our extraordinary number of viewers *might* be a bunch of extremely nervous Investor Relations and PRs now cursing Mr Perkins for ruining their Sunday night...? (If so, hello folks  :coolsmiley: )
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on May 15, 2011, 11:54:17 PM
If there is to be any investment in Wi-fi in Swindon it will preclude any involvement from Digital City because apart from debt they have nothing to offer. 

I am constantly being contacted by BT offering their high speed broadband uprate so why do we need Wi-fi anyway?  Is there even a commercial market for it?

I suggest that our Council having been duped into making this investment are desperately trying to pull up their pants before anyone notices they have pulled down by a very astute businessman who still manages to get his picture in the paper.

Garry Perkins can posture as much as he likes but he will never be able to live this down or the fact that he is party to the Council losing £400,000 of our money and it would also appear that he has been manoeuvred into a position where he takes the fall.

Its is all about what appears to be what not it is!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on May 16, 2011, 07:48:31 AM
Garry Perkins can posture as much as he likes but he will never be able to live this down or the fact that he is party to the Council losing £400,000 of our money and it would also appear that he has been manoeuvred into a position where he takes the fall.

Its is all about what appears to be what not it is!

Why then would investors throw their money after it? No one has yet explained that one to me.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: 20Eyes on May 16, 2011, 09:30:30 AM
If there is to be any investment in Wi-fi in Swindon it will preclude any involvement from Digital City because apart from debt they have nothing to offer.

I suspect there'll be some 'consultancy' involved, just to keep them in the loop and give appearances that it's of use/worth.

Garry Perkins can posture as much as he likes but he will never be able to live this down or the fact that he is party to the Council losing £400,000 of our money and it would also appear that he has been manoeuvred into a position where he takes the fall.

According to many here, the money was lost ages ago and the whole thing is a failed fiasco. In theory, this should have paved the way for the Labour candidate in Shaw & Nine Elms to secure a famous victory a week or two ago.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: the gorgon on May 16, 2011, 09:37:37 AM
The question that won't go away is "why would anyone want to invest in this scheme?".  There's no real infrastructure (apart from in Highworth), has the £400k been spent yet - if so then there is no cheap money available (I assume the interest rate from SBC is lower than for a normal business loan), so why? 
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on May 16, 2011, 12:41:50 PM
So...some questions
is this about a major company buying out DC or setting up a new paretnership with SBC?
Is the condition of partnership writing of that stonking debt?
Is there any chance the current director-ess of DC will financially benefit from the arrangement?
Will other members of the DC board benefit financially?
Is Garry Perkins negotiating in his role as deputy leader of SBC or as a director of Digital City?
In these negotiations, are these two roles compatible?
Is DC involved in these discussions, seeing as Hunt is still up a mountain?
What responsibilities are DC taking to repay their debt by negotiating with outside companies?
Is SBC's head of finance negotiating for DC, SBC or both?
What are the terms of the new deal likely to be?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: MsD Meanor on May 16, 2011, 01:37:55 PM
And.... has this gone out to tender?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on May 16, 2011, 02:56:13 PM
So...some questions
is this about a major company buying out DC or setting up a new paretnership with SBC?
Is the condition of partnership writing of that stonking debt?
Is there any chance the current director-ess of DC will financially benefit from the arrangement?
Will other members of the DC board benefit financially?
Is Garry Perkins negotiating in his role as deputy leader of SBC or as a director of Digital City?
In these negotiations, are these two roles compatible?
Is DC involved in these discussions, seeing as Hunt is still up a mountain?
What responsibilities are DC taking to repay their debt by negotiating with outside companies?
Is SBC's head of finance negotiating for DC, SBC or both?
What are the terms of the new deal likely to be?

I am sure all these questions and more will be asked at the first scrutiny meeting Drone.

But do not hold your breath for any answeres!    :'(
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on May 16, 2011, 04:11:32 PM
And is this final chapter about reviving DC's fortunes, repaying the debt owed to SBC or continuing with the Wi-Fi project (yes, I know these are potentially linked)?
Because SBC is owed £450,000 minimum and I'm not sure Garry Perkins, Hitash Patel or anyone else involved in these negotiations  have the commercial neutrality or business savy to find a solution which is in Swindon's best interests.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mart on May 16, 2011, 08:02:53 PM
You do know this is going to go hideously wrong don't you?

It's like a satirical version of Dragons Den where the surefire stinkers get the investment, and we have the same dragons as last time.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on May 17, 2011, 06:17:42 AM
And somehow Evan Davis has ended up bankrupt?

Yes, it will probably go badly wrong.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: James on May 18, 2011, 08:36:43 PM
Does it have to be said again...?
The money is gone.
Any additional value in any new deal which appears to equal £400,000 would have been possible anyway, if we have decent negotiators involved.
The council should just accept it has gone and not try to kid anyone.

Failure is the inevitable result of trying new things.
Failure is not the issue.

Deceit or stupidity is.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: swindoncentric on May 18, 2011, 08:42:25 PM
Brings to mind the phrase 'insanity is trying the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result'
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on May 18, 2011, 08:43:03 PM
But James we have a Salesman and an Accountant doing this, do you not have any faith in their abilities?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on May 18, 2011, 09:36:45 PM
Failure is the inevitable result of trying new things.
Failure is not the issue.
Deceit or stupidity is.

Failure? Why could only people outside the sign of 4 see that it would end up where it has?  It's almost prophetic when re reading what was said from December 2009 to March/May 2010 :'(
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on May 19, 2011, 07:19:22 PM
Quote
Failure is the inevitable result of trying new things.


So success isn't the result of trying new things?  No one plans to fail, but plenty fail to plan.

The Wi-Fi project was doomed from day one - and i can prove that by some simple points

1. It had no financial credibility.  Read the words and consider the figures presented by Coun Bluh with regard to the DC business plan and attempt to marry that with £700k of net profit. It simply does not stack up - honestly.

2. It lacked a marketing strategy. It was recognised at the very beginning that 'marketing' was key to sales success and yet no marketing or brand management was undertaken and no marketing plan was devleoped (that is a fact taken from the Cabinet Member Briefing Note of 12 October 2009) Despite the assurance that pre launch there were two people informally assisting the project who were to be formally engaged this never happened.

3. There was no sales effort in Highworth. Despite the claims made by Coun Perkins and Rikki (for free) Hunt that a leaflet campaign was carried out, they have failed to provide any data proving hwat was done and whether any positive leads were achieved. Failing to monitor performance is a cardinal sin for anew start up business. It was as if Digitla City felt that by a form of osmosis Highworth townsfolk would simply apply to be linked to the DC Broadband network. Spooky or what?

4. There was no after sales support. DC employed one person who left Rikki (for free) Hunt's employment for a proper job.

5. There never were any bolt on packages. This was the con of the century. The business model was built on the premise of selling high speed access and on offering innovative servcies at competitive prices.

6. It lacked credible leadership. Rikki (for free) Hunt has no experience of providing Wi-Fi or any similar IT package, indeed he has no long term track record of managing start up companies in the communications sector, as for Aqovia - least said soonest mended
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on May 19, 2011, 11:14:07 PM
Do you all think the protagonists in Council were duped or just completely inept and incompetent and therefore should never be in charge of any money other than their own?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: moley on May 19, 2011, 11:19:08 PM
Do you all think the protagonists in Council were duped or just completely inept and incompetent and therefore should never be in charge of any money other than their own?

That's an interesting question Richard...

If the problem wasn't ineptitude, are there any better alternatives?  The only ones I can think of are worse!

Moley
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on May 20, 2011, 03:03:06 AM
Do you all think the protagonists in Council were duped or just completely inept and incompetent and therefore should never be in charge of any money other than their own?

That's an interesting question Richard...

If the problem wasn't ineptitude, are there any better alternatives?  The only ones I can think of are worse!

Moley

I actually wrote something to that effect Moley but then thought better of it!!

But then the question that has to be asked why would they want to do that?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: The Listener on May 20, 2011, 05:33:48 PM
If the first £150,000 of the loan was spent on Highworth equipment (Hard to believe, but let it lie!), what was the second loan of £250,000 spent on? After that loan was approved we saw little or no further expansion of the system, so where had the money gone?

If a new company takes over the project (You never know, stranger things have happened, not often I must admit) will the council then reveal how this vast some of money was used? Surely it cannot be that commercially sensitive.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on May 20, 2011, 05:45:36 PM
Quote
will the council then reveal how this vast some of money was used? Surely it cannot be that commercially sensitive

Somehow i suspect 'hell will freeze over' before SBC reveals what the £250k wasused for.  As for whether they know what is was used for, my view is that they do but would plead all sorts of reasons why they can't say.  One person who does know is Coun Perkins as he is a director of DC.  If he claimed not to know what the £250k was spent on it would demonstrate a lack of understanding on his part as to the fiscal responsibilities he assumed the day he signed up.

As to 'commercial sensitivities - there are none BUT there are huge politicial sensitivities and these trump any commercial ones in the wonderful world of Coun Bluh to whom openness and transparency are but words to be casually bandied around
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on May 23, 2011, 11:56:39 PM
Almost 10 days on are we nearly there yet?  :popcorn:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on May 24, 2011, 06:22:01 AM
Suspiciously quiet...
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on May 24, 2011, 07:18:14 AM
Perhaps the Swindon landscape is the wrong type of flat?

Quote
Lincolnshire 'ideal' for street light wi-fi  The equipment would use the street lights' electricity supply. Street lights in Lincolnshire could be used to distribute wireless broadband signals because of the flat landscape.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-13431102 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-13431102)

I see the Journos on the Lincs paper are saying
Quote
Inkspot Wi-fi Limited, an Edinburgh-based company, has applied to the county council to install a piece of kit on Lincolnshire's street lights that would be able to provide wi-fi access.

It would be the first time publicly funded property was used for commercial purposes.


http://www.thisislincolnshire.co.uk/news/lampposts-offer-beacon-hope-wi-fi-wilderness/article-3534367-detail/article.html (http://www.thisislincolnshire.co.uk/news/lampposts-offer-beacon-hope-wi-fi-wilderness/article-3534367-detail/article.html)

More on Inkspot http://www.inkspotwifi.co.uk/ (http://www.inkspotwifi.co.uk/)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on May 24, 2011, 08:31:54 AM
The most recent news on 'get signal':

Quote
The majority of those with an SN6 7 post code can now enjoy 2 hours free internet, or upgrade to our 24/7 faster paid service for just £9.99 per month, and the first month is FREE.

For those of you in Highworth that we cannot get to at present I hope the following explanation helps,

To be able to cover the remaining area we have two challenges to overcome. Our equipment is mounted on lampposts and therefore our ability to provide coverage is predicated on the availability of appropriate street furniture. In some areas there are concrete lampposts on which we cannot mount our equipment because it is perceived to pose a weight threat to the structural integrity of the post, the second challenge is that we have a number of quite short posts or posts which are in dips, this makes it harder to get effective radio communication between posts.

In the medium to long term we are maintaining a dialogue with Swindon Borough Council who do have a programme of replacing concrete lampposts with more modern steel ones. As Street furniture is upgraded we hope to be able to extend our network coverage. We are not in a position to put a timetable on when this might happen.

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on May 24, 2011, 08:34:10 AM
Mr Hunt was too busy dropping out of another project before completion:

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9043333.We_are_on_top_of_the_world/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9043333.We_are_on_top_of_the_world/)

Quote
Mr Hunt attempted the final push to the summit, but dropped out.


Quote
Mr Hunt’s wife, Laura, posted a message to say he had turned back just shy of the summit ‘due to weather and other issues’.

She wrote: “Rikki made a decision, to turn back at 8,300 metres, which everyone believed saved his life.

“He ended up sleeping alone at the death zone and then descending, alone, back to ABC [advanced base camp].

“This was because someone had become ill and his sherpa left to look after the casualty. The weather was atrocious.

“During his descent he slipped and completely fell off the mountain, thankfully he was roped and this definitely saved his life.

“He was exhausted and feeling the altitude in every way in his body, this cost him a good half an hour to recover.

“On arrival at ABC everyone greeted him like a hero and the sherpas insisted he was a ‘real’ man for surviving a night at the death zone and then for making absolutely the right decision to turn around when he did.”

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on May 24, 2011, 08:40:27 AM
I see that Inkspot WiFi are a new start up company. I hope that they have some experience. Especially with lamp post electrical power supplies.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Tobes on May 24, 2011, 11:43:22 AM
Well, given that WiFi now appears to be in 'The Death Zone' - perhaps Rikki (who obviously has cash to go off on very expensive ego trips to The Himalayas) would care to show that he's a REAL man by returning the salary which WE paid?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on May 24, 2011, 12:36:05 PM
Well, given that WiFi now appears to be in 'The Death Zone' - perhaps Rikki (who obviously has cash to go off on very expensive ego trips to The Himalayas) would care to show that he's a REAL man by returning the salary which WE paid?

If he were to do this Tobes, however unlikely, I think the people of Swindon would regard him in a different light.

The question is will he say anything about Wi-fi when he returns, if indeed he ever does so? - return to Swindon that is!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: 20Eyes on May 24, 2011, 12:55:22 PM
Out of interest, what's the checklist of events that would actually placate people?

How about:

1. Rikki Hunt to publically apologise for failure and return any and all money he's been paid from the WiFi Mesh loan for the past few years and maybe face criminal charges.

2. Gary Perkins to publically apologise for failure and resign any form of public office and maybe face criminal charges.

3. Rod Bluh  to publically apologise for failure and resign any form of public office and maybe face criminal charges.

4. The full loan amount, plus expected interest to be repaid to the Council coffers by somebody or other.

In the highly unlikely event that all four of those four things happens, I suspect a significant number of people would still continue railing on about the whole subject because it does seem to have become about more than the failure of the project and the loss of a relatively medium-sized loan.

Strikes me that the individuals concerned figure they may as well just do as they please because those who're taking a very close interest in this are unlikely to be satisfied regardless of what they do.

Is there actually anything they could do in order to make people think, 'OK, fair enough, we'll draw a line under it now'?

I suspect not.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on May 24, 2011, 04:49:44 PM
The question is will he say anything about Wi-fi when he returns, if indeed he ever does so? - return to Swindon that is!

Don't be so sure that Rikki not be riding again he has been written off before, and bounced back.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on May 24, 2011, 05:19:43 PM
Quote
“On arrival at ABC everyone greeted him like a hero and the sherpas insisted he was a ‘real’ man for surviving a night at the death zone and then for making absolutely the right decision to turn around when he did.”


Nothing quite like the undimished love of a good wife for her hero of a real man.  As for quitting at absolutely the the right time, Rikki (for free) Hunt is one of the the finest exponents of the art of quitting before completing the task, in this case it was 'weather and other issues' pretty much the same reasons given for not completing the Wi-Fi project; as for surviving, without doubt he is one of lifes survivors
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on May 24, 2011, 05:22:18 PM
Did the Sherpas used the phrase 'real man' or are the Hunts translating from the original Tibetan?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: The Listener on May 24, 2011, 09:17:17 PM
Des, thank you for your reply and sorry for the delay in responding, damn computers drive me nuts.

I still have several questions.

Firstly, without any income, who is supporting the current ongoing costs of the system?
Secondly, who's technically supporting the system?
Lastly, who's administering the system?

I'm hoping the costs are being distributed between the three shareholders and not being landed on SBC's door step (Remember 'Jointly and Severally Responsible').
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on May 25, 2011, 08:16:46 AM
Des, thank you for your reply and sorry for the delay in responding, damn computers drive me nuts.

I still have several questions.

Firstly, without any income, who is supporting the current ongoing costs of the system?
Secondly, who's technically supporting the system?
Lastly, who's administering the system?

I'm hoping the costs are being distributed between the three shareholders and not being landed on SBC's door step (Remember 'Jointly and Severally Responsible').

If you have such good questions then why not consider a FOI on what do they know.com or Ask Robert Buckland MP  :-X to do an Anne Snelgrove and ask questions in the house?  :fish:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: 20Eyes on May 25, 2011, 09:12:37 AM
If you have such good questions then why not consider a FOI on what do they know.com or Ask Robert Buckland MP  :-X to do an Anne Snelgrove and ask questions in the house?  :fish:

Given that an FOI request, on average, costs us all £80 (and could cost up to £450), does it not make more sense to ask if the information's available amongst contributors who may very well know the answers before running off to cost us all yet more money?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on May 25, 2011, 05:50:57 PM
The most recent news on 'get signal':

Quote
The majority of those with an SN6 7 post code can now enjoy 2 hours free internet, or upgrade to our 24/7 faster paid service for just £9.99 per month, and the first month is FREE.

For those of you in Highworth that we cannot get to at present I hope the following explanation helps,

To be able to cover the remaining area we have two challenges to overcome. Our equipment is mounted on lampposts and therefore our ability to provide coverage is predicated on the availability of appropriate street furniture. In some areas there are concrete lampposts on which we cannot mount our equipment because it is perceived to pose a weight threat to the structural integrity of the post, the second challenge is that we have a number of quite short posts or posts which are in dips, this makes it harder to get effective radio communication between posts.

In the medium to long term we are maintaining a dialogue with Swindon Borough Council who do have a programme of replacing concrete lampposts with more modern steel ones. As Street furniture is upgraded we hope to be able to extend our network coverage. We are not in a position to put a timetable on when this might happen.



Interesting, although a misleading statement.  I think Highworth Town Council, not SBC, is responsible for lamposts in Highworth.

'Maintaining a dialogue' is a meaningless phrase within the context of the above statement.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on May 25, 2011, 06:50:00 PM
So despite a £450,000 investment from SBC, completion of Highworth is dependent on the council pushing forward a programme of street light switching? That will cost local people more money and isn't a priority in such cash strapped times. It's also buck-passing of the highest order. Wrong sort of leaves on the line, now wrong sort of lampposts in Swindon.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Tobes on May 25, 2011, 08:26:26 PM
Quote
Strikes me that the individuals concerned figure they may as well just do as they please because those who're taking a very close interest in this are unlikely to be satisfied regardless of what they do.

I think you are being very naive as to the good reasons for keeping this topic live and expressing the disappointment and anger felt by so many rate-payers (and why those concerned would prefer otherwise).

1. If TS didn't keep scrutinising this issue, it would long since have been kicked into the long grass and forgotten (you can bet your bottom dollar that the key players would prefer that!)

2. The scrutiny is exposing long-term ineptitude, hyperbole and spin.

3. There is STILL an outside chance that something might be salvaged from the whole debacle - and pressure here is one of the few stimuli to ensuring that someone somewhere is trying to recoup some value, now that the rewards of personal fortune seems to have gone out the window.

4. Voters and opposition council candidates will have access to the information lodged here on TS which clearly show that the concept was flawed from the beginning, that there was no detailed and viable business plan and that the tendering process appeared to be highly favourable to but a single  candidate who was totally inexperienced in this field.

All of the people involved in this cluste -£u<k of a project are either elected or employed using our money. The project ITSELF was funded using our money. People should consider whether these people are fit to continue in these roles, come election time...

... and that in a nutshell is the best restitution for the ineptitude which has been followed by evasion, spin and further undelivered promises. Anyone putting the key characters name into Google to find out their future suitability for a candidature, executive position, business investment, trusteeship or any other position of trusted responsibility will be free to read about what happened and draw their own conclusions as to their business acumen.

Its not the making of mistakes which stains some of those involved - but what they did (or didn't) do once the abject and utter failure of the project became clear.

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on May 25, 2011, 08:38:12 PM
So despite a £450,000 investment from SBC, completion of Highworth is dependent on the council pushing forward a programme of street light switching? That will cost local people more money and isn't a priority in such cash strapped times. It's also buck-passing of the highest order. Wrong sort of leaves on the line, now wrong sort of lampposts in Swindon.

Check  the council's budget there is a programme of 400K a year for the next 3 years being spent on lamp post replacement, any way it is probably a coincidence? Wait a minute in some areas of Swindon are the parish and town council's responsible for street lighting?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: The Listener on May 25, 2011, 09:07:32 PM
Des, thank you for your reply and sorry for the delay in responding, damn computers drive me nuts.

I still have several questions.

Firstly, without any income, who is supporting the current ongoing costs of the system?
Secondly, who's technically supporting the system?
Lastly, who's administering the system?

I'm hoping the costs are being distributed between the three shareholders and not being landed on SBC's door step (Remember 'Jointly and Severally Responsible').



Ringer, you ask why I have not posed these questions to our local MP. I'm sure he is aware of our concerns, I'm also aware he chaired several scrutiny meetings on this very subject and was, despite several questions, unable to find fault. Maybe he feels very shell shocked and has no energy to pursue this further. If he had the energy and the drive and the concern, then he would already have tackled the problem. I hope these are the reasons and not the reluctance for a Conservative vs Conservative conflict.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on May 25, 2011, 09:40:28 PM
Ringer, you ask why I have not posed these questions to our local MP. I'm sure he is aware of our concerns, I'm also aware he chaired several scrutiny meetings on this very subject and was, despite several questions, unable to find fault. Maybe he feels very shell shocked and has no energy to pursue this further. If he had the energy and the drive and the concern, then he would already have tackled the problem. I hope these are the reasons and not the reluctance for a Conservative vs Conservative conflict.

Oh well never mind only a suggestion.  :popcorn:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: swindoncentric on May 25, 2011, 10:23:46 PM
Interestingly spotted this today :

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/everything-everywhere-teams-with-bt-for-4g-trial-2288552.html (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/everything-everywhere-teams-with-bt-for-4g-trial-2288552.html)

and a bit about them...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everything_Everywhere (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everything_Everywhere)

As for a deal, it's now 10 days since Adam Kula got something about nothing (or nothing about something!) out of Garry Perkins, who said a deal was in the final stages.

In all the quotes about the wi-fi since the election campaign from politicians, if you're looking for dates, meaning, or tangibility, you've really got to Hunt For It.

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: The Listener on May 26, 2011, 06:34:56 AM
Does anyone remember Rabbit (telecommunications). This was a location-specific (Telepoint) telephone service backed by Hutchison and introduced in the late 80's. The idea was a combination of home phones and dial out only mobiles. The project failed with costs of £120,000,000 primarily due to the falling costs of the then more attractive analogue mobile phone service.
As I recall at the time of the WiFi project launch here in Swindon the initial test for G4 had proven successful. If the Cornwall trial proves to be viable, where will this leave WiFi and are we going to be left with an out of date system before it's properly launched?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Tobes on May 26, 2011, 07:09:59 AM
Yes

 :banana:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on May 26, 2011, 08:42:24 AM
Swindoncentric

In January it was claimed by Des Morgan somewhere on TS that the cheque was in the post.  :2funny:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: mikbrains on May 26, 2011, 08:45:29 AM
Does anyone remember Rabbit (telecommunications). This was a location-specific (Telepoint) telephone service backed by Hutchison and introduced in the late 80's. The idea was a combination of home phones and dial out only mobiles. The project failed with costs of £120,000,000 primarily due to the falling costs of the then more attractive analogue mobile phone service.
As I recall at the time of the WiFi project launch here in Swindon the initial test for G4 had proven successful. If the Cornwall trial proves to be viable, where will this leave WiFi and are we going to be left with an out of date system before it's properly launched?
From day one the concept of this WiFi system was marketed as a revolutionary idea to bring cheap internet access to the masses. The free part meant nothing as numerous people with wireless routers still do not secure their connection. In fairness most people have used others connections without causing problems. This changed when the music industry realised they were losing revenue due to downloads of material. How many of us access sites to listen to music etc which we can download legally. It becomes illegal if we share it; yet if we send a link
for others to download direct it is apparently not. Or am I wrong on that?
Is this similar to this projected WiFi system which is so contraversial?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on May 26, 2011, 08:59:33 AM
No, and anyway what has file sharing to do with Swindon council tax payers money being spent on a stalled/frozen desperately seeking a rescue solution wifi system?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on May 26, 2011, 09:02:49 AM
Quote
In January it was claimed by Des Morgan somewhere on TS that the cheque was in the post

Ah - indeed.  At a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by no less than Coun Perkins himself - it was claimed by the Councillor that a deal was imminent - papers were ready to be signed and the cheque was 'all but in the post'.  So amazed I asked Coun perkins whehter this comment was okay to report (Adam Kula from the SA was to my left) as there ws no formal statement available from the press office of SBC.

Of course since that date Coun Perkins has been 'put in his place' by Coun Bluh who suggested Coun Perkins was being optimisitic.  Nothing new there.

Interestingly I wonder if the new deal will even be with the party to whom Coun Perkins was talking
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on May 26, 2011, 09:09:36 AM
DES

Thank you I was being ironic I knew that you had stated this months ago I could not find it on TS.  O0
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: the gorgon on May 26, 2011, 09:35:20 AM
Does anyone remember Rabbit (telecommunications). This was a location-specific (Telepoint) telephone service backed by Hutchison and introduced in the late 80's. The idea was a combination of home phones and dial out only mobiles. The project failed with costs of £120,000,000 primarily due to the falling costs of the then more attractive analogue mobile phone service.
As I recall at the time of the WiFi project launch here in Swindon the initial test for G4 had proven successful. If the Cornwall trial proves to be viable, where will this leave WiFi and are we going to be left with an out of date system before it's properly launched?

I remember Rabbit well, I can even recall where one of Swindon's access points was - at the foot of the DMJ just above the shops IIRC.

The whole WiFi project if it ever gets rolled-out will be too little too late.  I already have one of those pay-as-you-go broadband sticks if I visit people who don't have an internet connect.  As I understand it parts of the analogue TV spectrum will be sold-off to telecoms companies and will probably be used for mobile broadband, rendering the WiFi scheme totally redundant.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on May 26, 2011, 09:52:19 AM
........ rendering the WiFi scheme totally redundant.

Is the roll out project  now moribund? Or was it already pre obsolecense before it stalled?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: 20Eyes on May 26, 2011, 10:14:06 AM
I think you are being very naive as to the good reasons for keeping this topic live and expressing the disappointment and anger felt by so many rate-payers (and why those concerned would prefer otherwise).

Thanks.

Your post essentially proves the point I was trying to make. The outcome of the WiFi Mess saga is largely irrelevant. Those with an agenda will continue to persue it and keep the topic alive, despite the recent polls showing that it's highly unlikely to actually do the Labour group any favours at the ballot box.

Unless the aim here is to replace one bunch of Tories with another bunch of Tories, I think it's a little naive to think it's about much else.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: mikbrains on May 26, 2011, 10:18:00 AM
No, and anyway what has file sharing to do with Swindon council tax payers money being spent on a stalled/frozen desperately seeking a rescue solution wifi system?

Ah; maybe you cannot see how WiFi was never a viable project whilst people still leave their
wireless connections open. I know very little about the different systems and simply used the
example of file sharing as one of the reasons many closed their network. I just checked and in my immediate area there are 12 networks of which 7 are open. I merely asked why in that case would this council invest in a Wi Fi system and all the controversy which has surrounded it. Surely the major providers would be queing up to offer a few hours free in the belief that they would sign up to a package. Like many I welcome the truth in this affair; my problem being I do not understand the difference between systems. Yes I do not believe it is the Councils place to involve the taxpayer in this venture when they cannot provide needed services.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on May 26, 2011, 10:22:50 AM
Mik

Well put  :clap:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: mikbrains on May 26, 2011, 10:27:17 AM
Mik

Well put  :clap:

I also cannot see why the whole business has been shrouded in secrecy " Transparent Council"
one of those promises which has never seen the light of day.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: the gorgon on May 26, 2011, 10:29:29 AM
........ rendering the WiFi scheme totally redundant.

Is the roll out project  now moribund? Or was it already pre obsolecense before it stalled?

Good question! 

I'm no telecoms expert but I think if they'd done it as quickly as they'd promised (if not quicker) it might have stood a reasonable chance (in the short term at least).  Now I think something like 4G that can piggy-back on existing mobile phone infrastructure will overtake it. 

WiFi is great in hotels, airports and your own home, but even in those places you can see the problems that weak signals cause, what's going to happen when you try and cover an entire town (they can't even cover Highworth properly)? 
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on May 26, 2011, 10:40:25 AM
WiFi is great in hotels, airports and your own home, but even in those places you can see the problems that weak signals cause,


Good point Gorgon, ever tried the following?
 http://www.btfon.com/ (http://www.btfon.com/)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on May 26, 2011, 11:58:43 AM
So despite a £450,000 investment from SBC, completion of Highworth is dependent on the council pushing forward a programme of street light switching? That will cost local people more money and isn't a priority in such cash strapped times. It's also buck-passing of the highest order. Wrong sort of leaves on the line, now wrong sort of lampposts in Swindon.

Check  the council's budget there is a programme of 400K a year for the next 3 years being spent on lamp post replacement, any way it is probably a coincidence? Wait a minute in some areas of Swindon are the parish and town council's responsible for street lighting?

There would be no other eason to replace street lighting, so that makes...

£450,000 in financial support for Digital City
£400,000 in lampposts upgrading
£???? in office/rent costs for the office space in the David Murray John tower
£???? in staff time for finance and legal staff to seek to negotaite on DC's behalf with potential business partners.

So... how much as the WiFi debacle really cost us?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on May 26, 2011, 12:57:16 PM
£400,000 in lampposts upgrading
So... how much as the WiFi debacle really cost us?

£400,000 X 3

Will lamp posts have to be replaced anyway due to age? Concrete to metal, but only in Swindon*? More questions than answers  :-\

* Will Parishes/town council's pay for their own street lights so the £1.2 million must be for the Swindon unparished areas and that is a lot of lamp posts.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on May 26, 2011, 01:08:49 PM
So we're up to £1,650,000 not including office accommodation, staff support, lobbying, marketing or any other hidden costs...
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on May 26, 2011, 01:14:27 PM
So we're up to £1,650,000 not including office accommodation, staff support, lobbying, marketing or any other hidden costs...

You might think that,  >:D  But there are others out there that can't possibly comment  :-X  :2funny:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on May 26, 2011, 02:58:22 PM
Is Garry Perkins waiting for Rikki to return to answer the questions and what if he doesn't, return that is, and he has to do so on his own?

Not looking good for you Garry.

meanwhile, carry on digging.

Anyone seen the latest Private Eye?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on May 26, 2011, 04:12:06 PM
Got it this morning. Doesn't look like we're in it this week.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Bobby Bingo on May 26, 2011, 05:24:13 PM
Ricki was heard to be singing at base camp last night
"Climb every mountain
Ford every stream
Wher'es the bloody Wifi
I can hear you scream"
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on May 26, 2011, 05:26:53 PM
In July 2009 Lincoln City Centre (St Marks) had its wifi in city centre 15 minutes free access

http://www.thisislincolnshire.co.uk/news/WiFi-revolution-set-transform-city-net/article-1210428-detail/article.html (http://www.thisislincolnshire.co.uk/news/WiFi-revolution-set-transform-city-net/article-1210428-detail/article.html)

How come this was not mentioned in October 2010 when Swindon was to be the first?

Anyone heard anything more of it?

Anyone been to Lincoln lately and tried it? Has it made an improvement to their BID?  :popcorn:

BTW Bobby Very Good  :2funny:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: mikbrains on May 26, 2011, 05:30:40 PM
He left it up Everest; lost it when he fell; buried in the snow as he seems good at snow jobs!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on May 26, 2011, 05:34:49 PM
AB internet http://wireless.abinternet.co.uk/ABInternet/ (http://wireless.abinternet.co.uk/ABInternet/)

Turning non spots into got spots... http://wireless.abinternet.co.uk/ABInternet/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=23:ysceifiog&catid=9:website-news&Itemid=15 (http://wireless.abinternet.co.uk/ABInternet/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=23:ysceifiog&catid=9:website-news&Itemid=15)

News item re lincoln off their website http://wireless.abinternet.co.uk/ABInternet/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14:wireless-lincoln-is-coming&catid=9:website-news&Itemid=15 (http://wireless.abinternet.co.uk/ABInternet/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14:wireless-lincoln-is-coming&catid=9:website-news&Itemid=15)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: The Listener on May 27, 2011, 03:15:29 PM
Ringer, the points you are making are very true. Two years ago, when the council were first approached about the WiFi system, there may have been an arguement to support the need for this project in Swindon. However, it is now probebly very difficult to find an area of the town where you are not already just a few feet away from a hot spot from BT or Virgin.  For the council to suggest that they are in talks with a company who are going to take the existing project over and return the outstanding money is stretching our trust and belief. This could be a sad moment for a council who have done a considerable amount for the town only to stumble and fall on a sword of their own making.
Lets just consider the errrors,
1
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: The Listener on May 27, 2011, 03:21:38 PM
1   Not consulting experts in this field before commiting.

2   Not abiding by their own loan stipulations.

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

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

So, best of luck SBC

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: the gorgon on May 27, 2011, 03:55:50 PM
1   Not consulting experts in this field before commiting.

2   Not abiding by their own loan stipulations.

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

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

So, best of luck SBC

Let's go through those points:

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

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

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

4 - I'd go further, downright stupidity in the way they handled everything.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: mikbrains on May 27, 2011, 06:39:33 PM
On the news today..Govt making millions available for better broadband in rural areas via optic cabling-wireless routers etc--hmmmmmm so much for WiFi then?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: moley on May 27, 2011, 08:18:26 PM
On the news today..Govt making millions available for better broadband in rural areas via optic cabling-wireless routers etc--hmmmmmm so much for WiFi then?

You typically need some kind of fibre backhaul even if using wifi/3G/4G for the last mile.... I don't think anyone has managed to get wireless backhaul (outside labs) to anything like the bandwidth you can get on a fibre...

(and remember that even if you get 40M between your device and base station, the backhaul has to transport many peoples' data.)

Moley
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: mikbrains on May 27, 2011, 08:43:24 PM
Moley; sort of get your drift. So with what is happening in Lincoln and now this Govt thingy; am I right in thinking this WiFi system here has little to no merit?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: moley on May 27, 2011, 09:29:20 PM
I never really saw much merit in what we've been doing here (I've been posting here to this effect since pretty early on).

There are a lot of trials of various technologies going on in various parts of the country - but at the end of the day the Digital City numbers just did *not* stack up for me (partly because everything in the public domain (e.g. the council getting the equipment back to cover their investment) seemed to suggest minimal investment in planning and installation - but typically for networks, planning and installation are a very significant part of the overall network cost, especially if the network provides a high level of quality.

And since Swindon already had fairly high internet penetration it wasn't clear to me where the customers would magically appear from (and if I were a business dependent on the internet I wouldn't personally buy my internet service from a startup - even if I had to pay slightly more I'd want to buy it from a company that I was convinced had sufficient manpower to address any problems and really deliver on SLAs).

Moley
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: mikbrains on May 27, 2011, 09:34:43 PM
Yes..That just about sums it up--Thanks.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on May 28, 2011, 06:27:16 PM
When is the next Scrutiny meeting and will Digital City and Garry Perkins be on the Agenda?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: mikbrains on May 28, 2011, 07:40:51 PM
Richard........hope so..........but do you really believe we will get answers (all of them)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: boothill on May 28, 2011, 08:30:38 PM
One WiFi Story Too Many ??


Despite attempts to secure a High Court Super Injunction, the news has been leaked that I am leaving the Adver! I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for your encourgement, support and occasional coercion.
In June, Gary Lawrence will be taking over at the helm as Group Editor for Newsquest titles in Wiltshire. Both Gary and Adver deputy editor, Pauline Leighton, will be your points of contact for the Adver.
Best wishes,
Dave.
Dave King,
Editor, Swindon Advertiser.
Office: 01793-501842.
Mobile: 07795-305206.

This email has been scanned for viruses and other threats using Newsquest's Ironport email filters.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: mikbrains on May 28, 2011, 08:55:18 PM
Oh my God....will the adver survive?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on May 29, 2011, 09:55:46 AM
Quote
will the adver survive?

I think it will, the bigger question is in what format will it survive.  I imaging Coun Bluh and his politburo are hoping it will become a weekly paper which in turn will make it a weakly scrutineer of all things SBC.  A sad day for all who prize transparency but a good day for those who really do prefer the opaqueness of political speak.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: mikbrains on May 29, 2011, 11:22:19 AM
Des
Politics is politics......open and honest it will never be.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Muggins on May 29, 2011, 03:01:09 PM
"which in turn will make it a weakly scrutineer of all things SBC"

Fruedian slip on the spelling there, Des? .
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on May 29, 2011, 06:20:29 PM
Quote
Fruedian slip on the spelling there, Des? .

Absolutely not Muggins - very carefully chosen
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on June 01, 2011, 06:55:07 PM
I asked Coun Perkins a series of questions relating to the Digital City UK Limited 'Business Plan' and very sepcifically which one they were working to.  The import of this is that as part of the condition to release the second tranche of money (£250k) the 'Forward Business Plan' had to be reviewed and signed off by two different groups of officers.

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

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

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

Here is the 1st response from Coun Perkins

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

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

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

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

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

The original business plan was formulated pre October 2009

The second business plan was agreed post March 2010

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

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

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

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

Today I received this response

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

In answer to your latest questions:

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

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

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

It is my understanding that this is true.

3)     Digital City has not functioned post December 2010.

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

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

It is my understanding that this is true.


So to finish the sequence i sent this reply

Quote
Dear Garry

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

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


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

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

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

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

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on June 01, 2011, 08:51:26 PM
Hum? "Not trading."

I prefer "never has traded"!

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 02, 2011, 07:49:28 PM
In the absence of an announcement of a trillion pound investment I suspect the funeral is imminent!

and then the inquest will begin

in Ernest!! 
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: mikbrains on June 02, 2011, 08:39:16 PM
Any inquiry would I believe not tell us more than we know already. The war drums are pounding and I hope that next year the good people in Swindon will remove the negative so called Councillors responsible for the desperate state our town finds itself in. How can they get so many so many things wrong?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mart on June 02, 2011, 08:54:40 PM
Functioning but not trading?

That one is right out of the politicians lexicon.

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

Stand by to be patronised until your spleen combusts, it's like a having a burglar come back and take the piss.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 02, 2011, 11:25:14 PM
Any inquiry would I believe not tell us more than we know already. The war drums are pounding and I hope that next year the good people in Swindon will remove the negative so called Councillors responsible for the desperate state our town finds itself in. How can they get so many so many things wrong?

I want more than that Mik, I want accountability and then and only then will be people be discouraged from ever doing this again.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: mikbrains on June 02, 2011, 11:57:23 PM
Any inquiry would I believe not tell us more than we know already. The war drums are pounding and I hope that next year the good people in Swindon will remove the negative so called Councillors responsible for the desperate state our town finds itself in. How can they get so many so many things wrong?

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

Well Richard maybe there should be a campaign to change the codes of practice for both Councillors and officers which was drafted by a very clever lawyer. In real terms it prevents the Councillors from being accountable to the electorate and they cannot go against the decisions of officers as that means going against the Council. Work it out; if someone takes the Council to Court; the action is against an officers decision; not a Councillors. All clever stuff. On that edict; who gave Rod Bluh permission to loan the money for WiFi and who
authorised the repairs to the Mechanics?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on June 03, 2011, 06:47:24 AM
1   Not consulting experts in this field before commiting.

2   Not abiding by their own loan stipulations.

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

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

So, best of luck SBC


Let's go through those points:

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

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

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

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


But they did have a consultant. His name was John Richard (Rikki) Hunt and he was, until recently, the managing Director of Avidity Consulting Ltd, (http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=7544.msg58823#msg58823) which owns 40% of Digital City (UK) Ltd.

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

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

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

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

Who's that Geoff?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on June 03, 2011, 07:18:19 AM
Quote
suppose some might think me cynical, (I'm sure Rikki's mate in Eastcott and a couple of his other apologists certainly will),

Who's that Geoff?

Ah, not you Tobes  :wink:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on June 03, 2011, 07:24:49 AM

But they did have a consultant. His name was John Richard (Rikki) Hunt and he was, until recently, the managing Director of Avidity Consulting Ltd, ([url]http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=7544.msg58823#msg58823[/url]) which owns 40% of Digital City (UK) Ltd.

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

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

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


Just because local tax payers have lost out, we shouldn't assume that the Hunts are making money from this, somehow. A shares sale would be one way of doing it. I'd also like to know how much of the £450,000+ has gone on wages and directors' expenses.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on June 03, 2011, 07:39:12 AM
I'm willing to bet that not one penny has been drawn in wages by senior staff at either Avoidity Consulting or Digital City.

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


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

Volunteers to take it on? (some vetting would apply).
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mart on June 03, 2011, 09:19:27 AM
I read on Talkswindon the other day that Lamplighters is a left wing party political organ and is run by a member.

Of the Labour party.

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

I don't think it matters but I is fick and naive.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on June 03, 2011, 10:01:45 AM
Quote
I'm willing to bet that not one penny has been drawn in wages by senior staff at either Avoidity Consulting or Digital City.

As Digital City employed no staff, other than a secretary (for a short time) I think it fair to say that there have been no payments to 'senior staff'

Avidity Consultants likewise and of course with this company we will never know how it spent its money - wages would have been very unlikely. However, fees and other associated costs is a different matter.

The question which will not go away and will plague Coun Perkins 'til his dying day is this - What happened to the £250k given to his company in May?  Now he can fob off all questions relating to what DC did prior to March 2010 (his standard response is always 'I wasn't a director of the companY') but anything occurring after March 2010 is absolutely within his time as a director. The law is quite clear in that he is responsible to account for the money that was given to DC by SBC in May 2010. He will one day have to make up his mind on which side of the fence he sits - does he attempt to ignore the legitimate demands for disclosure and transparency on the basis that DC was a commercial entity or will he do the decent thing and reveal once and for all where the £250k went.

Let me help him out by telling hime where it couldn't have been spent and acknowledge it wasn't ever intened to be the total cost of the project.

1. On the Highworth leg of the project. In the note requesting the payment of tranche 2 there was no mention of the spend in Highworth being inadequtae to achieve launch. Indeed according to SBC and DC Highworth was complete.

2. It couldn't have been used on the Bathgate bid. The loan given to DC was 'to create a Wi-Fi network covering the Borough of Swindon' a very simple and straightforward statement of fact which even the most tortured brains at the Civic Offices would have difficulty translating into 'anything else'

3. It wasn't the whole amount to be spent.  A statement of the 'bleedin obvious' as the March 10 paper clearly states the loan was to fund a portion of the costs of development abd installation of the Wi-Fi network

Coun Perkins desire to keep secret the whereabouts of the £250k (the release of which was crucial to the continued roll out programme, which just happened to seize up 4 to 5 weeks after getting the £250k) is a political and commercial error.  Politically it suggests that Coun Perkins prefers the opaque ways of old, where politicians considered they knew best and did not have to demean themselves by being open, honest and truthful. Commercially, the reluctance to be transparent suggests there is something to hide and as such people like me will continue to chip away we get the answer to the question. So I hope Coun Perkins is in this for the 'long haul' becuase I am.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: ph1lc on June 03, 2011, 01:54:34 PM
Bravo Des! you are not the only one.

And where the feck are the DC accounts? Should have been at Companies House by 14th May.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on June 03, 2011, 05:01:34 PM
I think, ph1lc, that accounts being late at Companies House is not unusual. Usually, if they are not filed after 3 months, a "Notice to Strike Off" the company from the register is issued, followed by a final "Strike Off" 3 months later if they are still not filed. So don't hold your breath.

However with Rikki out of the picture and Garry in denial, who is compiling the accounts? Anyone know an acountant who can cover up a £250,000 hole that appeared in a couple of months?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on June 03, 2011, 05:30:03 PM
Who is actually responsible for the company? It must be Mrs H, who is keeping a very low profile.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on June 03, 2011, 06:05:47 PM
Quote
Who is actually responsible for the company?

Actually, it is one G Perkins esq of this parish, it comes with the territory when you are a diector.

Mrs Hunt has no association with DC other than a shareholder through Avidity Consulting. 

Currently all legal liability in respect of DC attaches to Coun Perkins.  Just hope he has deep pockets and that SBC resists any sense of moral obligation to assist him in any way whatsoever. After all SBC has absolutely no responsibility for the affairs of DC.

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Bobby Bingo on June 03, 2011, 08:09:26 PM
Gary can easily find the money if required. All he needs to do is sell a couple of his houses. On second thoughts perhaps Bluh and Martin might help him out by each selling one of theirs.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 03, 2011, 09:16:56 PM
I take it then that Garry is now the sole Director?

So who is Secretary then?  The Legal Officer of the Company.

Has anyone got access to the Companies House Website?  I cannot afford the £10 fee.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: mikbrains on June 03, 2011, 09:31:25 PM
Looks like everyone is going round like headless chickens :WTF:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: ph1lc on June 03, 2011, 11:14:38 PM
Mustafa Arif (aQovia) is listed as a director as is Gary Perkins. Janes Secretarial Services are listed as Secretary.

Shareholders SBC 8, AQOVIA 7, and Avidity 5.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on June 05, 2011, 12:28:09 PM
I read on Talkswindon the other day that Lamplighters is a left wing party political organ and is run by a member.

Of the Labour party.

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

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

You are anything but thick and naive and, if you and a couple of other members like yourself wanted to get together with a couple of the other admins and continue nurturing TS in my absence, I would happily give you the keys.... :)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Tobes on June 05, 2011, 12:47:19 PM
Quote
Quote
Quote from: Mart on June 03, 2011, 09:19:27 AM
I read on Talkswindon the other day that Lamplighters is a left wing party political organ and is run by a member.

Of the Labour party.

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

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

You are anything but thick and naive and, if you and a couple of other members like yourself wanted to get together with a couple of the other admins and continue nurturing TS in my absence, I would happily give you the keys....

Eh?  ???
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on June 05, 2011, 02:39:37 PM
So Geoff's joined the Labour party. So what?
I imagine his brain still works in the same way and apart from confirming 20's worst fears, it means nothing.

To business:

The 60 day “confidentiality” period for the new company taking over the Wi-Fi project has now lasted 80 days. (Maybe this new company can’t afford a "Perkian" calendar?) :coffee:

Are SBC waiting for Rikki to come home to tell them what to say next? :coolsmiley:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: swindoncentric on June 05, 2011, 03:31:08 PM
Don't forget, holding them to account (far, far after the event) just became a whole lot easier.

The Graham Mack Breakfast Show (the Swindon opt-out on BBC Wiltshire) has launched a podcast with the highlights from the show. The latest one has an interview with the Perkinator about the BHS store reopening and plenty of flannel-ing from him on regeneration.

You can download and keep these for as long as you want, giving more reason to "do what you say" as all Swindon residents desperately want their elected officials to aspire to.

"But in June 2011 didn't you say this on BBC Radio Councillor Hoping-You-Don't-Remember-Stuff?"
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on June 05, 2011, 05:36:36 PM
'Get Signal' haven't even Tweeted in 120 days...

They also list their company address as David Murray John tower, still.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: mikbrains on June 05, 2011, 06:15:50 PM
It is never over until the fat lady sings..........she must be severely out of breath by now :clap:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 05, 2011, 06:19:25 PM
Mustafa Arif (aQovia) is listed as a director as is Gary Perkins. Janes Secretarial Services are listed as Secretary.

Shareholders SBC 8, AQOVIA 7, and Avidity 5.

so SBC's shareholding is not worth */* as Aquovia and Avidity can out vote them.

Nice to know our money is safe  :hippy:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on June 06, 2011, 07:16:16 AM
And in such a vibrant, kick- ar*e enterprise. They have no news, the refuse to list company directors, no-one knows where they trade from...

Those magic beans better start growing soon, or I'll start to worry our money was given away unwisely.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 06, 2011, 11:23:26 PM
Isn't it illegal not to advise Companies House of a change of Registered Office?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Nadine Watts on June 07, 2011, 02:00:49 PM
Just had a look at the Companies House website -

Digital City are overdue filing their accounts - they were due on 14 May 2011

On 17 May 2011, Avidity Consulting filed their accounts for the time upto 31/12/2010 (Total Exemption Small)

They seem to like to keep people waiting. Doubt it has the level of detail that we would like.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on June 07, 2011, 04:33:39 PM
Avidity’s 2010 accounts, filed at Companies House, were from 1st October 2009 to 31st December 2010.

Avidity have tangible assets of about £1,000 ( so a computer then?)

They are owed £26,306 due in the next 12 months of which it seems “£20,585 is from a Director’s overdrawn current account”

They are owed a debt of £1,527 plus £22,805 on loan, plus £1,213 in the bank.

All a bit odd to me but the upshot is that they have assets, less liabilities of £267.00

There is no sign of any Digital City money in these accounts. So the question remains: Where did the £400,000 go and more exactly where did the £250,000 go that Digital City got March 2010?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Bankrupt Idiot on June 07, 2011, 04:45:27 PM
Everest Base Camp?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on June 07, 2011, 05:26:36 PM
Avidity’s 2010 accounts, filed at Companies House, were from 1st October 2009 to 31st December 2010.

Avidity have tangible assets of about £1,000 ( so a computer then?)

They are owed £26,306 due in the next 12 months of which it seems “£20,585 is from a Director’s overdrawn current account”

They are owed a debt of £1,527 plus £22,805 on loan, plus £1,213 in the bank.

All a bit odd to me but the upshot is that they have assets, less liabilities of £267.00

There is no sign of any Digital City money in these accounts. So the question remains: Where did the £400,000 go and more exactly where did the £250,000 go that Digital City got March 2010?

Did the DC money go to Avidity? Has it gone through their systems already? Can we have the £267 and/or computer?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on June 07, 2011, 06:10:16 PM
The accounts are the forshortened ones for small companies Drone. They do not show any turnover so I suppose there was none or is money that comes in and then goes out not required to be shown? Surely they must show all incoming money? Does anyone know?

By the way on the "defunct" Get Signal site, some Twit has Twittered "Struggling to ease my way back to work after the climb!" It came via someones linekin account (or whatever) 3 hours ago. Could this be a message from the Mountains sent to this web-site by mistake? After all Rikki isn't too good at IT kit is he?

But then again, seeing as Rikki is no longer a Director of any companies, what work is he struggling to ease himself back into, running Swindon?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mart on June 07, 2011, 07:39:28 PM
There's a few people struggling to ease their way back to work.

£450k would considerably ease that struggle.

Think about it, had £450k off the taxpayer during an absolute shit of a recession and delivered sweet sod all for it, normal person's response would be to work their way to repayment or suffer nervous breakdown in the attempt.

Alternatively you could fail to climb a mountain.

Very cathartic I'm sure.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on June 08, 2011, 03:48:09 AM

Word.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on June 08, 2011, 06:34:36 AM
I'm curious - is it still possible to buy internet praccess through DC? And if so, who does the fitting, supplies the hard and software, and where is your money paid into?

Oh, and Mr Hunt's Twitter feed:

http://twitter.com/#!/RikkiHunt (http://twitter.com/#!/RikkiHunt)

He can't spell and he doesn't like unions.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on June 08, 2011, 08:47:26 AM
We'd need someone in Highworth to try to join DC, Drone, to find out what happens. My bet is that their e-mail will not get a reply. Anyone in Highworth a member of TS yet?

Interesting Mr Rikki Hunt's Twitter site. Lots of enthusiastic posts about DC and then the last time he ever mentioned DC was on 20th Apr 2010 when he said "Scrutiny last night approved the drawdown of funds to enable Digital City to move to stage two."
After that he seemed to loose interest. I wonder why?

As we are looking at accounts, and eagerly waiting for the accounts of Digital City and Aqovia to appear at Companies House I did some sums:

In the financial year 2009/10 SBC put £400,000 into DC's account (we think.) That was part of the £450,00 that they had pledged, in the Cabinet briefing Note of 12 October 2009, which represented 40% of the company. If aQovia put in the money for their 35% (which I very much doubt) that would have added £393,750 and Avidity Consulting's 25% would have added 281,250.(some chance)  A grand total of £1,125,000.

Now let's all sit back and wait for all the accounts to be published....remembering that the same cabinet briefing note above (para2.3) when talking about the Digital City Managing Director Mr Rikki Hunt said, "This will be a remunerated appointment....."

An interesting thing to see in the accounts of Avidity is that they have less than £300 in the bank. Surely less than one day's pay for an entrepreneur?


Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Chris Watts on June 08, 2011, 10:00:32 AM

As we are looking at accounts, and eagerly waiting for the accounts of Digital City and Aqovia to appear at Companies House I did some sums:

In the financial year 2009/10 SBC put £400,000 into DC's account (we think.) That was part of the £450,00 that they had pledged, in the Cabinet briefing Note of 12 October 2009, which represented 40% of the company. If aQovia put in the money for their 35% (which I very much doubt) that would have added £393,750 and Avidity Consulting's 25% would have added 281,250.(some chance)  A grand total of £1,125,000.



Because it was a loan it does not equate to share allocation. From memory, I think that it was 9 shares allocated in total with a nominal value.

As I was concerned that the only financial risk was with SBC I did ask as to the level of investment from other parties at scrutiny and was informed that this was commercially confidential. (They did state that the other parties had invested a "significant six figure sum".)

I would love to get a look at the books. I shall drop a line to Gavin Jones.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on June 08, 2011, 10:20:46 AM
It will be interesting to hear what Gavin Jones has to say Chris.

(Creative accounting: a minus number is a number.. a fact, according to those good at sums.
So a plus six figure sum from SBC = + £400,00 and a minus six figure sum from the other partiies = - £400,00,
+400,000
- 400,000
= 0.......  simples)

Perhaps you could ask Gavin Jones if the original commercial confidentiality of the SBC /other party agreement is still confidential and also if the 60 day commercial confidentiality agreement between SBC and "the new investor" in Digital City has now, after 84 days of confidentiality, expired?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 08, 2011, 01:37:56 PM
Do I feel a FOI request coming on?

Did Swindon Borough Council engage Avidity Consulting in any capacity and if so for what and what fees were involved?

Did Swindon Borough Council engage the services of Mr John Richard Hunt as a Consultant and if so for what and what fees were involved?

I cannot wait for Digital City's Accounts to be published and the longer we have to wait the longer the list of question relating to how £400k of public money was committed to what I always believed to be a deeply flawed concept.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on June 08, 2011, 05:26:22 PM
Is it merely flawed or something worse... there's a faintly corrupt aroma coming from the whole business.

I think once and for all we need to know the exact relationship between SBC, Digital City, Avidity, Aqovia and Mr Hunt. Who paid ho and for what services? Where did the money go and who has benefitted?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 08, 2011, 06:23:44 PM
Is it merely flawed or something worse... there's a faintly corrupt aroma coming from the whole business.

I think once and for all we need to know the exact relationship between SBC, Digital City, Avidity, Aqovia and Mr Hunt. Who paid ho and for what services? Where did the money go and who has benefitted?

Would you like to help me with my FOI Drone?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: boothill on June 08, 2011, 07:22:26 PM
Is it merely flawed or something worse... there's a faintly corrupt aroma coming from the whole business.

I think once and for all we need to know the exact relationship between SBC, Digital City, Avidity, Aqovia and Mr Hunt. Who paid ho and for what services? Where did the money go and who has benefitted?

Would you like to help me with my FOI Drone?


Richard   Give me a shout, and I'll do the necessary re the FOI, although I can't see the need for this, as let's face it, the money's gone and tracing it's route will NOT bring it back to the taxpayers of Swindon.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: ph1lc on June 08, 2011, 08:15:46 PM
Correct Boothill, the money is gone, but if it's gone where mostof us suspect a great chunk has then we cam chase the recient out of town.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: boothill on June 08, 2011, 08:55:18 PM
Correct Boothill, the money is gone, but if it's gone where mostof us suspect a great chunk has then we cam chase the recient out of town.

If you forgive me for asking ph1lc, just what good might it do to discover who had the taxpayers' money away, do you honestly believe that the UK Judicial system and their rules could in any way be applied to elected council leaders or their minions ?...dream on!

Oh , and in passing....where the h*ll is Monsewer Hunt , now that the fruitless search for the source of the Thames somewhere up Mount Proovitt has ended in disaster (yet again)

C'mon Tricky Ricky, pull up a sandbag and tell us a story, leave the lantern swinging to me   Ok ?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 09, 2011, 12:43:52 AM
I know the money is gone but what I seek is ACCOUNTABILITY so that this can NEVER happen again.

It was not so much a disgrace in the way it was conceived but the way which it was and is being handled.

As for anyone not taking an interest, I would not want to be in any of the protagonists shoes in the hope that someone, somewhere takes action on our behalf to prove once and for all that public servants and their associates cannot ever be cavalier in the use of public money ever again without being fully accountable for their actions.

I would not be holding these views if anyone involved had actually invested their own money in this ill conceived and inadequately thought through pRoject and they had always conducted business in a truthful and straightforward way.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on June 09, 2011, 06:36:04 AM
An intrinsic part of all projects is the review stage, regardless of the success of that project.

Sit back, look at the outcome, what worked, what didn't, what could be improved, what did we learn... it helps make future work more effective and saves you making the same mistakes or doing the same groundwork over and over again.

It's a concern that throughout the wifi project there has been inadequate reporting and now, after it's crashed and burnt, there's no genuine reflection, good or bad.

It would be bad enough if the scheme was a potential success that failed for reasons not in its managers control. However, the plan was so inherantly flawed and so worryingly handled, that some kind of post-mortem is essential.

Hence the need for members of the public to submit FOIs just to find out what the flip went on and show that amnesia is an unhelpful business skill.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Tobes on June 09, 2011, 01:31:23 PM
Did anyone catch the adver the other day?

Bob FM had issued an FOI askig for the 'partner' to be identified after the end of the 60 day NDA...

The response according to Bob?

...There is NO partner...

So, either they've pulled out, they're STILL negotiating or it was more puff, spin and wishful thinking from Comical Gary.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on June 09, 2011, 04:33:07 PM
No partner? So... just the council giving money to DC and then crossing its fingers?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Alex on June 09, 2011, 07:38:33 PM
So when does a  situation like this become fraud?  ???
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on June 09, 2011, 07:47:18 PM
To "become fraud" we need to get the police to investigate and my experience is that they will not get involved unless the organisation that thinks that it may have been de-frauded reports it to them.

i.e. SBC needs to call in the police. Something that they should have done ages ago instead of trying to defend an indefensible position. If they had called the police earlier then most people would have given the SBC players the benefit of the doubt and just thought that they were duped. It is very unlikely that people will be so charitable this far into this true Wi-Fiasco. :fence:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on June 10, 2011, 12:31:58 AM
Although usually loquacious, I not going to speculate on this at the moment. :)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on June 12, 2011, 04:40:45 PM
What cannot be denied is that the only official explanation offered as to where the £250,000 went is this one

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

Now, you can make of that what you will but let's consider that explanation against the alleged key risk associated in delaying further funding.

'that Digital City will not be in a position to progress full Borough coverage, meaning that the project is likely to stall and the original loan amount of £150,000 will be in jeopardy'

I said at the time and repeat it now, the premise that DC would or could ever deliver on its promises were based on so many 'unlikely' to occur events that it was doomed from the beginning.

One day someone will pay for their ineptitude
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on June 13, 2011, 06:13:26 AM
I watched the Enron documentary yesterday, so am in a particularly cynical mood. It all started to fall about once people asked what their basic business model was and where the money came from/went to.

So, it shouldn't be complex to ask what the £250,000 went on. Even if it was a feasibility study for Bathgate, it wpould have been something. As it is, it has just disappeared, and noone can or will give a single example of what it was spent on.

Which is rather odd.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: boothill on June 21, 2011, 08:25:16 PM
Although usually loquacious, I not going to speculate on this at the moment. :)

Thanks for that Geoff, but is there any accurate news re the WiFiasco and the missing tens of thousands ?

And furthermore, just where is Mr "climb every mountain" Hunt nowadays, not still runnin' up that hill or maybe his own ar*e ?

Let's have less of the legal jargon Geoff, and to use a catchphrase so loved by we Senior NCOs of the RAF Regiment.....Just give us the facts and we'll put our own bullsh*t in later !

Is not this despicable business now near the end of it's natural, or are the perpetrators of this ever so obvious co*k up hoping that the citizens of this town will forgive and forget ? And while I'm on a roll, just what's the news re the Mechanics ...do we forget all about that too ?
I am now seriously considering withholding my council tax payments from this date onward, until I can ascertain just how, and for what purposes, my past payments have been utilised, and on this matter I am deadly serious.

To put it in "everyman" speak Geoff, If I had used another person's funds to finance a hare brained/doomed to failure from the start venture and  underhandedly proceeded to implement it, blaming it's failure upon too strict a scrutiny process, I know where I'd be residing right now.

Facts not fantasy folks  (just for a change) eh ?

Bill

Rant over Geoff....you know my email if this topic is too hot to handle in these pages

Bill
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on June 22, 2011, 08:44:56 PM

Bill, you know that TS members have consistently delivered reliable WiFacts since the Wifi'asco started.

Some of us do 'know things', but now is not the time to make that knowledge public. 

I urge patience and discourage speculation in the expectation that future events will prove to be quite interesting......  :wink:


The time to demonstrate your outrage at the administration is at the ballot box, not in the dock at Swindon magistrates court.  Focus instead on which local dignitaries might one day stand in that box instead of you....
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on June 23, 2011, 08:52:05 AM
Wise words from Geoff, Bill. Don't get mad, get even; is my method.

I know that your "Rock Ape" training calls for IAs (Immediate Action) but hold back and watch the sparks fly.

(He's a Rock Ape Weebleman!)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Weebleman on June 23, 2011, 10:34:16 AM
Wise words from Geoff, Bill. Don't get mad, get even; is my method.

I know that your "Rock Ape" training calls for IAs (Immediate Action) but hold back and watch the sparks fly.

(He's a Rock Ape Weebleman!)

Weaned on "pink slices" and bromide..... a fine body of men and generally good to have on your side in a scrap. O0

Now then, when are these sparks due? The exposure concerning the misappropiation of my hard earned taxes is dragging on a bit and I'm spending far too much time lurking on here waiting for someone to light the fuse.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on June 23, 2011, 11:28:45 AM
Slowly, slowly, catchee monkee, Weeble.

We've got Dennis Grant, who ripped off Gloucestershire, Cotswold District, Swindon and Wiltshire Council taxpayers, the promise of a long prison sentence, when he next sees the judge on the 13th of July. His mates are bound to follow.

We need everyone who can, to bring pressure for the police to prosecute in the Wi-Fiasco.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: itspavagain on June 23, 2011, 11:41:16 AM
Isn't it ironic that the council are looking for private investment in the wi-fi scheme, yet we had private investment lined-up ready to re-develop the Mechanic's Institute and this was shunned by the council who now appear to be taking on the MI independently.

From the outside it almost looks as if the council don't have a clue what they're doing.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on June 23, 2011, 11:46:13 AM
Oh I forgot!

Today marks the 100th day that we are into the 60 days of the "Confidentiality Agreement" for the new Wi-Fi investor......according to the Perkinsian calendar.

So how long to fill a bath..........
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on June 23, 2011, 12:44:41 PM
I'm no mathemagician, but I think 100 is more than 60. Obviously the council use a similar target system to Forward Swindon.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on June 23, 2011, 05:13:57 PM
On May 15th the Swindon Advertiser lead with end in sight.  http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/local/9028524.Is_final_chapter_in_wi_fi____saga____near_/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/local/9028524.Is_final_chapter_in_wi_fi____saga____near_/)
Title: Re: Is The Final Chapter In The Wi-Fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: boothill on June 23, 2011, 10:39:46 PM
Thanks fellas, and any sp**t  ar**es that may have seen my previous posts on TSSSOs.(Talk Swindon Station Standing Orders) and maybe agreed with my views.

I'm glad to say that as of yet,  I haven't proffered a personal apology to Senor Bluh, who was apparently offended by my jocular insinuation (albeit in camera) that he may be, or has ever been, a member of Icesave's board of directors ! (might just have been a bit closer to the truth than Rodders was able to countenance at the time ?)

I still have this sneaking suspicion (however unfounded) that the Peeps of Swindon have in fact kissed their moolah bah bye , and that perhaps I and countless other observers of the interminable and convoluted "insider" dealings ever so apparent within the machinations of this "deal" will eventually tire of our quest for the TRUE explanations, and subsequent tumbril towing that surely would follow such underhand and suspect secret negotiations carried out on the behalf of the Tax paying Citizens of this town ?


Confused ?........I am,  and I guess you soon will be !

Bill
 

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 23, 2011, 11:29:51 PM
Awesome, does this mean the forum is giving up on the 250k and can move on to reclaiming the 103,000,000,000K that labour lost down the back of the sofa?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 23, 2011, 11:56:09 PM
By the way, I am actually really very serious about the above, isnt it time to let this go?

According to my calculation Roderick spend 0.06% of one years budget trying to do something cool for the town of Swindon, unfortunately it suffers technical / planning mistakes and it goes wrong.

What I dont understand is the total hypocrisy on these forums, the majority of the forums says:

Swindon is soulless.
Swindon has no culture.
Swindon is utterly bland and forgettable.

(Your words not mine, go read the forums)

And so Roderick being a media savvy bloke if not the best technician in the world thinks "Hey this Radio 1 thing went really well, maybe we can stay ahead of the curve by offering a Town wide Wi-fi" and again it goes wrong.

But he tried.

So here we are reaching the final analysis:

0.06% of the council budget pissed against the wall, was it worth it? In my opinion yes, for £250 of the £441,000,000 on a one year roll of the dice it was an acceptable risk. If it had worked the media attention alone would have been worth  the money.

But it didnt.

Now, are you going to put "your money where your mouth is" and accept the man tried to inject some culture / pizzaz / future , which is what the majority of posts on the forums suggest you so desperately want Swindon to have, or are you going to continue to batter ever person who tries something new?

Because if this really is about money, then dont we have slightly bigger fish to fry?




Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 24, 2011, 12:15:07 AM
Slowly, slowly, catchee monkee, Weeble.

We've got Dennis Grant, who ripped off Gloucestershire, Cotswold District, Swindon and Wiltshire Council taxpayers, the promise of a long prison sentence, when he next sees the judge on the 13th of July. His mates are bound to follow.

We need everyone who can, to bring pressure for the police to prosecute in the Wi-Fiasco.

Yup no problem.

Prior to me trotting off down the station please list:

The nature of the crime you wish me report. Please be specific in your accusation.

The evidence you have to substantiate your allegation.

The date at which you saw the offense take place, or have evidence that the offense you are alleging took place.

Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on June 24, 2011, 08:25:14 AM
Quote
Because if this really is about money, then dont we have slightly bigger fish to fry

It's never always about the money.  Issues which grip the people do not generally involve millions or billions, if that were the case then Governments would fall on a daily basis and the courts would be operating conveyor belt justice as politicians explain their actions (gold sell off, the ERM etc)

The Wi-Fi saga is about much more than £400k or £250k - it's about transparency, protocol, behaviour and in some respects 'integrity' which in this context should not neccessarily be mis-read as honesty.

Abandoning the Wi-Fi issue would be wrong as it would signal to the political elite that they have carte blanche to do as they like, when they like and how they like.  They would welcome 'no scrutiny' and positively delight in the capability to indulge their whims and fancies on the basis that 'they tried to do something for the community'. 

By the way Coun Bluh wasn't elected to do somehting 'cool' for the town so that's no excuse for spending £400k on a project which had no legs from the start.

As for putting Swindon 'on the map' - I have heard this cry so many times that it is now quite an insutling phrase which presumes that Swindon is absent in the psyche of the commerical world.  Swindon is alive and well and thought well of and when the corner is turned in the economic world we currently live in, I am sure Swindon will get its fair share of interest.

Coun Bluh makes much of the interest in the Wi-Fi from Australia, China and elsewhere.  That interest did not generate a single pound of 'investment' into Digitla City nor has any compnay decamped to swindon to see how things should be done, this despite Coun Bluh claiming many councils wanted to follow Swindon's example.

There are still lots of unsanswered questions and until the adminsistration has naswered the they should not be surprised that some of us will continue to 'harry' them
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on June 24, 2011, 08:37:35 AM
Is it only me, or does the case put for Roderick sound more like mitigation than denial?  :2funny:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Tobes on June 24, 2011, 09:10:37 AM
 :clap:

Well done Des.

Your post expresses pretty much everything I feel about the issue and clarifies the attempts to excuse the cabinet's arrogance over WiFi as ridiculously facile.  (the desperation they reveal actually magnifies the reasons why it has become such a cause celebre.)

If AT ANY TIME the cabinet or Bluh had the integrity to hold up their hands and admit that they'd made an honest mistake with both the concept and the discredited 'tendering' process, they might have come out of this with some credibility intact. Why are you trying to do it for them so long after the event, Mr Ears? Instead we got denial and accusation from them that having the temerity to ask open and honest questions regarding the deal was the reason for its failure!

The fact that Comical Gary STILL pops up announcing 'imminent' announcements (latest is what? Four weeks and counting?) shows that they're still hiding from the reality of the FUBAR situation which was entirely of their own creation.

Attempting to act as an appologist for them is... frankly laughable  ;D

You're always more than welcome to express an opinion IAE - but try and keep your posts serious!  :2funny:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on June 24, 2011, 09:29:53 AM
Quote
If it had worked the media attention alone would have been worth  the money.


Does a mention in 3 editions of Private Eye count as 'worthwhile'?

Can you show 3 positive news articles in which Swindon is lauded for achieving Wi-Fi as opposed to talking about 'hwat they were going to do'?

Finally, can you tell me how Mr Hunt can ever again be taken seriously as a 'business guru'


Oh and by the way wasn't it Mrs F who complained that money meant for business development was inappropriately spent on Coun Bluh's BBC radio 1 pop concert - which may have 'gone well' (all depends on your musical tastes and whether you think there is lasting benefit/legacy from such events)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Tobes on June 24, 2011, 09:39:18 AM
Quote
What I dont understand is the total hypocrisy on these forums,

?

Quote
And so Roderick being a media savvy bloke if not the best technician in the world thinks "Hey this Radio 1 thing went really well, maybe we can stay ahead of the curve by offering a Town wide Wi-fi" and again it goes wrong. But he tried.

!

Quote
Mrs F who complained that money meant for business development was inappropriately spent on Coun Bluh's BBC radio 1 pop concert

Can there be a worse hypocrisy than to be hypocritical about someone elses supposed hypocrisy?! Unless of course you agree the Big Weak-Spend was another example of Bluh's dodgy business accumen with tax payer's money? All of the counter arguments you've tried to use to excuse him over WiFi might just as easily apply to the Big Weak-Spend...
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on June 24, 2011, 10:58:39 AM
Quote
But he tried.

Diddums.


You aren't elected as leader of the council to Try, you are there to listen and deliver.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 24, 2011, 11:16:00 AM
Quote
If it had worked the media attention alone would have been worth  the money.


Does a mention in 3 editions of Private Eye count as 'worthwhile'?

Can you show 3 positive news articles in which Swindon is lauded for achieving Wi-Fi as opposed to talking about 'hwat they were going to do'?

Finally, can you tell me how Mr Hunt can ever again be taken seriously as a 'business guru'


Oh and by the way wasn't it Mrs F who complained that money meant for business development was inappropriately spent on Coun Bluh's BBC radio 1 pop concert - which may have 'gone well' (all depends on your musical tastes and whether you think there is lasting benefit/legacy from such events)

"Mrs F who complained that money meant for business development was inappropriately spent on Coun Bluh's BBC radio 1 pop concert"


And?

I will again and for the last time explain my position.

In our household we respect freedom of expression, she has hers, I have mine. Its the 21st century.

Your welcome to join us, but you are making yourself look laughable if you think anybody under the age of 40 suffers the borish groupthink displayed on these forums.

I am not sure why you allude to feel threatened if a family member / friend / dog did not agree with you, but I celebrate mine and Emma's difference in opinions.

I thought the Radio 1 big weekend was awesome. So did everyone else I know with a pulse.

It was also correct for Emma to highlight that money could have been taken from another budget. You can have two mutual but opposing thoughts regarding an event if you allow yourself, its not too scary I promise.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 24, 2011, 11:25:03 AM
"Can you show 3 positive news articles in which Swindon is lauded for achieving Wi-Fi as opposed to talking about 'hwat they were going to do'?"

I will show you three articles that showed excitement about what could have been and may still be:

http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article6920142.ece (http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article6920142.ece)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wiltshire/8415981.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wiltshire/8415981.stm)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1228506/WiFi-town-Swindon-offer-free-wireless-internet-access-all.html (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1228506/WiFi-town-Swindon-offer-free-wireless-internet-access-all.html)

Again, I know this will be painfully black and white and actually factual so will be immediately dismissed as painfully truthful and thus banished from the forums, but I personally think that considerable PR capital could have come from that stone if it was allowed to keep rolling.

Can you for one moment attempt to peek into the alternative universe in which people continue to support the concept and the tiny, fractional cost of the Swindon budget the project requires and imagine if it had of worked, would that not have made you excited? Was it not some of the culture you bemoan we lack? Would it not have bought us both national and international attention?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: 20Eyes on June 24, 2011, 11:55:29 AM
I thought the Radio 1 big weekend was awesome. So did everyone else I know with a pulse.

It was awesome. I went both days and on each occasion I have never seen such a large gathering of people in Swindon who actually had smiles on their faces. It was an amazing event and exceptionally well run, given that nothing similar had ever been attempted here before. OK, the legacy may not have been explicit to everyone, but within the local music scene it did have a lasting impact that still has some level of influence even now.

The only people I know who had a downer about it were those who didn't manage to secure tickets or who would never have been interested in it in the first place.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on June 24, 2011, 03:18:35 PM
Quote
Your welcome to join us, but you are making yourself look laughable if you think anybody under the age of 40 suffers the borish groupthink displayed on these forums.


Dude. I'm under 30.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: MsD Meanor on June 24, 2011, 04:30:40 PM
 IAE says"I am not sure why you allude to feel threatened if a family member / friend / dog did not agree with you, but I celebrate mine and Emma's difference in opinions."

What's that got to do with anything?

The whole point of the issue was that when dealing with public money ( OUR money) it should be spent in an accountable way and there are processes to make sure this happens- the EU legislation is one of them. Most people who are professionals on this forum know this even if you are unaware of it.

This means it should have been an open tender to companies who had a good reputation in delivering exactly what they have experience in. Not a friend's start up with no experience at all in this field.

Hiding behind the word "investment" instead of procurement when asked to explain themselves is, frankly, dishonest and as such this is fraud imho.

 We pay taxes to keep the vulnerable safe not to set up friends who meet and agree deals in a completely untransparent way.

Stop defending the indefensible.  :argh:

 



Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 24, 2011, 06:59:22 PM
I agree, these projects should be put out to tender, in fact I am a very strong advocate of the Swindon "Keep Trade Local" commitment and try to implement it in my own company where ever possible. I am disappointed the contract was not put out and I hope should the time come it will be.

I do not for a moment regard the process fraudulent however, and such public declaration is tenuous at best.

Also you are also completely misrepresenting my position, I have never claimed for a moment the project was:

Planned well.
Practical in implementation.
Fiscally sound.

Because it was not.

The point I am making is, this forum is full of hypocrites who deride the Council for failure to innovate, provide culture or think "outside the box" (again your words not mine) and yet when someone attempts a truly revolutionary project he is utterly derided.

He tried, he failed. But I respect him for trying.

Or would you rather the 250k went in the pot to bail out the bankers?

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: ph1lc on June 24, 2011, 07:27:22 PM
Sorry I'm all ears - no you can't respect him for trying.
If the project had been well planned, fiscally sound and practical in implementation and yet still failed then I could take your point. As you say it wasn't, which makes it's promoters foolish to say the least.

The blame doesn't all lie with Rod and Rikki however. The directors and officers who managed to get it approved must take their share of the blame.

Indeed the Director of finance should be fired - how can a finance professional let such an under capitalised project with such a ridiculously optimistic business plan get through without screaming from the rooftops beggars belief.

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on June 24, 2011, 07:49:34 PM
Quote
Your welcome to join us, but you are making yourself look laughable if you think anybody under the age of 40 suffers the borish groupthink displayed on these forums.

What - so anyone over 40 is borish?

Quote
I am not sure why you allude to feel threatened if a family member / friend / dog did not agree with you, but I celebrate mine and Emma's difference in opinions.

Of one thing I can assure you - i would never feel threatened by anyone who didn't agree with me - as to my posting given such an 'allusion' I sugest you are reading more into words than actually appear.

Quote
I thought the Radio 1 big weekend was awesome. So did everyone else I know with a pulse.


Good on you. I'm glad you enjoyed it only sorry that once again you choose to suggest that anyone who didn't is 'dead'
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on June 24, 2011, 07:56:00 PM
Quote
Again, I know this will be painfully black and white and actually factual so will be immediately dismissed as painfully truthful and thus banished from the forums, but I personally think that considerable PR capital could have come from that stone if it was allowed to keep rolling

Oh please don't peddle the untruth that the stone stopped rolling because of some scrutiny by a few people like me. You give us far too much credit.

The Wi-Fi project stopped at the point it was launched. However, despite failing to achieve its modest sales targets in Highworth the Council gave a further £250k to DC in order to ensure the rollout continued. In the words of Mr Hunt - it was all systems go - except there were no systems to go.  Within 6 weeks of having received the £250k  DC were rowing back on their rollout promises and by October there was not enough money in the kitty to pay the £1,000 per month interest on the £400k loan.

Considerable PR capital was not what the Wi-Fi project promised and PR Capital was not in the original business proposition.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Tobes on June 24, 2011, 07:57:16 PM
Quote
I thought the Radio 1 big weekend was awesome. So did everyone else I know with a pulse.

Hey Daddyo, you so DOWN an' cool an' hip yeah dudster? FRESH! Yeah dude!  ))))

(Just as a reality check, Radio 1 is about the least credible source of new, interesting or exciting music that there is... but as a nippy hip young frood, you already knew that, right?)

That aside, I'm glad you had a fabby ol' time with the people you knew 'with a pulse' (...presumably merely dead from the neck up then? People who don't like a parade of Radio 1s endorsed artists are just so whack man!) - as you were one of the lucky ones to win in a lottery of tickets which the rest of us paid for  - TWICE over, as it goes (unless you were in receipt of a ViP ticket?)

Because that's the reality: The people who didn't get to go still paid for those that did - once through the license fee, and once through the dough which ought to have been spent elsewhere through SBC.

Oh, and just remember that only half the tickets went to Swindon residents. The other half of the subsidy which we paid (without being asked) was for tickets for people outside of Swindon. You know, the ones who supposedly came to enjoy the sights and sounds of Swindon's renowned ice-cool and hip night life and culture and were laughably supposed to have brought ££££s into the local economy (but who could not be found anywhere in town after the event, having hopped onto the nearest coach or train to get back to somewhere else)

But I'm glad you had a nice time - because that's important, isn't it? Such a worthwhile investment of limited public money! What a shame the same couldn't be said for the local businesses who ought to have benefited through the cash SBC spunked away - or for that matter, the local traders who didn't even get a look in thanks to the BBC having already allocated the slots to 'favoured' businesses who came from outside the area.

It makes your words...

Quote
I agree, these projects should be put out to tender, in fact I am a very strong advocate of the Swindon "Keep Trade Local" commitment and try to implement it in my own company where ever possible.

... all the more ironic.

The Big WeakSpend makes a perfect accompaniment to the WiFiasco as it represents OUR money being spent unwisely because someone was too busy chasing a headline than dealing with the reality. It also shows someone who exhibits very poor negotiation skills when dealing with commercial entities... NOT the sort of person you might want in charge of a council budget when convincing sounding 'businessmen' court their cash, perhaps...?

Quote
Sorry I'm all ears - no you can't respect him for trying. If the project had been well planned, fiscally sound and practical in implementation and yet still failed then I could take your point. As you say it wasn't, which makes it's promoters foolish to say the least.

Spot on - as is
Quote
Stop defending the indefensible.

So, when are you thinking of standing as a conservative councillor then?  :wink:

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on June 24, 2011, 08:05:41 PM
Quote
I will show you three articles that showed excitement about what could have been and may still be:

Very interesting but i didn't ask for proof of a proposition, I asked

Quote
Can you show 3 positive news articles in which Swindon is lauded for achieving Wi-Fi as opposed to talking about 'what they were going to do'?

I think your direction to articles which demonstrated the latter confirm my view that there are none.

I admire your belief in the 'may be' concept of local government politics. Incidentally all your posts tend to the view that people like me never wanted a successful Wi-Fi implementation.  Such a belief would be so far off the mark.  I have the emails  between myself, Councillors and Mr Hunt which quite clearly show that i supported the principle but was unable to see the business logic (£700k net profit after 2 years - that should/would have attracted more investors than Mr Hunt could have coped with) nor could I subscribe to the timeline for implementation (6 months to cover the whole borough - in the words of Coun Bluh from Barbury to Inglesham - it was an impossible target) and finally an unproven team with serious issues (no experience within the industry and no proven project experience).
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on June 24, 2011, 08:29:46 PM
Quote
when someone attempts a truly revolutionary project he is utterly derided.

No IAE Coun Bluh was not derided for trying something different - he was and indeed is derided for doing something which was badly conceived, ill thought out and disasterously implemented.  Despite being advised of the issues.

For goodness sake he ignored his own officers who made it clear that certain business practises were fundamental to the success of the project - were they implemented - no they were not.

Targets were ignored, basic commercial principles were set aside to cover up the deficencies apparent in DC's business operation.

Even having a representative on the board was of limited value and let's be very scathing here - he didn't even know the company was not able to pay its interest payments to the Council.  I suggest that such basic financial knowledge is the first duty of a director.

Coun Bluh had ample opportunity to 'cut his losses' instead he chose to take a flyer - please don't expect people to congratulate him for failure.  Let me remind you of his words "Digital City will provide the Council with a unique funding stream and it is our intention to use our expertise to help other local authorities foollow our lead"

You really cannot expect people to take Coun Bluh seriously when DC has simply failed to deliver any single objective set by the Council and worse the very justication for doing the deal is not achieved.  You can't ask people to offer therir congratulations to Coun Bluh for attempting a project which had zero chance of success and worse he was advised as such but chose to ignore the advise. A trait common to 'strong leaders'

Oh and by the way - there was never ever anything revolutionary about the Wi-Fi project, in fact let me quote from the press release issued by SBC "Sadly the city Wi-Fi hype died out a few years ago with scant examples of any sustainable networks" and this quote was intended to support and promote the scheme!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Simon on June 24, 2011, 08:30:35 PM
(Just as a reality check, Radio 1 is about the least credible source of new, interesting or exciting music that there is... but as a nippy hip young frood, you already knew that, right?)

I thought that title was held by GWR Heart FM? Have they seriously upped their game or have Radio 1 seriously declined in the 10 or so years since I stopped listening to music radio regularly?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Simon on June 24, 2011, 08:35:34 PM
Quote
Your welcome to join us, but you are making yourself look laughable if you think anybody under the age of 40 suffers the borish groupthink displayed on these forums.


Dude. I'm under 30.

At the tender age of 36 I'm still a regular reader here (even if I'm not posting much at the moment) and I don't see much in the way of groupthink. I see people agreeing and disagreeing, and I see people changing their views on various subjects and other people disagreeing with them. Such is the way of things on discussion forums. I don't think there's anything wrong here  :)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 24, 2011, 08:59:12 PM
Quote
I thought the Radio 1 big weekend was awesome. So did everyone else I know with a pulse.

Hey Daddyo, you so DOWN an' cool an' hip yeah dudster? FRESH! Yeah dude!  ))))

(Just as a reality check, Radio 1 is about the least credible source of new, interesting or exciting music that there is... but as a nippy hip young frood, you already knew that, right?)

That aside, I'm glad you had a fabby ol' time with the people you knew 'with a pulse' (...presumably merely dead from the neck up then? People who don't like a parade of Radio 1s endorsed artists are just so whack man!) - as you were one of the lucky ones to win in a lottery of tickets which the rest of us paid for  - TWICE over, as it goes (unless you were in receipt of a ViP ticket?)

Because that's the reality: The people who didn't get to go still paid for those that did - once through the license fee, and once through the dough which ought to have been spent elsewhere through SBC.

Oh, and just remember that only half the tickets went to Swindon residents. The other half of the subsidy which we paid (without being asked) was for tickets for people outside of Swindon. You know, the ones who supposedly came to enjoy the sights and sounds of Swindon's renowned ice-cool and hip night life and culture and were laughably supposed to have brought ££££s into the local economy (but who could not be found anywhere in town after the event, having hopped onto the nearest coach or train to get back to somewhere else)

But I'm glad you had a nice time - because that's important, isn't it? Such a worthwhile investment of limited public money! What a shame the same couldn't be said for the local businesses who ought to have benefited through the cash SBC spunked away - or for that matter, the local traders who didn't even get a look in thanks to the BBC having already allocated the slots to 'favoured' businesses who came from outside the area.

It makes your words...

Quote
I agree, these projects should be put out to tender, in fact I am a very strong advocate of the Swindon "Keep Trade Local" commitment and try to implement it in my own company where ever possible.

... all the more ironic.

The Big WeakSpend makes a perfect accompaniment to the WiFiasco as it represents OUR money being spent unwisely because someone was too busy chasing a headline than dealing with the reality. It also shows someone who exhibits very poor negotiation skills when dealing with commercial entities... NOT the sort of person you might want in charge of a council budget when convincing sounding 'businessmen' court their cash, perhaps...?

Quote
Sorry I'm all ears - no you can't respect him for trying. If the project had been well planned, fiscally sound and practical in implementation and yet still failed then I could take your point. As you say it wasn't, which makes it's promoters foolish to say the least.

Spot on - as is
Quote
Stop defending the indefensible.

So, when are you thinking of standing as a conservative councillor then?  :wink:

Finished now?

1: I said it was awesome, I did not say I attended. But congratulations on publicly documenting your ability to make wild accusations and then attempt to mock someone without having gathered a single fact, you look really.....stylish now.

2: Regarding the "daddyo" spew. How old are you? 12? You know nothing about me, the music I listen to or any musical events I may or may not attend. I do however know that everyone I spoke to who attending the sets said a good time was had by all and therefore in my book it was awesome.

Actually I had a 3rd , 4th and 5th point, but reading your post again I realized anything but a response to your rant would be a better use of my time.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 24, 2011, 09:09:44 PM
Quote
when someone attempts a truly revolutionary project he is utterly derided.

No IAE Coun Bluh was not derided for trying something different - he was and indeed is derided for doing something which was badly conceived, ill thought out and disasterously implemented.  Despite being advised of the issues.

For goodness sake he ignored his own officers who made it clear that certain business practises were fundamental to the success of the project - were they implemented - no they were not.

Targets were ignored, basic commercial principles were set aside to cover up the deficencies apparent in DC's business operation.

Even having a representative on the board was of limited value and let's be very scathing here - he didn't even know the company was not able to pay its interest payments to the Council.  I suggest that such basic financial knowledge is the first duty of a director.

Coun Bluh had ample opportunity to 'cut his losses' instead he chose to take a flyer - please don't expect people to congratulate him for failure.  Let me remind you of his words "Digital City will provide the Council with a unique funding stream and it is our intention to use our expertise to help other local authorities foollow our lead"

You really cannot expect people to take Coun Bluh seriously when DC has simply failed to deliver any single objective set by the Council and worse the very justication for doing the deal is not achieved.  You can't ask people to offer therir congratulations to Coun Bluh for attempting a project which had zero chance of success and worse he was advised as such but chose to ignore the advise. A trait common to 'strong leaders'

Oh and by the way - there was never ever anything revolutionary about the Wi-Fi project, in fact let me quote from the press release issued by SBC "Sadly the city Wi-Fi hype died out a few years ago with scant examples of any sustainable networks" and this quote was intended to support and promote the scheme!

I have said I agree with your points in terms of planning, finance and deployment. I was vocal at the time and I do not retract anything I said.

I do not think any thanks are in order. However, the response to the project failure is not proportionate. Howls of "bluhligan" "fraud" and "string him up" lower the tone of what should be an objective review of the project and it weaknesses.

If you truly believe in the principle of the concept (as I do) then you will make a difference by pursuing the questions that matter:

1: What went wrong?
2: Can it go right?
3: Do we continue?

Anything else is just fluff.

I also think its important to revisit my key point:

We as a town can either:

1: Tell our council to take risks, celebrate when they pay off, and consolidate and support when they fail.

OR

2: Continue with the message this forum sends to people in these position "If you gamble and fail we will never let you forget, so dont take the risk in the first place"

Choose.

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on June 24, 2011, 10:23:07 PM
I am sorry but it's not quite that simple.

Quote
1: What went wrong? 2: Can it go right? 3: Do we continue?

You missed out 'Why did it go wrong?' and this coupled with your 1 is proving too damn difficult for councillors to answer, indeed i would proffer the view that the adminstration is in denial that 'anything went wrong' and have sought to attribute blame for the failyres of DC on other issues which can quite clealry be shown to have had absolutely no effect on why the continued roll out did not occur.

With regard to your 2 and 3 - I would have thought the answers self apparent. With regard to 2 - No it can't go right - simply because the plan is riddled with a fault line which will not allow it to function in the manner originally conceived. 

As for 3.  I am sure that there is a general wish to see Broadband made available to as many people as possible. BT, Virgin, Sky et al are working their sox off and spending millions on developing improved Broadband, the result will be that a Wi-Fi project as envisaged under the Rikki Hunt business plan will be of little if any commercial value.

On another tack, you speak of 'risk' - and whether it should be supported. In essence most people recognise that the Council cannot be risk averse, however, those of us who have been involved in business at relatively senior levels recognise 'foolish risk' as opposed 'calculated risk' and frankly the integrity of the risk assessment undertaken on DC's original business plan and the forward business plan appear to leave much to be desired.

Finally, if you claim something was 'awesome' to the point that you say with confidence "I thought the radio 1 weekend was awesome' and state that 'so did others' it is perfectly legitimate of a reader to make the assumption that you experienced the event in order to attribute such a word. I am not sure how you could claim an event you didn't attend to be 'awesome' - much better to have said "i was told it was awesome' - samml point to ponder??
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on June 24, 2011, 10:25:09 PM
Quote
OR

2: Continue with the message this forum sends to people in these position "If you gamble and fail we will never let you forget, so dont take the risk in the first place

I am told that those who make the decisions don't read this forum - sad but true.

Hey ho - funny old world
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Tea Boy on June 24, 2011, 11:05:22 PM
But they were gambling with public money , not a banks or individuals or even there own

Since when has SBC been run like a particularly crap edition of the apprentice (or more like only fools and horses)

I see every thing to condemn from ideology to buisness acumen
 :bash:
J
Where's the money that should have supported services, gone on Rod and co playing at investment bankers!

A fool and his, sorry OUR, money are easily parted
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Tobes on June 24, 2011, 11:48:47 PM
I'm all Ears...

A shame they're deaf... with not much between them.

Quote
How old are you? 12?

12? I thought we were all over 40!? Make up your mind - no need to leave a section of the demographic un-patronised or insulted, is there?!

  ;D

Quote
We as a town can either:

1: Tell our council to take risks, celebrate when they pay off, and consolidate and support when they fail.

OR

2: Continue with the message this forum sends to people in these position "If you gamble and fail we will never let you forget, so dont take the risk in the first place"

Choose.

What an immature and false piece of logic you've just tried to pass off as 'a choice' (especially as we the electorate were never actually asked and the key decisions were all taken in needless secrecy, meaning they weren't even subject to the scrutiny of our elected representatives). When our council makes mistakes, we expect a modicum of honesty, respect and humility. We got none of them - in fact we got accusation and excuse that having the temerity to ask had created the failure (when we got any begrudging answers at all - which we had to fight for). And its still ongoing - WHO HAS SIGNED GARY'S 'IMMINENT' (4 week old) ANNOUNCEMENT OF A DEAL? 

If a council takes risks (which is NOT their remit anyway) we would at least expect them to be considered, measured and based on an intelligent understanding of the issues and challenges at hand.... Ooopsie!

A council earns respect. This debacle earns them derision and contempt. Entirely fairly. But don't take this forum's opinion for it - go and speak to people around Swindon.

If you don't think people have a right to be upset and critical at an utterly wasted half million quid at a time of financial stricture and massively overblown promises then you're a *tad* out of touch. If you want to align yourself with such a discredited interpretation of the role of local politics, carry on as you are. (You didn't deny you'd be standing as a conservative councillor... ?)

PS. If you describe something as 'awesome' and patronisingly imply that anyone who didn't agree 'doesn't have a pulse', and you weren't even there yourself you can expect to be ridiculed. (though frankly, I don't feel the need to labour the point anymore, you're making my efforts rather obsolete)  :coolsmiley:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: I Could Do That on June 25, 2011, 12:19:16 AM
I'm All Ears, you claim the Big Weekend was awesome?.........
But you didn't attend?......  :idiot2:

Simon, unfortunately yes the decline in Radio One, as a cutting edge music portal, in the past 10 years is pretty prominent.
Pretty much the same playlist, played on a loop, whilst certain presenters spout verbil diahorea for hours.

Other subtle examples. Whilst something like The Mavericks' Dance The Night Away might not be to evryone's taste, it was widely accepted across a broad spectrum of listeners from night clubs to line dancers, but it was first played on Radio 2 by Terry Wogan.
Same for Imelda May (long before she appeared on Jools Holland) and a few other artistes that could
have made a big influence on 'new sounds'

Even 80's FM seems to have a wider playlist and a better presentation than radio 1


(Now that I've written this, 20 will be trying to guess my age again)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 25, 2011, 03:16:43 AM
*blink*

I consider the surface of the sun to be awesome.

I consider the event horizon of a black hole to be awesome.

I consider the depths of oceanic trench to be awesome.

I have been to none of them.

http://www.learn-english-online.org/ (http://www.learn-english-online.org/) Enjoy.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 25, 2011, 03:39:19 AM
"A council earns respect. This debacle earns them derision and contempt. Entirely fairly. But don't take this forum's opinion for it - go and speak to people around Swindon."

I do.

I also look at the election results.

It seems the leaders of the council do have a mandate from the people of Swindon, by a large margin. Please provide figures if you feel otherwise.

"(You didn't deny you'd be standing as a conservative councillor... ?)"

I have absolutely zero clue what you are wittering about, I accept I am only briefly glancing over your dribble now, but really, what are you talking about?

Des, as you are the only person posting that seems genuinely interesting in the topic at hand, the rest of this post is for you:

Delivery of broadband is distinct from a town wide traversable wifi mesh in that one requires you to commonly teether to some kind of media and one allows you to move freely around the town. To my knowledge other than satellite delivery none of the big players are attempting "municipal wifi" in any serious way and so in that sense the project remains mostly unique in the UK.

The commercial aspect of the project does not remain a priority to me, I felt the system could have been an important technological milestone for Swindon, if the Council in turn monetized the project that would be an added bonus.

Risk assessments typically being with some kind of reference to previous examples of the work being undertaken, in this instance no such thing exists, and the plan presumably reflected that fact.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: MsD Meanor on June 25, 2011, 07:16:41 AM
"A council earns respect. This debacle earns them derision and contempt. Entirely fairly. But don't take this forum's opinion for it - go and speak to people around Swindon."

I do.

I also look at the election results.

It seems the leaders of the council do have a mandate from the people of Swindon, by a large margin. Please provide figures if you feel otherwise.

"(You didn't deny you'd be standing as a conservative councillor... ?)"

I have absolutely zero clue what you are wittering about, I accept I am only briefly glancing over your dribble now, but really, what are you talking about?

Des, as you are the only person posting that seems genuinely interesting in the topic at hand, the rest of this post is for you:

Delivery of broadband is distinct from a town wide traversable wifi mesh in that one requires you to commonly teether to some kind of media and one allows you to move freely around the town. To my knowledge other than satellite delivery none of the big players are attempting "municipal wifi" in any serious way and so in that sense the project remains mostly unique in the UK.

The commercial aspect of the project does not remain a priority to me, I felt the system could have been an important technological milestone for Swindon, if the Council in turn monetized the project that would be an added bonus.

Risk assessments typically being with some kind of reference to previous examples of the work being undertaken, in this instance no such thing exists, and the plan presumably reflected that fact.

 >:D
You are clearly not  "all ears" you are "all mouth"
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: I Could Do That on June 25, 2011, 08:02:54 AM
*blink*

I consider the surface of the sun to be awesome.

I consider the event horizon of a black hole to be awesome.

I consider the depths of oceanic trench to be awesome.

I have been to none of them.

[url]http://www.learn-english-online.org/[/url] ([url]http://www.learn-english-online.org/[/url])

Enjoy.



Hmmmm.......?


I thought I was speakins ah the gooda ze Inglis.

As you replied to my comment, I guess we're
speaking the same language (whatever it is)

I don't think that blackholes, vast oceans, and all of life emanating from the Sun is really a comparison for the back hole that is radio 1.

Also, my money has not been directly squandered
on the ocean or the sun yet they have been supplied free to all, on a somewhat larger scale than the free WiFi.

I won't be studying English any day soon. Everyone else seems to find me coherent.
How many ears do you have? I don't think they are working properly.  ;D
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on June 25, 2011, 08:27:01 AM
Quote
Risk assessments typically being with some kind of reference to previous examples of the work being undertaken, in this instance no such thing exists, and the plan presumably reflected that fact.

But it did and still does exist - albeit in a smaller format (ie the only difference which made DC's Wi-Fi 'different' was the geograhical scope of the project) and it was this single feature, which coun Bluh admitted in written correspondence to me, was the unique part of the deal. It was also a 'ball' breaker as DC did not have the skills, funding, sales team or backroom support to ensure its success - even if it had been logistically possible. (I think we have proved incapabilty so I am happy to move on)

Norwich trialled Wi-Fi and it failed. I advsied DC and SBC of this and even pointed out one of the principle reasons for failure - lamp post issues - guess what Rikki Hunt said part of the reason Highworth was not a success was because of lamp post issues. Why did he not speak to Norwich and seek their advice? 

Cardiff 2003, Birmingham 2006 and Preston 2004 have all got a Wi-Fi mesh covering significant areas of the City. Their model has been sustainable and in truth Rikki Hunt and even Coun Perkins have had to admit they made the wrong choice in choosing Highworth as the trial.  Again there is clear proof that DC wanted to do the town centre firts as this was the potential 'money spinner' - I have no issues with taht as a fact but it still begs the question why not do it with a recognised partner.

I am grateful that you have acknowledged my genuine interest in this and other issues to be non-partisan (I support no political party in particualr) but i do like to see things done openly and honestly and i do like the debate which attaches to subjects such as Wi-Fi and the mechanics
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: A Mole on June 25, 2011, 11:11:42 AM

Delivery of broadband is distinct from a town wide traversable wifi mesh in that one requires you to commonly teether to some kind of media and one allows you to move freely around the town. To my knowledge other than satellite delivery none of the big players are attempting "municipal wifi" in any serious way and so in that sense the project remains mostly unique in the UK.

You remind me of 20Eyes...in so many ways... 
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Tobes on June 25, 2011, 11:44:01 AM
Quote
"(You didn't deny you'd be standing as a conservative councillor... ?)"

I have absolutely zero clue what you are wittering about, I accept I am only briefly glancing over your dribble now, but really, what are you talking about?


... In ability to understand a basic question = check
... Lack of empathy or understanding of the concerns of others = check
... Resort to GCSE use of rhetoric to avoid an issue = check
... Use of irrelevant comparison to attempt to prove a point = check
... Insistence on defending a long since discredited position

SO - what ward are they going to stand you in then?

 :fish:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on June 25, 2011, 11:46:28 AM

Delivery of broadband is distinct from a town wide traversable wifi mesh in that one requires you to commonly teether to some kind of media and one allows you to move freely around the town. To my knowledge other than satellite delivery none of the big players are attempting "municipal wifi" in any serious way and so in that sense the project remains mostly unique in the UK.

You remind me of 20Eyes...in so many ways...

20Eyes has a funnier profile pic.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Alex on June 25, 2011, 01:31:38 PM

Delivery of broadband is distinct from a town wide traversable wifi mesh in that one requires you to commonly teether to some kind of media and one allows you to move freely around the town. To my knowledge other than satellite delivery none of the big players are attempting "municipal wifi" in any serious way and so in that sense the project remains mostly unique in the UK.

You remind me of 20Eyes...in so many ways... 

You read my mind Mole!
So many sensory faculties but not really using them to the best benefit.  Surely they must be related?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: 20Eyes on June 25, 2011, 01:53:07 PM
You remind me of 20Eyes...in so many ways...

It's interesting. I once got told off for calling Wi-Fi, well, 'Wi-Fi' and had some self-important prick point out that it's to be correctly called a 'Wi-Fi Mesh'. I'd thought the abbreviation was enough for people to understand what was being discussed, but in the interests of being proper, I started referring to it as the Wi-Fi Mesh.

Still, you won't believe a word I say because of your disposition, so I suggest you ask Chris Watts. He's knowledgable on the subject and, as a source, I'm sure you'd believe him without thinking question.

In response to your predictable and constant digs, may I ask you to clarify something please? Are you suggesting that I'm All Ears and I are one and the same, or are you just on the wind up as per usual?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: 20Eyes on June 25, 2011, 03:07:16 PM
You read my mind Mole!
So many sensory faculties but not really using them to the best benefit.  Surely they must be related?

And the group here still gasps in faux-indignation when accusations of imbalance or bias are made.

It says everything about the way things are that whenever just two people appear to share a remotely similar, but non-left wing, stance they are automatically assumed to either be the same person under different names or, 'related'.

We live in a town with two Tory MPs and an overwhelmingly Tory council, all voted in by your neighbours and fellow residents, and yet on this forum - a Swindon wide, politically oriented public forum - the general consensus is that whenever more than one person presents a non-left wing viewpoint there must be something underhand going on. They are also, without exception, to be ridiculed (although any ridicule that comes back is to be immediately lept on as being beyond horror).

It's like a sitcom.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 27, 2011, 03:32:55 PM
You aren't elected as leader of the council to Try, you are there to listen and deliver.

Hey Drone none of us elected Rod Bluh as Leader of the Council, he was elected by his Tory Councillor Colleagues.

and many of them could yet learn to regret that decision as Rod ignores them in the stampede for safe seats next May.

Accountable Leadership no way, only accountable as individual Members of the Council.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 27, 2011, 03:37:02 PM
I thought the Radio 1 big weekend was awesome. So did everyone else I know with a pulse.

It may well have been but it was lauded as cost neutral which it definitely was not!!

So you think that £500k or £1m dedepending on who you believe was money was well spent and could not have been better used stimulating small business and employment then Ears?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on June 27, 2011, 06:47:39 PM
Rikki Hunt,

Quote
Entrepreneur, Executive Coach/Mentor, Adventurer, and Author of Creating a Thinking Organization

has not tweeted since May.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 27, 2011, 07:16:57 PM
When this project was muted way back in 2009, I was told it was ILLEGAL for the Council to get involved in this Private Enterprise with OUR MONEY, PUBLIC MONEY under EU LAW.  That opinion was proffered on any of the ways in which this Council was considering to invest, loan or anything else to help Digital City in their enterprise. 

At the end of the day it depends if the person offering that opinion speaks with the authorities who in turn investigate it and check it out in the Courts.

After all no due process involved the Cabinet let alone the Members of the Council so who is to say what could happen to those who were involved in the Loan of Council Money if indeed they have broken the law?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: moley on June 27, 2011, 07:19:27 PM
Rikki Hunt,

Quote
Entrepreneur, Executive Coach/Mentor, Adventurer, and Author of Creating a Thinking Organization

has not tweeted since May.

I have to say his recommendations on linkedin are pretty amusing with the benefit of hindsight..

Moley
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 27, 2011, 08:06:21 PM
I thought the Radio 1 big weekend was awesome. So did everyone else I know with a pulse.

It may well have been but it was lauded as cost neutral which it definitely was not!!

So you think that £500k or £1m dedepending on who you believe was money was well spent and could not have been better used stimulating small business and employment then Ears?

To be honest I have become somewhat bored with this thread after it became clear that only one person present was able to mount any kind of meaningful argument (if unable to get the news feed working this morning) with the rest reduced to calling names, so apologies in advanced if I have lost interest.

I will however respond to your strawman argument.

The money that is being paid for your broadband connection that in turn allows you to make your post could be "better spent" feeding starving children in south Africa.

The money spent on your keyboard, mouse and monitor could have contributed to Cancer research.

The time you are spending reading this post could be spend with a charity to improve the lives of disadvantaged children.

And so on. A straw-man argument, simplistic and infective.

People getting together and having a good time listening to some bands play is worth something. 50 pounds of 500 thousand? I have no idea ask an economist.

The only issue I have with the Radio 1 weekend was the money was incorrectly taken from a business support (or so I am told) fund at a wholly inappropriate time.

I also have no problem with the money spent attempting a Wifi project and I am sure if you really grasped how much money this country hemorrhages every single hour thanks to Labours love in with the EU, neither would you.

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: MsD Meanor on June 27, 2011, 08:14:55 PM
Clearly you are 20 Eyes- Ears engaged originally under the auspices of LISTENING to what people thought- not entering into malign arguments and then ranting at them for presenting their genuine feelings.

Didn't take long to see through this one.

Back on the naughty step.... :bottom:

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Tobes on June 27, 2011, 09:08:02 PM
Quote
The only issue I have with the Radio 1 weekend was the money was incorrectly taken from a business support (or so I am told)

'Or so I am told'... this seems to imply that you're not sure of your source or the validity of the claim? (Might your partner be able to confirm?) Not so sure local businesses who also missed out on contracts to provide food etc would be so sanguine, either, but hey.

Your 'strawman' attempt at a rebuttal is as weak as it is transparent: It's not a case of whether the money 'could' to have been spent on something arguably more worth-while, it SHOULD have been spent on something else because that was what the money had been specifically earmarked for. (Its our money, incidentally, not a pot to subsidise the SBC entertainment fund).

Quote
I also have no problem with the money spent attempting a Wifi project

'Attempting'... what if the 'attempt' was utter balls? Ie. poorly planned, inexpertly run and ultimately un-implemented having missed key milestones and ultimately left to roll off into the long grass (pending the 'imminent announcement' we've been waiting five weeks to hear) with nothing much to show except that the CEO is now an ex CEO who appears more interested in climbing remote mountains than seeing the project through to completion?

Would you have a problem then?   Actually, how bad would this project have to have been before you would have had a problem with it!? What would your benchmark conceivably be?

Quote
I am sure if you really grasped how much money this country hemorrhages every single hour thanks to Labours love in with the EU, neither would you.

ROFL! You can't make this up!!! You accuse (inaccurately) other people of using a spurious strawman argument - and within two heart-beats, go on to use one of your own!!!   :2funny:

I predict a brilliant future for you in either stand up comedy or as an aspiring councillor...!

If you're going to put yourself up as an aunt sally with such poorly constructed arguments and justifications, I'm afraid I can't feel too sorry for you if you get a few verbal cricket balls pitched at your head. Despite the deflection you'd like to imply, none of this is personal, its simply because what you're saying doesn't hold water, does it?

What ward are they standing you in again? Go on, give us a clue  :wink:
 
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mart on June 27, 2011, 09:23:15 PM
I got no problem with a bit of speculation in the good times, a bit of expertise and insurance if it's not your dosh is sensible as well.

But

If you are laying off people who used to deliver what should be your core activities then p'raps that's not the best time is it?

Then to treat people with the temerity to question your actions as vexatious little toe rags, when they've made a little contribution themselves, is a bit naughty.

When times is 'ard you hunker down and maintain the basics, you don't go and blow the family silver on the 2:30 at Haydock and claim it was a sure thing when it limps over the line at 6:30, if at all. Then tell persons who question your skills that they nothing about form.

S'pecially when one of those engaged in collecting the stake was the jockey, but forgot he was.

Neigh!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: MsD Meanor on June 27, 2011, 09:31:53 PM
Your metaphors explain it perfectly Mart.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 27, 2011, 09:55:26 PM
I got no problem with a bit of speculation in the good times, a bit of expertise and insurance if it's not your dosh is sensible as well.

But

If you are laying off people who used to deliver what should be your core activities then p'raps that's not the best time is it?

Then to treat people with the temerity to question your actions as vexatious little toe rags, when they've made a little contribution themselves, is a bit naughty.

When times is 'ard you hunker down and maintain the basics, you don't go and blow the family silver on the 2:30 at Haydock and claim it was a sure thing when it limps over the line at 6:30, if at all. Then tell persons who question your skills that they nothing about form.

S'pecially when one of those engaged in collecting the stake was the jockey, but forgot he was.

Neigh!

Mart, your principles are correct, your application is wrong:

1: As any venture capitalist will tell you, speculation is best done in a market low. I am guessing the Council rolled dice that the project could have created market interest in various forms and a decent level of PR for Swindon. In many ways it did, probably negatively.

2: I dont think anyone has tried to gag anything, the flurry of FOI's confirms that point, however a world of difference exists on what occurs on this forum and what occurs in the real world, this is just a collection of people trying to form a lunch mob and failing even though the same amount of energy could be spent doing something effective.

3: Agreed. This is why the council has identified 45M of savings over 36 months, 180 times the cost of the Wifi and nobody says a word about that. even though Roderick Bluh was a considerable part of the planning and deployment of that process.

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 27, 2011, 10:37:37 PM
So what have learnt about all ears?

He is in favour of Council Money being spent without accountability.

He believes that there is a difference between the way Gordon Brown spent our money nationally and the Innovative and Vibrant way in which the current administration spends our money here in Swindon.

He is a businessman who believes that £500k or £1m spent on the Big Weekend was value for money when we were all told it was cost neutral.

and he believes the current administration are working in the best interests of Swindon.

and that Local Government should speculate.

If so gawd help us if he were ever to become a Councillor, because public money is not there to be speculated

and as for the £45m worth of savings that is open to question as you know only too well.  It is called creative accounting - ever heard of it?

and one final point if he thought Wi-fi was so good why doesn't he join Rod Bluh and Rikki Hunt in investing in Digital City?  The trouble is these people are just too keen to play with other people's money, our money!

and to think that I used to be a Conservative!   I feel sick to my stomach with all this baloney.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 27, 2011, 11:00:00 PM
Ohhh more personal attacks, who would have guessed that was coming....

"He is in favour of Council Money being spent without accountability." Citation please.

"He believes that there is a difference between the way Gordon Brown spent our money nationally and the Innovative and Vibrant way in which the current administration spends our money here in Swindon." Citation please.

"He is a businessman who believes that £500k or £1m spent on the Big Weekend was value for money when we were all told it was cost neutral."  Citation please.

"and he believes the current administration are working in the best interests of Swindon."  Citation please.

"and that Local Government should speculate." Citation please.

Citation please.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 27, 2011, 11:11:17 PM
What I Learned About Richard Symonds Today - by Im All Ears.

"Dear Robert Buckland,
I am disappointed with all the money being spent in what I consider to
be profligate on the replacement of crash barriers in Shaw & Nine Elms.
If Swindon Borough Council can afford to carry out such works, yet at
the same time complains repeatedly that it is under funded by the
government and gives that as an excuse as to why it cannot carry out
its social responsibilities.

It leaves me wondering if the Conservative council has its priorities
right?  I have written to you as I know that Cllr Peter Greenhalgh who
has responsibility for this department does not answer emails.

I believe the replacement and extension of the crash barriers is a
complete waste of council funds and I would prefer to see assistance
given to Enterprise Works.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Richard Symonds"


Richard, your strategy for saving money consists of arguing against the installation of crash barriers?

Words...Fail...Me

I am not sure you should be left unattended near a keyboard.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 27, 2011, 11:38:57 PM
Clearly you are 20 Eyes- Ears engaged originally under the auspices of LISTENING to what people thought- not entering into malign arguments and then ranting at them for presenting their genuine feelings.

Didn't take long to see through this one.

Back on the naughty step.... :bottom:

I have listened, and learned that your "debate" is built on using shiny emoticons to replace any actual substance.

Well done.

*clap..................clap.....................clap*
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 27, 2011, 11:46:51 PM
You know, I had been looking through the thread retroactively to try and substantiate why the Wifi could have been a good project and attempt to explain why some of the decisions taken made sense.

Then I had an epiphany.

It does not matter if I can explain away the reasoning, there is bugger all you lot are going to do about it other than just slap each other on the back and make one more angry forum post sat in your pants frothing at the mouth.

You are as effective as a chocolate teapot. SBC has nothing to fear. And I expect to see the Conservatives in for another ten years.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Scott Thunes on June 28, 2011, 12:11:28 AM
But....SBC spunked away half a million quid of OUR money on a gamble.

If I did that under the colour of my office I'd be sacked before you could say 'gross misconduct'.

Defend that. I'm all ears.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Beale on June 28, 2011, 12:30:53 AM
You are as effective as a chocolate teapot. SBC has nothing to fear. And I expect to see the Conservatives in for another ten years.


Are the last four of all ears posts the equivilient of sticking his fingers in his ears and shouting LA LA LA over any reasonable questions?

I can only assume he's connected to the whole fiasco in some way and can't bear the criticism

Ten more years of this absolute shower of a council.... God help us......
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Tobes on June 28, 2011, 12:48:07 AM
Quote
Defend that. I'm all ears.

He's tried. And publicly (and humiliatingly IMHO) failed. The only recourse now is to pretend that the argument is now personal and not about the blindingly obvious facts.

Quote
I can only assume he's connected to the whole fiasco in some way and can't bear the criticism

That thought struck me too - it might be very plausible possibility - though if he wants to publicly deny that, I guess it would clear things up unambiguously  ::)

Quote
It does not matter if I can explain away the reasoning, there is bugger all you lot are going to do about it other than just slap each other on the back and make one more angry forum post sat in your pants frothing at the mouth.

ROFL! The 'sat in your pants' line again (though 'someone else' seems to have lots of time on their hands to keep posting, methinks! More irony to join the stack.)

I've just re-read this thread. All I see is frustration based upon obvious and undeniable fact. The anger (such as it is) is directed towards the architects of this poorly managed, derided and failed project, who have wasted an ever diminishing resource of spare cash. The only person getting pissy and personal is you. Like Scott says, anyone in the commercial market would expect to lose their jobs after such a debacle (especially when the reasons for the failure were predicted long in advance AND the process behind which contracts were awarded was subject to such criticism).

Read the other threads on this forum. We all spend lots of time arguing with each other. Managing to totally unite a forum as disparate as TS should tell you something, well, that's if you have ears to listen that is.  ))))

Where are they standing you as a councillor then?

 :2funny:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: I Could Do That on June 28, 2011, 05:32:58 AM
On the Adver site Mr Blackwell / 20 Eyes / I 2 Could B Coate / I'm All Ears / Somethin' Else Next Week suggested I need help.
I obviously did the right thing by taking it as reassurance that I'm actually perfectly fine.

How many logins does someone need before they realise they're a bit weird / disturbed / out of touch / need to get out more.
 :idiot2:
Norman! It's you're mother!    :2funny:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on June 28, 2011, 06:58:58 AM
For the sake of balance, some ideas that may have helped the Wi-Fi project succeed:

Open/competitive tendering to deliver Wi-Fi for Swindon leading to the council having a legal contract with a company with a history of delivering Wi_fi projects to other areas.

Scrutiny (legal and financial) of all contracts and proper scrutiny of the delivery of the project. Clear objectives/milestones.

Project money released at completion of milestones/bonuses for early completion.


...


As much as it's now worth engaging with the Ears argument.


It comes down to what you think councils are for. I think they are there to deleiver basic services, particularly to the most vulnerable. You know, schools, old folks homes, bins, roads, libraries, etc.

Ironically, in a time of austerity and 'Big Society', there are some people who believe that councils are there to lead on high-risk commercial projects, possibly at the expense of core services.

If the community are expected to deliver core services, then I think local business can do the commercial vanity projects. If the commercial risk is too great for a business to do it, then why should SBc be spending tax payers money on it?



And innovative projects that have worked well in the area?
Two to begin with - the Designer Outlet Village and the restoration of Lydiard Park. Both met with opposition, both involved businesses and public sector people working together, both help Swindon be a nicer place to live, both had clear objectives and outcomes, but still showed innovative ways of working, ambition and business sense.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: DarkAuror on June 28, 2011, 08:34:45 AM
Sorry, just a quick question or two. How much money did SBC speculate on Wichelstowe? How much of the current budget is for interest payments on the Wichelstowe project?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 28, 2011, 09:22:38 AM
Ohhh more personal attacks, who would have guessed that was coming....

"He is in favour of Council Money being spent without accountability." Citation please.

"He believes that there is a difference between the way Gordon Brown spent our money nationally and the Innovative and Vibrant way in which the current administration spends our money here in Swindon." Citation please.

"He is a businessman who believes that £500k or £1m spent on the Big Weekend was value for money when we were all told it was cost neutral."  Citation please.

"and he believes the current administration are working in the best interests of Swindon."  Citation please.

"and that Local Government should speculate." Citation please.

Citation please.

No you please prove otherwise as all your posts make this inference
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 28, 2011, 09:46:07 AM

Richard, your strategy for saving money consists of arguing against the installation of crash barriers?

Words...Fail...Me

I am not sure you should be left unattended near a keyboard.

Hmm so you think that £13,000 spent on Crash Barriers in on the Middleleaze Drive Ramleaze Drive Roughmoor Way Roundaboutwith Street Lights and Signage on the wrong side of them is money well spent?  Just how many accidents and deaths have they prevented?  It is good to see you want money used in this way rather than on the Elderly and Infirm.

The Tories have lost the plot.  They are supposed to be the party of business and financial propriety.  Well on the basis of what I know in Swindon they are no longer those people.

and as for your cheap remark about keyboards Ears I was not being personal unlike you and by being so you have indicated that you have lost the argument.  Never mind eh

and one final point you know who I am but you HIDE behind a pseudonym, brave man or woman?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Weebleman on June 28, 2011, 09:47:12 AM
2: I dont think anyone has tried to gag anything, the flurry of FOI's confirms that point, however a world of difference exists on what occurs on this forum and what occurs in the real world, this is just a collection of people trying to form a lunch mob and failing even though the same amount of energy could be spent doing something effective.

Sounds like my kinda' club  :banana:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on June 28, 2011, 09:58:40 AM
More gravy Weeble?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 12:37:27 PM
Scott Thunes:

I do not defend the financial mismanagement of the process, I defend the attempt to do something to change the culture of Swindon and heighten its profile. I do not want to live in another grey concrete mass in which nobody takes risk because they fear the howler monkeys that have done absolutely bugger all individual but can spend hours attacking others who try.

Richard Beale:

Substantiate and cite your "facts" or withdraw them and accept you are a liar. The responsibility is on YOU to back up what you pass off as facts. I know you cant, so I am just going to skip to the liar part.

£13,000 on crash barriers, has it prevented any deaths? Lets go with no. Could it prevent a car mounting the pavement and plowing down a pedestrian? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes.

I do not "hide" behind a pseudonym Richard, I would be delighted to explain forum usage to you, but here in the modern world it is entirely standard to make use of a forum name, I have been for the past decade, however beyond this if you took just ten minutes to engage what passes as your brain, you would note in my very first post on this forum I present myself as Emma Faramarzi's partner.

Tobes: Truly you used to make me laugh, now you bore me. I have replaced you with a greasemonkey script. Come back to the table when you have something meaningful to add.

I Could Do That:

I have never posted on the "adver" site. I do not have a logon to it. Take your speculation elsewhere, its entirely puerile.

Drone:

Thank you for your considered comments, dragging yourself above the pond slime mentality in this thread makes a refreshing read.

I accept the core of the councils duty is to protect key services, and I am sure thats how they spent the over $441.5M in the year. They spent a 0.06 percentile on the wifi project, I have personally happy to see say 1-2% of the annual budget spent on speculative projects if it leads to an enhancement of the culture throughout Swindon.

I agree the project should have been put out to tender.
I believe any project using public funds should make use of payment on milestone methodology.

My invovelemt in the Wifi project.

None.

I have never spoken to Mr Hunt, I know him only as "the bloke that did over Swindon town and climbed a mountain"

I spoke to Mr Bluh after I learned about the details, I expressed my concern that early plans indicated that Digital City may use the service to sell IT to SME's. We have never spoken about the issue since then.

I have spoken to Chris Watts regarding my concerns re the technical scope.

I have spoken to Emma Faramarzi regarding my concerns re the technical scope.

I would not reject any future conversation regarding the current state of the project if people require my feedback.



Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: James on June 28, 2011, 02:03:21 PM
1) borough wide wifi coverage may have been good idea.
2) Not one BUSINESS target was met (either residential or business sign-ups).
3) The council punted another £1/4m anyway.

1) The council may have a punt on an innovative idea. They tried, well done them. Rather have a team that tries than one that doesn't. Though I'm still puzzled that they didn't tender.

2) No BUSINESS targets were met. Big clue there that the project was not good enough. Either the business model, the delivery, or the product was wrong. Given the initial coverage they had acheived, it was not the product.

3) But they carried on regardless. In light of the utter failure of the business proposition, why on earth did the council not stop?

And it is 3 which is by far the biggest problem, because it suggests that this may be the normal way of doing things.
We have multi-million pound investments & changes being planned for all over the town.
We can't afford to get those wrong.
Yet we seem to have people who didn't see that the business plan of such a small investment was knackered. Can they be trusted with managing the rest?
£400,000 is not a lot in the grand scheme of things, but if it is the tip of an ice-berg...
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Beale on June 28, 2011, 02:13:37 PM
All Ears: You need to get your facts right mate... you got the wrong Richard....

Assuming you didn't get us Richards mixed up ( in which case i think you need to repost to make some coherent sense), how can assumption be a lie? a simple refuting of the assumption would have been enough, but you have to start accussing me of being a liar?...

or perhaps i hit home closer than you liked? feel free to refute in a rational manner... if you can.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: I Could Do That on June 28, 2011, 03:49:54 PM
"I have never posted on the "adver" site. I do not have a logon to it. Take your speculation elsewhere, its entirely puerile."

Tough luck ear'ole. I'll use my puerile speculation wherever and whenever i see fit to do so.

If I ever feel as if I'm bloghogging and antagonising people to the level that you feel is acceptable, I will question my own morals.

Until then, I am going nowhere under orders from you.

Get over yourself.




Norman!!!!  Attend to your mother!   :2funny:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 04:13:29 PM
All Ears: You need to get your facts right mate... you got the wrong Richard....

Assuming you didn't get us Richards mixed up ( in which case i think you need to repost to make some coherent sense), how can assumption be a lie? a simple refuting of the assumption would have been enough, but you have to start accussing me of being a liar?...

or perhaps i hit home closer than you liked? feel free to refute in a rational manner... if you can.

Yup, apologies, my cut n paste went a little crazy.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 04:17:22 PM
"I have never posted on the "adver" site. I do not have a logon to it. Take your speculation elsewhere, its entirely puerile."

Tough luck ear'ole. I'll use my puerile speculation wherever and whenever i see fit to do so.

If I ever feel as if I'm bloghogging and antagonising people to the level that you feel is acceptable, I will question my own morals.

Until then, I am going nowhere under orders from you.

Get over yourself.




Norman!!!!  Attend to your mother!   :2funny:

Nice rant, I will condense it for you:

"Sorry I was wrong"

A lot easier on the eyes.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on June 28, 2011, 04:24:16 PM
I have added an Avatar in honour of Luggsy.

Does anyone know an anagram for EARS?........er?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 04:27:08 PM
1) borough wide wifi coverage may have been good idea.
2) Not one BUSINESS target was met (either residential or business sign-ups).
3) The council punted another £1/4m anyway.

1) The council may have a punt on an innovative idea. They tried, well done them. Rather have a team that tries than one that doesn't. Though I'm still puzzled that they didn't tender.

2) No BUSINESS targets were met. Big clue there that the project was not good enough. Either the business model, the delivery, or the product was wrong. Given the initial coverage they had acheived, it was not the product.

3) But they carried on regardless. In light of the utter failure of the business proposition, why on earth did the council not stop?

And it is 3 which is by far the biggest problem, because it suggests that this may be the normal way of doing things.
We have multi-million pound investments & changes being planned for all over the town.
We can't afford to get those wrong.
Yet we seem to have people who didn't see that the business plan of such a small investment was knackered. Can they be trusted with managing the rest?
£400,000 is not a lot in the grand scheme of things, but if it is the tip of an ice-berg...

James, again I broadly agree with everything you say.

It was naive to believe the project would go live with the relatively small amounts of startup capital available to them.

The question facing the council now is:

Given what we know about the challenges faced and the expected rewards should the project be continued and supported fiscally through to delivery?

As a technologist and futurist my personal hope is yes, however I would want to see:

A change in management.
Clear and open milestones for the project with penalties for non deliverables.
A plan that is available for technical scrutiny.

We have to accept that some things are just hard and will get screwed up, thats why Google have version 1 , 1.1 , 1.2 etc of software, things are delivered "good enough" and are improved incrementally, the question is do we push forward to version 1?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 04:28:22 PM
I have added an Avatar in honour of Luggsy.

Does anyone know an anagram for EARS?........er?

Awesome contribution you!  O0
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on June 28, 2011, 04:47:43 PM
Giv
Quote
en what we know about the challenges faced and the expected rewards should the project be continued and supported fiscally through to delivery
?

Herein is a problem.  There is no project.

DC is in the words of its directors - NOT TRADING.  It allegedly has no money. It owes SBC £400k plus interest which is running at £1,000 per month and is currently in the order of £8,000.

The £400,000 was 'loan' which was repayable within 2 years - BUT - as DC has breached its contract the money is due for repayment immediately.

What SBC have proposed is that a third party reimburse the £400k owed by DC - whereas what should be happening is that DC and its directors should be being pursued for the £400k.  Its simply not right that they are being 'let off' the pain. The legal deal allows for the recovery of every cost incurred by SBC - all i am asking is for SBC to recover the money from the people they loaned it to.

With regard to the future, yes we may have a new project in sight (on Jan 16 it was imminent and the 'cheque was in the post') however, it will not be the same project with all the same promises so it's a re-start.  That may be good for the town but until the issues of the original Wi-Fi project have been addressed people will simply not believe anything politicians and officers say. The real issue isn't the amount of money compared to the big budget managed by SBC - some issues are about probity, protocols and good commercial practise. I believe the Wi-Fi project to be a classic case for study and there are lessons to be learned - my problem is that i don't think anyone wants to learn them.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on June 28, 2011, 05:31:56 PM
Quote
I have never spoken to Mr Hunt, I know him only as "the bloke that did over Swindon town and climbed a mountain"

I know him as

I know him as Entrepreneur, Executive Coach/Mentor, Adventurer, and Author of Creating a Thinking Organization


More philosophical questions: Was Wi-Fi a failure because we are all too cynical, or are we cynical because Wi-Fi was a failure? Or that similar projects were a failure? Or because there's a deep distrust towards some of the personalities involved?

There's no clean way out of this mess. If the council were brutally honest, it'd actually buy them some credibility. There's this almost competitive situation now where the locals are cynical, the council gets angry and promises a bigger monorail before putting its hands over its ears and saying "lalalalala I'm not listening". Locals get more cynical, there's no enangement in the project, the cycle goes on.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Scott Thunes on June 28, 2011, 06:37:13 PM
Giv
Quote
en what we know about the challenges faced and the expected rewards should the project be continued and supported fiscally through to delivery
?

Herein is a problem.  There is no project.

DC is in the words of its directors - NOT TRADING.  It allegedly has no money. It owes SBC £400k plus interest which is running at £1,000 per month and is currently in the order of £8,000.

The £400,000 was 'loan' which was repayable within 2 years - BUT - as DC has breached its contract the money is due for repayment immediately.

What SBC have proposed is that a third party reimburse the £400k owed by DC - whereas what should be happening is that DC and its directors should be being pursued for the £400k.  Its simply not right that they are being 'let off' the pain. The legal deal allows for the recovery of every cost incurred by SBC - all i am asking is for SBC to recover the money from the people they loaned it to.

With regard to the future, yes we may have a new project in sight (on Jan 16 it was imminent and the 'cheque was in the post') however, it will not be the same project with all the same promises so it's a re-start.  That may be good for the town but until the issues of the original Wi-Fi project have been addressed people will simply not believe anything politicians and officers say. The real issue isn't the amount of money compared to the big budget managed by SBC - some issues are about probity, protocols and good commercial practise. I believe the Wi-Fi project to be a classic case for study and there are lessons to be learned - my problem is that i don't think anyone wants to learn them.

Hear hear Des. Like I'm all Ears, I think it's a Good Thing if the Council is forward-thinking and can come up with ideas that improve quality of life for residents. HOWEVER, I'm a little put-out that same Ears gets all pissy when we dare to have the temerity to challenge the Council when it spunks OUR money on a fundamentally flawed process.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: ph1lc on June 28, 2011, 06:55:04 PM
Des

Whilst I have total admiration for the way you have pursued this fiasco, often in the wake of personal insults.
And whilst I agree that someone should pay for this absolutely insane mess, the truth is no one will.

As you have said DC have no money. Unless the directors signed any sort of personal guarantee then they can't be pursued either.

But the fight must go on. The people of Swindon have a right to know how so much public money can be wasted on a business model that simply did not add up.

Gavin Jones must make public his report into Mr Patel's accidental directorship, the director of finance must justify how he could let this loan proceed - no sane finance professional could possibly have done that.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Tobes on June 28, 2011, 07:22:39 PM
Ears stopped being credible a long time ago when his innate hypocrisy got the better of him.

He is arguing because he is politically partisan and potentially commercially involved. The facts have now become inconvenient irritations - which is why he is resorting to personal abuse whilst crying insult at the same time.

End of.

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 07:37:23 PM
Ears stopped being credible a long time ago when his innate hypocrisy got the better of him.

He is arguing because he is politically partisan and potentially commercially involved. The facts have now become inconvenient irritations - which is why he is resorting to personal abuse whilst crying insult at the same time.

End of.

Awesome contribution you!   O0
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 07:45:04 PM
Giv
Quote
en what we know about the challenges faced and the expected rewards should the project be continued and supported fiscally through to delivery
?

Herein is a problem.  There is no project.

DC is in the words of its directors - NOT TRADING.  It allegedly has no money. It owes SBC £400k plus interest which is running at £1,000 per month and is currently in the order of £8,000.

The £400,000 was 'loan' which was repayable within 2 years - BUT - as DC has breached its contract the money is due for repayment immediately.

What SBC have proposed is that a third party reimburse the £400k owed by DC - whereas what should be happening is that DC and its directors should be being pursued for the £400k.  Its simply not right that they are being 'let off' the pain. The legal deal allows for the recovery of every cost incurred by SBC - all i am asking is for SBC to recover the money from the people they loaned it to.

With regard to the future, yes we may have a new project in sight (on Jan 16 it was imminent and the 'cheque was in the post') however, it will not be the same project with all the same promises so it's a re-start.  That may be good for the town but until the issues of the original Wi-Fi project have been addressed people will simply not believe anything politicians and officers say. The real issue isn't the amount of money compared to the big budget managed by SBC - some issues are about probity, protocols and good commercial practise. I believe the Wi-Fi project to be a classic case for study and there are lessons to be learned - my problem is that i don't think anyone wants to learn them.

Des, I believe we can both agree that the chances of anyone recovering the money from the company is very low, I presume if they have no working capital and the company is not a going concern it will seek to default.

The only way forward if this project is to continue is either:

1: Seek private investment, not impossible.

2: Extend a further loan, not impossible, somewhat improbable.

I think it comes down to the will of the people involved and the desire for the product in the market.

My guess is the market does not exist to sustain the company therefore the WiFi mesh would require public subsidy. Outside of the howler monkeys on this forum I would be suprised if people resented paying a tiny amount of taxes to keep a "free" Wifi service open to all. I would rather that than nukes I guess.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 07:51:13 PM
Quote
I have never spoken to Mr Hunt, I know him only as "the bloke that did over Swindon town and climbed a mountain"

I know him as

I know him as Entrepreneur, Executive Coach/Mentor, Adventurer, and Author of Creating a Thinking Organization


More philosophical questions: Was Wi-Fi a failure because we are all too cynical, or are we cynical because Wi-Fi was a failure? Or that similar projects were a failure? Or because there's a deep distrust towards some of the personalities involved?

There's no clean way out of this mess. If the council were brutally honest, it'd actually buy them some credibility. There's this almost competitive situation now where the locals are cynical, the council gets angry and promises a bigger monorail before putting its hands over its ears and saying "lalalalala I'm not listening". Locals get more cynical, there's no enangement in the project, the cycle goes on.

Sure agreed Drone,

Consider this, if the Council came on the forums today and said:

"OK, we screwed up on this deployment, choices are:

1: We call it quits, you have our apologies, we tried and failed, project end"

2: We continue, we need another 500K and 16 months, we will really try to pull it off this time, thanks for your continued support"


Do you really think the howler monkeys on this forum would allow them to act gracefully to continue / call it a day.

Not. A. Chance.

These people are the reason politicians are so adverse to risk and so adverse to making any public comment regarding mistakes.

We as a society choose to live like this, we get the politics we deserve.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on June 28, 2011, 07:54:24 PM
Quote
Gavin Jones must make public his report into Mr Patel's accidental directorship, the director of finance must justify how he could let this loan proceed - no sane finance professional could possibly have done that.

ph1lc - The report into Hitesh Patel's accidental directorship has been published (I believe)  I personally think it is a tinge 'white wash' but I also think it proved an embarrassment for both GJ and Coun Bluh. It certainly will not be allowed to happen again.

I attended Audit tonight and asked that a report be compiled to assess the probity of the processes undertaken by officers in making the Wi-Fi decisions. I am particularly concerned that officers who urged the release of the second tranche of the loan some £250k used words such as 'essential to the future roll out' and 'in the best interests of the Council to make the loan' and then asked their subordinates to 'risk assess the business plan' before sanctioning the loan.  No pressure to conform !! And could anyone really say no when the support paperwork said it was 'critical' that the second tranche be paid out otherwise the £150k already committed would be at risk?

Sadly the Conservative members on the committee decided that enough time and talk has been expended on the Wi-Fi project and in their view it was time to 'put it to bed' and wlak away from any more scrutiny. I believe they missed the point which is that some of us wish to know what happened to the money and we want to know whay SBC is not taking action against the directors to recover the money.

Equally we wnat to know why Coun Perkins did not exert greater oversight of the £250k given he knew that there was considerable disquiet over the performance of DC in respect of Highworth.  He had a duty to ensure the money was spent on 'rolling out a Wi-fi network through out the Borough.  In June he knew that the March business plan was being set to one side and a new plan was being drawn up, as a director he must have been aware of the precarious financial situation DC was in and in my view he should have been shouting from the rooftops -STOP don't spend another penny.

Perhaps SBC ought to consider action under The Companies Act 2006

Under Part 11 of the Act, shareholders have for the first time a statutory right to sue a director on behalf of the company. Previously, the circumstances under which such claims could be brought were extremely limited (due to the general rule known as the Foss v Harbottle rule) as the ‘proper’ person to bring the claim was the company itself. A claim was restricted to a director’s actions that were tantamount to fraud; could not be ratified by an ordinary resolution, or finally, were outside the company’s objects and therefore ultra vires.

Now, a shareholder can bring a claim for ‘actual or proposed act or omission involving negligence, default, breach of duty or breach of trust’ which opens up a host of potential ‘wrong doing’. Further, a claim for negligence can be made even where the director concerned has not benefited
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Tobes on June 28, 2011, 07:59:29 PM
Quote
Quote from: Tobes on Today at 07:22:39 PM

   
Quote
Ears stopped being credible a long time ago when his innate hypocrisy got the better of him.

    He is arguing because he is politically partisan and potentially commercially involved. The facts have now become inconvenient irritations - which is why he is resorting to personal abuse whilst crying insult at the same time.

    End of.

Awesome contribution you!   O0

... and more cogent and consistent than yours into the bargain!!

What ward are they standing you in?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 07:59:35 PM
Giv
Quote
en what we know about the challenges faced and the expected rewards should the project be continued and supported fiscally through to delivery
?

Herein is a problem.  There is no project.

DC is in the words of its directors - NOT TRADING.  It allegedly has no money. It owes SBC £400k plus interest which is running at £1,000 per month and is currently in the order of £8,000.

The £400,000 was 'loan' which was repayable within 2 years - BUT - as DC has breached its contract the money is due for repayment immediately.

What SBC have proposed is that a third party reimburse the £400k owed by DC - whereas what should be happening is that DC and its directors should be being pursued for the £400k.  Its simply not right that they are being 'let off' the pain. The legal deal allows for the recovery of every cost incurred by SBC - all i am asking is for SBC to recover the money from the people they loaned it to.

With regard to the future, yes we may have a new project in sight (on Jan 16 it was imminent and the 'cheque was in the post') however, it will not be the same project with all the same promises so it's a re-start.  That may be good for the town but until the issues of the original Wi-Fi project have been addressed people will simply not believe anything politicians and officers say. The real issue isn't the amount of money compared to the big budget managed by SBC - some issues are about probity, protocols and good commercial practise. I believe the Wi-Fi project to be a classic case for study and there are lessons to be learned - my problem is that i don't think anyone wants to learn them.

Hear hear Des. Like I'm all Ears, I think it's a Good Thing if the Council is forward-thinking and can come up with ideas that improve quality of life for residents. HOWEVER, I'm a little put-out that same Ears gets all pissy when we dare to have the temerity to challenge the Council when it spunks OUR money on a fundamentally flawed process.

Do you have an issue with bodily fluids? All this talk of piss and spunking has me worried..you mention it in a lot of posts.  :o

I have never challenged the desire to ask questions regarding the Wifi, and if you knew anything about me you would know I was all over this issue before this forum was aware of it.

My point is simple, explained many times, but here we go again:

1: The concept is good, I want to see it delivered in some form.

2: We appear to want culture as a town, I believed this project went someway to giving us that.

3: I believe the project was poorly managed technical and financially.

4: I believe a number of people on this forum are hypocritical or contrarians who are so close to the trees they no longer see the wood.

5: I believe that SBC and specifically Rod Bluh may have been technically naive regarding the deliver but the spirit in which they entered the contract was pure.

6: I struggle to understand why people seem ready to burst blood vessels regarding this issue, but are entirely relaxed about the Trillions of pounds of debts the previous Government left us with, again double standards abound.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 08:00:11 PM
Quote
Quote from: Tobes on Today at 07:22:39 PM

    Ears stopped being credible a long time ago when his innate hypocrisy got the better of him.

    He is arguing because he is politically partisan and potentially commercially involved. The facts have now become inconvenient irritations - which is why he is resorting to personal abuse whilst crying insult at the same time.

    End of.


Awesome contribution you!   O0

... and more cogent and consistent than yours into the bargain!!

What ward are they standing you in?

Awesome contribution you!  O0
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: the gorgon on June 28, 2011, 08:02:36 PM
Quote
I have never spoken to Mr Hunt, I know him only as "the bloke that did over Swindon town and climbed a mountain"

I know him as

I know him as Entrepreneur, Executive Coach/Mentor, Adventurer, and Author of Creating a Thinking Organization


More philosophical questions: Was Wi-Fi a failure because we are all too cynical, or are we cynical because Wi-Fi was a failure? Or that similar projects were a failure? Or because there's a deep distrust towards some of the personalities involved?


I think we're cynical because it was a failure.

Our cynicism wouldn't have stopped the plans if they'd been done properly (i.e. someone like BT was doing the roll-out).

The troubles really began when it was rolled-out in Highworth and people there started moaning about their lack of coverage and quality of service.  Which discouraged people/businesses from signing up to the paid for service. Add to that all the deadline missing/shifting and the wifi roll-out managed to derail itself (all because it hadn't been done right).
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on June 28, 2011, 08:10:00 PM
Quote
I would be suprised if people resented paying a tiny amount of taxes to keep a "free" Wifi service open to all. I

You could well be right. SBC residents can already access 2 hrs free Broadband per day by visiting any of the Council's libraries.  But I think the reality is that the set up costs associated with Wi-Fi are so high (terribly underestimated by DC) that the Council would not see a return - ever

Quote
My guess is the market does not exist to sustain the company therefore the WiFi mesh would require public subsidy.


I believe your summation to be spot on.  The issues therefore becomes very clear cut - if the facility requires a public subsidy, how much money is required and where does that money come from. I don't think anyone would think free Wi-Fi trumps cleaning the streets, removing litter, education, libraries et al.

The meeting tonight was very sad as it demonstrated the absolute reluctance of anyone at any level within the Council to acknowledge mistakes had been made - the truth is that they )officers and members) are simply to scared to acknowledge their failures and until they do they will not be allowed to move on in the way they seek.

The sixty day 'exclusive' period has now morphed into a 'confidentiality period' and while fully accepting of the need for commercial confidentiality I can't help but feel that the ploy now is to 'rubbish' any further discussion as the ravings of a minority who have nothing better to do with their time. That would be a mistake.

The way forward is to

Quote
1: We call it quits, you have our apologies, we tried and failed, project end"

However, and very sadly the time to have done this was in March 2010 when the decision to give £250k to DC was made.  There are many business adages that come to  mind, in this case the one i would have used was 'The first loss is always the best loss'

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on June 28, 2011, 08:24:31 PM
Quote
6: I struggle to understand why people seem ready to burst blood vessels regarding this issue, but are entirely relaxed about the Trillions of pounds of debts the previous Government left us with, again double standards abound

Ah - I'm sure you aren't struggling with this concept at all.  A certain Joseph Stalin said - One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic... and so it is with money. £400,000 and even more so £250,000 (the price of a house in Swindon) is easy to understand and relate to whereas Trillions of pounds is a figure which actually means nothing to the 'man on the Clapham omnibus'

The Trillions of debt left by the last Government does trouble everyone but only insofar as it actually personally affects them - so the Trillions of debt means a £15 per week decrease in personal spending (an illustration only) - to the man in the street and i mean no offence by this - a Trillion pounds is simply a figure conjured up by Governments as not even the biggest companies talk in such figures.

Having said that your point is a fair one but it hasn't got any legs.

SBC should be taking decisive action to recover the £400k it 'loaned' to DC.

Incidentally, officers tonight actually stated that the loan isn't due to be repaid until October and inferred that this is why they aren't getting to fussed about it. They missed the part in the agreement about 'default' and immediate repayment of the loan and it is this casual attiutde whcih causes so much frustration.  They take Matthew Singh to Court for a debt just as they would a non payer of Council Tax and yet DC et al were loaned (not a grant) £400k and it's okay to wait.  Odd way to do things

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 08:25:50 PM
Des,

Good points well made, however:

The social impact of ubiquitous free Wifi is not to be underestimated, Project Merlin and other "21st Century Digital Britain" type concepts stress the education, health and social aspects of digital availability to the masses, there is no doubt in my mind we will achieve this point as a society in the next 15 years anyway, the Internet will be thought of as electricity, water and gas. What excited me about the project was Swindons chance to be a test lab (as it is for road studies) in how this process can be undertaken.

With the above in mind I think it would require the will of the people to deliver, much like art, sports and sciences this project should not be considered in terms of financial gain but more in terms of social gain, it would be our generations legacy. Completely straight faced I can say if its consumed 10% of ones years budget I would still support it because as a package it could revolutionize our town in the same way the Internet revolutionized our society in less than a decade.

I would not expect any situation to arise in which the cost of maintaining the network would take precedence over lighting, clean streets, policing etc. The fact is once deployed the cost of dark fibre is extremely cheap in large quantities and already purchased for schools and other government agencies. If you really had to monetize it you could do so via adverts / data mining.

I do not think a veil of secrecy helps the project move forward, however I have explained why the nature of some of the people on this forum (despite being a fractional minority of Swindon citizens) prevent any cathartic process within the SBC, until they learn to respect that grown up people have to fail to learn how to succeed then I expect a wall of silence.

Regarding the loan etc, you know I am making no attempt to justify the "ground level" of the management, I am just making the wider point that within the scope of my first paragraph 400K , 800K even 2M would still be worth it, as long as the project was delivered.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 28, 2011, 08:28:15 PM
Substantiate and cite your "facts" or withdraw them and accept you are a liar. The responsibility is on YOU to back up what you pass off as facts. I know you cant, so I am just going to skip to the liar part.

Those people who know me well 'Ears' know I do not lie it is abhorrent to me.  You are only calling me a liar because you have lost the argument and only a big girls blouse would resort to abuse. 

The difference between us is that I actually believe what I write whilst you trot out the party line.  I hope you have no intention of becoming a Tory candidate because you will become an embarrassment to them.

Mind you your sycophantic approach should otherwise appeal to them.

I have spoken to Emma Faramarzi regarding my concerns re the technical scope.

Was that the Emma Faramarzi, the Chairman of the FSB. your Partner business or otherwise or the Tory Councillor for Covingham & Nythe?

I would not reject any future conversation regarding the current state of the project if people require my feedback.

I am sure Gnomes of Zurich are anxious to achieve your opinion on this Unique Vibrant Innovative and World First pRoject
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 08:30:42 PM
Substantiate and cite your "facts" or withdraw them and accept you are a liar. The responsibility is on YOU to back up what you pass off as facts. I know you cant, so I am just going to skip to the liar part.

Those people who know me well 'Ears' know I do not lie it is abhorrent to me.  You are only calling me a liar because you have lost the argument and only a big girls blouse would resort to abuse. 

The difference between us is that I actually believe what I write whilst you trot out the party line.  I hope you have no intention of becoming a Tory candidate because you will become an embarrassment to them.

Mind you your sycophantic approach should otherwise appeal to them.

I have spoken to Emma Faramarzi regarding my concerns re the technical scope.

Was that the Emma Faramarzi, the Chairman of the FSB. your Partner business or otherwise or the Tory Councillor for Covingham & Nythe?

I would not reject any future conversation regarding the current state of the project if people require my feedback.

I am sure Gnomes of Zurich are anxious to achieve your opinion on this Unique Vibrant Innovative and World First pRoject

Awesome contribution you!  O0
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on June 28, 2011, 08:40:35 PM
Quote
The social impact of ubiquitous free Wifi is not to be underestimated, Project Merlin and other "21st Century Digital Britain" type concepts stress the education, health and social aspects of digital availability to the masses, there is no doubt in my mind we will achieve this point as a society in the next 15 years anyway, Internet will be thoughts of as electricity, water and gas. What excited me about the project was Swindons chance to be a test lab (as it is for road studies) in how this process can be undertaken

Easy to agree on all these and when first mooted social inclusivity was set as a primary objective and stated as such in the November press release. Sadly I can show you an email in which I was told that 'Social inclusivity was never what the project was about - it was about revenue earning'.

I think the growth of the Internet and mobile technology has been amazing. I was at the forefront in selling the 'brick phones with briefcase batteries' which we described as 'mobiles' - we couldn't see how anyone would pay £5,000 for a phone and paid to get out of a long term agency deal.  Wonder whatever happened to Motorola!!  So I know about mistakes in life.

Swindon could have been a test lab and no one would have objected - we were a test lab for Rabbit and Mondex but being a test site needs a competent provider partner - DC was not the right choice.

What probaly would surprise Coun Bluh is that there is a lot of support for innovation and risk taking in Swindon - I haven't heard anyone question the Soalr Panels (although it remains to be seen whether they get them installed and commissioned by the end of july) We are also fully signed up to better waste management technology.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 08:43:03 PM
OK, then the million dollar question:

If SBC asked for a green light to continue:

New management.
Milestone process.
Financial penalty clauses for delivery failure.

Would you support it and "write off" the financials to date?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 28, 2011, 08:43:44 PM
Substantiate and cite your "facts" or withdraw them and accept you are a liar. The responsibility is on YOU to back up what you pass off as facts. I know you cant, so I am just going to skip to the liar part.

Those people who know me well 'Ears' know I do not lie it is abhorrent to me.  You are only calling me a liar because you have lost the argument and only a big girls blouse would resort to abuse. 

The difference between us is that I actually believe what I write whilst you trot out the party line.  I hope you have no intention of becoming a Tory candidate because you will become an embarrassment to them.

Mind you your sycophantic approach should otherwise appeal to them.

I have spoken to Emma Faramarzi regarding my concerns re the technical scope.

Was that the Emma Faramarzi, the Chairman of the FSB. your Partner business or otherwise or the Tory Councillor for Covingham & Nythe?

I would not reject any future conversation regarding the current state of the project if people require my feedback.

I am sure Gnomes of Zurich are anxious to achieve your opinion on this Unique Vibrant Innovative and World First pRoject

Awesome contribution you!  O0

Yes just like all of yours!!! :D
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 28, 2011, 08:45:20 PM
OK, then the million dollar question:

If SBC asked for a green light to continue:

New management.
Milestone process.
Financial penalty clauses for delivery failure.

Would you support it and "write off" the financials to date?

Ok Ears as a businessman would you take over a failed company or would you start again?

I know which of these I would do, but do you?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 08:49:45 PM
I think the council would have had more luck not accessing private sector money and instead attempted to seek permission from the tax payer to run this as a social project.

If the project is to continue it should be run a NPO designed to return the initial startup capital to the taxpayer over the next 3 -5 years via advertising / data mining and no commercial entity should be allowed near it.

Sometimes we have to do things for humanity not for the money.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on June 28, 2011, 08:55:12 PM
Quote
OK, then the million dollar question:

If SBC asked for a green light to continue:

1. New management.
2. Milestone process.
3. Financial penalty clauses for delivery failure.

4. Would you support it and "write off" the financials to date?


1,2 and 3 yes i could support with a few tweaks ie new providers being the main one.

4 afraid not - other than with a caveat.  If someone shows me what happened to the money and honestly satsifies me that it was (a) used for progressing the Wi-Fi project (b) never lined the pockets Mr Hunt or any of his companies or family (c) every proper oversight was made in managing the commercial relationship between SBC and DC and (d) that SBC will never again attempt to negotiate deals which they are seriously lacking in talent and skills to do - then i might be persuaded.  Is that fair?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Scott Thunes on June 28, 2011, 08:59:05 PM
Ears, you are becoming a troll with your insulting postings.

I reiterate - if under the colour of my office I had blown money on such a fundamentally flawed process, I would have been fired.

Nothing to do with the concept of free wi-fi for all, everything to do with the manner in which it was funded. Where is the money? Those responsible should be held personally liable.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on June 28, 2011, 08:59:22 PM
Quote
Sometimes we have to do things for humanity not for the money.

Agreed but providing Wi-Fi isn't one of them - I think free Sky + would get a better vote - yes i know i am being facetious but seriously 'social inclusivity' is a great ideal but generally ends up being an adjunct to welfare.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 09:00:13 PM
Des,

Fair yes, probable no.

If this is to move forward, all parties will need to make concessions. SBC will have to swallow some humble pie, those that want to project to continue will have to accept some financial losses have occurred and may never be explained, thats the price of doing work with a business.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mart on June 28, 2011, 09:01:12 PM
If we are having a lunch club I would like the egg mayo with crispy bacon bits, Some people can't eat that kind of thing, I, luckily am a natural athlete. I just haven't identified the appropriate sport for blokes that wobble a tad more than most.

Take the point that ducking and diving and being a little bit raffish in the fast moving world of commerce is entirely appropriate.

I salute messrs Branson, Sugar, Abramovich and the lady wot opened Specsavers, I envy them but accept they clearly have something about them that I don't. That's life.

I don't equate ducking and diving and being a little bit raffish with being appropriate behaviours in the world of local authorities. Nope, that requires a penny pinching careful approach that guarantees the delivery of key services to the exclusion of all else, if you are a leader in this stolid and safe world and that doesn't float your boat, mebbes you'd be better off applying your undoubted raffshness and general duckydiveness elsewhere. You ain't got the right to use that particular bit of wedge to generate those moist tingly feelings that trigger those delusions of adequacy.

S'only £400k, true, but it was only £250k to start with. Funny how these things escalate innit?

Inappropriate spend funded from the wrong pot, irrationally defended.

If I can't trust someone with £10 it'd be a bit sppy to trust them with a £100 wouldn't it?

Finally. £45m of savings, excellent.

In the same vein I have saved all of my monthly outgoings by not eating, wearing no clothes, not paying my mortgage or my council tax. This then is my sustainable model for future fiscal responsibility round my gaff.

Next week we save £3000 by not going on holiday and £65,000 by not buying that half hundredweight B&O flat screen leviathan.

Course, having identified these savings is one thing, delivering them quite another.....
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 09:06:31 PM
Ears, you are becoming a troll with your insulting postings.

I reiterate - if under the colour of my office I had blown money on such a fundamentally flawed process, I would have been fired.

Nothing to do with the concept of free wi-fi for all, everything to do with the manner in which it was funded. Where is the money? Those responsible should be held personally liable.

I am a little lost in the sea of posts, your the spunk and pissing guy right?

Fella, What I am doing can be classed as many things, but what it is not, is trolling.

You want to know who is ultimately responsible for this?

1: The limited legal entity that is Digital City, I can assure that is what will take the drop, welcome to the corporate world.

2: The people that voted for those in power and who will vote them in again i am sure.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 09:10:33 PM
Mart,

I do understand your point that a budget is worthless unless delivered, however the Conservatives nationally and locally have a proven record of keeping the books in order.

As you must know by now I agree with your other points as I have said many times I consider the project to have been technically and financially mismanaged.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on June 28, 2011, 09:18:10 PM
Quote
You want to know who is ultimately responsible for this?

1: The limited legal entity that is Digital City, I can assure that is what will take the drop, welcome to the corporate world.

Now i feel awful about this but let's take this a little bit further - and yes i agree with you that the corporate organisation ultimately responsible for failing to provide a Wi-Fi network to the Borough and in turn 'running off' with £400k of 'our' money is Digital City UK Limited. 

However, all corporate bodies have real people in charge, so will you agree that the directors in post at the time £150k was spent on Highworth and those in post when the £250k went 'walk about' should be held responsible and be required to resign any SBC posts they occupy? 

ps i did say i felt awful doing this to you, but you opened the door i only walked through
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Scott Thunes on June 28, 2011, 09:18:32 PM
Ears, you are becoming a troll with your insulting postings.

I reiterate - if under the colour of my office I had blown money on such a fundamentally flawed process, I would have been fired.

Nothing to do with the concept of free wi-fi for all, everything to do with the manner in which it was funded. Where is the money? Those responsible should be held personally liable.

I am a little lost in the sea of posts, your the spunk and pissing guy right?

Fella, What I am doing can be classed as many things, but what it is not, is trolling.

You want to know who is ultimately responsible for this?

1: The limited legal entity that is Digital City, I can assure that is what will take the drop, welcome to the corporate world.

2: The people that voted for those in power and who will vote them in again i am sure.

Right-wing AND patronising. What a delightful combination you are.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 09:36:26 PM
Quote
You want to know who is ultimately responsible for this?

1: The limited legal entity that is Digital City, I can assure that is what will take the drop, welcome to the corporate world.

Now i feel awful about this but let's take this a little bit further - and yes i agree with you that the corporate organisation ultimately responsible for failing to provide a Wi-Fi network to the Borough and in turn 'running off' with £400k of 'our' money is Digital City UK Limited. 

However, all corporate bodies have real people in charge, so will you agree that the directors in post at the time £150k was spent on Highworth and those in post when the £250k went 'walk about' should be held responsible and be required to resign any SBC posts they occupy? 

ps i did say i felt awful doing this to you, but you opened the door i only walked through

Well I have walked through the door and I hope you understand my response is sincere:

I want to stress everything I write is entirely speculative, I have no insight at all into the real world matter.

The breakdown:

1: DC will be a limited legal entity with its own ability to accrue liabilities and assets, of course the directors exposure is also limited to that of the company as with the shareholders, the only notable exceptions are things like corporate manslaughter. Unless the director(s?) have personal guarantees, in which case you can rest assured that will suffer for some time yet and you can stand down the hounds.

2: The SBC who will have entered into a commercial agreement with DC including NDA's NCC's etc.

So the situation is fairly straight forward, the SBC could pursue DC repayment , if pushed DC will fold and the liability will die in legal entity known as DC.

The shareholders can pursue the director, but any director worth his salt would ensure the company was already insured against that eventuality and it will become a contest between SBC's taxpayers purse and the insurance agency (deep pockets)

Either way the taxpayer loses.

The only way this will not be true is if SBC constructed a legal framework to ensure personal compliance by the directors in even of X, Y and Z, and if thats true I can promise you an extensive NDA exists around it and we will never know about it. It may be that as we speak SBC are ripping the directors a new hole, however if such a process exists and they "won" you will not hear a peep out of either party.

Hence my original point, it remains for us the people of the town to decide if we want to move forward. If so I am absolutely sure we will have to write off the 250K and I am sure that SBC will have to transparently ensure that the project is much better managed going forward.

Otherwise we enter a legal bloodbath that I expect to be settled in ohhhh *looks at watch* ten years time?

If we want to move forward we need to do so with consensus and without all the armchair legals. Personally I want to see this project in the next 3 years so I would hope for a "peacefull" none legal resolution.

But a slice of humility all round is required.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 09:38:12 PM
Ears, you are becoming a troll with your insulting postings.

I reiterate - if under the colour of my office I had blown money on such a fundamentally flawed process, I would have been fired.

Nothing to do with the concept of free wi-fi for all, everything to do with the manner in which it was funded. Where is the money? Those responsible should be held personally liable.

I am a little lost in the sea of posts, your the spunk and pissing guy right?

Fella, What I am doing can be classed as many things, but what it is not, is trolling.

You want to know who is ultimately responsible for this?

1: The limited legal entity that is Digital City, I can assure that is what will take the drop, welcome to the corporate world.

2: The people that voted for those in power and who will vote them in again i am sure.

Right-wing AND patronising. What a delightful combination you are.

Awesome contribution you!   O0
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Scott Thunes on June 28, 2011, 09:39:32 PM
Ears, you are becoming a troll with your insulting postings.

I reiterate - if under the colour of my office I had blown money on such a fundamentally flawed process, I would have been fired.

Nothing to do with the concept of free wi-fi for all, everything to do with the manner in which it was funded. Where is the money? Those responsible should be held personally liable.

I am a little lost in the sea of posts, your the spunk and pissing guy right?

Fella, What I am doing can be classed as many things, but what it is not, is trolling.

You want to know who is ultimately responsible for this?

1: The limited legal entity that is Digital City, I can assure that is what will take the drop, welcome to the corporate world.

2: The people that voted for those in power and who will vote them in again i am sure.

Right-wing AND patronising. What a delightful combination you are.

Awesome contribution you!   O0

As I said: Right-wing AND patronising. What a delightful combination you are.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 09:40:44 PM
Ears, you are becoming a troll with your insulting postings.

I reiterate - if under the colour of my office I had blown money on such a fundamentally flawed process, I would have been fired.

Nothing to do with the concept of free wi-fi for all, everything to do with the manner in which it was funded. Where is the money? Those responsible should be held personally liable.

I am a little lost in the sea of posts, your the spunk and pissing guy right?

Fella, What I am doing can be classed as many things, but what it is not, is trolling.

You want to know who is ultimately responsible for this?

1: The limited legal entity that is Digital City, I can assure that is what will take the drop, welcome to the corporate world.

2: The people that voted for those in power and who will vote them in again i am sure.

Right-wing AND patronising. What a delightful combination you are.

Awesome contribution you!   O0

As I said: Right-wing AND patronising. What a delightful combination you are.

Awesome contribution you!  O0
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: moley on June 28, 2011, 09:41:19 PM


More philosophical questions: Was Wi-Fi a failure because we are all too cynical, or are we cynical because Wi-Fi was a failure? Or that similar projects were a failure? Or because there's a deep distrust towards some of the personalities involved?


I was cynical because I did not believe that a startup company without any obvious operational skills in this area could deliver a project of that size on the budget available with an attractive enough offering to meet their targets.

Having some experience of projects of this general type, there is a huge amount of planning and preparation goes into a deployment (not turn up and stick a few boxes up a lamp-post).  If the startup were being run by someone who'd been an operations director for Vodafone/BT I might have believed in it....

Some of the issues which subsequently turned up appear to be well known issues in this kind of project (e.g. double glazing).

Moley
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Scott Thunes on June 28, 2011, 09:48:09 PM
Ears, you are becoming a troll with your insulting postings.

I reiterate - if under the colour of my office I had blown money on such a fundamentally flawed process, I would have been fired.

Nothing to do with the concept of free wi-fi for all, everything to do with the manner in which it was funded. Where is the money? Those responsible should be held personally liable.

I am a little lost in the sea of posts, your the spunk and pissing guy right?

Fella, What I am doing can be classed as many things, but what it is not, is trolling.

You want to know who is ultimately responsible for this?

1: The limited legal entity that is Digital City, I can assure that is what will take the drop, welcome to the corporate world.

2: The people that voted for those in power and who will vote them in again i am sure.

Right-wing AND patronising. What a delightful combination you are.

Awesome contribution you!   O0

As I said: Right-wing AND patronising. What a delightful combination you are.

Awesome contribution you!  O0

You are in danger of becoming the Brizzley of this forum. I would like to engage in sensible debate, but you seem incapable of so doing, preferring to be glib and dismissive.

A pity, but not untypical of a Tory.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 09:49:17 PM


More philosophical questions: Was Wi-Fi a failure because we are all too cynical, or are we cynical because Wi-Fi was a failure? Or that similar projects were a failure? Or because there's a deep distrust towards some of the personalities involved?


I was cynical because I did not believe that a startup company without any obvious operational skills in this area could deliver a project of that size on the budget available with an attractive enough offering to meet their targets.

Having some experience of projects of this general type, there is a huge amount of planning and preparation goes into a deployment (not turn up and stick a few boxes up a lamp-post).  If the startup were being run by someone who'd been an operations director for Vodafone/BT I might have believed in it....

Some of the issues which subsequently turned up appear to be well known issues in this kind of project (e.g. double glazing).

Moley

This.

One of the main misunderstandings about this project was that the system would magically penetrate every structure and allow people inside and out to receive the signal. Clearly this was madness.

Municipal Wifi is exactly that, a signal available whilst you traverse the town.

If this ever gets another shot it must be sold to the people of the town as that alone, if in the future indoors AP's and repeaters are used then fine, but right off the bat it should be simple "if you go out the front door you can use Wifi X for free"

That in itself would be utterly amazing.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mart on June 28, 2011, 09:55:57 PM
Conservatives nationally and locally have a proven record of keeping the books in order.


Ah, but at what cost?

If you deliver feck all it costs feck all.

Except it is costing someway north of feck all, pretend fiscal nihilism is no more an answer than total loss of fiscal bladder control,

Both the retentive blues and incontinent reds are far too well insulated from the consequences of their ideological games of silly buggers.

Everything is slashed but the slashers, doesn't make logical sense.

P'raps I'm just a small minded cynic who can't see the big picture. Still, I'm happy in my way.

Did I mention I consider the project to have been technically and financially mismanaged?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 10:00:27 PM
Ears, you are becoming a troll with your insulting postings.

I reiterate - if under the colour of my office I had blown money on such a fundamentally flawed process, I would have been fired.

Nothing to do with the concept of free wi-fi for all, everything to do with the manner in which it was funded. Where is the money? Those responsible should be held personally liable.

I am a little lost in the sea of posts, your the spunk and pissing guy right?

Fella, What I am doing can be classed as many things, but what it is not, is trolling.

You want to know who is ultimately responsible for this?

1: The limited legal entity that is Digital City, I can assure that is what will take the drop, welcome to the corporate world.

2: The people that voted for those in power and who will vote them in again i am sure.

Right-wing AND patronising. What a delightful combination you are.

Awesome contribution you!   O0

As I said: Right-wing AND patronising. What a delightful combination you are.

Awesome contribution you!  O0

You are in danger of becoming the Brizzley of this forum. I would like to engage in sensible debate, but you seem incapable of so doing, preferring to be glib and dismissive.

A pity, but not untypical of a Tory.

Scott, has it not sunk in yet fella?

If you want to attack me personally and call names believe me I have all day to sit and play that game.

If you want to engage me in reasoned debate, I will reciprocate willingly.

It is, and has always been your choice.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 10:04:15 PM
Quote
Quote from: Tobes on Today at 07:22:39 PM

   
Quote
Ears stopped being credible a long time ago when his innate hypocrisy got the better of him.

    He is arguing because he is politically partisan and potentially commercially involved. The facts have now become inconvenient irritations - which is why he is resorting to personal abuse whilst crying insult at the same time.

    End of.

Awesome contribution you!   O0

... and more cogent and consistent than yours into the bargain!!

What ward are they standing you in?

Tobes, you played at being a big boy and using words I know you are not really familiar with, and you now you almost came close to me actually taking you seriously, and I promise in the future I will if you use a moderate tone.

But you must do me one favor first:

When I said you made me smile whenever you posted I meant it in a very literal sense. Read your sig, then go and look up Evelyn Beatrice Hall.

Once complete then you can pretend to be the font of all wisdom and come back to the table for a grown up talk and some rational debate, but please take it as a lesson that just because something is popular and oft quoted does not make it true.

And sometimes, just maybe you can be wrong.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Scott Thunes on June 28, 2011, 10:10:15 PM
Ears, you are becoming a troll with your insulting postings.

I reiterate - if under the colour of my office I had blown money on such a fundamentally flawed process, I would have been fired.

Nothing to do with the concept of free wi-fi for all, everything to do with the manner in which it was funded. Where is the money? Those responsible should be held personally liable.

I am a little lost in the sea of posts, your the spunk and pissing guy right?

Fella, What I am doing can be classed as many things, but what it is not, is trolling.

You want to know who is ultimately responsible for this?

1: The limited legal entity that is Digital City, I can assure that is what will take the drop, welcome to the corporate world.

2: The people that voted for those in power and who will vote them in again i am sure.

Right-wing AND patronising. What a delightful combination you are.

Awesome contribution you!   O0

As I said: Right-wing AND patronising. What a delightful combination you are.

Awesome contribution you!  O0

You are in danger of becoming the Brizzley of this forum. I would like to engage in sensible debate, but you seem incapable of so doing, preferring to be glib and dismissive.

A pity, but not untypical of a Tory.

Scott, has it not sunk in yet fella?

If you want to attack me personally and call names believe me I have all day to sit and play that game.

If you want to engage me in reasoned debate, I will reciprocate willingly.

It is, and has always been your choice.

I don't call people names. You're the one who says "you're the spunk and pissing guy, right?"

What I have done is express my opinion about SBC wasting our money on a flawed process, and have called for it to be rectified. We actually agree on the principle of a local authority being adventurous. But you seem to be forgiving of the loss of half a million quid, as it's only a gnat's cock compared to the rest of SBC's budget.

No doubt you will find some amusement in my use of the word 'cock'.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: James on June 28, 2011, 10:11:18 PM
For me the key issue is that no-one in power seemed to have noticed that the project was dead in the water when they gave it an additional £250,000.

These people are involved in £million+ projects. If they are working with the private sector, I dread to think what will be missed.

But I suppose that sort of behaviour will attract the private sector to come to Swindon... :angel:

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mart on June 28, 2011, 10:19:34 PM
For me the key issue is that no-one in power seemed to have noticed that the project was dead in the water when they gave it an additional £250,000.

Ditto, I harbour an incy wincy suspicion that maybe, just maybe, someone had a little nagging doubt but it was just a little smudge in the corner of the big picture, further obscured by the vibrations I shouldn't wonder.

Like most people I expect, or hope, my elected officials will have principles I don't necessarily have myself. That's especially the case when they keep telling me they've got them.

So if they piss away 4d I get the hump, if they piss away £400k I get the hump.

I said piss. I know lots of swears I do. I use them to compensate for my limited feckin vocabulary.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Chav on June 28, 2011, 10:28:00 PM
Ears, you are becoming a troll with your insulting postings.

I reiterate - if under the colour of my office I had blown money on such a fundamentally flawed process, I would have been fired.

Nothing to do with the concept of free wi-fi for all, everything to do with the manner in which it was funded. Where is the money? Those responsible should be held personally liable.

I am a little lost in the sea of posts, your the spunk and pissing guy right?

Fella, What I am doing can be classed as many things, but what it is not, is trolling.

You want to know who is ultimately responsible for this?

1: The limited legal entity that is Digital City, I can assure that is what will take the drop, welcome to the corporate world.

2: The people that voted for those in power and who will vote them in again i am sure.

Right-wing AND patronising. What a delightful combination you are.

Awesome contribution you!   O0

As I said: Right-wing AND patronising. What a delightful combination you are.

Awesome contribution you!  O0

You are in danger of becoming the Brizzley of this forum. I would like to engage in sensible debate, but you seem incapable of so doing, preferring to be glib and dismissive.

A pity, but not untypical of a Tory.

Scott, has it not sunk in yet fella?

If you want to attack me personally and call names believe me I have all day to sit and play that game.

If you want to engage me in reasoned debate, I will reciprocate willingly.

It is, and has always been your choice.

I don't call people names. You're the one who says "you're the spunk and pissing guy, right?"

What I have done is express my opinion about SBC wasting our money on a flawed process, and have called for it to be rectified. We actually agree on the principle of a local authority being adventurous. But you seem to be forgiving of the loss of half a million quid, as it's only a gnat's cock compared to the rest of SBC's budget.

No doubt you will find some amusement in my use of the word 'cock'.
I think it was the ultimate cock up - thing is if i defaulted on my mortgage payments I would lose my home.
So what exactly did we get in Swindon for the £450k ?

People are human and do cock up from time to time but sometimes its about holding your hands up and saying sorry I/we got it wrong.

Will SBC get the money back or are they continuing to hold out for the wifi?
Oh and what happened to the secret investor? That seems to have gone a bit quiet.

Right I'm off to watch my Hustle DVD  :smiley6600:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mellon on June 28, 2011, 10:36:55 PM
Bloody hell, haven't been on properly for a few days. A tad confused with who's said what, anyone one fancy explaining or is 'I'm All Ears' just following Brizzley and 20Eyes style of posts.

I think 'I'm All Ears' could be the next contender for the 'TS Naughty Step' (current population 1). Who fancies a vote on it? (Trolls exempt from vote)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Scott Thunes on June 28, 2011, 10:40:19 PM
Bloody hell, haven't been on properly for a few days. A tad confused with who's said what, anyone one fancy explaining or is 'I'm All Ears' just following Brizzley and 20Eyes style of posts.

I think 'I'm All Ears' could be the next contender for the 'TS Naughty Step' (current population 1). Who fancies a vote on it? (Trolls exempt from vote)

I'm in. Not sure why Ears has become so obnoxious, but no doubt my contribution will be shortly royally patronised.....
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 28, 2011, 10:42:49 PM
Ears, you are becoming a troll with your insulting postings.

I reiterate - if under the colour of my office I had blown money on such a fundamentally flawed process, I would have been fired.

Nothing to do with the concept of free wi-fi for all, everything to do with the manner in which it was funded. Where is the money? Those responsible should be held personally liable.

I am a little lost in the sea of posts, your the spunk and pissing guy right?

Fella, What I am doing can be classed as many things, but what it is not, is trolling.

You want to know who is ultimately responsible for this?

1: The limited legal entity that is Digital City, I can assure that is what will take the drop, welcome to the corporate world.

2: The people that voted for those in power and who will vote them in again i am sure.

So Ears you are saying that Rod Bluh and Mark Edwards were right to back this crazy concept with an inexperienced partner and they have no responsibility whatever for the outcome?  After all they precluded involvement from fellow Cabinet Members and Members of the Council alike.  Does this show Responsibility and should it involve Accountability?  Did Mr Hunt see them coming from the top of Everest?

And as for point 2 how can the electorate be responsible for this failure when they never elected this administration to gamble with our money in speculative ventures?

And what is to stop them doing it again? 

After all both Rod Bluh and Mark Edwards have indicated that they need to speculate to balance the budget.

Do you condone such a policy with public money?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Chav on June 28, 2011, 10:46:15 PM
Bloody hell, haven't been on properly for a few days. A tad confused with who's said what, anyone one fancy explaining or is 'I'm All Ears' just following Brizzley and 20Eyes style of posts.

I think 'I'm All Ears' could be the next contender for the 'TS Naughty Step' (current population 1). Who fancies a vote on it? (Trolls exempt from vote)
Can I just mention that I'm all ears has missed a crucial part of his statement that Scott Thunes is the spunk and pissing guy so I will add to it;
SCOTT THUNES has got BALLSssss  O0
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Trollee on June 28, 2011, 10:52:28 PM
Bloody hell, haven't been on properly for a few days. A tad confused with who's said what, anyone one fancy explaining or is 'I'm All Ears' just following Brizzley and 20Eyes style of posts.

I think 'I'm All Ears' could be the next contender for the 'TS Naughty Step' (current population 1). Who fancies a vote on it? (Trolls exempt from vote)

yeah what is the diferencebetween this troll and 29
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: the gorgon on June 28, 2011, 10:53:02 PM
Bloody hell, haven't been on properly for a few days. A tad confused with who's said what, anyone one fancy explaining or is 'I'm All Ears' just following Brizzley and 20Eyes style of posts.

I think 'I'm All Ears' could be the next contender for the 'TS Naughty Step' (current population 1). Who fancies a vote on it? (Trolls exempt from vote)


I'm in. Not sure why Ears has become so obnoxious, but no doubt my contribution will be shortly royally patronised.....


You do have to wonder why...

Well here is who Im All Ears claims to be (according to their first post)

http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=7650.msg61569#msg61569 (http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=7650.msg61569#msg61569)

Quote
Hello,

I am Emma Faramarzi's partner (Councillor For Covingham and Nythe).

Emma has an interest in the regeneration component of the Forward Swindon process in her capacity as Chairperson of the FSB.

I have been picking through the forum in an attempt to gather together the various good ideas spread throughout the posts, however it would be useful if people could update this post with their latest views as to what they would like to see by order of priority in the regeneration process or indeed any thoughts regarding the wider well-being of the Swindon infrastructure.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Scott Thunes on June 28, 2011, 10:55:28 PM
Bloody hell, haven't been on properly for a few days. A tad confused with who's said what, anyone one fancy explaining or is 'I'm All Ears' just following Brizzley and 20Eyes style of posts.

I think 'I'm All Ears' could be the next contender for the 'TS Naughty Step' (current population 1). Who fancies a vote on it? (Trolls exempt from vote)
Can I just mention that I'm all ears has missed a crucial part of his statement that Scott Thunes is the spunk and pissing guy so I will add to it;
SCOTT THUNES has got BALLSssss  O0

Thanks Chav. I just speak as I find, and I'm very animated about apologists like Ears condoning misuse of public money. Imagine if it were YOUR father lacking in personal care because Coun Bluh backhanded a few quid to an old pal (Hunt) to punt on the LA equivalent of the Grand National.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 28, 2011, 11:04:29 PM
Incidentally Ears did you attend any of the Scrutiny or Audit Meetings at which this very subject was discussed, at considerable length?

If not you are at a somewhat considerable disadvantage.

Because there are a number of people on here who did and continually questioned it.

So come on what did you learn from your personal involvement?

Or are you just quoting the party line and doing what you are told?

and one final question what do you think of the position of Deputy Leader of the Council Garry Perkins? 

After all he has been a Director of Digital City since the time before the loan of the final £250,000.  Does he hold no responsibility for this money in either of his two capacities and in view of his failure to protect our money should he not resign forthwith?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mellon on June 28, 2011, 11:09:44 PM
Eh? Spunk and pissing?......I don't think I want to know to be honest.

Scott thanks for your reply, no doubt Ears will attempt to post something patronising but then again when someone is reaching the end of their argument insults always form. I should know, I've been there many a time.

As for ears, he's becoming another Troll my advice is don't talk to him, ignore him and don't do this.....

Ears how can anyone take your argument seriously when you are insulting, patronising, hypocritical but then again we can't expect much more seeing as apparently (as i have been informed) your mrs said she would stand down from the FSB upon election, I'm guessing she rubbed off on you
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 11:29:35 PM
Bloody hell, haven't been on properly for a few days. A tad confused with who's said what, anyone one fancy explaining or is 'I'm All Ears' just following Brizzley and 20Eyes style of posts.

I think 'I'm All Ears' could be the next contender for the 'TS Naughty Step' (current population 1). Who fancies a vote on it? (Trolls exempt from vote)


Lemmon,

Nothing, absolutely nothing, would bring me more joy than to be silenced / censored by "the majority" on this forum.

You will able to very quickly rename it www.Talk(butonlyifyoufollowthehurd)Swindon.org (http://www.Talk(butonlyifyoufollowthehurd)Swindon.org)

Wont that be nice, mein Kapitan?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 11:31:27 PM
Bloody hell, haven't been on properly for a few days. A tad confused with who's said what, anyone one fancy explaining or is 'I'm All Ears' just following Brizzley and 20Eyes style of posts.

I think 'I'm All Ears' could be the next contender for the 'TS Naughty Step' (current population 1). Who fancies a vote on it? (Trolls exempt from vote)


I'm in. Not sure why Ears has become so obnoxious, but no doubt my contribution will be shortly royally patronised.....


You do have to wonder why...

Well here is who Im All Ears claims to be (according to their first post)

[url]http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=7650.msg61569#msg61569[/url] ([url]http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=7650.msg61569#msg61569[/url])

Quote
Hello,

I am Emma Faramarzi's partner (Councillor For Covingham and Nythe).

Emma has an interest in the regeneration component of the Forward Swindon process in her capacity as Chairperson of the FSB.

I have been picking through the forum in an attempt to gather together the various good ideas spread throughout the posts, however it would be useful if people could update this post with their latest views as to what they would like to see by order of priority in the regeneration process or indeed any thoughts regarding the wider well-being of the Swindon infrastructure.

Any thoughts appreciated.



Bloody hell Inspector Clouseau, did you find that all by yourself?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 11:38:39 PM
Incidentally Ears did you attend any of the Scrutiny or Audit Meetings at which this very subject was discussed, at considerable length?

If not you are at a somewhat considerable disadvantage.

Because there are a number of people on here who did and continually questioned it.

So come on what did you learn from your personal involvement?

Or are you just quoting the party line and doing what you are told?

and one final question what do you think of the position of Deputy Leader of the Council Garry Perkins? 

After all he has been a Director of Digital City since the time before the loan of the final £250,000.  Does he hold no responsibility for this money in either of his two capacities and in view of his failure to protect our money should he not resign forthwith?

So come on what did you learn from your personal involvement? I have no personal involvement. Please clarify.

Or are you just quoting the party line and doing what you are told? I have no allegiance to any particular party or the lines they may be able to offer. If at some time I am convinced otherwise I will tell you,

and one final question what do you think of the position of Deputy Leader of the Council Garry Perkins?  - Never met the bloke, heard the name, I am sure he is a nice chap.

After all he has been a Director of Digital City since the time before the loan of the final £250,000.  Does he hold no responsibility for this money in either of his two capacities and in view of his failure to protect our money should he not resign forthwith? - IF what you are saying is true, then I imagine a conflict of interest existed and I would expect Mr Perkins is able to explain how he discharged his duties as both Deputy Leader and Director.

However as I have explained many times , I am posting on this forums as an excited technologist who genuinely wants Swindon to have a municipal Wifi scheme, I am not here to apportion blame, I am here to research if any practical way exists to move it forward, as I am investigating other avenues.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 11:46:34 PM
Eh? Spunk and pissing?......I don't think I want to know to be honest.

Scott thanks for your reply, no doubt Ears will attempt to post something patronising but then again when someone is reaching the end of their argument insults always form. I should know, I've been there many a time.

As for ears, he's becoming another Troll my advice is don't talk to him, ignore him and don't do this.....

Ears how can anyone take your argument seriously when you are insulting, patronising, hypocritical but then again we can't expect much more seeing as your mrs said she would stand down from the FSB upon election, I'm guessing she rubbed off on you

Oh nice try Lemmon!

Emma does not need me to defend her. I am sure you have read the "in our household people are allowed a difference of opinion" speech from me, all I can say is you would do well to learn from it.

One thing I can assure you is, Emma has rubbed off on me many times.

She teaches me many things.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mellon on June 28, 2011, 11:48:54 PM
Quote
Lemmon,

Nothing, absolutely nothing, would bring me more joy than to be silenced / censored by "the majority" on this forum.

You will able to very quickly rename it [url=http://www.Talk(butonlyifyoufollowthehurd)Swindon.org]www.Talk(butonlyifyoufollowthehurd)Swindon.org[/url] ([url]http://www.Talk(butonlyifyoufollowthehurd)Swindon.org)[/url]

Wont that be nice, mein Kapitan?


Lemmon? Not the worst I've been called, a tad disappointed with that, did you think of it yourself or did you have help from the other half? 

Kapitan? Are you in the bunker?

Anyway if you can't take people questioning your actions then you could just log out and never return, I don't think anyone on TS can think any less of you from your recent attitude towards some contributors.


As for the martyr thing, 20 tried it and now he's got a post delay for acting the same as you are now, no censorship or silence. Besides can't really expect much more from a troll, "poor me, I'm acting like an idiot and no one likes me"


Diddums.

Many Regards

Lemmon

 
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 11:52:10 PM
HOLY CRAP LEMMON YOU WIN THE INTERNET YOU REALLY DO:

 :spin: :spin: :spin: YOU INVOKED GODWINS LAW!!!  :spin: :spin: :spin:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law)

Lemmon, from here on in, you lose all arguments by default.

*ahem* and I quote

"It is generally perceived that falling foul of Godwin's law tends to end up causing the individual making the comparison to lose their argument and/or credibility...."

Congrats fella!

Sorry to make a big thing out of it...but you know.....wow....its been like 5 years since I have seen anyone do that....i mean....wow.

*bows*
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mellon on June 28, 2011, 11:54:12 PM
Quote
Oh nice try Lemmon!

Emma does not need me to defend her.

All that I can say as an assurance is, Emma has rubbed off on me many times.

I learned a lot.

Yet when Geoff Reid put a question up to Emma you seemed to post as if you were her and defended it to the point of bizzareness, and if Emma does rub off on you, I hope you have learned to read things before blindly signing it on behalf of a group of people.

So perhaps you can answer for her as you originally came here on her behalf or has your mission changed in-line with the conservative party and personal political message and if Emma really can defend herself, where is she? I note she's logged in quite a bit but hardly ever engages unless it looks good.....interesting
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 28, 2011, 11:56:35 PM
Sorry Lemmon, read up ^^^^^^^

What has been done, cannot be undone.  :popcorn:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mellon on June 28, 2011, 11:57:04 PM
Quote
HOLY CRAP LEMMON YOU WIN THE INTERNET YOU REALLY DO:

 :spin: :spin: :spin: YOU INVOKED GODWINS LAW!!!  :spin: :spin: :spin:

[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law[/url] ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law[/url])

Lemmon, from here on in, you lose all arguments by default.

*ahem* and I quote

"It is generally perceived that falling foul of Godwin's law tends to end up causing the individual making the comparison to lose their argument and/or credibility...."

Congrats fella!

Sorry to make a big thing out of it...but you know.....wow....its been like 5 years since I have seen anyone do that....i mean....wow.

*bows*



And?......interesting you missed out the rest of the post.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 29, 2011, 12:00:06 AM
Oh alright then Lemmon we will let you back in, but only if you promise not to be a naughty boy and no more Nazi talk.

Right,

I know with 1557 posts you may think this forum is the centre of your world, but its actually a teeny weeny insy winsy bit of the internet, and certainly nothing compared to the size of Emma's inbox.

If she has time to pop in, I am sure she will, shes a nice lady, but if you think she can sit around like me and spend hours posting, sorry fella she has real work to do.

Never mind, you can still talk to me.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 29, 2011, 12:02:28 AM
Oh Lemmon nice retro repost of your Nazi speel, but remember SQL database record everything......  :angel:

Awww im just kidding, we all had to start on the internet sometime.

Just in case you ever forget though:

Screeny!

(http://ploader.net/files/4c186299c87374321cac63a66100828f.png) (http://ploader.net/#4c186299c87374321cac63a66100828f.png)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Tobes on June 29, 2011, 12:07:08 AM
Mr Ears,

You may know something about IT - but not so much regarding the skill of charm it seems  ;D

I'd just like to remind you that this thread will sit on the web in some form for ever. People can judge your performance for themselves. Whilst you like to portray yourself as the victim, any reader can clearly see how much of the personal insult has come from (and continues to come from) you. It's there, indelibly amidst the pixels. It might look a tad hypocritical to a new reader, a hypocrisy which hardly advances either your argument or your credibility. They can also draw their own conclusions regarding what you've said and equally importantly, why. I hope they do. But lets try to draw a curtain over that and proceed like nice boys.

Now, you do raise the alternative arguments as to the conduct of the project, which ordinarily I'd welcome - and its also pleasing to see that as the thread has continued, you've conceded point by point that the project was FUBAR from beginning to end (though you appear to still believe that it remains viable).

Mart pretty much does the final analysis for me when, on top of all of the failures of planning, management and delivery, he reminds us all once again that it is NOT the job of local government to gamble with public money: Especially when these funds aren't protected by the sort of contract ANY reasonable person might have expected.

I keep repeating the political question, because I'd like to understand your motivation and anger that forum members don't share your enthusiasm or willingness to defend the as yet unrepentant Bluh and Perkins. The cause of our anger is clear. We're tax payers - the money wasted was ours. Many of us also have enough of a knowledge and appreciation of technology, business process and practice to see that the project was clearly doomed right from the off. We're also angry because our elected representatives wasted our money on a piece of rank speculation - and did so under a needless cloak of confidentiality. It's nepotistic, amateur and seedy.

Which leads me on to you and your 'all ears' participation on this forum. I guess you'd bring some credibility if we could believe that your passion stemmed from a deeper understanding of the issues than us mere mortals. What is entirely possible, given your business background, is that your motivation might be directly commercial. Could that make you <ahem> 'less than objective'?

Quote
All that I can say as an assurance is, Emma has rubbed off on me many times.

 :o Cor, I can't imagine that she'll be too happy you sharing that bit of personal info on a public forum!


(PS - apro pos nothing at all of relevance to this thread, but in reply to your reference to my sig - my signature is staying as it is. The phrase is known as Voltaire's Dictum - whilst its ascription to Voltaire is apocryphal,  the words were used by Evelyn Beatrice Hall to describe his philosophy in precis. Its their meaning I'm interested in. Besides, I haven't the room to add "Voltaire's Dictum as actually written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall" - not that it would make any difference anyway)

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 29, 2011, 12:08:07 AM
Is it time for another Movie?

What title shall we call it this time?

I am all Ears in the Bunker? or

The Bunker is under new Management?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mellon on June 29, 2011, 12:09:50 AM
Quote
Oh alright then Lemmon we will let you back in, but only if you promise not to be a naughty boy and no more Nazi talk.

Right,

I know with 1557 posts you may think this forum is the centre of your world, but its actually a teeny weeny insy winsy bit of the internet, and certainly nothing compared to the size of Emma's inbox.

If she has time to pop in, I am sure she will, shes a nice lady, but if you think she can sit around like me and spend hours posting, sorry fella she has real work to do.

Never mind, you can still talk to me.

So your not going to query the points I made in the posts then? As for the snide at me and Talkswindon, believe it or not its one of the very few things I have, feel free to continue sniping, ill just continue ignoring it.

Who doesn't have real work to do? Well me , I'm currently jobless but in town again tomorrow looking for work, not all of us have the luxury of sitting around chasing people round forums

As for the re-post....yeah, so what?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Trollee on June 29, 2011, 12:11:08 AM
Oh alright then Lemmon we will let you back in, but only if you promise not to be a naughty boy and no more Nazi talk.

Right,

I know with 1557 posts you may think this forum is the centre of your world, but its actually a teeny weeny insy winsy bit of the internet, and certainly nothing compared to the size of Emma's inbox.


do you alway talk about your mrs in this way
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 29, 2011, 12:12:10 AM
Ohhh i see what you did there Trollee *nudge nudge* *plays banjo*

Fresh!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mellon on June 29, 2011, 12:13:09 AM
Quote
Is it time for another Movie?

What title shall we call it this time?

I am all Ears in the Bunker? or

The Bunker is under new Management?

Nah it would be an adult magazine called "20 Eyes, All Ears and Shapely Rears"

(I'm currently working on a new film project but its temporarily on hold due to personal reasons)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 29, 2011, 12:14:07 AM
Quote
Oh alright then Lemmon we will let you back in, but only if you promise not to be a naughty boy and no more Nazi talk.

Right,

I know with 1557 posts you may think this forum is the centre of your world, but its actually a teeny weeny insy winsy bit of the internet, and certainly nothing compared to the size of Emma's inbox.

If she has time to pop in, I am sure she will, shes a nice lady, but if you think she can sit around like me and spend hours posting, sorry fella she has real work to do.

Never mind, you can still talk to me.

So your not going to query the points I made in the posts then? As for the snide at me and Talkswindon, believe it or not its one of the very few things I have, feel free to continue sniping, ill just continue ignoring it.

Who doesn't have real work to do? Well me , I'm currently jobless but in town again tomorrow looking for work, not all of us have the luxury of sitting around chasing people round forums

As for the re-post....yeah, so what?

Like I said Lemmon, when you talk like a grown up. stop the personal attacks and make meaningful comments, then yes I will respond to you with respect.

You have politely removed your Nazi stuff, so thats a good start.

Lets see what tomorrow brings.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 29, 2011, 12:17:52 AM
Well Ears you have entertained at least fifteen of us all night.

Quite an achievement!!   >:D

However I wonder what your boss would have to say about your postings?

Are you an attribute or an embarrassment?

I have had enough now and am off to bed!!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 29, 2011, 12:27:01 AM
Mr Ears,

You may know something about IT - but not so much regarding the skill of charm it seems  ;D

I'd just like to remind you that this thread will sit on the web in some form for ever. People can judge your performance for themselves. Whilst you like to portray yourself as the victim, any reader can clearly see how much of the personal insult has come from (and continues to come from) you. It's there, indelibly amidst the pixels. It might look a tad hypocritical to a new reader, a hypocrisy which hardly advances either your argument or your credibility. They can also draw their own conclusions regarding what you've said and equally importantly, why. I hope they do. But lets try to draw a curtain over that and proceed like nice boys.

Now, you do raise the alternative arguments as to the conduct of the project, which ordinarily I'd welcome - and its also pleasing to see that as the thread has continued, you've conceded point by point that the project was FUBAR from beginning to end (though you appear to still believe that it remains viable).

Mart pretty much does the final analysis for me when, on top of all of the failures of planning, management and delivery, he reminds us all once again that it is NOT the job of local government to gamble with public money: Especially when these funds aren't protected by the sort of contract ANY reasonable person might have expected.

I keep repeating the political question, because I'd like to understand your motivation and anger that forum members don't share your enthusiasm or willingness to defend the as yet unrepentant Bluh and Perkins. The cause of our anger is clear. We're tax payers - the money wasted was ours. Many of us also have enough of a knowledge and appreciation of technology, business process and practice to see that the project was clearly doomed right from the off. We're also angry because our elected representatives wasted our money on a piece of rank speculation - and did so under a needless cloak of confidentiality. It's nepotistic, amateur and seedy.

Which leads me on to you and your 'all ears' participation on this forum. I guess you'd bring some credibility if we could believe that your passion stemmed from a deeper understanding of the issues than us mere mortals. What is entirely possible, given your business background, is that your motivation might be directly commercial. Could that make you <ahem> 'less than objective'?

Quote
All that I can say as an assurance is, Emma has rubbed off on me many times.

 :o Cor, I can't imagine that she'll be too happy you sharing that bit of personal info on a public forum!


(PS - apro pos nothing at all of relevance to this thread, but in reply to your reference to my sig - my signature is staying as it is. The phrase is known as Voltaire's Dictum - whilst its ascription to Voltaire is apocryphal,  the words were used by Evelyn Beatrice Hall to describe his philosophy in precis. Its their meaning I'm interested in. Besides, I haven't the room to add "Voltaire's Dictum as actually written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall" - not that it would make any difference anyway)

Tobes,

I can see you are making an effort so I going to genuinely attempt to engage you.

Lets see how it goes.

Regarding the permanency of on-line forums, I do not retract a single word of anything I have posted, nor am I unhappy with any of it. Yes people may snigger over my pages of but compared to the hundreds of thousands of rants and raves that have collected over the years, I really have nothing to be worried about.

__________________

Yes the project was doomed (mostly because of the technology used and its deployment) but I also believe and can prove a way for a successful deployment, therefore I hope someone picks up the gauntlet and delivers.

You know my position on risk, it is not the councils job to "bet the farm" it is however acceptable for them to use a small percentage of the budget lets say <1% to roll some dice, some times it works, sometimes it screws up. As long is it works out more than it fails I am happy.

Re Rod, do you honestly think he consciously wanted this project to fail? I dont. I think it was a bit over egged to him, but then did you ever hear of Y2K? Billions spent, not much happened. Technology is a complex subject and Rod cannot be expected to be a master of IT, Finance, Sheep Shearing and Astrology. He is ultimately a generalist who we entrust to make best efforts. In this one he got it wrong, but have some bloody perspective, generally he get a lot more right than he makes mistakes. Cut people some slack.

I have no commercial interest in this project, as I explained earlier, if its is resurrected then I truly hope it will be via a NPO that will prove to be self funding over time, you know what, buy me a cup of coffee and I might even give some hints on how to pull it off, gratis.

Regarding the Emma stuff, you have a sick mind, it was entirely innocent.

Voltaire stuff? Blurghgh, your wrong, but I will let it slide.  :)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 29, 2011, 12:28:09 AM
Well Ears you have entertained at least fifteen of us all night.

Quite an achievement!!   >:D

However I wonder what your boss would have to say about your postings?

Are you an attribute or an embarrassment?

I have had enough now and am off to bed!!

She is  tucked away, I am safe until the morning.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mellon on June 29, 2011, 12:31:45 AM
Quote
Like I said Lemmon, when you talk like a grown up. stop the personal attacks and make meaningful comments, then yes I will respond to you with respect.

You have politely removed your Nazi stuff, so thats a good start.

Lets see what tomorrow brings.

I have talked as adult and haven't attacked you, I've pointed out your hypocrisy and am still awaiting your response to some of my earlier questions. It is infact you who have had constant snipes at me, I'm not going to start in a tit for tat "who said what" debacle with you as clearly you are unable to answer clear questions without  glibly dismissing them. But then again Emma Faramazi seems to ignore most of what's said on here relating to her so can't really expect much more out of you.

If you feel that those questions may be politically embarrassing to Councillor Emma Faramazi I won't bother changing them.

Anyway I hope you've got something good to post without resorting to Tory tat

Lemmon
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Tobes on June 29, 2011, 01:07:03 AM
OK Ears. I'm finally agreeing with you.

Rod's fault has been a dose of pride (bordering on arrogance perhaps). We all make mistakes once in a while. And despite everything said, I do believe he does many things with absolutely the best intentions. He is a politician in a very difficult position, with a stalled regeneration, cuts and reduced income, all not his fault. I don't envy his position.

What a shame he didn't just come out and admit the mistakes? His attitude has entirely (and needlessly) created this controversy. If he's admitted a mistake early on and sought proper advice, something might have been rescued and he wouldn't have ended up having to keep trying (unsuccessfully) fielding all of this justified criticism. It makes him look incompetent in the eyes of many, whether thats fair or not, and gifts the opposition with a stick to beat him.

Rod and Gary should smell the roses on this one and rather than issuing another 'imminent' announcement or claim that the people who questioned the deal are responsible, just hold up their hands. A little humility would probably repair some of the damage. You can only cut someone some slack if they even admit to their mistake...
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on June 29, 2011, 06:41:26 AM

Do you really think the howler monkeys on this forum would allow them to act gracefully to continue / call it a day.

Not. A. Chance.

These people are the reason politicians are so adverse to risk and so adverse to making any public comment regarding mistakes.

We as a society choose to live like this, we get the politics we deserve.


I don't agree. Swindon is a town of 150,000+ and this website probably has about 30 regular posters (and lots of lurkers). The people on this website began by asking clear and appropriate questions of the Wi_fi project in it earliest stages, but there was no response/acknowledgement by the council. The posters have been effective in scrutinising the project and holding people to accopunt, but are not responsible for the failure of the project. That's an assertion made by a few people and I don't feel it has any basis in fact.

From the 'Family Life' project, to the Coate Water planning decision, to public art in the town centre, to 'Whalebridge' - regardless on the merits of these decisions - the council is still able to make big decisions and act on them when it chooses too.

We do, however, get the politicians we deserve. If as many people who moan in private about Wi-Fi had made a fuss, then the last election would have been very different. Sadly, people feel powerless or disinterested enough that they don't ask where their money goes or hold their elective representatives to account.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on June 29, 2011, 06:44:02 AM

Agreed but providing Wi-Fi isn't one of them - I think free Sky + would get a better vote - yes i know i am being facetious but seriously 'social inclusivity' is a great ideal but generally ends up being an adjunct to welfare.

That would bloody get my vote!

Anyway, didn't we sort of have that? I remember Swindon trialling cable tv back in the 1980s.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on June 29, 2011, 08:27:40 AM
Quote
However, all corporate bodies have real people in charge, so will you agree that the directors in post at the time £150k was spent on Highworth and those in post when the £250k went 'walk about' should be held responsible and be required to resign any SBC posts they occupy?


Hi IAE.  You missed answering this part of my post.  I can see you were otherwise occupied answering lots of other folk but I think the above question deserves a response.

At Audit last night the Director of Finance and Hitesh Patel both said that the loan of £400k was not due for repayment until October, ignoring the obvious fact that DC is not trading and is in default of its agreement to provide a Wi-Fi facility which renders the debt due immediately.

However, ignoring that little gem, I have an email dated 19 January 2011 from Coun Perkins in whch he states  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 Now it is a fact that Coun Perkins has no sense of time - imminent for him can mean anything between 7 days and 7 months - honest - he did say a deal with a new partner was 'imminent' in January and we are nearly into July with no announcemnt 'imminent'  So was the statement from Coun Perkins a a fib.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: the gorgon on June 29, 2011, 09:15:53 AM
Mr Ears,

You may know something about IT - but not so much regarding the skill of charm it seems  ;D


Well apparently ASD does make people well suited to the IT sector, despite their lack of interpersonal skills...

Then again it could be that someone had been at the cooking sherry last night...

 :popcorn:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on June 29, 2011, 09:23:11 AM
At Audit last night the Director of Finance and Hitesh Patel both said that the loan of £400k was not due for repayment until October, ignoring the obvious fact that DC is not trading and is in default of its agreement to provide a Wi-Fi facility which renders the debt due immediately.

Can I take form that comment that the Tories on Audit Committee voted unanimously to audit the wifi? Or did they do the usual vote to save their political skins careers?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: mikbrains on June 29, 2011, 09:26:34 AM
Bloody hell, haven't been on properly for a few days. A tad confused with who's said what, anyone one fancy explaining or is 'I'm All Ears' just following Brizzley and 20Eyes style of posts.

I think 'I'm All Ears' could be the next contender for the 'TS Naughty Step' (current population 1). Who fancies a vote on it? (Trolls exempt from vote)


I'm in. Not sure why Ears has become so obnoxious, but no doubt my contribution will be shortly royally patronised.....


You do have to wonder why...

Well here is who Im All Ears claims to be (according to their first post)

[url]http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=7650.msg61569#msg61569[/url] ([url]http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=7650.msg61569#msg61569[/url])

Quote
Hello,

I am Emma Faramarzi's partner (Councillor For Covingham and Nythe).

Emma has an interest in the regeneration component of the Forward Swindon process in her capacity as Chairperson of the FSB.

I have been picking through the forum in an attempt to gather together the various good ideas spread throughout the posts, however it would be useful if people could update this post with their latest views as to what they would like to see by order of priority in the regeneration process or indeed any thoughts regarding the wider well-being of the Swindon infrastructure.

Any thoughts appreciated.


Wonder why the administrators list all posts for 20 Eyes and IM All Ears as one person?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: 20Eyes on June 29, 2011, 09:38:25 AM
Wonder why the administrators list all posts for 20 Eyes and IM All Ears as one person?

It's not just us two.

Anyone who deviates from the forum groupthink is basically assumed to be one person, or to be dealt with as if they were one person (always in the same manner), unless they known in real life to the cabal.

It's actually highly amusing that on the rare occasion that any contributor dares post anything that doesn't fit the forum view, they are automatically considered to be the same person.

As I've pointed out before: Swindon has two Tory MPs and an overwhelmingly Tory council. So why do some people here act so surprised if anyone posts a comment that isn't supportive of the Left-wing or doesn't lambast anything non-Labour?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 29, 2011, 09:39:13 AM
Well Ears you have entertained at least fifteen of us all night.

Quite an achievement!!   >:D

However I wonder what your boss would have to say about your postings?

Are you an attribute or an embarrassment?

I have had enough now and am off to bed!!



She is  tucked away, I am safe until the morning.


So Emma is the Boss in your household!

You had better prepare yourself for a bollocking because you are an embarrassment to her, in my opinion, unless of course, this is the new Don't Care Tory attitude where no one, who is Tory that is, could possibly get anything wrong with Public Money and it is absolutely ok to speculate with it
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on June 29, 2011, 09:52:54 AM
Quote
Can I take from that comment that the Tories on Audit Committee voted unanimously to audit the wifi? Or did they do the usual vote to save their political skins careers?


Please let me make three observations on last nights proceedings.

The first is that my 'friend' Coun Foley chose to take the caustic and offensive line - does she know any other way?  The thrust of her argument was that the Wi-Fi debate has been done to death, debated and dissected and now we should let it drop. Of course she ignores the unanswered questions, such as 'just where did the £250k go" and last night she voted against my request that a proper audit of officer conduct/participation etc be carried out. I thought this strange particularly as the Internal Audit team has already carried out a similar investigation of Councillor conduct.

Secondly, while i understand that other matters/meetings etc occur, I was disappointed that only two of the three Labour members of the Committee attended. I discount the absence of Coun Mary Martin as this appears to be de rigeur.

Thirdly, the meeting went to form with the four Conservatives voting against the proposal.  Nothing new in that but it confirmed to me that the Conservatives are still in denial about the project and in truth are now simply trying hard to 'kill any further discussion' on the basis that it's boring!!

Councillors see £400k as being peanuts and like I'm All Ears (possibly for different reaasons) do not understand why people such as me are so interested in examining
the fine detail of what happened to the project and our money.

Scrutiny, like the criminal justice system is not always about the amount of money involved, it is often about the principles of right and wrong; sometimes it is easier to see the issues and learn lessons from a small project as opposed to a large one.  I fear that the current adminsitration is unwilling to embrace openness and transparency other than as concepts to which they must pay dutiful lip service.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: mikbrains on June 29, 2011, 10:14:22 AM
Or could it be honesty is not the best policy--must have a very big carpet and a big brush?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mellon on June 29, 2011, 10:16:40 AM
Quote
Or could it be honesty is not the best policy--must have a very big carpet and a big brush?


I think that's the political mantra of all parties, something goes tits up and out flows the verbal poo.....failing that 'ignore it and hope it goes away'.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on June 29, 2011, 10:18:24 AM
Councillors see £400k as being peanuts and like I'm All Ears (possibly for different reaasons) do not understand why people such as me are so interested in examining the fine detail of what happened to the project and our money.

Well said Des  :clap: there are others who support your single handed Wifi Vanguard, and there is much life in the old dog yet.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on June 29, 2011, 10:22:59 AM
Yes Des I agree the Tories just want this issue to go away and be forgotten.

However, as you say it is not the money but the way it was handled that our 'elected' protagonists need to explain with some humility.  It will be interesting to see if they are capable of humility and then on expression of it I am sure anger about this issue will die down.

But, then their present unashamed arrogance could yet be their political undoing.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on June 29, 2011, 10:39:23 AM
But, then their present unashamed arrogance could yet be their political undoing.

Could yet, are you not sure?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: mikbrains on June 29, 2011, 10:47:31 AM
Quote
Or could it be honesty is not the best policy--must have a very big carpet and a big brush?


I think that's the political mantra of all parties, something goes tits up and out flows the verbal poo.....failing that 'ignore it and hope it goes away'.
Huge amounts of poo are very hard to flush away; leaves a terrible smell; often recycled.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on June 29, 2011, 10:51:32 AM
Quote
But, then their present unashamed arrogance could yet be their political undoing.

In this hope I think you will have to concede to 'I'm All Ears' as a politicians skin is normally very thick and a charge of being arrogant is seen as a badge of honour to be worn with pride.  It's almost as valuable as being 'acid witted'

The fact is that all that matters to a politician is 'votes' and frankly a great swathe of the electorate has no interest in the Wi-Fi project, it's cost or the issues which keep me interested.  In fact the level of interest in anything political in Swindon is at best apathetic and worse non-existent.

The major issues dominating the Council agenda over the last 3 years have been Coate, Wi-Fi, The Mechanics, Old Town Library and Adult Social Care.  In reality can you honestly say that any of these subjects has been articulated on by anything other than a minority of the population?  If one is brutally honest you would have to concede that any sort of campaign has been truly supported by a minority.

Not that this should negate or reduce the import and integrity of any campaign, but it does make it easier for other to to dismiss campaigns as the rants of individuals and the administration will always use this for its own benefit.

It never ceases to amaze me that we as a country salute people abroad who are seeking greater 'democracy' and will spend hundreds of millions in supporting them, whereas at home the same sort of people are seen as irksome irritants to be suppressed, ridiculed and in some cases derided as misguided and malevolent.

These are the very self same words used by dictators and tyrants to identify the people who oppose them.  Now before anyone says - 'Des said' - let me assure you i am not comparing Coun Bluh with Col Gadaffi and i am not saying TS contributors are akin to the Arab Spring
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: mikbrains on June 29, 2011, 10:52:41 AM
Should the Scrutiny Committee be renamed? How about Scrotum Committee for Eunechs.?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mellon on June 29, 2011, 10:55:24 AM
Ill do it......Col Bluhdaffi. Good post Des
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on June 29, 2011, 10:57:31 AM
Well done, Keep at it Des!

It seems strange to me that I’m All Ears has suddenly got such a bee in his bonnet about dropping the inquiries about what went on with WiFi, does it coincide with Cllr Foley’s current attempt to stifle the subject by chance?

It is the underhanded methodology used to award the contract and make the payments to Digital City plus the subsequent deceit that we find so galling.

IAE agrees that the business and technical aspects of the WiFi proposal were not sound but still thinks that risking the sum of £400,000 was worthwhile, perhaps in the vein of the Australian adage “Give the Bloke a Chance”  because, as a “Technologist and Futurist” IAE wanted the project to succeed.

Many of us are involved in technology and also want a better future but handing £400,000 to a man with no credibility or plan for a WiFi system was foolish in the extreme.

I do not think that it is correct that a council should speculate with public money but if people support IAE’s proposal that they should speculate, then may I offer the advice that a better investment in this case would have been £400,000 worth of National Lottery tickets. Sometimes one of them wins.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on June 29, 2011, 11:05:01 AM
It never ceases to amaze me that we as a country salute people abroad who are seeking greater 'democracy' and will spend hundreds of millions in supporting them, whereas at home the same sort of people are seen as irksome irritants to be suppressed, ridiculed and in some cases derided as misguided and malevolent.

These are the very self same words used by dictators and tyrants to identify the people who oppose them.  Now before anyone says - 'Des said' - let me assure you i am not comparing Coun Bluh with Col Gadaffi and i am not saying TS contributors are akin to the Arab Spring

Des  :clap:

I think that is a good point you make it sound like there is only one democracy the democracy that is shared with the masses as long as they agree with the words of one individual, if you do not then there is no democracy just Bluhocracy?  :2funny: :2funny: :2funny:

 >:D
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: 20Eyes on June 29, 2011, 11:35:34 AM
The fact is that all that matters to a politician is 'votes' and frankly a great swathe of the electorate has no interest in the Wi-Fi project, it's cost or the issues which keep me interested.  In fact the level of interest in anything political in Swindon is at best apathetic and worse non-existent.

The major issues dominating the Council agenda over the last 3 years have been Coate, Wi-Fi, The Mechanics, Old Town Library and Adult Social Care.  In reality can you honestly say that any of these subjects has been articulated on by anything other than a minority of the population?  If one is brutally honest you would have to concede that any sort of campaign has been truly supported by a minority.

Absolutely, utterly and perfectly accurate.

I genuinely doubt that even 25% of the residents of Swindon ever even knew there was a proposed free Wi-Fi scheme, let alone have taken any interest in it on any level whatsoever.

It seems to have been taken up as the flaming Olympic torch of those who seek to replace the Tory administration with Labour, but as Garry Perkins recent local election victory very clearly demonstrated, it's actually more of a damp match in reality.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Emma Faramarzi on June 29, 2011, 12:52:40 PM

Ears how can anyone take your argument seriously when you are insulting, patronising, hypocritical but then again we can't expect much more seeing as your mrs said she would stand down from the FSB upon election, I'm guessing she rubbed off on you
[/quote]


Please qualify that.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mellon on June 29, 2011, 01:07:05 PM
I'd been told on good faith that You would stand down from the FSB upon taking an elected position.

anything else?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Emma Faramarzi on June 29, 2011, 01:18:19 PM
It must be true then?

No, there is nothing else apart from a little repetition in a more clear manner - please tell me when I said that?

Either I have amnesia or someone has told you lies.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mellon on June 29, 2011, 01:21:46 PM
Quote
It must be true then.

So is it true then?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Emma Faramarzi on June 29, 2011, 01:23:42 PM
See post above - had to modify it because I hit enter too early.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Emma Faramarzi on June 29, 2011, 01:26:43 PM
Against my wishes our Vice Chair offered to stand down if they were elected.

I am happy with the team we have and would be strongly against any of the Vice Chairs standing down - they are good at what they do and an asset to Swindon and the FSB.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mellon on June 29, 2011, 01:29:04 PM
[Quote[It must be true then?

No, there is nothing else apart from a little repetition in a more clear manner - please tell me when I said that?

Either I have amnesia or someone has told you lies.[/quote]

I refer you to my second to last post, I will speak to the admins and ask for part of my post to be retracted/edited.

At least that parts cleared up, anything else you wish to challenge me on?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Im All Ears on June 29, 2011, 02:08:15 PM
Lemmon.

I really thought you had come around to being a grown up in the room.

Dont worry though, I am sure your Dad will clean up the forum after you....

 O0
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Weebleman on June 29, 2011, 02:09:00 PM
<snipped bits/>
The fact is that all that matters to a politician is 'votes' and frankly a great swathe of the electorate has no interest in the Wi-Fi project, it's cost or the issues which keep me interested.  In fact the level of interest in anything political in Swindon is at best apathetic and worse non-existent.

The major issues dominating the Council agenda over the last 3 years have been Coate, Wi-Fi, The Mechanics, Old Town Library and Adult Social Care.  In reality can you honestly say that any of these subjects has been articulated on by anything other than a minority of the population?  If one is brutally honest you would have to concede that any sort of campaign has been truly supported by a minority.

Spot on Des. I applaud your tenacity in getting some answers. I'm sure they think apathy will ultimately rule the day and allow them to get away with it unscathed.
Example: (true story)
Yesterday afternoon Mrs Weeble and I popped into our local for a swift half. There were a couple young children running around the bar so, making light conversation with the young lady behind the bar as she pulled my pint, I made a comment something like "Bet it'll be a bit lively in here on Thursday when all the schools are out."  "Why's that?" she said, "Are they on half term again already?" After further conversation it turned out that she was totally unaware of the strike being called, or its reason.
I find it hard to believe that an outwardly intelligent youngster (early 20's) could be so totally isolated from any current affairs or news media over the last several weeks.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mellon on June 29, 2011, 02:18:16 PM
I doubt it, I take responsibility for my own actions and have apologised in numerous threads for my conduct in reaction to trolls. However I shall not be apologising on this occasion.

The information given to me was incorrect and I have acted in a responsible manner, also Emma Faramazi has not corrected me on any other points so for the time being I'm standing by what I said with exception to her circumstances regarding the FSB.

Simple, I'm not going to be drawn into a childish tit for tat exchange. So crack on son
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on June 29, 2011, 02:53:57 PM
Quote
IAE agrees that the business and technical aspects of the WiFi proposal were not sound but still thinks that risking the sum of £400,000 was worthwhile, perhaps in the vein of the Australian adage “Give the Bloke a Chance”  because, as a “Technologist and Futurist” IAE wanted the project to succeed.

Many of us are involved in technology and also want a better future but handing £400,000 to a man with no credibility or plan for a WiFi system was foolish in the extreme.

I think it is true that many people wanted the project to succeed.  I wrote to Coun Bluh on 15 December 2009 and said "I do hope the project is a success" - I met with him and expressed the same sentiment while at the same time pointing out my concerns (which never changed) over the business plan - a £700k net profit by year 3 was simply a 'joke', the partnership with Mr Hunt and aQovia (virgins at this sort of project) and the time plan for full implementation (totally impossible even if they had a shed load of cash).

We all knew that it could succeed technically - we accepted this on the basis of proof received from the Norwich study and the real working situation in Birmingham, Cardiff and Preston to name but a few 'live' systems. However, these live systems also allowed the measurement of downside. Norwich spent a grant of almost £2 million and ended up with nothing having experienced issues with the lamp post technology and no one wnated to carry on with the project as there was no sustainable business model behind the system trial. Other areas have set up systems in the major connurbation areas or centres realising that this is where the usage and potential income is derived from. Coun Bluh considered the USP of DC's proposal was its wide coverage of the entire Borough and he was right to think this.  The problem was that such an aspiration was beyond the capability of Rikki Hunt.

The big question remains - what happened to the £400k and why is SBC not doing everyhting it could be doing to sue the directors of DC for Breach of Contract.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on June 29, 2011, 03:45:45 PM
Just as an adjunct; I see that the big backers of the original DC project, Aqovia UK Ltd. declared to Companies House their "Statement of Capital" on 12 April 2011 as £1 so I don't think that they are liable to step in and pay any money back.

I also had a thought, driving to a job today, that a con-man must know that he is good at his work if his customers are happy and they think that they nearly had a good deal, even though they are left with nothing.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Emma Faramarzi on June 29, 2011, 03:55:40 PM
[Quote[It must be true then?

No, there is nothing else apart from a little repetition in a more clear manner - please tell me when I said that?

Either I have amnesia or someone has told you lies.

I refer you to my second to last post, I will speak to the admins and ask for part of my post to be retracted/edited.

At least that parts cleared up, anything else you wish to challenge me on?
[/quote]

Thanks Mellon - much appreciated  :)

Nothing else to challenge you on because I have not read any of your other points.

Play nicely or not at all Mr F  :knuppel2:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on June 29, 2011, 05:21:46 PM

something goes tits up and out flows the verbal poo.....failing that 'ignore it and hope it goes away'.

I'd see a doctor for that.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mart on June 29, 2011, 06:17:02 PM
I heard somewhere that you can't con an honest man.

Probably 'Hustle' which I don't really like.

I like 'Justified' though, but they never said that. Unless I've missed an episode where they did say that.

Also, a technical point. If it's flowing I don't think it's poo, though I'm not an expert. It sounds jolly messy though and I've never been comfortable with chocolate fountains.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mellon on June 29, 2011, 06:32:55 PM
Quote
--- Quote from: Mellon on Today at 10:16:40 AM ---
something goes tits up and out flows the verbal poo.....failing that 'ignore it and hope it goes away'.

--- End quote ---

I'd see a doctor for that.

Many doctors have tried and failed although meetings with the doctor generally tend to finish with 'feck it ill have an aspirin'.

Preparation H doesn't feel good on the wHole either......ill get me coat 
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mart on June 29, 2011, 08:54:00 PM
If poo flows it's also a bugger to polish.

Enjoy your dinner.

What's this thread about again?

Oh yeah.

If someone, nobody in mind you understand, is so inspired by their own leadership of an ever diminishing organisation and it's achievements that they come to believe that no achievement of note can be, um, achieved without their personal pixie dust does it not follow (long sentence, may throw in random punctuation) that they should be equally enthusiastic in acknowledging failure, in the interest of credibility and balance?

Course some personalities are so disordered that they cannot accept failure and instead either go all blue in the face and refuse to breathe until people stop being nasty, or claim the failure is a success. Do this often enough and credibility will be sufficiently eroded that any genuine success (oh, that happy far off day) will be dismissed as another flannel job. Or you suffocate of your own accord I suppose.

As for mystery investors with oodles of pixie dust and wedge, I am beginning to suspect it was none other than Osama Bin Laden and that the gross interference from US Navy S.E.A.L.'s  screwed that deal.

I expect a F.O.I. request is on it's way to The US Navy Department to see if any of you buggers put them up to it.

Shame on you.

Have there been any Rikki sightings in the SN postcode lately?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on June 30, 2011, 01:55:02 AM
Des Morgan started this journey like Chris Watts and others trying to be helpful. The fact is no one is against universal Internet access every one is in favour. This project has stalled or is frozen It has not delivered what it proposed as of this point in time and it is only 3 months to October 2011 the end of year 2 of the project.

That could be an interesting period as Des will tell anyone that cares to listen to him that much has still to be delivered in the next few weeks to meet its original progress measures.

This project  was at one point mentioned as being suitable for a grant from the government that has not been mentioned since. In the meantime I have used my wireless devices all over Swindon easily. Just as Des Moffatt said we would in council in January 2010 to the council leader. He stood there almost Chamberlain like with a device in his hand saying this device will bring wifi and more in our town before you can get your wifi off the ground. 

It was a bold statement to make, but then if I recall DES was the first person  I ever saw actually using an electronic diary When we all had Filofaxes! I can't even recall it's name but it looked like a spectacles case with a small key pad. I think it may even have been a phone?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: ph1lc on June 30, 2011, 08:47:11 AM
Nicely put Councillor.

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on June 30, 2011, 10:09:01 AM
DES

It was a Psion thingy  O0 I remember thinking at the time how can you type on such a small keypad now look at us we can type on minuscule keypads!

I remember my first Palm I still have it somewhere.

Nicely put Councillor.
Ph1lc

The conservatives I believe  are hoping that people are bored with this, I think they may be disappointed in loitering in the vicinity of that aspiration. Talking of aspirations they were the ones who told us how good this was going to be for us all. The feeling of Being let down by politicians manifests some unusual behaviour patterns  frustration, anger, scepticism and sarcasm.

In my opinion politically ploughing on and not reviewing/informing people tends to push disapointment towards despair. This wifi is in my opinion in dire need of a catharsistic response as it is in danger of becoming an anathema to the voters about conservative achievement in Swindon.

I have a simple personal view that Political purgation sometimes achieves far more for the good   than Political procrastination.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: 20Eyes on June 30, 2011, 12:06:25 PM
I find it hard to believe that an outwardly intelligent youngster (early 20's) could be so totally isolated from any current affairs or news media over the last several weeks.

While it's surprising to some of us, it really is the norm. I overheard somebody in the bank yesterday asking whether primary schools would be affected by the strikes as they didn't know if primary school teachers were 'the same' as other teachers or not.

Seriously.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Weebleman on June 30, 2011, 06:41:54 PM
Interesting development I heard about today.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2009187/Trials-super-WiFi-uses-white-space-TV-channels-begin-Cambridge.html?ito=feeds-newsxml (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2009187/Trials-super-WiFi-uses-white-space-TV-channels-begin-Cambridge.html?ito=feeds-newsxml)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on June 30, 2011, 07:13:21 PM
Try this;
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2009187/Trials-super-WiFi-uses-white-space-TV-channels-begin-Cambridge.html (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2009187/Trials-super-WiFi-uses-white-space-TV-channels-begin-Cambridge.html)

Don't mention it Weeble!  vVery interesting -lower wavelength penetrates further into buildings.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Weebleman on June 30, 2011, 08:19:50 PM
Try this;
[url]http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2009187/Trials-super-WiFi-uses-white-space-TV-channels-begin-Cambridge.html[/url] ([url]http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2009187/Trials-super-WiFi-uses-white-space-TV-channels-begin-Cambridge.html[/url])

Don't mention it Weeble!  vVery interesting -lower wavelength penetrates further into buildings.


Ah yes, I noticed this error too. What they meant to say was lower frequency (longer wavelength). But sounds like an interesting project. Wonder if they got any jobs going.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on July 01, 2011, 08:30:49 AM
I see that your time as a Radio Ham wasn't wasted Weeble. Indeed - Low Frequency. (LF)

Now all we want is some "Technologist" (like Luggsy?) to play around with Low Frequency Radio propagation and they might discover that "Very Low Frequency" (VLF) will even penetrate the sea sufficiently to communicate with submerged submarines, then Rikki and Rodders can market it.

There, we've nearly invented another wheel between us.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on July 02, 2011, 06:29:45 PM
I wonder if Rikki, Rod or Garry are keeping Caroline Spellman abreast of these Exciting Innovative and Vibrant Developments and whether she has accepted her invitation to the relaunch?

Such a lovely photograph of Rikki Rod and Caroline in the Adver on the initial premature launch back in November 2009.

Was it really that long ago?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Bobby Bingo on July 02, 2011, 08:51:16 PM
I met "Mystic Muggins" at the Penhill Carnival and I asked her if there was a future for Wifi and she fell about laughing.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Chav on July 02, 2011, 09:51:05 PM
I met "Mystic Muggins" at the Penhill Carnival and I asked her if there was a future for Wifi and she fell about laughing.
dont forget the Chav Bobby B  :wink:
Looking good in Burberry today - I was very impressed  >:D
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Bobby Bingo on July 02, 2011, 10:22:07 PM
As if I could ever forget the Chav. Once seen she is never to be forgotten.  ~Sorry I had to leave early but the Burberry had to go back It was on loan!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on July 02, 2011, 11:19:58 PM
I wonder if Rikki, Rod or Garry are keeping Caroline Spellman abreast of these Exciting Innovative and Vibrant Developments and whether she has accepted her invitation to the relaunch?

That assumes there will be one, have you heard something?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on July 03, 2011, 01:41:51 AM

Play nicely or not at all Mr F  :knuppel2:


Actually Ears, if people are making comparisons between you and 20eyes, it's because of the belittling, dismissive, insulting, arrogant and generally shite attitude & behaviour you've recently displayed towards other members.

I'll freely admit I'm not in the best of temperaments this week, so I won't fart around with the usual niceties. 

The official position of forum arse is already filled and I'm not minded to nanny a 2nd apprentice so,  follow the advice of your missus or find somewhere more suitable for your style of persona.

I don't particularly care what you decide to do, but you don't get to shit in peoples faces indefinitely on someone else's dollar..
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Muggins on July 03, 2011, 09:26:45 AM
Whoaaa Geoff, Have I missed something on my day off?

I met "Mystic Muggins" at the Penhill Carnival and I asked her if there was a future for Wifi and she fell about laughing.


Actually Bobby I was asking you and you were pointing to the wild blue yonder (have picture to prove it).   Wifi is being rapidly joined by the Clusters...............

Not going up though, going down - under the carpet.

 
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: The Listener on July 03, 2011, 01:30:54 PM
To bring everyone back down to earth on this subject, has there been any answers to the whereabouts of the £200,000 that appears to have gone walkies? Also, I seem to recall that this investment was originally approved by a very few councillors. In light of the disaster that we now call WiFi, has the council changed it's policy, re investments, or are we just waiting for another rail crash on the same track?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on July 03, 2011, 03:14:15 PM
And where is Rikki Hunt?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on July 03, 2011, 06:22:59 PM
I wonder if Rikki (for free) Hunt and his best mate Coun  Perkins are ever going to come clean on the supposed marketing campaign DC allegedly undertook in Highworth.  Let me remind everyone of the words contained in the original Cabinet member Briefing Note dated 12 October 2009. The success of the company, particularly in the early stages, and consequently fro SBC to achieve a return from its shareholding will depend to a large extent on the success of the marketing campaign now while at the time of the decision to give DC £150k there was no formal marketing campaign drafted (an amazing situation for a company so dependant on achieving sales) the need for a marketing strategy was recognised. Who at SBC was responsible for ensuring it was implemented - the SBC director who whether he likes it nor not was one Hitesh Patel

At the 7 February 2011 Scrutiny Meeting both Mr Hunt and Coun Perkins were asked to provide details of the marketing campaign conducted in Highworth. They were unable to do so beyond referring obliquely to the leaflet campaign. I say obliquely because the great communciator - Rikki (for free) Hunt appeared unsure about the number of times Highworth had been leafleted and totally unaware of just how many leaflets had been distributed.  It is now July and the information has still not been provided  - I wonder why?

Could it be because the number of leaflets allegedly distributed is less than the number of households in Highworth?   

It surely can't be because DC doesn't have a record of who distributed the leafets and where - could it?

And surely DC has a record of the invoice covering the costs for printing the leaflets  and more importantly an actual copy of the leaflet.

Coun Perkins et al want us to go away and stop asking awkward questions, perhaps he really should expend more energy on just answering the questions, or is the truth that the is so lacking in actual knowledge of what DC did that his tenure as director can best be described as 'decorative'

Oh another question forCou Perkins - just who has taken possession of all the files relating to the DC business, please don't tell us that Rikki (for free) Hunt has them!!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on July 03, 2011, 09:13:18 PM
Maybe the contents of your post Des should be converted into questions for the next Scrutiny meeting?

Perhaps the Labour members of said Committee can ensure it is on the Agenda?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on July 04, 2011, 06:27:36 AM
Since printing and posting were taken over by CRAPITA, the council's post people won't even help with distributing the Festival of Literature* brochures.

It would be quite shocking if the council gave any support to Wi-Fi publicity.


*An innovative local idea that boosts our nation profile, brings in tourism and hasn't relied on the counil.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on July 04, 2011, 07:21:36 AM
Since printing and posting were taken over by CRAPITA, the council's post people won't even help with distributing the Festival of Literature* brochures.

It would be quite shocking if the council gave any support to Wi-Fi publicity.


*An innovative local idea that boosts our nation profile, brings in tourism and hasn't relied on the counil.

What else has gone to Crapita then, that we don't know about?

The Library Service?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Bobby Bingo on July 04, 2011, 03:27:44 PM
Be patient Richard - all in good time
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on July 04, 2011, 04:19:26 PM
It seems that The Highworth Community Partnership, in their Feb 2010 meeting minutes said they "felt that the WiFi lauch was bad". In the March 2010 minutes we have Rikki mentioned as looking for premises in Highworth for a year and the Partnership were looking for volunteers to help him. Then nothing....... with the Partnership seeming to stop posting minutes (and existing?) about September 2010.

http://www.highworthpartnership.org.uk/agenda.html (http://www.highworthpartnership.org.uk/agenda.html)

I do know that someone in Highworth was trying to help find Get Signal / Digital City some premises or shared premises for quite some time but I don't think that our top WiFi team ever got back to them. Was the mention of the requirement for premises, to help market Get Signal, in fact a smoke screen? Anyone in Highworth know?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on July 04, 2011, 04:28:00 PM
I wonder whether we will ever know just how much money, other than the £400k loan, has actually been spent on this Vibrant and Innovative PRoject? 

that is with our council's propensity for Creative Accounting?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on July 04, 2011, 05:07:11 PM
 (Oh that was a bad WiFi Launch not lunch!! Sorry!)

Strange thing. Digital City / Get Signal seem to peter out, www wise, as did The Highworth Comunity Partnership at the same time, so I checked some others:

Swindon Strategic Partnership web-site has regular newsletters from 2006 until Autumn 2010 then........... nothing.

Swindon Strategic Economic Partnership (chair Rikki Hunt) web-site updates seem to fade about May 2010.

One Swindon's last meeting was Jan 2011, the February meeting was cancelled and there are no minutes posted for the April meeting. Could all these organisations have just been flashes in someone's pan?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on July 04, 2011, 05:11:53 PM
Muggins often goes to the SSEP meetings, so maybe she knows what's going on?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Muggins on July 04, 2011, 06:29:04 PM
I went to the last SSP conference, can't remember when that was but it was all about One Swindon. I must have posted something up on here somewhere. 

I know that the SSP Overview and Monitoring group (Plus) are still meeting, but missed the last meeting also talking about One Swindon.

I think things are still going on but that they have  sacked (made redundant) the people who update the web sites. Probably didn't even realise it was part of the jobs of the people who went. Don't know this for sure, but it's a healthy speculation to make I think.

I'm fairly sure I either sent an email or spoke to the chair of SSP and told him the web page was out of date, seeing as how that hardly gives the impression of being vibrant.  Nothing worse, it's the modern day equivalent  of a notice board full of long gone event posters.

Got to say that I am always sharing my expertise on things like that - no one ever takes any notice. Even if it makes sense.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Muggins on July 04, 2011, 06:31:26 PM
Last SSP Conference - 18th March.

Last SSP OMG +21st June

So still very current.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: boothill on July 04, 2011, 10:28:14 PM
Oh Dear !

Just out of interest I thought that I might just attempt to sign up with the WiFiasco thingy.

Initially told that I HAD to have a FREE account before I could sign up for any extras, I duly attempted to do that too !    With the following result !!

This web page is not available
The web page at https://r0.getsignal.net/login?dst=http://www.getsignal.co.uk/itworked&username=BillMorris97&pword=SwQE31ch (https://r0.getsignal.net/login?dst=http://www.getsignal.co.uk/itworked&username=BillMorris97&pword=SwQE31ch) might be temporarily down or it may have moved permanently to a new web address.
Here are some suggestions:
Reload this web page later.

Error 102 (net::ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED): The server refused the connection.


Gor blimey guv'nor !
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on July 04, 2011, 10:32:41 PM
Last rites imminent.

Gone but never to be forgotten or allowed to be forgotten
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on July 05, 2011, 06:24:43 AM
The people of Highworth who signed up for free Wi-Fi - are they still getting a service?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?/ When did this happen then ??
Post by: boothill on July 17, 2011, 09:05:16 AM
Recently ??????   :WTF:



Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: swindoncentric on July 17, 2011, 10:57:41 AM
This keeps happening every couple of months when the bill hasn't been paid. Our man from DC (Councillor Perkins) will probably find out through here and get someone to pay the hosting bill.

Because as we all know, DC is still an 'active' company, by 'active' of course I mean 'deader than a Lib-Dem front-bench-er's morals'.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on July 17, 2011, 01:49:48 PM
Embarassing. It also means that whoever takes over the Wi-Fi project (or Digital City or repays the loan - I'm getting pretty confused over who the imaginary company would be saving) has to rebuild the entire project from scratch. there is no functioning part of the business - no actually commercial value beyong some kit stuck to lamppost and a direct line to the Civic offices.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on July 17, 2011, 01:59:38 PM
Another pertinent question must be, would a future provider consider the kit used by Digital City fit for purpose?

and remember folks the value of this kit was used as collateral for the value of the loan, but then it was only ever worth what someone was prepared to pay for it and that is almost certainly zero.

So much for the excuse used at the time that to discuss this matter was one of commercial sensitivity for a commercial company, which in this case was the Innovative and Vibrant Digital City. 

I wonder if the protagonists political will ever just admit they just ****** up?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Drone on July 17, 2011, 02:01:16 PM
Are you suggesting that electronic and electrical items might depreciate in value and/or become obsolete?

Dammit, I was hoping to sell my used, 5 year old PC back to Hewlett Packard at the price I paid.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on July 17, 2011, 02:13:20 PM
Are you suggesting that electronic and electrical items might depreciate in value and/or become obsolete?

Dammit, I was hoping to sell my used, 5 year old PC back to Hewlett Packard at the price I paid.

Well if the Leader of the Council does why not you as well?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: ph1lc on July 17, 2011, 02:30:05 PM
The only possible value is the council letting any new investor use the Councils lamposts.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on July 17, 2011, 04:10:00 PM
Why do we all keep perpetuating this wifi myth about using a system on lamposts when we can use dongles and existing wifi nodes by BT, Fon etc? No other Town in the UK is using the DC system so why would Swindon step back in time? What is the next new idea from SBC  announce they are connecting their new lamps up to the gas main to save electricity?  :2funny: :2funny: :2funny:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: boothill on July 17, 2011, 10:40:19 PM
Are you suggesting that electronic and electrical items might depreciate in value and/or become obsolete?

Dammit, I was hoping to sell my used, 5 year old PC back to Hewlett Packard at the price I paid.


Funny you should say that, but I have a nearly new (in 1992) Commodore C64, in a rather fetching Tangerine, for sale complete with the (then) latest software (Pac Man/Pong/ Donkey Kong  etc) for sale.

A snip at £15,000 , but keep it quiet or they'll all want one   ok ?

All offers (R Hunt or R Bluh excluded) to my address in the Seychelles please.




Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: boothill on July 17, 2011, 10:44:32 PM
Why do we all keep perpetuating this wifi myth about using a system on lamposts when we can use dongles and existing wifi nodes by BT, Fon etc? No other Town in the UK is using the DC system so why would Swindon step back in time? What is the next new idea from SBC  announce they are connecting their new lamps up to the gas main to save electricity?  :2funny: :2funny: :2funny:


Try going into the town centre of a Sunday morning 02.00 - 03.00 and see just how many dongles you can spot using the lamposts to good effect then !    :uglystupid2:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: moley on July 17, 2011, 11:06:44 PM
Why do we all keep perpetuating this wifi myth about using a system on lamposts when we can use dongles and existing wifi nodes by BT, Fon etc? No other Town in the UK is using the DC system so why would Swindon step back in time? What is the next new idea from SBC  announce they are connecting their new lamps up to the gas main to save electricity?  :2funny: :2funny: :2funny:

In fairness, the dongles talk to base stations, and many of the modern (lower power) base stations are actually put on lamp posts / sides of buildings.  In particular with increasing numbers of smart phones + planning restrictions on new mast sites operators are exploring other potential sites.

The question is nearly 2 years after the Digital City fiasco, what is he right technology to use - is it wifi / 3G / LTE or some combination.

Still waiting with interest to see who ends up being the knight in shining armour....

Moley
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Moffatt on July 18, 2011, 12:30:54 AM
I used my Samsung GT-I9100 to read and answer my emails and to satnav through the Brecon Beacons at the weekend.
Oh and I answered a couple of phone calls as well.
48 hours without charging the battery to.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on July 18, 2011, 10:25:41 PM
Blimey Des welcome to the 21st century. You have obviously got the hang of the technology as you made it back for Scrutiny tonight - well done. :clap: O0
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Chav on July 18, 2011, 10:57:56 PM
I used my Samsung GT-I9100 to read and answer my emails and to satnav through the Brecon Beacons at the weekend.
Oh and I answered a couple of phone calls as well.
48 hours without charging the battery to.
Excellent stuff :-)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?/ My Honest Questions.. Honest answers please !
Post by: boothill on July 28, 2011, 04:02:50 PM
So....the £450,000 has been salted away to locations unknown, and more than likely, never to be known...my questions are ......................................

Why oh why was this, ever so apparently, foolhardy venture ever allowed to see the light of day in view of the massive opposition and disbelief shown by both the general public and local politicians alike ?

Does ANY member of this forum actually believe that the perpetrators of this alleged FRAUD have any intention at all of repaying the aforesaid amount complete with any interest payments hitherto defaulted upon ?

Do any members of this forum actually believe that the constant posts on this forum in connection with this debacle will have a positive. if any, result and that maybe it's time to close the presses and merely wave goodbye to the lost tax payers' money ? ( c/w with tapping ar*es  ASDA style)

Just what part did/have/ever will, the SFO play or will be likely to play in all these theatrics, and if not the SFO, maybe the SMFO (slightly miffed) OTNFO (ooh that's naughty) or at a last resort, the ITNSFYMLFO (it's the naughty step for you my lad) ?
 
Would it not have been better if DC and SBC had fitted small microwave ovens (albeit at a lower height) to the lampposts in Highworth, as they would have proved invaluable for the re heating of of punters' takeaways as they made their unsteady ways home ?

Will this whole fiasco eventually fade into obscurity after the misappropriated cash has been securely secreted away to destinations unknown, and merely serve as a salutory lesson to  the  Swindon public that whatever SBC wants...SBC will get ?

                                                      Does anybody really care any more ????



Please may I request than any and all replies leave out the political jargon, as I and more than a few other observers deem this deliberate strangulation of the English Language to be in part responsible for this unholy mess !
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Muggins on July 28, 2011, 04:51:22 PM
Trouble is, me old Boot, initials are every bit as confusing as jargon!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: mikbrains on July 28, 2011, 05:04:27 PM
Trouble is our Council does not know what transparency means :bottom:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on July 28, 2011, 05:18:22 PM
Bootsy

Don't worry be happy, the one thing we have learned with the wall coming down the end of the war in Bosnia, and Hackgate is that things are discovered uncovered and driven out into the daylight over years.

However it works both ways It would not surprise me if  people   20 and his ilk will be back on here now Anne Snelgrove has been selected. To digup and root out stuff like an enthusiastic   truffle dog

It maybe that my :13: will be used a lot :2funny: :2funny: :2funny:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: 20Eyes on July 28, 2011, 07:19:09 PM
However it works both ways It would not surprise me if  people   20 and his ilk will be back on here now Anne Snelgrove has been selected. To digup and root out stuff like an enthusiastic   truffle dog

I have no doubt you'd prefer Talk Swindon to be nothing more than an electoral support platform  for Anne 'How many TVs can one person buy on expenses?' Snelgrove and whoever else Labour put up in Swindon.

As for me, I don't think there will be many more political moments that fill me with as much joy as when Gordon Brown's best pal Anne lost her seat in 2010. Happy days.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: boothill on July 28, 2011, 09:14:20 PM
Bootsy

Don't worry be happy, the one thing we have learned with the wall coming down the end of the war in Bosnia, and Hackgate is that things are discovered uncovered and driven out into the daylight over years.

However it works both ways It would not surprise me if  people   20 and his ilk will be back on here now Anne Snelgrove has been selected. To digup and root out stuff like an enthusiastic   truffle dog

It maybe that my :13: will be used a lot :2funny: :2funny: :2funny:



Know you mean well Ringer, but I wish you hadn't mentioned Bosnia....I WAS there ! and my lad's coming home from Lashkar Gah within the month....nuff said ?....Bad anomaly !
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: boothill on July 29, 2011, 12:05:34 PM
Trouble is, me old Boot, initials are every bit as confusing as jargon!


Even when an explanation of said initials is supplied alongside them ???              ooer missus !  :uglystupid2:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: mikbrains on July 29, 2011, 02:15:23 PM
Is the Final Chapter near or is this The Never Ending Story :spin:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Muggins on July 29, 2011, 04:33:25 PM
"Even when an explanation of said initials is supplied alongside them               ooer missus !  "

Absolutely - why not print in full, in these days it's easy enough. 
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: boothill on July 29, 2011, 06:09:21 PM
"Even when an explanation of said initials is supplied alongside them               ooer missus !  "

Absolutely - why not print in full, in these days it's easy enough.



          Calm down dear and have another look    not only were the initials displayed, but also a completely printed in full explanation     

                                         Maybe this post should have been served with fries and salad, and perhaps in large type too ?


                                                              Should have gone to specsavers ?     :clap:


ps   "in these days" means ??

 Could that be three words replacing the one word Nowadays perhaps...the whole point of my final sentences in the original post.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Muggins on July 30, 2011, 08:57:45 AM
See what you mean, nothing like making things confusing for the old dear.  As you put it in full, why did you bother with the initials? 

Now I couldn't tell you what else you wrote. After another quick look

Yes, I think we do still care about where I money went.   
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ringer on July 30, 2011, 09:49:45 AM
A month will have soon passed since Cllr Perkins said the deal is done  even Kohima sounds more credible than the wise  old  sextegenerian  deputy leader, please somebody don't tell me Kohima is much  older and wiser  :2funny: :2funny: :2funny:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on August 15, 2011, 08:58:37 PM
A look at the Companies  House website confirms what I said some time ago. The submission of a set of accounts for Digital City UK are now overdue by 3 months and they have been "Gazetted for striking off". In 3 months time, if they still haven't submitted any accounts, they will be gazetted again and struck off as a company.

Quote
GAZ1    16/08/2011    FIRST GAZETTE


The only other remaining player in the Wi-Fi asco, Aqovia, have declared their value as "£1" so it looks like SBC, by ignoring the debt and failure to deliver on the contract for so long, have let all the players get away. Aqovia, Avidity Consulting and Digital City are probably in the clear...but are their (ex) Directors? Anyone know?

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 16, 2011, 12:44:01 AM
And exactly what does our beloved Deputy Leader of the Council and Director of Digital City intend to do about this situation? 

Is another announcement pending?  It is now some time since one was last promised so how about another?

Remember Garry Ignorance will not be considered any form of defence and there is an election in Shaw and Nine Elms next May.  You need to Account for what has happened to this money, money paid into a Company of which you are a Director, money made available from the Council Tax payers of Swindon at the instigation of just two Cabinet Members, who are equally responsible.

This situation continues to contribute to the unpleasant smell that emanates from Barnfield.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: boothill on August 16, 2011, 09:08:51 AM
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14539380 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14539380)


Sounds an "about time too idea" to me, although one paragraph does sound all too familiar.........

"County councils and private enterprise partnerships will be put in charge of broadband rollouts in their areas, and will be required to draw up delivery plans and find additional funding from elsewhere."
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: I Could Do That on August 16, 2011, 10:03:12 AM
The government money is part of its drive to ensure 90% of homes and businesses not served by the market will have super-fast broadband by 2015.

Local authorities and residents can decide how the money should be spent.


Ours will be spent on old tech, a sprinkler, or a temporary park then
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Muggins on August 16, 2011, 10:20:09 AM

Well it will give some consultant or other the opportunity to write up how those items - 'old tech, sprinkler and a temporary park' can deliver that.  His name might be Heath Robinson?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 16, 2011, 10:29:14 AM
      [url]http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14539380[/url] ([url]http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14539380[/url])


Sounds an "about time too idea" to me, although one paragraph does sound all too familiar.........

"County councils and private enterprise partnerships will be put in charge of broadband rollouts in their areas, and will be required to draw up delivery plans and find additional funding from elsewhere."


But Boothill this applies to rural areas without a decent Broadband service neither of which applies to Swindon.

This maybe the money they believe they can raise in which case it is under a false premise and if granted questions the validity of the Government Policy and its motivation.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: boothill on August 16, 2011, 12:32:44 PM
      [url]http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14539380[/url] ([url]http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14539380[/url])


Sounds an "about time too idea" to me, although one paragraph does sound all too familiar.........

"County councils and private enterprise partnerships will be put in charge of broadband rollouts in their areas, and will be required to draw up delivery plans and find additional funding from elsewhere."


But Boothill this applies to rural areas without a decent Broadband service neither of which applies to Swindon.

This maybe the money they believe they can raise in which case it is under a false premise and if granted questions the validity of the Government Policy and its motivation.


Yes Richard..agreed re the rural bit..it's just that after witnessing SBC's attempts at rolling anything out (other than a barrel) I have grave misgivings about their abilities to be put in charge of even a Doner Kebab rollout and delivery.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on August 16, 2011, 10:09:16 PM
Quote
But Boothill this applies to rural areas without a decent Broadband service neither of which applies to Swindon

One of the issues Rikki (for free) Hunt was ment to address was the coverage to the 'rural areas' of the Borough.  I recall a famous quote (amost Chuchillian from Coun Bluh) we will provide Wi-Fi "from Inglesham to Barbury" - what abject and errant hubris. The vanity of the men who 'talked the talk' and lamely claimed they 'walked the walk' it is an object lesson in that most wondrous of truths - vanity, vanity all is vanity.

In the end they were even unable to give away the free component to the one area for which they claimed a 90% coverage - now that is a real measure of failure  - not to be able to persuade people to sign up to a free package. However, it appears that failure is not something Coun Bluh or Coun Perkins actually recognise.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on August 17, 2011, 08:29:29 AM
So, is the new motto, "Bluh's Wi-Fi. So good you can't give it away."
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 17, 2011, 09:39:46 AM
So, is the new motto, "Bluh's Wi-Fi. So good you can't give it away."

But please don't forget it cost us £400,000 plus interest and it's still rising.

and Rod got oh so upset when we questioned this decision way back in December 2009.

Well at least we know that he listens!!  :crazy2:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on August 17, 2011, 10:21:22 AM
Perhaps SBC should be on their masrks and ready to recover their £4000,000 debt plus interest, that they are so confident will be repayed in October. At this rate, Digital City UK will be struck off on the 16th of November for non-submission of their accounts, so there will be no one to persue through the courts.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on August 17, 2011, 10:29:46 AM
In my opinion I would suspect that  Cllr Mark Edwards has it all in hand, as it is his responsibility as the executive member for chasing down debts recovering monies owed to the council.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Beale on August 18, 2011, 09:46:15 PM
Anyone else seen this ....

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9201295.__4_9m_for_boost_to_internet_in_county/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9201295.__4_9m_for_boost_to_internet_in_county/)

Small section saying further news on wifi is imminent....

Quote
It is hoped the deal of a deal to resurrect the scheme for all-Swindon wi-fi coverage could be known in the next couple of weeks.
 
Garry Perkins (Con, Shaw and Nine Elms), the cabinet’s regeneration head, said: “We’re hoping to have a paper come to cabinet in September which will lay out the proposals to go forward.
 
“The details have been on the table for the last couple of weeks. Unfortunately it’s holiday season and we’ve lost a couple of officers.”
 
But he said he is not 100 per cent certain it will be ready by then.

If not, it could be held off until October’s cabinet meeting, or the council could convene a special meeting to hear the details of the deal to secure fresh investment in the town’s wi-fi scheme.

 

I shalln't hold my breath.. is the label 'liar' or 'dreamer' going too far? given that most of what this person says is tosh?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mart on August 18, 2011, 10:00:37 PM
Garry Perkins (Con, Shaw and Nine Elms), the cabinet’s regeneration head

If I was the cabinet's regeneration head I would have regenerated a better looking one, with naturally raven curly locks.

we’ve lost a couple of officers.”

Bit dramatic, I think he may mean a couple of clerks (it is not demeaning to be a clerk but a bit silly to claim to be an officer when, well, you're not) are taking a couple of weeks off. I hoped they are paid a salary commensurate with their ability to halt a squillion pound project the profits of which could supply endless bathrooms and kitchens, thus halting the regrettable, yet forced upon them, sale of social housing to a run for profit organisation.

Subject to ballot of course.

Are the tabernacle stones resin copies, or stone copies of the resin originals?

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Beale on August 18, 2011, 10:23:24 PM
Garry Perkins (Con, Shaw and Nine Elms), the cabinet’s regeneration head

If I was the cabinet's regeneration head I would have regenerated a better looking one, with naturally raven curly locks.


Bollocks!! >:D sprayed Budvar over my keyboard.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: I Could Do That on August 18, 2011, 11:41:16 PM
Do you mean.............
That's a wig????

I could have made a better one out of a ball of wool, a coat hanger and a couple of pipe cleaners
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 19, 2011, 01:13:18 AM
Anyone else seen this ....

[url]http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9201295.__4_9m_for_boost_to_internet_in_county/[/url] ([url]http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9201295.__4_9m_for_boost_to_internet_in_county/[/url])

Small section saying further news on wifi is imminent....

Quote
It is hoped the deal of a deal to resurrect the scheme for all-Swindon wi-fi coverage could be known in the next couple of weeks.
 
Garry Perkins (Con, Shaw and Nine Elms), the cabinet’s regeneration head, said: “We’re hoping to have a paper come to cabinet in September which will lay out the proposals to go forward.
 
“The details have been on the table for the last couple of weeks. Unfortunately it’s holiday season and we’ve lost a couple of officers.”
 
But he said he is not 100 per cent certain it will be ready by then.

If not, it could be held off until October’s cabinet meeting, or the council could convene a special meeting to hear the details of the deal to secure fresh investment in the town’s wi-fi scheme.

 

I shalln't hold my breath.. is the label 'liar' or 'dreamer' going too far? given that most of what this person says is tosh?


Interesting that our beloved Adver doesn't offer a comments facility!!

What exactly does that tell you?

oh its commercially sensitive I forgot, but

that's what Rod Bluh said right from the start -

are we to get more broadband rather than help to fill the many empty commercial units the Council OWNS with a much needed enterprise zone status but then I forgot SWINDON IS A PLACE WHERE BUSINESS WANTS TO BUSINESS well according to Rod Bluh that is and he cannot possibly be wrong on that subject so couldn't ask his friends in Whitehall for special status or for the return of the £400,000 owed by Digital City for that matter.  Anyway £400,000 could have been recouped by turning off the street lights for 20 years.

You know it makes sense.  :crazy2:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on August 19, 2011, 02:01:16 AM
If not, it could be held off until October’s cabinet meeting, or the council could convene a special meeting to hear the details of the deal to secure fresh investment in the town’s wi-fi scheme.

Is it only me or are others (and I know it is open to interpretation) puzzled by this sudden outbreak of wifi openess, transparency and democracy looking forward to having the shroud of confidentiality that has been over these negotiations lifted?

This "unique" project was put together in the summer of 2009 with I believe a select few of the cabinet? A minute was used and decision notes were signed off as I believe speed was of the essence?

Now we are on the face  of it in a different time frame, and  the project has stalled/been frozen so long that the intial burst of urgency appears to have all but evaporated? We are now being promised detail shortly, well as soon as officers return from holiday that is, even though it appears the rescue package has been on the table for a couple of weeks?

Finally the Cabinet and possibly Council will hear details of the rescue package, is that all 59 Councillors?  Maybe it would have been more efficient and effective to have let all 59 Councillors hear the detail  in October 2009?

That was when Councillors were excluded from seeing the business plan. So why is it now appropriate for Cllrs  to hear the details of the "on the table for a couple of weeks" rescue package in October 2011?

I will be interested to see Cllr Wrights response to this, when Cllr Wright asks questions of the Leader in Council he is referred to the Deputy leader who refers Cllr Wright to the company. If it's something to do with commercial confidentiality, does that apply/not apply to the rescue package if Cllrs can now hear the detail? 

Anyway its only a little snippet to go on, so I am now awaiting the detail with much interest.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on August 19, 2011, 10:18:32 AM
At long last I have a tacit acceptance of the fact that Digital City UK Limited has defaulted in its arrangement with the the Council. That is it has breached the terms of the Loan Agreement. Unfortunately, this leads to another question which is - 'why hasn't the Council invoked the right to declare the loan immediately repayable?'  There are of course a number of reasons why this might not be - none of which cut much ice.

We also have the sorry situation where Dc have not provided annual accounts to Companies House - why not?  Coun perkins is a director of DC and has been for well over 18 months - he doesn't need Rikki (for free) Hunt to prpeare and submit accounts - what is stopping him from providing accounts - it certainly cannot be the complexity surrounding the two compensating sides of the books of account - income is simple enough, two payments, one of £150k and one of £250k.  I accept that the expense side might be little more difficult to fill in especially if you can't find the invoices etc.  However, I would remind Coun Perkins that it was his duty as a director to know where all documents were and in fact to scrutinise them. HMRC and Comanies House will not be amused if they have been mislaid or worse - lost.

Indeed if they can't be traced he should not be surprised if 'conspiracy theories abound' with SBC and himslef taking a starring role.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on August 19, 2011, 10:40:21 AM
Does anyone know (perhaps Des does?) what happens if a limited company is started, operates for a year or so and then folds without submitting its accounts to Companies House?

Rikki's mate, Denis Grant, operated a few such companies. Does the taxman automaticaly get involved? If not, anyone could start a company, trade for a while, fail to submit a set of accounts and then get struck off. Then walk away with whatever money they have received, tax free, while any creditors are left trying to deal with a dissolved company. If this can happen, then the dice are certainly loaded against Joe Public.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on August 19, 2011, 01:49:56 PM

Strange happenings at Companies House with Avidity Consulting (Rikki Hunt's former company that was "working with" Digital City.)

Document
   GAZ1(A)    16/08/2011    FIRST GAZETTE NOTICE FOR VOLUNTARY STRIKE-OFF
      
Document
   SOAS(A)    13/08/2011    VOLUNTARY STRIKE OFF SUSPENDED
      
Document
   DS01    04/08/2011    APPLICATION FOR STRIKING-OFF
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on August 19, 2011, 08:35:17 PM
Steve - Every limited company and limited liability partnership, big or small is required by Section 441 of the Companies Act 2006 to submit company accounts and reports every year to Companies House.

Any company failing to submit an annual return or yearly accounts risks being struck from the register. Directors of that company will also likely face a fine, disqualification or criminal record for failing to carry out their legal duty.

Failure to submit the accounts on time can lead to a number of fines for the company. The longer the delay, the more the potential fine – a company may face a fine of upto £7,500!

My friend Ph1lc can probably offer a better opinion (being more qualified to do so)

Clearly. Coun Perkins is treading very close to the line in this matter as he is as liable as any other director for ensuring accounts are presented on time. Is outof towner able to confirm whether any accounts have been submitted?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: bobwright on August 19, 2011, 11:21:59 PM
Steve- My questions about Wi-fi are a matter of public record, so is the avoidance of straight answers.
The latest concerning conflict of interest between a councillors role and accountability for public money set against the role of  Company Director for a company which has failed to meet payments to the council was rebutted.

I am to receive a written answer on the matter . I was also directed that Councillor Edwards should be acting for the Council rather than Councillor Perkins regarding the debt/missed payments.

I believe there were allsorts of  reasons why a relationship led to the Wi-fi project. Talkswindon has all the details on the avoidance of the normal protocols, the Political launch, the failure to deliver and of course winning an award for innovation. However if the suggestion of going from secrecy to openeness, from confidentiality to transparency will be solved by the Administration voting through some form of resucue package then you have probably grasped the politics but not the problem.
Most of the questions I have asked recently relate to legality and the role of Directors. I am certain that there are many more questions to be asked outside of council which the Administration will not be able to rescue.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on August 20, 2011, 04:44:29 AM
Bob,

In my personal opinion wifi is a mess of its own making, it has been stalled and then frozen. As mentioned in the adver article the administration Council or is it DC? Has now for a couple of weeks at least, had a rescue package on the table. I find it difficult to understand where DC begins and the administration Council ends on this one? Was Cllr Perkins speaking as a Director of DC or as the administration Council's head of regeneration? I have said this before the administration executive rebuffed help and advice from all sides at the beginning, and during the project. The administration executive  got  into this mess and can extricate itself from it. If rescued financially then that I fear will still not be the end of it. The political jiggery pokery of this affair will reverbirate on, long after the £400k is paid back in full with interest. 

Where is the £400K and when will Cllr Mark Edwards take action to recover it, is I think what you may have  hinted at in your post?  I know you have asked the simple question of Cllrs Bluh and Perkins that we all ask, "when will Swindon Council Tax Payer get their 400K plus interest back?" 
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on August 20, 2011, 09:10:25 AM
DES, According to the Companies House web site Digital City are 3 months overdue submitting accounts.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on August 20, 2011, 03:22:05 PM
Very many thanks for that information
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: ph1lc on August 20, 2011, 05:36:55 PM
Perhaps more relevant Des is that every person who was a director at the end of the period faces a fine of level 5 (£5000) and a daily fine of 1/10 level 5 (£500).

That includes Perkinator and "for free" Hunt.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ian Pugh on August 21, 2011, 08:19:19 AM
The over riding problem with this string is not to do with the WiFi project or the whereabouts of the £400,000, but the democratic process in Swindon. Now I'm not saying that the money or the project itself are not important, because they are, but once the people start to believe that they are being governed by an autocracy rather than democracy, then the whole system collapses.

This thread suggest that unfortunately few of the concerned electorate believe or trust what they are being told. It may well be that it's all the Gods honest truth, but perception and truth can be uncomfortable bed partners. Not only do the project problems need to be resolved, but also the electorate trust needs to be re-established.

I think there is one clear route for this problem to be resolved.

Firstly - The original team who sanctioned this project must be replaced. They had their chance and failed.

Secondly - The credibility of the original team is in question through their constant promises followed by little action. So they need to be replaced

Thirdly - The original team need to concentrate on tidying the current mess rather than replacing this system with another. So they need to be replaced.


Having identified that existing team should be replaced for the new project (If it exists!), then a new cross party team should be created. The advantages for this would be that a team, selected by the whole council, would not have loyalty to one party, but to the electorate. Additionally they would have the trust of the electorate without breach the confidentiality that appears to be so crucial to this project.

Maybe this is a pipe dream, but it does appear to be the fastest way to sort this mess out.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on August 21, 2011, 09:31:47 AM
Quote
Maybe this is a pipe dream,

It is a pipe dream for the follwoing reasons.

1. Coun Bluh will never ever admit it was a mistake in getting so close to Rikki (for free) Hunt nor will he ever admit he failed to properly think through the projects financial claims.

2. Coun Perkins is incapable of acknowledging his conflicting roles each of which has demonstrated his personal shortcomings - let's be honest he failed to monitor the actions of Rikki (for free) Hunt and he failed miserably to ensure SBC money was spent properly. If he had any sense of responsibility he would resign.  He has proven to be a man given to making rash promises none of which he has been able to keep

3. Gavin Jones will not concede that offciers of SBC failed in the most lamentable sense of the word to monitor DC's lack of progress, failed to recognise the warning signs (shame of Stuart McKellar) when they stared them in the face and worse - hid behind a wall of silence and legal clap trap (shame on Stephen Taylor).

Without any recongnition of 'having failed' it's really difficult to put htings right.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ian Pugh on August 21, 2011, 10:04:25 AM
Hi Des,

Surely if you are correct in the assumptions made then literally the primary role of our local politicians has been has been ignored i.e. To defend democracy above personal gain.

A very sad thought for Swindon!


Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on August 21, 2011, 10:10:51 AM
As the Head of Regeneration declared in teh adver article a rescue package has been on the table for a couple of weeks. If, it is a major company or a big player, why was this  not done in the first place in 2009? I recall there were calls  to do exactly that by all sides at the time.

 
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on August 21, 2011, 10:43:22 AM
Quote
If, it is a major company or a big player, why was this  not done in the first place in 2009? I recall there were calls  to do exactly that by all sides at the time.


I was ridiculed when i suggested this back in December 2009.  I asked why SBC had not approached BT et al and was told it was because a few years previously 'they hadn't been interested' - I was amazed and said as such. Coun Bluh has always been aware of the negativity surrounding Rikki (for free) Hunt especially as he provided zero skills in terms of a Wi-Fi scheme, even less than zero for project management and I think everything that can be said about his marketing skill set has already been said.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 21, 2011, 11:40:55 AM
Quote
If, it is a major company or a big player, why was this  not done in the first place in 2009? I recall there were calls  to do exactly that by all sides at the time.


I was ridiculed when i suggested this back in December 2009.  I asked why SBC had not approached BT et al and was told it was because a few years previously 'they hadn't been interested' - I was amazed and said as such. Coun Bluh has always been aware of the negativity surrounding Rikki (for free) Hunt especially as he provided zero skills in terms of a Wi-Fi scheme, even less than zero for project management and I think everything that can be said about his marketing skill set has already been said.

and yet when questioned on the 'detail' of this unique project back in 2009 and early 2010 Rod Bluh's answer was that it was commercially sensitive.  To what you may well ask?  The way the equipment was to be attached to concrete lamposts?

As for commercial success Rikki (for Free) Hunt is supposed to be a Salesman of considerable talent so why did he only achieve 20 odd customers?  We know the answer to that one he did no selling and he did no marketing of his product because we already know the good people of Highworth did not know anything about this unique project probably because it was so commercially sensitive!!   :crazy2:

I just wonder how near the legal edge we have been using Council funds in a Private Limited Company where, to date anyway, there has been no accountability for £400,000 of Swindon Council Tax Payers money?

Does anyone know the extent of this administration's financial activities?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: boothill on August 21, 2011, 12:01:38 PM
During one of my Very infrequent trips to the local Village Tavern yesterday evening, I became an innocent participant in a debate re the rights and wrongs of public money being used to provide policing for the upcoming (today's) football fixture between Swindon and Oxford.

During a lull in a somewhat heated debate on the part of the gathered intelligentsia, I innocently referred them to the £400,00 that had been appropriated by SBC et al, for the "provision" of free WiFi for Swindon.

                        After a stunned silence that seemed to last an eternity, this reply was forthcoming........

                                                        "what...we ain't got it yet then ?"

                                             I then made my excuses and went home to chat with my cat !

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 21, 2011, 12:06:19 PM
as for local Football Derby's I can remember Luton playing Watford and there were fights all the way along the 321 bus route between the two towns!!

and as for the surprise on Wi-fi Boothill this is the very reason why they have got away with it thus far,  but.............for how much longer?

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Terry Reynolds on August 21, 2011, 04:44:26 PM
Richard, I have asked several times on here, why the labour councillors, who know all about this, havent called for a vote of confidence and forced them out in an election, perhaps there is a reason why?????>
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on August 21, 2011, 04:51:46 PM
Is it because the Tories hold the majority on the council?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Terry Reynolds on August 21, 2011, 04:56:04 PM
so roll on the next election and then the tables will be turned and then the labour council can sort out the mess.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 21, 2011, 06:36:16 PM
Is it because the Tories hold the majority on the council?

Yes of course but that shouldn't prevent a motion of no confidence in the Chairmanship of the Swindon Strategic Economic Partnership by Rikki (For Free) Hunt unless and until he accounts for the £400,000 loan plus interest to his Company Digital City from the Council Tax payers of Swindon.

Ok it would be voted down but you could get the vote recorded by each Councillor and you would make a point out of it accross the Borough and the Adver would be obliged to report it, wouldn't they?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Weebleman on August 21, 2011, 07:25:32 PM
For absolute clarification could someone tell me if Coun Perkins was:
a. Appointed a director of DC on the insistance of SBC as part of the deal (i.e. to keep a watchful eye on things)?
or
b. Appointed off his own back? In which case was he appointed before the deal was struck, or afterwards?

Just want to get things straight in my mind!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Chris Watts on August 21, 2011, 07:40:22 PM
For absolute clarification could someone tell me if Coun Perkins was:
a. Appointed a director of DC on the insistance of SBC as part of the deal (i.e. to keep a watchful eye on things)?
or
b. Appointed off his own back? In which case was he appointed before the deal was struck, or afterwards?

Just want to get things straight in my mind!
It all goes back to the "accidental" director:

Sept 2009, DC was incorporated and Hitesh Patel became a director along with Rikki Hunt with shares alocated to SBC, Rikki Hunt  and aQovia (Isle of Man) Ltd.

Oct 2009, The SBC entered into an agreement with Avidity (UK) Ltd and aQovia (UK) Ltd to create DC naming Hitesh Patel as the councils representative on the board using delegate power and a cabinet briefing note, therefore out of the public eye.
(You will note that although this was signed of in October 2009, the deed had already been done and the shareholders do not match)

March 2010, Hitesh Patel is called out by Lead member in a Cabinet meeting and asked if he is a Director. Hitesh states he is not even though he has this position advertised on his LinkedIn profile. Hitesh Patel immediately resigns directorship in DC.

April 2010, Cllr Perkins becomes a director to look after the councils interests in his place.

Hope this helps

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Weebleman on August 21, 2011, 08:37:14 PM
For absolute clarification could someone tell me if Coun Perkins was:
a. Appointed a director of DC on the insistance of SBC as part of the deal (i.e. to keep a watchful eye on things)?
or
b. Appointed off his own back? In which case was he appointed before the deal was struck, or afterwards?

Just want to get things straight in my mind!
It all goes back to the "accidental" director:

SNIP

April 2010, Cllr Perkins becomes a director to look after the councils interests in his place.

Hope this helps

Thanks for the clarification Chris, that's more or less what I recalled. What's beginning to concern me is this: if he was put there to look after the "SBC interests", I'm concerned as to how much support has he been promised by SBC if (when) Companies House start demanding large fines for late submission of accounts -- i.e. will the council tax payers, by some backhanded route, be forking out yet more to keep his backside covered ? (The potential fine is building up by the day and could end up being quite considerable).

It matters not one jot as to whether or not an alternative WiFi backer/deal is in the pipeline, the position Perkins has put himself in with C.House could still cost him (us) dear!

I think the question raised by outoftowner a few days back about whether or not a company can strike itself off without submitting their accounts, and thereby avoid the penalties, is a very important one and needs investigating.

Just my 10c worth.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on August 21, 2011, 10:53:58 PM
Quote
For absolute clarification could someone tell me if Coun Perkins was:
a. Appointed a director of DC on the insistance of SBC as part of the deal (i.e. to keep a watchful eye on things)?

The problem with this 'arrangement' is that it actually has little force in law.  That is Coun Perkins is first and foremost a Director of DC and as such his over riding duty is towards that company. The law holds him responsible for the conduct of the company in its legal, stautory and business dealings. The moment he signed upto the position (how exciting a prospect it must have seemed even though he was warned against it) his position as a lead Councillor was compromised. If proof were needed consider the vehment way he defended DC's poor performance, in the face of overwhelming evidence of commercial ineptitude' Coun Perkins in a breathtaking moment that will forever be his nemesis in this sorry saga derided the critics and blamed them for his and Rikki (for free) Hunts failure to provide Wi-Fi as promised. Worse he told porky pies to the Scrutiny committee when mainatining the fib that TS members had sabotaged the DC bid to develop a Wi-Fi scheme for Bathgate. But as Coun Perkins should have been aware Bathgate had already advsied DC of the reasons for their failure to secure the bid, and he knew his claim was dishonest.  If he didn't he certainly should have been told by his friend Rikki (for free) Hunt.  What i do know is that he was made aware of the truth and has displayed absolutely no sense of propriety in apologising for his mistaken comments. . 
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Chris Watts on August 21, 2011, 11:12:21 PM
Worse he told porky pies to the Scrutiny committee when mainatining the fib that TS members had sabotaged the DC bid to develop a Wi-Fi scheme for Bathgate. But as Coun Perkins should have been aware Bathgate had already advsied DC of the reasons for their failure to secure the bid, and he knew his claim was dishonest.  If he didn't he certainly should have been told by his friend Rikki (for free) Hunt.  What i do know is that he was made aware of the truth and has displayed absolutely no sense of propriety in apologising for his mistaken comments. .


Just a little refresher:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/61485/response/152920/attach/html/2/2010.12.06%20Response%20to%20Digital%20City%20re%20WiFi.doc.html (http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/61485/response/152920/attach/html/2/2010.12.06%20Response%20to%20Digital%20City%20re%20WiFi.doc.html)

Mr R. Hunt
Digital City (UK) Ltd
10th Floor
David Murray John Building
Swindon
SN1 1NH

6th December 2010

Dear Mr Hunt,

Following the submission of the feasibility study of Bathgate Wi-Fi Zone I can confirm that the Board of Enterprising Bathgate have elected to not proceed with the scheme for the reasons outlined below.

1. The initial Wi-Fi network area is too limited and excludes over 50% of Levy payers.
2. Digital City proposes a 6 year scheme; the BID is only in operation until 2013.
3. There is no guaranteed funding for the future phases as recommended in the feasibility study.
4. WLC do not have the resource to designate and officer to champion the scheme as recommended in the feasibility study.
5. Enterprising Bathgate do not have the resources to facilitate Market Research with local businesses.
6. There is no commercial feasibility demonstrated within the report.

We would like to thank you for your efforts and wish you well for the future.

Yours Sincerely
David Stein
Chairperson
Enterprising Bathgate Ltd

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/bathgate_wifi_project#incoming-152568 (http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/bathgate_wifi_project#incoming-152568)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on August 22, 2011, 08:10:35 AM
My thanks to Chris. Just how clear does satetment have to be to convince Coun Bluh etal that DC is/was a joke.

As for Coun  Perkins - do the honourable thing Councillor - resign

Gavin Jones - look again at the actions of officers in this saga

I know - some hope!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 22, 2011, 09:22:17 AM
Des, the longer this goes on the greater in number will be the list of casualties, but it could stop overnight if only Rod Bluh could admit he actually made a mistake and provide us with the details of what happened to money.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: the gorgon on August 22, 2011, 09:24:19 AM
My thanks to Chris. Just how clear does satetment have to be to convince Coun Bluh etal that DC is/was a joke.

As for Coun  Perkins - do the honourable thing Councillor - resign

Gavin Jones - look again at the actions of officers in this saga

I know - some hope!


As I mentioned in the community engagement topic, a BBC news article on political folly (which is described as "a perverse persistence in a policy that is demonstrably unworkable or counter-productive") made me think of the WiFi scheme.

The article also says "Folly is not error, not even error of an extreme kind. Error suggests the possibility of learning from mistakes, whereas folly is the pursuit of policies that are known to be harmful to those who pursue them. ".  That's why I'd be surprised if Bluh and chums ever admit they were wrong.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14587364 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14587364)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on August 22, 2011, 12:55:04 PM
With the news that Rikki (for free) Hunt has been declared 'bankrupt' perhaps there are more questions to be asked of SBC executives and councillors.

The actual order was made on 8 March 2011 just a short four weeks after Mr Hunt and his fellow DC directror , Coun Perkins appeared before the Scrutiny Committee to report on the 'Progress of the Wi-Fi rollout'

During the meeting no mention was made of any bankruptcy application and in fact Mr Hunt seemed quite 'chipper' giving everyone the impression that he was committed to the project.  More importantly so did Coun Perkins who rubbished any suggestion that the project was 'dead' in the water or a failure in any sense of the word.

I find it incomprehensible to believe that Coun Perkins was unaware of Mr Hunt's financial position or that he was the subject of a bankruptcy petition/order. If he was unaware it is only a further demonstration that Coun Perkins himself is both unsuitable and unfit to be a director, after all it is one thing to claim no knowledge of the day to day workings  of a company, quite another to not know what your fellow directors are up to!

Insolvency Case Details
Case Name   JOHN RICHARD HUNT
Court   Swindon County Court
Type    Bankruptcy
Number    0000093
Case Year    2011
Order Date   08 March 2011
Status   Currently Bankrupt : Automatic Discharge will be 08 March 2012 See FootNote
Case Description   JOHN RICHARD HUNT, unemployed of 189 Kingshill Road, SN1 4LL and lately residing at 11 Belmont Crescent, SN1 4EY, both in Swindon, Wiltshire and lately a company director
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on August 22, 2011, 01:27:37 PM
Just heard about this from someone came to check it out. Des can you remind me did he resign from avidity before the scrutiny and did he resign in the March from DC? I can't seem to remember. When was the LEP bid and when was the story about him being Chair? Any help appreciated as I need to get some information.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on August 22, 2011, 01:54:04 PM

Just so readers are aware:  There are several threads in separate areas of the forum concerning Mr Hunt, another currentlt relevant one is here: 'Who Is Rikki Hunt? (http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=6361)

This is a little inconvenient for casual readers of Talkswindon, but unavoidable when the activities of a person(s) are spread widely across so many areas of local government and finance.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Weebleman on August 22, 2011, 02:54:12 PM
Quote
For absolute clarification could someone tell me if Coun Perkins was:
a. Appointed a director of DC on the insistance of SBC as part of the deal (i.e. to keep a watchful eye on things)?

The problem with this 'arrangement' is that it actually has little force in law.  That is Coun Perkins is first and foremost a Director of DC and as such his over riding duty is towards that company. The law holds him responsible for the conduct of the company in its legal, stautory and business dealings. The moment he signed upto the position (how exciting a prospect it must have seemed even though he was warned against it) his position as a lead Councillor was compromised. If proof were needed consider the vehment way he defended DC's poor performance, in the face of overwhelming evidence of commercial ineptitude' Coun Perkins in a breathtaking moment that will forever be his nemesis in this sorry saga derided the critics and blamed them for his and Rikki (for free) Hunts failure to provide Wi-Fi as promised. Worse he told porky pies to the Scrutiny committee when mainatining the fib that TS members had sabotaged the DC bid to develop a Wi-Fi scheme for Bathgate. But as Coun Perkins should have been aware Bathgate had already advsied DC of the reasons for their failure to secure the bid, and he knew his claim was dishonest.  If he didn't he certainly should have been told by his friend Rikki (for free) Hunt.  What i do know is that he was made aware of the truth and has displayed absolutely no sense of propriety in apologising for his mistaken comments. .

Exactly Des. The point I was trying to make was that in some ways I can understand why Perkins is holding back on the accounts from a political point of view -- i.e. to protect his and his masters' declining reputations. What I can't understand is (unless he's a very rich man) why he's prepared to stand up and take all the fall-out from DC's demise which could potentially involve quite a heavy financial penalty  (to say nothing of being struck off from holding further directorships) just to placate his friends.

In my view he either expects to get financial support from his buddies or he thinks that striking off the company without submitting the accounts provides a loophole for getting away with it, and I'm not too sure that the rules will allow that to happen.
One thing's for certain, if Rikki is bankrupt he sure as hell can't help out (or has he stashed it somewhere ?) :coolsmiley:

The stench of fishiness surrounding this eposide is growing by the day.  :fish:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on August 22, 2011, 03:03:24 PM
I hope that's "sustainable" fishiness, Weeble? :fish:

(I said that I wondered what Rikki was up to lately. Now we know.)

Who'll (and I mean from SBC) now ask Rikki to resign his public positions?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Chris Watts on August 22, 2011, 03:16:33 PM
oooh, imagine if this had been disclosed before the elections ???

Makes you think (if you are a cynic :) )that the WiFi confidentiality clause that took the administration past the election date may have served its purpose.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Weebleman on August 22, 2011, 03:32:12 PM
I hope that's "sustainable" fishiness, Weeble? :fish:

(I said that I wondered what Rikki was up to lately. Now we know.)

Who'll (and I mean from SBC) now ask Rikki to resign his public positions?

Looks like you've casted your net on the right side of the boat at last old mate :) It's beginning to make that monstrosity of a stone fish I dragged in off Changi Creek all those years ago look quite palatable.

To be honest, I don't think Rikki will be asked to give up anything as that would call for integrity on someones part, and there's not much of that to be seen at the top table at present.

What's more, I've just got off the phone talking to a delightful young lady at Companies House who informs me that unless they (C.House) have already instigated procedings against DC then they are at liberty to strike themselves off without having to offer up their accounts. In other words, it looks like unless there is an almighty stink kicked up in the next couple weeks that the book-wreck of DC will slip beneath the waves and be forever out of sight. To sum it up, I now think they'll actually get away with it -- UNTIL ELECTION TIME THAT IS.

Depressin' 'init?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on August 22, 2011, 03:34:04 PM
oooh, imagine if this had been disclosed before the elections ???

Makes you think (if you are a cynic :) )that the WiFi confidentiality clause that took the administration past the election date may have served its purpose.



Haha, not that I wish to claim anything in particular for this, but I remember blogging this on the 10th of February 2011: http://www.geoffreid.com/?p=904 (http://www.geoffreid.com/?p=904)


Quote

([url]http://www.geoffreid.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/bluhnderbirds_rod-_bluh_garry_perkins_rikki_hunt.png[/url])


I’ll cut straight to the chase with this blog post.

Rikki Hunt, Chief executive of Digital City (UK) Ltd and it’s parent company Avidity Consulting Ltd, (Avidity Consulting owns 30% of Digital City), has  transferred control of ‘his’ 30% share of Digital City (UK) Ltd to his wife  Laura.   He effected the change of Directorship on December the 31st 2010.

Since that point the cabinet of Swindon Borough Council has been falling over itself to blame the failure of their WiFi’asco onto anybody except themselves.

Cabinet members, pathologically incapable of accepting any blame for the potential loss of £400,000 of public money, have sought to blame the failure of the WiFi’asco on ‘politically motivated industrial espionage’ orchestrated by members of Swindons Labour group – this piece of disinformation is as as spiteful as it is demonstrably untrue.

As Swindons Conservative councillors run around trying to organise a political rescue for the sinking WiFi’asco, they appear to be deliberately ignoring the fact that the Chief Executive of Digital City (UK) Ltd has already boarded his pre-prepared lifeboat and has been quietly rowing away from the stinking sinking ship since late last year.

From the very beginnings of the WiFi’asco SBC cabinet members have stubbornly, no, aggressively resisted each and every attempt made to rescue them from their own stupidity, arrogance and ineptitude.

Systematic failings, mistakes, strange decisions, illegalities and questionable practices have been pointed out to the cabinet of Swindon Borough Council at every step but, unless correspondents have been in 100% agreement with the ‘official’ party-political Bluh-line on WiFi, all of them, even critical friends of Rod Bluh’s WiFi pRodject, have been derogated, called liars, misinformants, trouble-makers, scare-mongers and wifi-deniers by those in ‘control’ of the WiFi’asco – despite being invariably and demonstrably correct in almost every aspect of their many enquiries, comments and criticisms.

For their part, the ‘Officials’ who rail-roaded the WiFi scheme into existence, (in a way which almost guaranteed its failure), have proved themselves to be lacking in even the most basic ingredients and skill sets necessary to the schemes success.

I think it is fair to say that the Civic and Business Community has now lost patience with Rod Bluh and his Bluhnderbirds and that a weary recognition that the town cannot save those who will not only not lift a finger to save themselves but aggressively resist help, the town can at least try to save itself from them.

Even Rikki Hunt seems to be doing exactly that…..

Parting thought:

If the the Bluhnderbirds were to have their own theme tune, would it sound and look like this?:

Dumb, dumb de dumb

Dumb de dumb de dumb de de dumb de dumb

Dumb, dumb de dumb

Dumb de dumb de dumb de de dumb de dumb – Dar!


So yes, I agree with Richard on this, let's hear from representatives of the Swindon business community, starting with Talkswindon member, Chairman of the FSB and COnservative Councillor for Covingham and Nythe Emma Faramarzi.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on August 22, 2011, 04:00:06 PM
oooh, imagine if this had been disclosed before the elections ???

Makes you think (if you are a cynic :) )that the WiFi confidentiality clause that took the administration past the election date may have served its purpose.


Also consider a point made by Des Morgan:

Quote
the non disclosure and confidentiality agreement started on 9th March 2011 at cabinet


Strange how on a meeting on the 9 March, no one saw fit to mention the issue of Mr Hunt's bankruptcy which was ordered on 8 March.  Perhaps they thought it/he wasn't important!


Just 8 weeks before the elections Rikki Hunt is declared bankrupt.  Exactly one day later the Conservative leadership of Swindon Borough Council imposes a 'Confidentiality' restriction on anything to do the WiFi'asco - a restriction which lasted right through the election period.

Is this purely coincidental?  I don't think so but readers will make their own minds up.


Something else occurs to me.....

... I have reason to think that Cllr Bluh & Co are now seeking to create a cross-party situation in which any councillor or group of councillors not supporting the leaderships efforts to pull itself out of the WiFi mire can be blamed for the failure of the entire scheme - despite the fact that the scheme had failed by March 2010.

I'd humbly remind TS members and readers that not one cabinet member has been co-operative and honest when answering legitimate questions about their WiFi actions and decisions, and that those same cabinet members have systematically tried to discredit and smear those of us that have published and discussed the true facts.

Come election day in May 2012 I hope people will remember that.   
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 22, 2011, 04:08:48 PM
(I said that I wondered what Rikki was up to lately. Now we know.)

How was he able to finance his Everest Expedition for starters?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on August 22, 2011, 04:09:35 PM
Weebleman, My co-"Fisher of Men" said:

Quote
What's more, I've just got off the phone talking to a delightful young lady at Companies House who informs me that unless they (C.House) have already instigated procedings against DC then they are at liberty to strike themselves off without having to offer up their accounts. In other words, it looks like unless there is an almighty stink kicked up in the next couple weeks that the book-wreck of DC will slip beneath the waves and be forever out of sight. To sum it up, I now think they'll actually get away with it -- UNTIL ELECTION TIME THAT IS.

Depressin' 'init?

Weeble, Did you go on that Police course with me in Aylesbury all those years ago. I think so. The Baker's Arms next door to Police HQ wasn't it?

I remember the instructor telling us about "Modus Operandi". i.e. Most crooks keep operating in the same way.

Dennis Grant had a lot of companies that folded without filing any accounts. Rikki has had a few too. Of course, we know that they are old mates and so we know that they will operate in a similar manner.

Unbelievable. If I was a copper or a tax-man I would watch for people that have a series of companies that do not file accounts. Easy Peasy collar!

I still haven't found out who and why someone on Swindon Borough Council insisted Dennis got the top job on The Cotswold Water Park Society. But I am still looking for them.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 22, 2011, 04:10:59 PM
oooh, imagine if this had been disclosed before the elections ???

Makes you think (if you are a cynic :) )that the WiFi confidentiality clause that took the administration past the election date may have served its purpose.

But Chris, people do have long memories and imagine what damage it could do to them next May along with all the other stuff that's going on!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on August 22, 2011, 04:19:33 PM
http://www.adventurepeaks.com/expeditions/everest_south.html

Richard,

£30,000 gets you trip up the South Col of Everest. I imagine that's not with 1st class flights though, so add £4,000 for that and that leaves £366,000 to buy a nice villa somewhere. Northern Cyprus is favourite, although Rikki did once have a public pipe-dream about a petrol retail business in Portugal and Spain.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Weebleman on August 22, 2011, 04:22:31 PM
Weeble, Did you go on that Police course with me in Aylesbury all those years ago. I think so. The Baker's Arms next door to Police HQ wasn't it?

I remember the instructor telling us about "Modus Operandi". i.e. Most crooks keep operating in the same way.

Dennis Grant had a lot of companies that folded without filing any accounts. Rikki has had a few too. Of course, we know that they are old mates and so we know that they will operate in a similar manner.

Unbelievable. If I was a copper or a tax-man I would watch for people that have a series of companies that do not file accounts. Easy Peasy collar!

I still haven't found out who and why someone on Swindon Borough Council insisted Dennis got the top job on The Cotswold Water Park Society. But I am still looking for them.

Apologies for going off topic here but; Yes I well remember the "Bricklayers" Arms. The only pub I've ever been to where the ceiling was lower than the dart board    O0
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mart on August 22, 2011, 08:12:43 PM
Apologies for going off topic here but; Yes I well remember the "Bricklayers" Arms. The only pub I've ever been to where the ceiling was lower than the dart board

Apologies fron me too, but The Surrey Yeoman, Dorking High St, you throw from a trench.

I won't forget, even a foaming mouth loony with a medal in persecution complexes would have struggled to come up with a ramble that matched the emerging truth.

I may have trust issues in future.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Weebleman on August 22, 2011, 09:06:30 PM
Apologies for going off topic here but; Yes I well remember the "Bricklayers" Arms. The only pub I've ever been to where the ceiling was lower than the dart board

Apologies fron me too, but The Surrey Yeoman, Dorking High St, you throw from a trench.

I won't forget, even a foaming mouth loony with a medal in persecution complexes would have struggled to come up with a ramble that matched the emerging truth.

I may have trust issues in future.

Sounds like a more up-market establishment altogether Mart. The solution generally adopted in the "Brickies" was to throw from a kneeling position, which in my case was no great hindrance because I was more often than not approaching that state anyway. O0
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on August 22, 2011, 09:38:43 PM
I must have been laying down to throw my darts as I was only 16 and 2 pints of ABC was a lot for me! Anyway, back to the misappropriation of taxpayer's money!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: MsD Meanor on August 22, 2011, 10:04:12 PM
And the fact that people are still being misled that Swindon has free Wifi- it was on Radio 2 a couple of weeks ago- Steve Wright in the afternoon- interviewed some bloke who mentioned it and no-one put him right. A big song and dance was made.

Fraudulent in so many ways - yet no-one investigating from the police?

I don't get it.... :o







Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ian Pugh on August 22, 2011, 11:58:46 PM
I'm really sorry for Rikki and his family. I have no shame in saying this. The difference between a successful business man and a failure is so small that you need a microscope to begin to see the variation. Rikki Hunt is a man driven by inspiration. Often these can be wrong, but it only takes one good idea to propel you to the stars.

Rikki is a family man with a wife and children. He has lost his house and home. In this country the stigma of bankruptcy is a stigma born by all the family, yet we all bandy  phrases like ''We learn by our mistakes''. Shame on you if you do not see this as an individuals learning curve, one who tries and is flawed  -  just like the rest of us.

The real culprits of this exercise are those who have been given the public purse to invest wisely. They should have known better, they should have watched better, they should have controlled better. They were elected into their positions on their supposed  business acumen. Just watch the Dragons Den, they sort out the chaff from the wheat. The failure of this investment is solely due to those who invested in this project. Finding someone else to rescue them is not going to change the fact that they could not see the flaws staring them in the face. And anyway, will we see the promised return from a new investor? I don't think so!

Rikki Hunt has the most awful years to come. His family have to stand the indignity of those with hindsight searching into every activity and challenging it, and remember ''Hind-site is always 20/20''. The only man who did nothing wrong was the man who did nothing!

Are we going to leave these investors to go about there daily duties scot free. Don't forget about the Swindon budget, It's your money they are investing! And you have just voted them into another year with more of their  ''carefully'', ''prudent'' use of your money! Currently, on just the Wi-Fi project, every man, woman, child and baby in Swindon has invested £2.00 of your hard earned money. And that is just on this project!!!

How much is your community charge this year? How many other project are there under the careful control of the council? Just ask yourself these questions. In the meantime,

Best of luck for the future everyone.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 23, 2011, 07:46:39 AM
Ian I must confess to being a little confused.

The fact you feel sorry for a bankrupt is commendable but are you really sure that Rikki Hunt is any different from anyone else who has been in this position?  I have known two such people but our Rikki is in a completely different league with his brass neck and thick skin.  I am sure he did not seek this situation but he did precious little to avoid it and whilst the investors, on our behalf, in his wild scheme were not running the business, he was and he has to accept the consequences of its failure. 

Anyway, just how much of his own money did he actually invest in DC?  We know that our investment is £400,000 plus interest and what have we got for it?

I am sorry but I do not share your sympathy and anyway if he is anything of a businessman he will put himself back together and get on with it, but this time Rikki please do it with someone elses money!

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Tea Boy on August 23, 2011, 08:13:14 AM
And the fact that people are still being misled that Swindon has free Wifi- it was on Radio 2 a couple of weeks ago- Steve Wright in the afternoon- interviewed some bloke who mentioned it and no-one put him right. A big song and dance was made.

Fraudulent in so many ways - yet no-one investigating from the police?

I don't get it.... :o

In the cause of stiring it a bit, should we invite the press / media to sample the delights of Swindons free WiFi....... 
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Tea Boy on August 23, 2011, 08:20:52 AM
........after all the phone I'm posting from can act as the wifi hotspot via the mobile connection...

Only cost £400 AND it works
 :popcorn:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on August 23, 2011, 08:39:29 AM
Ian, You obviously are good hearted but you should look at the facts as recorded here on TS and summarised below before you declare Rikki's innocence:

1.   Rikki has neither the technical expertise nor experience to install and operate any form of Wi-Fi equipment for a town. He should have known that his personal lack of knowledge would not secure a successful outcome.
2.   The requirement to market “Get Signal” was recognised by the council if not by Rikki. He should have actively marketed it in Highworth. He did not do so and his early stated aim to secure premises in Highworth to use as a marketing base was not followed up. When the residents of Highworth tried to contact Rikki to set up such facilities they found he had no interest. Ask yourself why he did not market the Wi-Fi project.
3.   Rikki should have looked into the success, or otherwise, of his partner company, Aqovia and fellow project Director Mustafa Arif, to see if they in fact would be of any help. He would have found that Mustafa Arif’s CV was as concocted as his own.
4.   Why was it so essential that the 2nd tranche of the loan, a further £250,000, was handed over so urgently? Ostensibly, according to Rikki, it was to complete the Wi-Fi installation in Swindon town itself. Nothing happened after that money was handed over. Nothing!  Rikki knew nothing would happen so what did he do with that money?
5.   You feel sorry for who you like in this Ian but saying that “The real culprits of this exercise are those who have been given the public purse to invest wisely” is not the way. Rikki convinced the investors that they would make a large amount of money. That is what happened and it is a very typical way of getting people to part with money that they can ill afford. The members of the council that are involved are gullible, naive, incompetent, pompous , self- aggrandising  and dishonest, that is very true but they did not instigate the scam, they fell for it. Easy to do when you do not care about using someone else’s money.
6.   Rikki has now fallen into a, temporary, pit. We should now make sure that his friends on the council join him.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 23, 2011, 09:50:00 AM
And the fact that people are still being misled that Swindon has free Wifi- it was on Radio 2 a couple of weeks ago- Steve Wright in the afternoon- interviewed some bloke who mentioned it and no-one put him right. A big song and dance was made.

Fraudulent in so many ways - yet no-one investigating from the police?

I don't get it.... :o

In the cause of stiring it a bit, should we invite the press / media to sample the delights of Swindons free WiFi.......

Why not TB?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: the gorgon on August 23, 2011, 10:43:53 AM
Adver running a story about Rikki Hunt being bankrupt (Labour are now making a big noise about it).

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9209669.Calls_for_bankrupt_entrepreneur_to_quit_business_forum/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9209669.Calls_for_bankrupt_entrepreneur_to_quit_business_forum/)

This is the best bit:  ::)
Quote
Garry Perkins (Con, Shaw and Nine Elms), a fellow director of Digital City who heads up regeneration for the Tory cabinet, said he had no idea about the bankruptcy.

Nor did Ian Piper, the head of Forward Swindon, the council’s regeneration wing, which is involved in the SSEP.

Emma Faramarzi, chairwoman of the Federation of Small Businesses, sits on the SSEP board and was “shocked” at the news, but said Mr Hunt remained an “asset”.


They should have added this photo of Garry "I know nothing" Perkins in his work uniform (Fawlty Towers fans will get the joke).
(http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/39134000/jpg/_39134063_manuel270.jpg)

If Rikki is an "asset" I'd hate to think what Emma Faramarzi considers to be a "liability".  :idiot2:

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ian Pugh on August 23, 2011, 02:06:22 PM
Hi Outoftowner,

Sorry if I have not made my position clear. I do not want anyone to get away with anything, but schadenfreude resolves nothing. I can see the council trying to load all of the blame on Mr Hunt, thereby ducking their own responsibility in the eyes of the electorate. I believe your statements in 5 & 6 were most appropriate i.e.

''5.   You feel sorry for who you like in this Ian but saying that “The real culprits of this exercise are those who have been given the public purse to invest wisely” is not the way. Rikki convinced the investors that they would make a large amount of money. That is what happened and it is a very typical way of getting people to part with money that they can ill afford. The members of the council that are involved are gullible, naive, incompetent, pompous , self- aggrandising  and dishonest, that is very true but they did not instigate the scam, they fell for it. Easy to do when you do not care about using someone else’s money.
6.   Rikki has now fallen into a, temporary, pit. We should now make sure that his friends on the council join him.''

Whilst I can not agree with all of your statements, broadly we are in agreement. I cannot however take pleasure in any of this. Also you say that ''they did not instigate this scam'', well we don't actually know it was a scam and I'm sure you didn't say that as an accusation in it's truest sense - (deformation of character)! Also ''gullible, naive, incompetent, pompous'' probably, ''self- aggrandising'' maybe, but ''dishonest'' I don't know that and neither do you!

All I was looking for was that, where it was seen to take place, those who failed to do their duty as investors are also hung out to dry. Entrepreneurs always see their ideas as great, investors need the ability to select the winners from the losers. If they cannot do this, then they should be stopped from wasting taxpayers money. Who can have a problem with that statement?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on August 23, 2011, 02:20:26 PM
I'll accept defamation of character, not deformation.

It was a scam Ian. The money was to pay Rikki's debts. He hoped to get other councils on board in a pyramid selling operation, thus freeing up "some" money to pay for something in Swindon while he paid of his debts.

Dishonest? Certaim members of SBC failing to come clean so far after the failure of the Wi-Fi scheme is in itself dishonesty. Failing to put contracts out to tender is dishonest. Not seeking repayment of a large loan is dishonest. Failing to declare Digital City UK Ltd insolvent is dishonest. Claiming that another company is ready to pay the debt is dishonest.

I could have added that the mix of arrogance and ignorance in the players of this saga is stunning but that would be unkind to ignorant people.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 23, 2011, 03:56:32 PM
Adver running a story about Rikki Hunt being bankrupt (Labour are now making a big noise about it).

This is the best bit:  ::)
Quote
Garry Perkins (Con, Shaw and Nine Elms), a fellow director of Digital City who heads up regeneration for the Tory cabinet, said he had no idea about the bankruptcy.

I wonder if he would be prepared to make that statement in a court of Law, under oath?

Nor did Ian Piper, the head of Forward Swindon, the council’s regeneration wing, which is involved in the SSEP.

Emma Faramarzi, chairwoman of the Federation of Small Businesses, sits on the SSEP board and was “shocked” at the news, but said Mr Hunt remained an “asset”.

If Rikki is an "asset" I'd hate to think what Emma Faramarzi considers to be a "liability".  :idiot2

The trouble is Emma Faramazi has by association given up her independent status with the FSB because she is a Conservative Swindon Borough Councillor who in the absence of comment to the contrary must be in agreement with the way in which Rikki Hunt has managed the affairs of Digital City in the context of the outstanding £400,000 loan plus interest.  She should really decide which one of these horses to back the FSB or maintain her position as a Borough Councillor because from where I am sitting these two roles are in conflict with one another.:

Furthermore this whole business brings the various regeneration organisations and Swindon as a whole into disrepute.

I would expect a number of resignations if we are ever to gain credibility for the future, starting with both the Council Leaders who are honour bound to go and now!

Surely someone in authority will now be looking at this whole unsavoury business very very closely?  I for one would not want to be in the shoes of any of the protagonists.

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on August 23, 2011, 04:20:59 PM
What is quite amazing is the fact that Coun Perkins claims not to have known anything about the bankruptcy proceedings. It is asking a lot of the public if he really expects everyone to accept that for a whole 12 months he worked cheek by jowl with Rikki (for free) Hunt - running Digital City, ensuring that swindon taxpayers were getting value for money and that the tax payer funded loan was being spent wisely - and yet he never ever was party to any discussion about the potential financial issues which were to have such a devestating effect upon his fellow director.

Is it really the case that the man who Coun Bluh deferred to as a 'successful businessman' simply failed to mention his financial predicament to anyone with whom he was associated in the great Wi-Fi saga.

At the Scrutiny meeting held on 7 February Mr hunt waxed lyrical about his ambition for DC including re-asserting his belief that  the project would be a success. In this he was supported by Coun Perkins.

I hope Coun Perkins will now ensure that DC's accounts are completed and filed in accordance with Company Law.  It is almost too much to hope that he would even now lay bare the  honest facts as to where the money (£400k) was spent - it's not good enough to casually dismiss such a call by stating the money was spent on matters relating to the business plan.  For the reality is that no one outside of the Conservative Group believes that to be true. Actually, I think Coun Perkins real predicament is that in exactly the same way he didn't know that his co-director had petitioned for bankruptcy - he probably didn't know what was going on at Digital City. He certainly didn't know where all the documents such as invoices etc were kept.

All in all this saga has just developed a new life - something that the executive at SBC and Coun Bluh must be regretting.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Weebleman on August 23, 2011, 04:30:57 PM
I'll accept defamation of character, not deformation.

It was a scam Ian. The money was to pay Rikki's debts. He hoped to get other councils on board in a pyramid selling operation, thus freeing up "some" money to pay for something in Swindon while he paid of his debts.

Dishonest? Certaim members of SBC failing to come clean so far after the failure of the Wi-Fi scheme is in itself dishonesty. Failing to put contracts out to tender is dishonest. Not seeking repayment of a large loan is dishonest. Failing to declare Digital City UK Ltd insolvent is dishonest. Claiming that another company is ready to pay the debt is dishonest.

I could have added that the mix of arrogance and ignorance in the players of this saga is stunning but that would be unkind to ignorant people.

Dishonest also is the fact that £400k of our money is still missing, the major part of which has not been accounted for.

If it's not in DC's account then it must be in someone elses! Someone knows where it is, someone has access to it! If there's no dishonesty involved, why are those concerned spending so much energy obviscating over this sordid affair. To be frank, the longer this goes on, and the more we learn the more dishonest the whole shebang looks.

Time for another appearance in Rotten Boroughs?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on August 23, 2011, 05:18:49 PM
I'm really sorry for Rikki and his family. I have no shame in saying this. The difference between a successful business man and a failure is so small that you need a microscope to begin to see the variation. Rikki Hunt is a man driven by inspiration. Often these can be wrong, but it only takes one good idea to propel you to the stars.

Rikki is a family man with a wife and children. He has lost his house and home. In this country the stigma of bankruptcy is a stigma born by all the family, yet we all bandy  phrases like ''We learn by our mistakes''. Shame on you if you do not see this as an individuals learning curve, one who tries and is flawed  -  just like the rest of us.

Rikki Hunt has the most awful years to come. His family have to stand the indignity of those with hindsight searching into every activity and challenging it, and remember ''Hind-site is always 20/20''. The only man who did nothing wrong was the man who did nothing!

This is man who banked enough money in the last couple of years to warrant a £423,000 tax bill to HMRC - and spent the money on something else.  Taking big risks is fun if they pay off in your favour and not so much fun for your family when they don't.

I don't have much sympathy for him and, if his family feel pain as a result of his actions, then the blame lies squarely on his own shoulders. Working in a hum-drum 9 to 5 job may not be exciting and it certainly won't get you a £600,000 house, but neither is it likely to lead to a million pound+ bankruptcy.

As to people scrutinising his activities: If you stick your straw into the public purse and start sucking cash out of it this is what happens. It is entirely right that we scrutinise where our money goes - even Eric Pickles waxed lyrically about 'An army of armchair auditors'.



The real culprits of this exercise are those who have been given the public purse to invest wisely. They should have known better, they should have watched better, they should have controlled better. They were elected into their positions on their supposed  business acumen. Just watch the Dragons Den, they sort out the chaff from the wheat. The failure of this investment is solely due to those who invested in this project. Finding someone else to rescue them is not going to change the fact that they could not see the flaws staring them in the face. And anyway, will we see the promised return from a new investor? I don't think so!


And we tried, in every way available to us, to point out to them that they were making a serious mistake.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on August 23, 2011, 08:19:51 PM
Where are they now?

Quote
THE cream of Swindon’s business world are rallying around the man behind Swindon’s wi-fi project.


Apart from Emma Faramarzi Chairman of the FSB  I hear a deafening silence... now

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/5081753.Businesses_back_wi_fi___s_Rikki_Hunt/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/5081753.Businesses_back_wi_fi___s_Rikki_Hunt/)


 
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 23, 2011, 09:13:39 PM
Where are they now?

Quote
THE cream of Swindon’s business world are rallying around the man behind Swindon’s wi-fi project.


Apart from Emma Faramarzi Chairman of the FSB  I hear a deafening silence... now

[url]http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/5081753.Businesses_back_wi_fi___s_Rikki_Hunt/[/url] ([url]http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/5081753.Businesses_back_wi_fi___s_Rikki_Hunt/[/url])


Yep everyone LOVES a WINNER until he or she becomes an EMBARRASSMENT!!

Shame the Adver did not go to Rod Bluh for a comment today!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: MsD Meanor on August 23, 2011, 09:50:52 PM
An example of Rikki's integrity and honesty can be seen on his Linked-in profile- makes very interesting reading. He still purports to be an ace businessman..... and some people clearly believe it
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 23, 2011, 11:55:52 PM
An example of Rikki's integrity and honesty can be seen on his Linked-in profile- makes very interesting reading. He still purports to be an ace businessman..... and some people clearly believe it

Some people will believe anything MSDM!!  :wakeup:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on August 24, 2011, 02:11:26 AM

Which of his profiles should we look at?

Last time I looked he had several...
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on August 24, 2011, 07:57:40 AM
Quote
Big Dave says everyone deserves a second chance. And soon we will know whether the PM's subordinates on Swindon borough council intend to take the same kindly approach towards businessman John "Rikki" Hunt. His stewardship of the town's council-supported strategic economic partnership has been undermined somewhat by news that in March he made himself voluntarily bankrupt, saddled as he was by debts of £1.3m. I had no idea, Garry Perkins, the deputy leader of the Tory council, the authority's lead on regeneration and a fellow director of Hunt's company Digital City, tells the Swindon Advertiser. And what will now become of the £400,000 the authority lent Digital City as part of a municipal wifi venture, ask suspicious Labour types. Who knows?

I see Swindon made the 'Diary' pages of The Guardian today - how much longer before Private eye does another 'Rotten Boroughs' piece - me thinks, not too long
Title: Swindon's Political Personal Relationships about Digital City's Highworth Only Wifi Makes Guardian
Post by: Got Signal on August 24, 2011, 08:11:18 AM
Seeing the Cartoon in the Guardian today

Councillor Rod Bluh Leader of Swindon Borough Council  has his own Coulson,  is Rikki Hunt a Boil on the side of Rod's Face and is Councillor Garry Perkins Deputy Leader and Head of Regeneration like a dose of piles - only you know you have them and the discomfort cannot be shared?
 

Hugh Muir In Todays Guardian likens the two characters. Is it becoming blindingly obvious to people outside of Swindon that there is either wilful wifi blindness or is  there just  a problem with social gullibility?

Quote
Big Dave says everyone deserves a second chance. And soon we will know whether the PM's subordinates on Swindon borough council intend to take the same kindly approach towards businessman John "Rikki" Hunt. His stewardship of the town's council-supported strategic economic partnership has been undermined somewhat by news that in March he made himself voluntarily bankrupt, saddled as he was by debts of £1.3m. I had no idea, Garry Perkins, the deputy leader of the Tory council, the authority's lead on regeneration and a fellow director of Hunt's company Digital City, tells the Swindon Advertiser. And what will now become of the £400,000 the authority lent Digital City as part of a municipal wifi venture, ask suspicious Labour types. Who knows?


http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/aug/23/hugh-muir-diary-david-cameron?INTCMP=SRCH (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/aug/23/hugh-muir-diary-david-cameron?INTCMP=SRCH)
Title: Swindon's Political Personal Relationships about Digital City's Highworth Only Wifi Makes Guardian
Post by: Got Signal on August 24, 2011, 08:25:16 AM
Quote
Big Dave says everyone deserves a second chance. And soon we will know whether the PM's subordinates on Swindon borough council intend to take the same kindly approach towards businessman John "Rikki" Hunt. His stewardship of the town's council-supported strategic economic partnership has been undermined somewhat by news that in March he made himself voluntarily bankrupt, saddled as he was by debts of £1.3m. I had no idea, Garry Perkins, the deputy leader of the Tory council, the authority's lead on regeneration and a fellow director of Hunt's company Digital City, tells the Swindon Advertiser. And what will now become of the £400,000 the authority lent Digital City as part of a municipal wifi venture, ask suspicious Labour types. Who knows?

I see Swindon made the 'Diary' pages of The Guardian today - how much longer before Private eye does another 'Rotten Boroughs' piece - me thinks, not too long

Looks like you beat me to the draw on this one. Rotten Boroughs anyone know if  Swindn's Highworth Only Wifi has had more mentions than Cotswold Water Park in Private Eye?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on August 24, 2011, 08:48:37 AM
No chance Get Signal. The Cotswold Water Park is way ahead in the Private Eye article league.

Swindon Wi-Fi got in first but was quickly followed up by the Water Park. They both got mentioned in two (or was it three) issues on the same page, almost as if there was some link. The Water Park is now streets ahead but of course now there is the opportunity for the back marker to catch up. I await the delivery of my Private Eye next week with eager anticipation.

Dennis Grant in jail and his mate and former business colleague Rikki bankrupt. Dear oh dear, how sad. :banana:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 24, 2011, 09:36:22 AM
and nearly 7,000 reads and rapidly rising!

What the largest number on one thread Geoff, because surely this will take the record?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 24, 2011, 08:07:28 PM
Quote:

• Big Dave says everyone deserves a second chance. And soon we will know whether the PM's subordinates on Swindon borough council intend to take the same kindly approach towards businessman John "Rikki" Hunt. His stewardship of the town's council-supported strategic economic partnership has been undermined somewhat by news that in March he made himself voluntarily bankrupt, saddled as he was by debts of £1.3m. I had no idea, Garry Perkins, the deputy leader of the Tory council, the authority's lead on regeneration and a fellow director of Hunt's company Digital City, tells the Swindon Advertiser. And what will now become of the £400,000 the authority lent Digital City as part of a municipal wifi venture, ask suspicious Labour types. Who knows? *


I wonder who else will be writing about this subject elsewhere in the UK?

It certainly does our 'image' as a Vibrant and Innovative Borough a power of good.

I repeat when is Rikki Hunt going to Resign as Chairman of the Swindon Strategic Economic Partnership?

For the sake of the reputation of Swindon he needs to do this now not wait until he is forced!  Collateral Damage dear boy Collateral Damage.

And what has happened to our £400,000 plus interest Councillor Perkins?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: I Could Do That on August 24, 2011, 09:04:40 PM
I repeat when is Rikki Hunt going to Resign as Chairman of the Swindon Strategic Economic Partnership?

Job done

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9214096.Rikki_Hunt_resigns_as_head_of_business_forum/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9214096.Rikki_Hunt_resigns_as_head_of_business_forum/)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on August 24, 2011, 09:26:12 PM
Welcome news for the credibility of Swindon. I believe Labour were right to call on him to resign, why did business and Tory Cllrs and Libdems not join or follow Jim Grant's lead? Were they making it political? Oh I forgot it was mentioned somewhere that they think he was an asset.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 24, 2011, 11:41:25 PM
I repeat when is Rikki Hunt going to Resign as Chairman of the Swindon Strategic Economic Partnership?

Job done

[url]http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9214096.Rikki_Hunt_resigns_as_head_of_business_forum/[/url] ([url]http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9214096.Rikki_Hunt_resigns_as_head_of_business_forum/[/url])


About time too, why did it take so long and by virtue of procrastination has this delay already damaged Swindon?

This resignation should have been made in March not at the end of August surely?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on August 25, 2011, 08:23:52 AM
The Missing £4000,000

If not obvious before, then now is the time for this money to be accounted for.

1. The money did not pass through the accounts of Avidity Consulting or Aqovia (Uk) Ltd so it remains with Digital City (UK) Ltd.

2. Mr. John Richard Hunt's bankruptcy papers do not mention a debt of £400,000 to Digital City (UK) Ltd or to SBC so he is, in effect, claiming that he does not owe that money to anyone.

3. At the time that Digital City (UK) Ltd received the £400,000 there were only 3 company directors. Mr John Richard Hunt, Mr Mustafa Arif and Mr. Garry Perkins.

4. The accounts for Digital City (UK) Ltd must show an auditable and verifiable trail of all income and expenditure.

5. It is the job of Mr. Garry Perkins, as the representative of SBC, to ensure that item 4 above is correct.

6. If Mr. Garry Perkins can find no trace of the £400,000 as either a genuine, verifiable, invoiced, spend, or in a bank account then HE MUST REPORT THE MATTER TO THE POLICE.

Mr.Perkins. If you have not already done so, go and speak to the Borough Solicitor. Either you are implicated in the fact that £4000,000 is missing or you report the loss to the police.....NOW!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on August 25, 2011, 08:34:01 AM
Was Hitesh Patel a Director at some point?

What if all the money is tucked safely in a DC bank (watched over by the director) account and can be withdrawn and given back to the council, would there then be no need to report the matter to the police?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on August 25, 2011, 09:04:43 AM
If not obvious before, then now is the time for this money to be accounted for.

1. The money did not pass through the accounts of Avidity Consulting or Aqovia (Uk) Ltd so it remains with Digital City (UK) Ltd. Until the accounts of DC are filed or until Mr Perkins tells us - the travel direction of this money will remain a 'secret' of course the deafening silence could lead some to think that others have something to hide

2. Mr. John Richard Hunt's bankruptcy papers do not mention a debt of £400,000 to Digital City (UK) Ltd or to SBC so he is, in effect, claiming that he does not owe that money to anyone. The bankruptcy petition is for Mr Hunt's personal debts and not those of Digital City - he was very clever never to give any personal guarantees with regard to the SBC loan and SBC were particularly silly not to ask for such a guarantee

3. At the time that Digital City (UK) Ltd received the £400,000 there were only 3 company directors. Mr John Richard Hunt, Mr Mustafa Arif and Mr. Garry Perkins.
 and now there are two - but of course remember that Mr Hitesh Patel was a director when the first tranche of £150k was paid out, in truth Mr Perkins was only part of the compnay when it receieved the second tranche - some £250k of course it is also true that DC did nothing in terms of 'rolling out' the programme during his tenure despite his being appointed to the board

4. The accounts for Digital City (UK) Ltd must show an auditable and verifiable trail of all income and expenditure. Absolutley - but let's think this through, would you trust anything that either man says on the matter and would you believe it when they said the money was spent 'on pursuing the objectives of the business plan' - no nor would i/color]

5. It is the job of Mr. Garry Perkins, as the representative of SBC, to ensure that item 4 above is correct.  It is in fact a duty placed on him and a very onerous duty it can be

6. If Mr. Garry Perkins can find no trace of the £400,000 as either a genuine, verifiable, invoiced, spend, or in a bank account then HE MUST REPORT THE MATTER TO THE POLICE. That's a view but actually he doesn't have to do that. If he so wishes he can ask the shareholders to approve the accounts as they are

Mr.Perkins. If you have not already done so, go and speak to the Borough Solicitor. Either you are implicated in the fact that £4000,000 is missing or you report the loss to the police.....NOW!. An understandable sense of outrage which is absent from any the thoughts of councillors and officers who arein 'protect' mode and have been ever since the absurdity of their position was exposed back in December 2009. Only an idiot or a greedy man would have fallen for the line - the compnay will make a net profit of £700,000
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ian Pugh on August 25, 2011, 10:51:50 AM
Richard, good point. But additionally, is there a set of proceedures to be followed for the loaning of monies? If there are, were they followed, do they need to be updated/created and did anyone breach proceedure?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: ph1lc on August 25, 2011, 12:03:02 PM
Ian - They were followed, the loan was approved by Cabinet and Scrutiny.

Personally I think that it is now time to turn the spotlight on Cllr Mark Edwards, as member for finance.
What sort of monitoring did SBC have on DC? Sensibly as a major shareholder they would have required detailed monthly management accounts.
Personally I'm convinced that DC will never file it's accounts, and even if they do this will only be in the form of a balance sheet.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Anne Snelgrove on August 25, 2011, 12:18:47 PM
Dear All

Apologies for being away so long, good to be back.

I've been following the wifi saga with interest, having been lambasted myself by Tory councillors for my Adjournment Debate in Parliament, which questioned the basis on which the council made its investment in the Digital City: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmhansrd/cm100322/debtext/100322-0016.htm#10032238000001 (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmhansrd/cm100322/debtext/100322-0016.htm#10032238000001)
Somewhat ironically, the date of my debate was 22 March 2010 - almost a year to the day before Rikki Hunt's bankruptcy. 
Have re-read my speech, I stand by every word, particularly the final section which deals with the potential for corruption in the secretive process adopted by the few council members and officers involved. Got Signal, you can see from my speech that Hitesh Patel was indeed a Director of Digital City in March 2010, as Rikki Hunt confirmed in a letter to me dated 2 March 2010.

I am concerned that neither of Swindon’s current MPs appears to have taken up the issue of the relationship between Lead Councillors, Chief Officers, Digital City, and the various other companies associated with the wifi scheme. At least, they have not publically taken it up: it is for them to demonstrate whether they have done so officially in private with the Leader and Deputy Leader, the Chief Executive and relevant Ministers (and I don’t mean informal conversations in passing with friends or councillors from their own party). If they have done so, they should make the contents of written material and responses public and give details of any formal meetings held.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: bobwright on August 25, 2011, 12:46:38 PM
Sorry I have not contributed to the thread recently, all is explained by a bout of ‘Incineratoritis’ brought on by RSI in my delete finger. I have been fortunate not suffer any repercussions because my ‘collective forgetfulness’ which is part of my ‘group amnesia syndrome’ obscures me of all knowledge of past events.

Off to pay my Shred-it invoice now, oops there I go again forgetting where I put the money; I know this does not seem plausible but it is all part of the business plan, anyway I will just deny it.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on August 25, 2011, 02:31:48 PM
Hi Anne - good to see your very apposite contribution.  I think it fair to say that no one spared the horses when it came to being less than polite about you at times. I reckon sometimes it must have hurt but politics is a rough trade at times. However, i think we all agree with Russell that sometimes people do get over excited and say things they immediately regret.  The measure of the man or woman is being able to say 'sorry' and for the offended to be able to say ' thanks and lets move on'
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Anne Snelgrove on August 25, 2011, 02:56:11 PM
Ha ha! Thanks Des. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.... :crazy2:

We've all moved on but the main point is we care about Swindon and what happens to our town. Hope the council comes clean about what happened with wifi because covering up will cost even more, both financially and reputationally.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: ph1lc on August 25, 2011, 03:04:13 PM
The problem Anne is that unfortunately your Adjournment Debate was in the run up to the election, not your fault at all.
What that meant was that there was an awful lot of politicking going on, which meant that when the local Tories lambasted you the neutrals amongst us took both sides to be a political row.
Oh for the benefit of hindsight.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Anne Snelgrove on August 25, 2011, 05:32:45 PM
True ph1lc - it's impossible to predict when you'll get a debate in the HoC. I'd applied for one several weeks running and just squeaked in before Parliament prorogued.

At least it's all down in print forever!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on August 25, 2011, 08:10:12 PM
Quote
At least it's all down in print forever!

Quite correct Anne. With your words recorded in Hansard and there's a bit more recorded as answers, or not, to Freedom of Information requests in "What Do They Know". Then of course what's in that other mighty record, "Talk Swindon".

If it were me, I'd have stuck my hands up long ago and thrown myself on the mercy of the good citizens. Still if it is going to be "Victory or Martyrdom", let it be so!
Title: Is Oblivion Near?
Post by: Got Signal on August 26, 2011, 08:24:38 PM
Is it oblivion?


http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9219801.Wi_fi_oblivion_for_Digital_City/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9219801.Wi_fi_oblivion_for_Digital_City/)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: I Could Do That on August 26, 2011, 09:37:52 PM
I hope so.
I'm getting impatient for the hanging.  :popcorn:
Title: SSEP Are they Out Of Order For Accepting Their Chairman's Resignation?
Post by: Got Signal on August 27, 2011, 08:17:50 AM
Listen from 11.30 into recording. http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/wiltshire/mack/mack_20110826-1101a.mp3 (http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/wiltshire/mack/mack_20110826-1101a.mp3)
Title: Re: SSEP Are they Out Of Order For Accepting Their Chairman's Resignation?
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 27, 2011, 12:10:39 PM
Listen from 11.30 into recording. [url]http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/wiltshire/mack/mack_20110826-1101a.mp3[/url] ([url]http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/wiltshire/mack/mack_20110826-1101a.mp3[/url])


I have just listened to the Graham Mack Rikki Hunt interview above and urge all of you who have not done so to listen.  It makes fascinating listening.

I have heard a range of excuses in my time but Rikki should be in show business, mind you could he make a success of that either?  He has such a mind blowing range of excuses that it asks the obvious question as to whether you would buy a second hand car from this man?

Firstly his comment about unfortunate investments and the consequential tax bill.  It is my understanding and experience of the revenue that they balance success against failure and you have to have enjoyed a benefit to be taxed on it.  Are you actually denying that you made a net gain Rikki and that the Revenue are unfairly pursing you against your loses?  No, of course, they are not the tax bill refers to your net income!

How loyal are you to your friends when you withold the fact you declared yourself bankrupt on the 8th March this year, when they will have to sustain the political fallout over your personal predicament?

Digiital City and Avidity are your companies and you persuaded the Council that A £700,000 return could be achieved against a loan of Council Tax payers money amounting to £400,000, which you more or less stated would not be repaid and as you had had nothing to do with the company since the turn of the year, it was not your responsibility.  How convenient?

Sadly this man's failure at our expense does not reflect as badly on him as on the BUNGLING INCOMPETENT and INEPT POLITICIANS who gave £400,000 of our money to this man in the first place.

If they have any sense of hinour, which I doubt, Bluh, Edwards and Perkins should go immediately.

 
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Simon on August 27, 2011, 08:56:45 PM
Ha ha! Thanks Des. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.... :crazy2:

Hello again Anne.

I have also written things here that are less than complimentary about you. I still stand by them all, but I'm also glad to see you're here again to join in the  :fence: 

Welcome back :)
Title: Digital City to be Struck Off - Not quite yet!!
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 30, 2011, 12:49:52 PM
Have just received the following reply to a letter I wrote last Friday, which is self explanatory

'Dear Sir/Madam,

DIGITAL CITY (UK) LIMITED-06990831

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your objection to the striking off and dissolution of the above company.

Please note that the above action has been suspended until  28/02/2012

If you wish to maintain the objection after that date, you would need to apply again in writing enclosing documentary evidence of what action you are taking against the company.  This evidence should be received at least 2 weeks before the objection expires.

If no evidence is received the striking off action will continue and this may result in the company being dissolved from the register of limited companies.

Yours faithfully

Kylie Peachey
Dissolution Case Officer
Considerative Process and Examination Support
Companies House'
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on August 30, 2011, 01:09:25 PM
February 28th 2012 is that long enough to allow evidence to be presented by 14th February 2012?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 30, 2011, 01:14:39 PM
February 28th 2012 is that long enough to allow evidence to be presented by 14th February 2012?

If it isn't then we have to go back to Companies House with documentary evidence and then it will be extended.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: swindoncentric on August 30, 2011, 01:16:26 PM
More time for those accounts to appear, they're in a box somewhere, get hunting Perkins!

http://swindoncentric.blogspot.com/2011/08/wi-failed-death-held-off-for-truth-to.html (http://swindoncentric.blogspot.com/2011/08/wi-failed-death-held-off-for-truth-to.html)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Chris Watts on August 31, 2011, 11:52:14 PM
Have just received the following reply to a letter I wrote last Friday, which is self explanatory

'Dear Sir/Madam,

DIGITAL CITY (UK) LIMITED-06990831

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your objection to the striking off and dissolution of the above company.

Please note that the above action has been suspended until  28/02/2012

If you wish to maintain the objection after that date, you would need to apply again in writing enclosing documentary evidence of what action you are taking against the company.  This evidence should be received at least 2 weeks before the objection expires.

If no evidence is received the striking off action will continue and this may result in the company being dissolved from the register of limited companies.

Yours faithfully

Kylie Peachey
Dissolution Case Officer
Considerative Process and Examination Support
Companies House'


This has been posted Companies House regarding DC:

DISS16(SOAS)   31/08/2011    COMPULSORY STRIKE OFF SUSPENDED (DISS16(SOAS))

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: the gorgon on September 02, 2011, 09:07:21 AM
Well the WiFi failure made BBC Points West news this morning, they were saying something along the lines of the council having as good as admitted that council tax payers will see no return on their money.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on September 02, 2011, 09:09:56 AM
Switch on BBC Swindon now!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: MsD Meanor on September 02, 2011, 09:16:55 AM
ooh this is good- thanks OOTer :popcorn:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Muggins on September 02, 2011, 10:11:23 AM
I take it that we all agree that our £400,000 is gone, kaput etc.

Listening this morning, either Cllr Bluh, thinks it's still in the bank somewhere, or that it has been used to build up a 'direction' to the Wifi happening as planned, he referred to a major player bringing it about, which means it will have been a successful project, however it still appears to me that it will not be our £400,000 investment that made it happen. 

So give us back our money - save a few jobs,  empty our landfill bins once a week, put that amount into the funding streams, etc etc.

The word dignity is not in his dictionary is it?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on September 02, 2011, 11:10:07 AM
BBC Wiltshire and their reporters did a good job this morning. They are carrying the Wi-Fi story on their website and in their hourly news.

I will try to get links to any podcasts tomorrow. If anyone gets them first please feel free to post them.

Both Garry and Rodders are still claiming that "The Saviour is Coming" and that his £400,000 is not new money but will be in exchange for the junk up on the Highworth lamposts. I hope that most accountants would see the difference.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on September 02, 2011, 11:40:02 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/wiltshire/hi/tv_and_radio/newsid_8630000/8630508.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/wiltshire/hi/tv_and_radio/newsid_8630000/8630508.stm)

The above link is today's Graham Mack Show.

Wi-fi gets mentioned as the first item at minute 02:00, again on the News at minute 43:30 and then you can hear "Blustering Bluh" at minute 49:45.

The reporter is Lee Stone (good job Lee!) and he had his full story in the next programme after 09:00 with Mark O'Donnell.

Well Done BBC Wiltshire, Graham Mack and Lee Stone.
Title: BBC Radio Have Done a Stirling Job of Scrutinising the Digital City Wifi.
Post by: Steve Wakefield on September 02, 2011, 11:51:17 AM
Perhaps I was just tired as I was up in the middle of the night driving to the airport and back, so it could be caused by lack of sleep?  ::)

I will have to listen to it all again at 4pm on Drive Time to be sure. I heard what I thought I heard.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-14748722 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-14748722)

 

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: swindonlinkman on September 02, 2011, 03:26:14 PM
Labour Group Leader Calls on resignation of Leader & Deputy Leader of Swindon Council
 
 
The Leader of the Swindon Labour Group, Councillor Jim Grant, has today called on the Leader and Deputy Leader of Swindon Borough Council to resign due to their involvement in the failed Wi-Fi scheme.
 
He has called for this on a BBC Radio Swindon programme investigating the Wi-Fi scheme. In depth coverage of the interview with the Labour Group Leader and other senior Swindon politicians can be heard on BBC Radio Swindon at 4pm.
 
Councillor Jim Grant said:
 
“I am calling on Swindon Borough Council’s Leader & Deputy Leader to resign due to their involvement in the failed Wi-Fi scheme and Digital City. I am doing so for three reasons.
 
Firstly I am doing this because both Councillors Bluh & Perkins, who is a Council-appointed Director of Digital City, have failed to retrieve the £400,000 loan from Digital City.
 
When the Wi-Fi scheme was presented the Council was due to get all of the £400,000 loan back from Digital City by October this year. We are a month away from this date and Swindon Council-taxpayers’ haven’t received one penny from that company. 
 
Secondly, I have called for this because both Councillors Bluh and Perkins have failed to explain to Swindon taxpayers’ where their £400,000 has gone. This destroys all credibility the Council has to say to taxpayers their Council is being open and transparent in using their money.
 
And thirdly, I have called for this because the Council’s reputation is being harmed at a national level, with the Wi-Fi failure being covered in the national press.
 
Though I have nothing against the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council personally, they have let Swindon Council-taxpayers’ down in a huge way over Wi-Fi and therefore need to go”
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: MsD Meanor on September 02, 2011, 04:30:16 PM
Very interesting listening- Blustering Bluh, the Perkinator and Tricky Rikki- can't even get their stories straight.

Distancing themselves from Digital City and all implying - or even stating outright that the council's money will be returned,  that the assets will cover the costs- then in the second breath Rikki stating that the assets will have reduced in value- like a car being driven off the forecourt.

Total bollocks from them all- and I predict that based on this week's performance, anything more from the  Perkinator is hardly likely to inspire confidence.

Patronising and fraudulent- and I still don't understand why the police haven't got involved- Bluh said he didn't choose Rikki- then due to brilliant questioning from BBC interviewers Graham Mack and Lee Stone, admitted that, actually, he DID.

Knee jerk s and blustering and waving a few red herrings around made us laugh and then cry- not a good performance.

The spoof Nazi video looks even more realistic now- the tone of today's bluster was as hysterical in places as the  Fuehrer's....  :popcorn:

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Muggins on September 02, 2011, 04:54:51 PM
Rod Bluh, Yes I got it wrong -(he said ina slightly screechy hysterical voice rather than bluster) I'm only human - to err is human.

Yes, Rod and to get our money back would be divine!

£400,000 may be a drop in the SBC ocean, but it's our drop. and you know what they say, look after the £400,000 and the millions will look after themselves.

Wasn't the problem that the decision to take that route was made by a few - other's were ignored.  Cant blame everyone then, got to blame the few. 
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: swindonlinkman on September 02, 2011, 05:13:58 PM
Is interview available on listen again? Can't locate it
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on September 02, 2011, 05:24:33 PM
It's been repeated during Drive Time on BBC Wiltshire now. I imagine that will be available to listen to tomorrow. Does my Graham Mack link no longer work? If not that will be available tomorrow as well.

Lee Stone ripped Bluh & Perkins to shreds. Anyone listening, who is not aware of this story, must now wonder if these two are honest men.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on September 02, 2011, 05:26:22 PM
Go back up swindonlinkman my Graham Mack link still works.

Quote
Wi-fi gets mentioned as the first item at minute 02:00, again on the News at minute 43:30 and then you can hear "Blustering Bluh" at minute 49:45.

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: swindonlinkman on September 02, 2011, 05:29:43 PM

Quote
Go back up swindonlinkman my Graham Mack link still works.
Sorry, clicked on Steve Ws link to text story. Have it running now
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 02, 2011, 05:39:22 PM
Quote
"I think I can fairly confidently say the money is not repayable from Digital City. I am fairly confident in saying it will be repaid in the long term"

This is the quote made by Coun Bluh. Let me compare it with a quote made by Coun Perkins dated 19 January 2011

Quote
"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"

Compare the two quotes, according to Coun perkins the loan will be repaid in the near future  whereas Coun Bluh maintains it will be repaid in the long term

They can't both be right. Which version are we to believe?

Coun Perkins is both the Deputy Leader of the Council and a director of Digital City, as the latter he is in the perfect position to make a committment on behalf of Digital City and i assume his written statement was made with full knowledge of the financial position of Digital City. If he wrote and made the statement as the Deputy Leader of the Council it is also the case that we should be able to take his statement at face value.

So here are some questions Coun Perkins must now answer

1. Does he know what he is talking about?
2. Was he aware of the financial position of DC when he wrote the email in which he made the statement?
3. Was he telling a lie when he said the loan would be repaid 'in the near future'?
4. Will he personally pay back the loan amount?
5. Why would he expect another company to pay his company's debt to the council?
6. Will he now have the decency to stop blaming others for the failure of the project and acknowledge it was his lack of management ability coupled with the disastrous alliance with Mr Hunt that led to the demise of DC and the failure of the company to fulfil its contractual liabilities?
7. Will he now resign from the Cabinet and and as a director of DC?
8. Will he just stick his head in the sand, demonstrating the contempt he has for the views of angry citizens of the town?

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Alex on September 02, 2011, 05:49:05 PM
I went to Highworth this week and tried to get a Wifi signal- in the centre of town -and couldn't.

I wonder what these "assets" are that are worth £400,000 to the people of Swindon.

This appears to be a situation where neither the people who have made the "investment", the people who received it  or the equipment have any integrity.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 02, 2011, 05:52:22 PM
Quote
Both Garry and Rodders are still claiming that "The Saviour is Coming" and that his £400,000 is not new money but will be in exchange for the junk up on the Highworth lamposts
.

Really - but only £150k of the £400k was ever spent on phase 1 of the project and it has been estmated that the boxes on the lamp posts in Highworth are worth the square root of nothing - seriously even Coun Bluh and Coun Perkins cannot expect us to believe a multi million pound international organisation is going to pay £400k for 65 repeaters!!  Give us some credit guys - we are not quite the morons you make us out to be
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: the gorgon on September 02, 2011, 06:40:42 PM
Just been mentioned again on BBC Points West, more or less along the lines of the article on the BBC News website http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-14748722 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-14748722)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: swindoncentric on September 02, 2011, 06:50:47 PM
Blogged here : http://swindoncentric.blogspot.com/2011/09/wi-failed-council-leader-admits-moneys.html (http://swindoncentric.blogspot.com/2011/09/wi-failed-council-leader-admits-moneys.html)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on September 02, 2011, 07:38:25 PM
Is interview available on listen again? Can't locate it


Don't know.....

....but here's most of todays BBC coverage:


http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/radio/2011_sep_02_Swindon_wifi_BBC_report_Council_leader_Rod_Bluh.mp3 (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/radio/2011_sep_02_Swindon_wifi_BBC_report_Council_leader_Rod_Bluh.mp3)

http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/radio/2011_sep_02_Swindon_wifi_BBC_report_councillor_garry_perkins.mp3 (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/radio/2011_sep_02_Swindon_wifi_BBC_report_councillor_garry_perkins.mp3)

http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/radio/2011_sep_02_Swindon_wifi_BBC_report_councillor_Jim_Grant.mp3 (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/radio/2011_sep_02_Swindon_wifi_BBC_report_councillor_Jim_Grant.mp3)

http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/radio/2011_sep_02_Swindon_wifi_BBC_report_highworth.mp3 (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/radio/2011_sep_02_Swindon_wifi_BBC_report_highworth.mp3)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on September 02, 2011, 07:44:18 PM

Is interview available on listen again? Can't locate it


BBC Wiltshire and their reporters did a good job this morning. They are carrying the Wi-Fi story on their website and in their hourly news.

I will try to get links to any podcasts tomorrow. If anyone gets them first please feel free to post them.

Both Garry and Rodders are still claiming that "The Saviour is Coming" and that his £400,000 is not new money but will be in exchange for the junk up on the Highworth lamposts. I hope that most accountants would see the difference.



Don't know about listen again....

....but here's most of todays BBC coverage:


http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/radio/2011_sep_02_Swindon_wifi_BBC_report_Council_leader_Rod_Bluh.mp3 (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/radio/2011_sep_02_Swindon_wifi_BBC_report_Council_leader_Rod_Bluh.mp3)

http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/radio/2011_sep_02_Swindon_wifi_BBC_report_councillor_garry_perkins.mp3 (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/radio/2011_sep_02_Swindon_wifi_BBC_report_councillor_garry_perkins.mp3)

http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/radio/2011_sep_02_Swindon_wifi_BBC_report_councillor_Jim_Grant.mp3 (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/radio/2011_sep_02_Swindon_wifi_BBC_report_councillor_Jim_Grant.mp3)

http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/radio/2011_sep_02_Swindon_wifi_BBC_report_highworth.mp3 (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/radio/2011_sep_02_Swindon_wifi_BBC_report_highworth.mp3)


I think there will be some more to add later, if anyone records TV coverage I'd appreciate a copy 'for our public records' you see.

Talkswindon.  Providing the transparency denied to you by Bluhiganism.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 02, 2011, 08:16:40 PM
Oh please - Garry Perkins and Rod Bluh must be the only people in Swindon who believe DC was a success.

But listen carefully to his interview.

The money, that is all the money was spent on CAPEX and licensing, plus some on planning applications (would that be the planning applications that were never made Garry?)

The money was spent on resolving issues to do with Lamp posts - but Garry, DC knew about the problems with lamp posts, I worte to Coun Bluh in December explaining the problems, i met with Rikki Hunt and explained the problems, they said there would be no problems.

Garry claims never to have seen the acocunts - what no monthly management accounts - ever? 

Coun Perkins as a director of DC is liable in law for the smooth and efficient running of the company, a company director is ‘under an ongoing duty to monitor the company’s financial state and to take appropriate advice and action as necessary’  In addition a director is required to exercise ‘reasonable care, skill and diligence’ in the case of Coun Perkins his experience as a director of other companies makes his liability a little more onerous as he clearly understands what is required to make a company successful. Lord Woolf MR in a case which confirms the position made it quite clear that ‘by failing to ask questions of the Managing Director regarding his actions, the other directors were themselves in breach of their duties to the company’ – I suggest Coun Perkins relaxed attitude to the manner in which Mr Hunt ran the company constituted negligent conduct.

 

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: ph1lc on September 02, 2011, 08:22:16 PM
Thank you for posting the lonks in such an easy to listen to format Geoff.

Comical Gary is amazing. If you believe where he says the money went- then the Council were aware when they gave the 2nd tranche of the loan (£250K) that unless substantial extra funds were invested, on top of the £250k then the project was going nowhere.

What sane person would lend a further £250K under those circumstances.

I love the way he twice dodged the interviewers request for a pledge to publish full accounts, he has no problem with their publication, BUT NO PLEDGE.

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Scott Thunes on September 02, 2011, 08:28:38 PM
Well well. It's all coming home to roost. Geoff, Des and others who have so doggedly campaigned about the wi-fi debacle, you are to be congratulated on your tenacity. :clap:

Bluh sounds hysterical "I'm HUUUUUUMAN!!" and Perkins is an appalling bullshitter "right?" Jim Grant should be applauded for actually standing up for what is right, and the BBC have been superb - the interviewer tore the two Tory clowns to pieces. Interesting too the complete lack of coverage on the Adver website  ???

These two and Hunt should do porridge for fraud.  :bottom:

This is an utterly disgraceful episode in Swindon's history.

RESIGN NOW - if you have one iota of decency. :knuppel2:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: moley on September 02, 2011, 08:30:06 PM
Interesting that software licensing seemed to be getting blamed.

It would be interesting to know under what terms they got the whole web software infrastructure, billing and network management.

Was this under some kind of Pay as You Grow type deal, or did they have to pay for the whole lot up front? (in which case it should have been clear to the council when the £250K was paid that the whole amount of money was immediately vanishing down a liability hole and they immediately would need further investment.

This should surely have been material to the discussion about releasing that tranche of money??

(I always questioned how much that infrastructure would cost to set up in a sufficiently secure manner).

The accounts will make interesting reading....

Moley
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on September 02, 2011, 09:28:25 PM
The accounts will make interesting reading....
Moley

But will they be finalised, Audited and Submitted to Companies House?

I, for one, will accept nothing less!!

Meanwhile don't forget the Lead Member for Finance Mark Edwards he is as responsible as Rod Bluh because it started with these two did it not?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Scott Thunes on September 02, 2011, 09:37:38 PM
Mark Edwards is indeed implicated.

Isn't it amazing how sloping shoulders have become so fashionable.

Book 'em Danno!!!!  :spin:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: moley on September 02, 2011, 09:46:22 PM
The accounts will make interesting reading....
Moley

But will they be finalised, Audited and Submitted to Companies House?

I, for one, will accept nothing less!!


Richard,

I agree 100%... will also be interesting to see if they indicate where the software licensing went.

(The type of deal for this software might indicate how confident suppliers were in the Digital City business case...)

Moley

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on September 02, 2011, 09:55:20 PM
I think that this license may be a red herring as Chris Watts explained this yonks ago.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Chris Watts on September 02, 2011, 10:05:00 PM
http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=5427.msg35246#msg35246 (http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=5427.msg35246#msg35246)

I think that we idly worked out about £60K for the highworth installed based on 65 access point and central site kit, software and licences. Perhaps £5K for installation



Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on September 02, 2011, 10:09:16 PM
Thanks Chris I knew you had explored the idle calculations.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Chris Watts on September 02, 2011, 10:16:14 PM
[url]http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=5427.msg35246#msg35246[/url] ([url]http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=5427.msg35246#msg35246[/url])

I think that we idly worked out about £60K for the highworth installed based on 65 access point and central site kit, software and licences. Perhaps £5K for installation

My interest in the accounts would be to see how much was spent on consultancy fees to Avidity Consulting Ltd and the aQovia (UK) (Isle of Man) Ltd group amalgam.


Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Chris Watts on September 02, 2011, 10:18:46 PM
[url]http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=5427.msg35246#msg35246[/url] ([url]http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=5427.msg35246#msg35246[/url])

I think that we idly worked out about £60K for the highworth installed based on 65 access point and central site kit, software and licences. Perhaps £5K for installation

My interest in the accounts would be to see how much was spent on consultancy fees to Avidity Consulting Ltd and the aQovia (UK) (Isle of Man) Ltd group amalgam.

Also, how much was spent of the failed Bathgate expedition considering that the condition of the advance of the second part of the loan was to move forward on the Swindon role out?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 02, 2011, 10:20:38 PM
Quote
Comical Gary is amazing. If you believe where he says the money went- then the Council were aware when they gave the 2nd tranche of the loan (£250K) that unless substantial extra funds were invested, on top of the £250k then the project was going nowhere

I have read and re-read the papers in which the case was presented for giving Digital City the extra money, that is the second tranche payment of £250k.  At no point does it ever say that the costs associated with the Highworth launch exceeded the £150k which was given by SBC.  As somone who has attended most of the meetings at which Wi-Fi was discussed and asked many a question, i have never heard an officer or councillor maintain that there were unpaid bills relating to the Highworth phase and that some or all of the second tranche would be used to pay off those creditors.

I imagine that if Councillors were aware of any such situation they may well have 'pulled the plug'.

However, if officers were privy to the monthly management accounts, it follows that they would have been well aware of the financial situation of DC and acutely aware of any overspend, potential or realised. 

What i have said in the past and repeat now - is that without the variations to the terms of the loan as asked for by officers and supported by leading councillors, there is no way the second tranche of the loan could have been made. If any part of the £250k was used to pay for items of hardware/licensing/marketing for the Highworth phase of the project the Council should state this now as to with hold any admission may well leave them complicit in a real con.

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: the gorgon on September 02, 2011, 10:40:38 PM
Here's a link to the BBC Points West coverage of the wifi fiasco on iPlayer  http://www.bbc.co.uk/i/b01407jq/?t=9m33s (http://www.bbc.co.uk/i/b01407jq/?t=9m33s)

Out of interest has BBC South/Oxford covered this at all?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 02, 2011, 10:42:28 PM
In May 2011 Coun Perkins said "The objective of these negotiations is to turn Digital City into a profitable business" - today he appears to be ready to set DC aside.

He makes the quite ludicrous claim that Mr Hunt stepped down in order to facilitate the new investor and he appeared to link Mr Hunt's demise with the share portfolio -really Councillor, all you have done is demonstrate your own ineptitude.

I think back to February 2011 when Coun Perkins accused me of "contributuing highly personal and subjective views to the debate" and of "implying impropriety on the part of officers and elected representatives"  Incidentally' it was Coun Perkins who used the word impropriety but as in many things he was unable to actually pin point any such use of the word by me - simply because i never ever had implied impropriety - I had implied incompetence and ineptitude and today i stand by those words in respect of the Wi-Fi saga.

To prove my view I quote the words of Coun Perkins made on 6 November 2010. Remember this is the man who while sitting on Dcs board didn't know for 3 months that they had failed to make 3 interest payments to the council of which he is Deputy Leader - he asid

"Digital City has met all the criteria for paying its interest and the loan is due at the end of next year and i have no reason to doubt it will be" That was in November 2006 - you judge - is Coun perkins incompetent or inept or both?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on September 02, 2011, 10:46:26 PM
[url]http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=5427.msg35246#msg35246[/url] ([url]http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=5427.msg35246#msg35246[/url])

I think that we idly worked out about £60K for the highworth installed based on 65 access point and central site kit, software and licences. Perhaps £5K for installation

My interest in the accounts would be to see how much was spent on consultancy fees to Avidity Consulting Ltd and the aQovia (UK) (Isle of Man) Ltd group amalgam.


Do you think it would have cost more for the installation? Add another £10K to be on the safe side.

Des you said November 2006 is that correct?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on September 02, 2011, 11:10:45 PM
 
In my humble opinion this is the most enlightening WiFi'asco interview broadcast by the BBC today.

During this mornings 'Drive-Time' show, Lee Stone interviewed Cllr Roderick Bluh, the Conservative leader of Swindon Borough Council. I think Rod Bluh illustrated perfectly why he is not a fit and proper person to lead a parade of clowns, let alone a Council for a town with more than 180,000 residents.

http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/radio/2011_sep_02_WiFi_Denial-Swindon_wifi_Lee_Stone_interviews_Rod_Bluh_Leader_of_Swindon_Borough_council.mp3 (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/radio/2011_sep_02_WiFi_Denial-Swindon_wifi_Lee_Stone_interviews_Rod_Bluh_Leader_of_Swindon_Borough_council.mp3)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on September 02, 2011, 11:13:56 PM
And Mark O'Donnell (sp?) on the early show....

...with Lee Stone out and about at the David Murray John tower - where Digital City (UK) Ltd enjoyed free office space provided by the taxpayers of Swindon...

...chatting to Cllr Steve Wakefield who described the apparently un-staffed Digital City Office suite as a 'Glorified Post Box'

... BBC reporter Cheryl Dennis visits Highworth where she seems to unable to find any satisfied Digital City customers by plenty of mystified tax payers

http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/radio/2011_sep_02_Swindon_wifi_early_BBC_Wiltshire_show.mp3 (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/radio/2011_sep_02_Swindon_wifi_early_BBC_Wiltshire_show.mp3)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Chris Watts on September 02, 2011, 11:23:54 PM
[url]http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=5427.msg35246#msg35246[/url] ([url]http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=5427.msg35246#msg35246[/url])

I think that we idly worked out about £60K for the highworth installed based on 65 access point and central site kit, software and licences. Perhaps £5K for installation

My interest in the accounts would be to see how much was spent on consultancy fees to Avidity Consulting Ltd and the aQovia (UK) (Isle of Man) Ltd group amalgam.


Do you think it would have cost more for the installation? Add another £10K to be on the safe side.


Yep, that would be fair. It should not have cost more that £150 a unit to mount on the lamp posts.

At today's prices I reckon:

65 x Ruckus ZoneFlex 7762 Mesh Outdoor Dual-Band 802.11n [901-7762-UK01] £1200 each, £78,000
1 X Ruckus ZoneDirector 3000 - 50 AP Support [901-3050-UK00] £5400
1 X Ruckus ZoneDirector 3000 License Upgrade (100) [909-3100-ZD00]  £4,800
Access Point Installation: £10,000

Speculative Highworth back of a fag packet total £98,200 (although I do not think they would have paid retail price for volume sale.)







Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Chris Watts on September 02, 2011, 11:27:39 PM

In my humble opinion this is the most enlightening WiFi'asco interview broadcast by the BBC today.

During this mornings 'Drive-Time' show, Lee Stone interviewed Cllr Roderick Bluh, the Conservative leader of Swindon Borough Council. I think Rod Bluh illustrated perfectly why he is not a fit and proper person to lead a parade of clowns, let alone a Council for a town with more than 180,000 residents.

[url]http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/radio/2011_sep_02_WiFi_Denial-Swindon_wifi_Lee_Stone_interviews_Rod_Bluh_Leader_of_Swindon_Borough_council.mp3[/url] ([url]http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/radio/2011_sep_02_WiFi_Denial-Swindon_wifi_Lee_Stone_interviews_Rod_Bluh_Leader_of_Swindon_Borough_council.mp3[/url])

This interview is special.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on September 02, 2011, 11:32:42 PM
Geoff
Well was it ever anything else? Also for readers information Des Morgan, Bob Wright and myself also carried out our own survey in Highworth a few months ago, guess what our finding were not much different to the BBC.

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on September 03, 2011, 12:21:45 AM
Well well. It's all coming home to roost. Geoff, Des and others who have so doggedly campaigned about the wi-fi debacle, you are to be congratulated on your tenacity. :clap:

On behalf of everyone who have dared question WiFi Bluhliganism, ignoring the bluster, shrugging off the smears and false accusations of 'industrial and political espionage' so we could get as near to the truth as possible, and then bring it to the attention of the taxpaying public..... I thank you Scott :)

It may have started small, with Chris Watts, Komadori, Des Morgan, (and sometimes me), out front, but it didn't take long for others to recognise that we were publishing the naked truth Conservative members of the council were, more often than not, deliberately obfuscating, misleading, befuddling and occasionally lying to the public.

This has very much been an effort conducted by a group of concerned tax payers, each holding very different political positions.  What has united us is a common belief that the business of our Council must be conducted transparently and honestly.  If you listen carefully to Rod Bluh's own words in yesterdays interviews you will hear Cllr Bluh confess to deliberately preventing the majority of cabinet members from having any prior knowledge of his decision to lend his mate Rikki more than 900 times the £500 credit limit specified by an expert credit assessment agency.

We were also able to persuade other elected members of Swindon Council to take a second look at those WiFi records which had been published by the council and compare them to those available on the genuine public record, e,g, Companies House etc, and then asking them to note what was absent from SBC's record....and it didn't take them long to realise that Swindon Council, in some respects, was beginning to behave like a rotten borough.

I congratulate those members who have stood up in the face of constant threats to 'take them to standards', and accusations of 'political opportunism', and who have maintained a respectable level of pressure within council for Cllr's Bluh, Edwards and Perkins to finally tell the truth. Well done :)

That said, this is still along way from the finishing line and don't let anyone tell you differently  :wink:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on September 03, 2011, 12:33:28 AM
Geoff
Well was it ever anything else? Also for readers information Des Morgan, Bob Wright and myself also carried out our own survey in Highworth a few months ago, guess what our finding were not much different to the BBC.

Yup. Interest in, and availability of WiFi, has remained consistantly low in Highworth.

The picture in Swindon is somewhat different.  Swindon has always shown a high level of public interest in WiFi, but its availability has never climbed above zero.

The moral I take from this sorry episode is quite simple: 

If you wouldn't lend a large amount of your own money to an alcoholic, addicted gambler or heroin addict.....

...then you probably wouldn't lend it to an entrepeneur chancer whose past is littered with failed companies and has no demonstrable ability or record of delivering projects like wifi either.

If you were the sort of person who would take that sort of chance then you're probably the same sort of person who would, when it all started to go inevitably wrong, do their damnedest to prevent anyone else finding out exactly what you had done, and when other did start finding out what it was that you had done, you would probably start denying responsibility for as much of it as possible......

...and that, I suggest, is what we are hearing from Cllrs Bluh and Perkins now.

Neither Cllr Bluh and Cllr Perkins is equal to the task of running a Parish Council, let alone a Borough the size of Swindon.  The way they have mismanaged the WiFi'asco is a good example of the way they like to do business.  Examine almost every other aspect of Council Business and you will notice evidence of exactly the same sort of behaviour wherever you look.

Old Town residents are experiencing it in relation to the Croft School debacle.  Stratton is experiencing it, Covingham and Nythe are experiencing it.  Coate has been suffering it for a long time, Wichelstowe is a perfect example of it, in fact, take your pick of numerous Talkswindon threads and you'll see what I mean.

Bluhliganism is like leprosy.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: boothill on September 03, 2011, 05:35:15 AM
Rod Bluh, Yes I got it wrong -(he said ina slightly screechy hysterical voice rather than bluster) I'm only human - to err is human.

Yes, Rod and to get our money back would be divine!

£400,000 may be a drop in the SBC ocean, but it's our drop. and you know what they say, look after the £400,000 and the millions will look after themselves.

Wasn't the problem that the decision to take that route was made by a few - other's were ignored.  Cant blame everyone then, got to blame the few.


Muggins


What he actually said was  " to be human is to err".......see     couldn't even get that one straight !!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Muggins on September 03, 2011, 08:24:57 AM
"What he actually said was " to be human is to err".......see couldn't even get that one straight !!"

Well, he was slightly hysterical when he said it! 

About those accounts, I wonder if they have been done? - I wonder if that 'office that is no more than letter box'  holds envelopes, unopened on the doormat. Or opened and pronged onto one of those spiky things, but not actually put on to ledger or Excel.  How many enteries would you think need to have been made by now?   i.e. How many entries for income and expenditure? 

At present I am discovering the delights of those hidden object PC games and this gets more and more like one.

That 'Fit and Proper' person theme keeps going through my mind, too.

Swindon is waiting!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 03, 2011, 08:27:28 AM
Quote
Des you said November 2006 is that correct?

No it's incorrect - I meant November 2010- apologies
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on September 03, 2011, 08:33:02 AM

Old Town residents are experiencing it in relation to the Croft School debacle.  Stratton is experiencing it, Covingham and Nythe are experiencing it.  Coate has been suffering it for a long time, Wichelstowe is a perfect example of it, in fact, take your pick of numerous Talkswindon threads and you'll see what I mean.

Bluhliganism is like leprosy.

Geoff

That may be one word,  I believe it is profligacy and the Wifi is nowhere near  the tip of it, in my opinion  the pinnicle of that is the Tabernacle stones. Simply a pile of stones with a price tag approaning or around  £330K and they are left lying in a field in Wroughton. All bought and paid for by Swindon Council Taxpayers to fund the regeneration dream of the Tories and i won't even mention whicelstowe and canals.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Muggins on September 03, 2011, 08:50:42 AM
At least they will still be there when they are needed.   and may even be gathering more worth - stone in the bank etc. 
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on September 03, 2011, 08:58:04 AM
Having listened to all the interviews and having also being involved in this Saga since December 2009 I am appalled at the lack of contrition by Councillors Bluh and Perkins.

It seems to be everyone's fault but theirs that this 'pRoject' has failed.  As for a new World Player Investor BT are already out there quietly geting on with it.  I can access wireless Wi-fi from them in Shaw and I believe they are well advanced with other areas.

Now what was of concern from the outset is the 'money' public money that was to be invested on our behalf with someone of no experience of the industry but had such a good idea it could not be discussed as it was 'commercially sensitive'.  I have always taken that to mean stop asking questions because we will not answer them and find any means to avoid doing so.  So local experts in this field were excluded and it was never put out to tender thus failing to meet the criteria of best value under local government rules.  If this was 'legal' it was only thus on a technicality surely?

Now as to the Accounts of Digital City - Rikki Hunt conveniently says he is no longer involved with the company and Garry Perkins admits he has never met with Laura Hunt to discuss them.  Perkins mentioned a couple of letters which I assume is people who are preparing accounts and I request here and now that they are detailed and they are audited by a completely independent firm of Accountants nothing to do with Swindon in any form whatsoever.  The Council must ensure this is done and in view of the leader's involvement should this be undertaken by Scrutiny?

Furthermore, Rod Bluh says ask Digital City and Garry Perkins says it is not his responsibility so exactly who is responsible to ensure the propriety of £400,000 of Swindon Council Tax Payers money?  Furthermore in view of this lack of contrition and acknowledgement of who is responsible would you enter into negotiations with these two men if you had a Regeneration pRoject to bring to Swindon?  Could you trust them to deliver on their promises?  Well on the basis of Wi-fi and Digital City I leave you to make your own mind up but with Swindon now in the national spotlight none of this makes good news.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on September 03, 2011, 09:32:39 AM
Here is the advice of Outoftowner:

Garry Perkins: You are a Director of digital City (UK) Ltd. Pop along to the bank and ask the nice man for a copy of all the bank statements for your company.

You will see a list of all incoming and outgoing money on that statement.

Find where the second payment i.e. of £250,000 was paid in by SBC. Now look to see if that money went out to many different suppliers or if it went out in one or two payments within days of the cheque clearing.

If it went out in one or two payments and it wasn't for "software" "capex" or "office space"  (none of which we believe was paid for after this date!) then CALL THE POLICE.

Rodderick Bluh: Make Garry do the above and you may not be subjected to any more embarrasing questions in public.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on September 03, 2011, 09:46:29 AM
At least they will still be there when they are needed.   and may even be gathering more worth - stone in the bank etc.

Muggins
As ever you have raised a good point for discussion and perhaps this this thread should be added to the S106 thread, rather than drift away from wifi? Admins your view?

In my opinion I do not believe it is value for money and if 300k was spent on a youth club in the town it would be more useful, S106 monies in Moredon for a youth centre provision has been swallowed up and the Haydon Parish have asked for the facts to be furnished surrounding this matter. A youth centre in Moredon, now I would see that as a useful spend of the council's Capital Monies, but hey ho I am only a member.

However if there was £330K in the bank to spend on a capital community project or stones in a field, what would council tax payers choose? I am a member, and you have my view will any other  council tax payer care to give an honest answer?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: jennyb on September 03, 2011, 03:53:49 PM
Just received my latest Cabinet Tracker ......  a snippet or two... ( from Cllr Perkins on behalf of Cllr Bluh as he is on leave..)

"Councillor Bluh reads all correspondence to him and from this has noted that the two key arguments against the proposed Croft School are logically-flawed and mutually contradictory if taken together.
 
In your letter to the Swindon Advertiser, as well your email to Councillor Bluh following the highly successful Swindon Mela, you emphasised the problems faced by transporting up to 420 a day to the school.  For there to be this number of pupils arriving and departing there must, clearly, be that number of children who need a school in Croft."


I and my trusty local friends had to read this one a few times .... as it is plainly crazy. 

So for those of you asking questions about WiFi or any other topic.... maybe Cllrs Bluh and Perkins actually believe you are endorsing them!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on September 03, 2011, 04:14:28 PM
So Jennyb you are now experiency Garryisms in all their glory.

I wonder how he gets on with anyone wishing to invest in Swindon?  After all he is in charge of Regeneration unless he is doing exactly what Rod Bluh tells him to do?

Have you also received a reply from Garry because Rod is 'ill' again?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on September 03, 2011, 05:52:08 PM
Whilst out today I heard many comments made to me about the Wifi and the interview, I think the public in Swindon are shocked by this and as they listen to the BBC it looks like the BBC has penetrated into many kitchens, livingrooms and bedrooms. Its transmission passing easily through their concrete walls and double glazing delivering a message that the council has lost 400k. A message they easily recieved and understood.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on September 03, 2011, 07:52:18 PM
Whilst out today I heard many comments made to me about the Wifi and the interview, I think the public in Swindon are shocked by this and as they listen to the BBC it looks like the BBC has penetrated into many kitchens, livingrooms and bedrooms. Its transmission passing easily through their concrete walls and double glazing delivering a message that the council has lost 400k. A message they easily recieved and understood.

Good, it is about time the people of Swindon find out the truth of what is being done in their Name and with their Money.

Having enjoyed a front row seat since its inception it is such a pity the Adver chose not to publish this story in all its glory from the outset.  It would have sold many newspapers but then you have to ask the question if its owners actually want to publish anything not presented to them by the Council?  Talk Swindon Leads and the Adver follows eventually with a tame version of the story ie Rikki Hunt's Bankruptcy and the Striking Off of Digital City by Companies House are just two examples.  Such a pity.

Now all we need is all out elections next May, but will they actually let us have them?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on September 03, 2011, 08:07:44 PM
In my opinion what I heard on the BBC radio was a Consevative in highpitch mode who's vision of the Conservative administration's almost hypnotic benevolence and wisdom was clashing with the dawning reality, that Conservatives have foisted onto Council taxpayers in Swindon. 
Title: Has Swindon Advertiser Sucked up to Council leader on Wifi?
Post by: Got Signal on September 03, 2011, 09:31:47 PM
Looks like another adver scoop.

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9231213.Council_leader_insists_wi_fi_project_will_be____bigger_and_better___/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9231213.Council_leader_insists_wi_fi_project_will_be____bigger_and_better___/)

As Scott Thunes intimated here in the comments
Quote
Scott Thunes says...
2:10pm Sat 3 Sep 11
 
Bluh says 'with hindsight'. Well, it's not as if he didn't know the risks and hadn't been warned:
[url]http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?boa[/url]
rd=207.0
 ([url]http://www.talkswind[/url])
 
This whole episode is an utter disgrace for Swindon, and I am amazed that Bluh, Perkins, Edwards and Hunt aren't at Gablecross for questioning.

Read the reams and reams about wi-fi on the TalkSwindon link above, and you will see how the leadership of this borough has truly acted.


I wonder if TS is read by more people daily than read the adver?  Is that a worry for the politicians?

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 03, 2011, 09:57:31 PM
Having now transcribed the whole of the Coun Perkins interview (Coun Bluh to follow) it is clear that some porky pies have been told.

According to Coun Perkins spoken words, recorded for posterity, he 'knew there were problems 12 months ago, that's why they were looking for another partner'

According to Coun Perkins in July 2010 he attended a board meeting (his first) and on the agenda was the subject of Digital City's commercial viability which without additonal finance was not that good. In a comment which may yet come to haunt council officers, Coun Perkins is on record as stating that in July 2010 'Officers at the Council were working alongside Digital City to get additional investment.

The relevance of this is that it was only in March/April 2010 that a risk assessment of the 'forward business plan' was undertaken, the June business plan was not risk assessed or even viewed by officers! And it was on the basis of the certainty expressed by officers that the payment of the second tranche was made - how hollow sounding are the words 'in the best interests of the Council' and essential to the roll out of the programme'

In June Mr Hunt asked Councillors in a confidentail email to 'trust him' as he worked on a plan for the town centre, it appears that at the same time Coun Perkins was having sleepless nights worrying about the commercial viability of DC.

Sadly when i asked him whether DC was commercially viable he wrote to me asking for me to define 'commercial viability'

But let me allow Coun Perkins the last word this evening on his lack lustre display as a director of DC and in the words of Coun Bluh - the representative of SBC on the board.  When asked whether he had seen the budget/accounts he replied 'As far as details of budgets are concnered - No I was not aware and have not been able to see them' - that is the most inelegant cop out you are ever likely to hear as a defence for sheer incompetent behaviour - of course he had access to the accounts and of course he knew exactly what money was being spent and on what, anything else is simply sheer fantasy.  And he knows it.

I will enjoy dissecting the interview line by line, word by word.
Title: Have they spiked themselves in wi-fi 'Saga'?
Post by: Got Signal on September 03, 2011, 10:15:50 PM
Des
Perkins caught on his own spike? Has Bluh? can't wait.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: peach on September 04, 2011, 12:24:26 AM
'Officers at the Council were working alongside Digital City to get additional investment'.

This alone contradicts Bluh's assertion that the council had next to nothing to do with the running of DC.
Title: Re: Has Swindon Advertiser Sucked up to Council leader on Wifi?
Post by: Geoff Reid on September 04, 2011, 01:30:55 AM

I wonder if TS is read by more people daily than read the adver?  Is that a worry for the politicians?


I don't know what the Advers online readership or daily circulation is so I can't comment.  (neither am I particularly interested tbh - different animals entirely and it's difficult, if not impossible, to do a like-for-like comparison)

Anyway, Talkswindons stats are publicly available here: http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?action=stats (http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?action=stats)

Last month forum pages were read over 425,000 times by members and guest readers.

The daily number of separate visitors to TS varied between 3,100 and 5,000 per day during August.  It was a good month for us.

Interesting to note that one myth currently circulating the civic community, i.e, that 'Reidy buggered up Talkswindon when he joined the Labour Party....and it's all downhill for the forum because of it', has given me cause to chuckle recently.  Firstly, the forum appears to be becoming more popular than ever before and on one day last week was indexed, (searched), more than 400 times by search engines.

I don't think what I say on Talkswindon, or what my political leanings may or may not be, have any greater 'fluence on how the residents of Swindon view TS than other members.

Keep up the good work folks, especially those of you who fear Cllr Williams will pay you a personal visit at your workplace, (remember - this administration actively spies on employees so do not be tempted to visit Talkswindon, The West Swindon Forum, or any blogs hosted by TS from any part of the Swindon Borough Council IT system or during work-time) I would also suggest not using the computers available at public libraries if you are an SBC or SCS employee.

Somewhat perversely this is one instance where the Bluhligans want you to contravene their 'no social media' policy so they can hunt you down, find out who you are, and put the frighteners on you.  Don't give Cllr Keith the satisfaction of cHarming you on Rod's behalf - post from the safety of your own home and never, ever, disclose your TS username to anyone at work.

I don't have a problem with SBC's policy of 'no social media', but I do have a problem with the politically vindictive and inappropriate manner in which employees are being spied on and stalked by elected members if they fall under suspicion of reading or contributing to sites like Talkswindon.   
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on September 04, 2011, 06:35:19 AM
Some Mind boggling numbers   O0
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Muggins on September 04, 2011, 08:42:16 AM
I think I might be expecting a visit and an offer I can't refuse.

Wonder if my phone is bugged?

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: ph1lc on September 04, 2011, 09:03:45 AM
Des
You have hit the nail firmly on the head with your last, and brilliantly incisive post.

I repeat what you say - if by Perkins own admission DC was not viable in July 2010 without extra funds, this would have been obvious in April to any half competent financial professional.

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on September 04, 2011, 09:57:42 AM
Des
You have hit the nail firmly on the head with your last, and brilliantly incisive post.

I repeat what you say - if by Perkins own admission DC was not viable in July 2010 without extra funds, this would have been obvious in April to any half competent financial professional.

Yup. Spot on.

Just for fun I listened to last weeks radio interviews again.  I'm still surprised that Cllr Bluh and Cllr/Director Perkins so thoroughly exposed themselves as being incompetent bullshitters who are trying to outpace each other in distancing themselves from the scene of the crime as quickly as possible.

Both men, if they had any wit, would realise that they cannot get away from the inconvenient reality of their own actions/inactions or from being held responsibility in law for those actions. 

As we have witnessed, (and discussed, and recorded), so many times during the roll-out unravelling of the WiFi'asco, something is not made 'true' because Cllr Bluh & Cllr/Director Perkins has said it is 'true' - in fact the exact opposite is often the case in my opinion and when they say something is 'true', I usually take a very close look at it to make damn sure it isn't another outright lie.

It seems to me that both men are incapable of speaking simply and supplying the unadorned, unaltered truth.  Both men weasel their way through political life by delivering deformed interpretations of exquisitely and ambiguously crafted statements with a devotion that would leave Francis Urquhart breathless with admiration.

If they put as much effort into being honest as they do into concealing and obfuscating, we'd have a council which was genuinely a Path-Finding example of transparency and engagement.

We could still become that council, but not with people like Cllr/Director Perkins and Cllr Bluh at the helm.




Muggins, the way they 'get to' people like yourself is to keep dangling the Community power-carrot in front of you whilst keeping the denial-of-opportunity-to-your-community hovering over your rump.  The proposed Housing Ballot is a the latest example of this....

But I think you know that....  :)



Title: The rights and duties of pubic sector employees
Post by: komadori on September 04, 2011, 10:23:41 AM
Keep up the good work folks, especially those of you who fear Cllr Williams will pay you a personal visit at your workplace, (remember - this administration actively spies on employees so do not be tempted to visit Talkswindon, The West Swindon Forum, or any blogs hosted by TS from any part of the Swindon Borough Council IT system or during work-time) I would also suggest not using the computers available at public libraries if you are an SBC or SCS employee.

Somewhat perversely this is one instance where the Bluhligans want you to contravene their 'no social media' policy so they can hunt you down, find out who you are, and put the frighteners on you.  Don't give Cllr Keith the satisfaction of cHarming you on Rod's behalf - post from the safety of your own home and never, ever, disclose your TS username to anyone at work.

I don't have a problem with SBC's policy of 'no social media', but I do have a problem with the politically vindictive and inappropriate manner in which employees are being spied on and stalked by elected members if they fall under suspicion of reading or contributing to sites like Talkswindon.

At the risk of taking this discussion a bit off-topic on a point of clarity and advice…

Depending on their jobs, many public sector employees are subject to restrictions on 'political' activity (with 'political' defined quite broadly in the relevant laws). The more senior their job, the more severe the restrictions are likely to be. But on a day-to-day basis, those laws are the responsibility of paid council officials to enforce, not elected members.

Equally, every public sector employee has a right and duty to blow the whistle on inappropriate or illegal activity in their organisation, and there are laws to protect them, though you would need to be VERY confident that what you were doing was in the public interest to rely on those laws. If laws have been broken, if councillors or council officials have failed in their statutory duties (particularly if they have wilfully done so), then the public have a right to know and there is an obligation not to remain silent. But as Geoff suggests, unless you've got very good solicitors, it's in your own interests to maintain your anonymity as far as you can.

[And in case this sounds like I'm preaching from comfortable total safety, the above is written based on my own careful study of what I legally could and could not do before getting involved in this investigation. :)]

Although the council's investment in Digital City has become a politicised matter, in their origins, the concerns were not political. They were, and remain, concerns about the probity, legality and legitimacy of decisions made by the council leadership. Regardless of how loud the political noise may become, the rights and duties of a public sector employee, who may become aware of facts of legitimate concern, are unchanged.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on September 04, 2011, 10:54:11 AM

Word.  :agreed:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Ian Pugh on September 04, 2011, 12:17:15 PM
I find it a little frustrating when I hear politicians complaining about the “Anti Wi-Fi”  faction damaging the councils opportunity to find another investor. When I examine the numbers criticising the council, I'm shocked when I see just how sensitive they are.
Talk Swindon has 862 members

Roughly 60 have contributed to this thread, both pro and anti.

Swindon has a population of about 200,000

Therefore, if all the members had complained 0.431% would have been anti, if only the 60 who contributed were all anti then that would have been 0.03%. Which organisation would have been put off such a project with that level of opposition?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on September 04, 2011, 02:24:43 PM
I find it a little frustrating when I hear politicians complaining about the “Anti Wi-Fi”  faction damaging the councils opportunity to find another investor. When I examine the numbers criticising the council, I'm shocked when I see just how sensitive they are.
Talk Swindon has 862 members

Roughly 60 have contributed to this thread, both pro and anti.

Swindon has a population of about 200,000

Therefore, if all the members had complained 0.431% would have been anti, if only the 60 who contributed were all anti then that would have been 0.03%. Which organisation would have been put off such a project with that level of opposition?

Ian

I agree with your frustration the blaming of the failure of wifi has been heaped on the  small identifiable scrutineers as a scapegoating exercise, nothing more than a lip service from politicians that should know better. 

So who are the people and in what numbers are alleged have caused the project to fail? 3, 4, 40, 44 more the two 2 who have not come anywhere near scrutinising  it  are Swindon's MPs. As it is only 2 people can they safely be ignored, by two the two most powerful Tory politicians in the town? 

The population of Swindon may well be near 200,000, but how many are of voting age? There are about 80,000 households paying council tax. This thread has been read almost 8500 times.  But you do demonstrate the frustration that some feel about scrutiny. Just how many people should a council ignore who complain/scrutinise? At below what level of numbers should a council be insensitive to its people?

The BBC radio did a good job on Friday and their professional scrutiny is welcome as a public broadcaster funded by Swindon  tax payers. It made paying the licence fee worthwhile.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on September 04, 2011, 08:01:42 PM
I find it a little frustrating when I hear politicians complaining about the “Anti Wi-Fi”  faction damaging the councils opportunity to find another investor. When I examine the numbers criticising the council, I'm shocked when I see just how sensitive they are.
Talk Swindon has 862 members

Roughly 60 have contributed to this thread, both pro and anti.

Swindon has a population of about 200,000

Therefore, if all the members had complained 0.431% would have been anti, if only the 60 who contributed were all anti then that would have been 0.03%. Which organisation would have been put off such a project with that level of opposition?


I find it a little frustrating that it effectively fell to 6 people to fulfill the scrutiny function that Swindon Borough Council found itself unable to/was prevented from doing itself.

Scrutiny of the WiFi'asco continues and, until Digital City (UK) Ltd is either properly rescued, (and provisioning for the immediate return of the councils £400,000 loan is agreed), or the company is eventually struck off the register at Companies House, it is difficult to see how another investor will be able or willing to rescue the WiFi'asco.

The 'Anti-WiFi-Faction-damaging-the-oportunity-to-find-another-investor' briefing is the latest in a long line of soundbites to be broadcast from Euclid Street as the Cabinet members responsible for the WiFi'asco try, once again, to shunt the blame for their own multiple and embarrassing failures of judgement, probity, diligence, honesty and accountability onto the shoulders of those who have turned the searchlight of scrutiny onto them in the first place.

If potential investors, (if they even exist), have declined to become involved in rescuing Rod Bluh's WiFi'asco because of the publicity and discussion surrounding it, then that is the price the town will have paid for allowing the Council to do business the Rod Bluh way.

The 'Anti WiFi' label also happens to be a lie.  I have yet to find anyone who is anti-wifi, but I have met hundreds who were, and remain, completely opposed to the manner in which Rod Bluh has acted from the start of this debacle.  Scrutiny of the methodology is not the same as opposition to the system or technology - and never was.

Eric Pickles' vision of 'An army of armchair auditors has materialised in Swindon, (Eric should be delighted), and a few of us publish our findings on Talkswindon, much to the disgust of our autocratic council leader.   

This is Rod Bluh's failure, latterly assisted by the incomparable and incompetant Garry 'The Cheques In The Post' Perkins.  That they are still trying to evade taking responsibility for their continuing failure, and are still trying to bury the body speaks volumes on their integrity.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on September 04, 2011, 09:45:15 PM
I think people forget that some of those scrutineers were looked upon like they were trying to ambush the council, when they asked simple questions like which Aquovia is it? Do you know who the registered directors are etc. In fact some people tell me they have still not received answers to questions they have asked.  Perhaps that is further frustration for them?

Chris Watts at the first scrutiny was asked if his questions were his own? I am still not sure what was meant by that do you Chris? I also recall Des Morgan being Helpful at the first informal cabinet meeting. I wonder if he feels a litte frustrated?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on September 04, 2011, 10:26:40 PM
Digital City and Swindon's Doomed Wifi Project  by Anne Snelgrove on her new blog http://annesnelgrove.org.uk/node/22 (http://annesnelgrove.org.uk/node/22)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 04, 2011, 10:36:51 PM
Quote
I also recall Des Morgan being Helpful at the first informal cabinet meeting. I wonder if he feels a litte frustrated?


Thank you steve - yes i thought i was being helpful in my observations and indeed so did Coun Bluh who said as much when he wrote to me 21 December 2009.  He said "Your scrutiny is appreciated as it is only with thoughtful questions like yours that we can all be assured we are making the correct choices"

I wrote to Coun Bluh on the 15 December 2009 and concluded my correspondence by stating "I do hope the project is a success"

Coun Bluh is fond of presenting an image of the scrutineers as being luddites with no interest in promoting Swindon.  He frequently refers to his ideas as 'good for the town' whereas those who criticise or scrutinise are 'talking the town down'.

He has presided over a period where Coun Perkins has been allowed to mislead and misinform on a scale that betrays the panic within the serried ranks of conservative councillors who quite shamefully sit silently while lies and half truths are offered as facts.  I am aware of councillors who in private express doubts and misgivings but in public wish to secure their 'seats' as they supposedly seek to represent the people who voted them into office.

Yes I am frustrated - by the inability and unwillingness of officers to answer questions honestly and without sophistry. I am frustrated at the ineptitude of officers who failed to monitor the Wi-Fi project in a professional manner, resulting in early warning signs and opportunities being missed to halt the project before losses reached the level of £400k. I am frustrated that councillors at cabinet level have shown themselves to be unprincipled and lacking in moral fibre when it comes to challenging their leadership - collective Cabinet responsibilty should not extend to defedning the indefensible nor should it suffer the ignomy of being a one way street - Coun Bluh attests that "you have to trust people' - in the Wi-Fi project he actually chose to not trust the colleagues he most depends on - his cabinet.

I'm not sure whether the clear lack of trust speaks more eloquently of Coun Bluh or of his cabinet colleagues - what i am sure of is that Coun Bluh's 'respect' for his cabinet colleagues is as lacking as his trust in them.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on September 05, 2011, 12:15:23 AM
some people tell me they have still not received answers to questions they have asked.  Perhaps that is further frustration for them?

Nope, at least not in my case. I am not frustrated but neither am I surprised. 

From the very early days it was actually quite easy to predict, with disappointing accuracy, how Rod Bluh, Stephen Taylor and Garry Perkins etc would react to almost every new and freshly embarrassing development.  We knew how an honest and transparent administration ought to react to a series of questions to which we already had the answers, so it was fairly simply to calibrate our Bluhometers using reliable public record facts against the fantasy-facts as supplied by Swindon Borough Council. 

It was quite a sad day when we realised exactly how far downwards we had to adjust our expectations of transparency and honesty from Rod and the boys.  Essentially, if one of them said it was raining outside, you would need to independently verify this before accepting it as being true.


Chris Watts at the first scrutiny was asked if his questions were his own? I am still not sure what was meant by that do you Chris? I also recall Des Morgan being Helpful at the first informal cabinet meeting. I wonder if he feels a litte frustrated?

Bluh could not accept that anyone outside of the civic community was remotely interested in his methodology, ergo they must be a political plant sent to cause trouble. 

The Labour group has Rod Bluh to thank for Chris Watts joining their ranks.  He wasn't political at all when I first met him, and was actually cross-party working at the start of the WiFiasco.

It seems that the only people unaware that the Bluhligans were so very obviously out of their depth, and league, by going into business with such a well versed entrepeneur of Rikki Hunts notoriety, were the Bluhligans themselves, and they'd shut their eyes and ears to anything they didn't like the look or sound of.  It appeared that they only liked the look of Mr Hunts back-of-a-fag-packet business plan and only listened to him.

According to Mr Bluh, everyone who didn't agree with him was misguided, mistaken, difficult, scaremongering, politically motivated and trying to 'talk the town down'.

Pathetic really.  I wonder what the Chinese make of him?
 

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on September 05, 2011, 12:22:11 AM
collective Cabinet responsibilty should not extend to defedning the indefensible nor should it suffer the ignomy of being a one way street - Coun Bluh attests that "you have to trust people' - in the Wi-Fi project he actually chose to not trust the colleagues he most depends on - his cabinet.

I'm not sure whether the clear lack of trust speaks more eloquently of Coun Bluh or of his cabinet colleagues - what i am sure of is that Coun Bluh's 'respect' for his cabinet colleagues is as lacking as his trust in them.

Very good point Des.  Bluh also says he believes in distributive leadership, but presumably he's using the elastic dictionary or a heavily weaseled interpretation unless, strictly speaking, we accept that involving just one other cabinet member in this decision earns the the 'distributive leadership' tag?

It's possible that he's just confusing 'distributive leadership' with 'passing the blame'.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Chris Watts on September 05, 2011, 12:28:03 AM
I think people forget that some of those scrutineers were looked upon like they were trying to ambush the council, when they asked simple questions like which Aquovia is it? Do you know who the registered directors are etc. In fact some people tell me they have still not received answers to questions they have asked.  Perhaps that is further frustration for them?

Chris Watts at the first scrutiny was asked if his questions were his own? I am still not sure what was meant by that do you Chris? I also recall Des Morgan being Helpful at the first informal cabinet meeting. I wonder if he feels a litte frustrated?

At the Scrutiny meeting on 14th Dec 2009 Cllr Bluh believed me to be a an instrument of those who would work against him and was already shutting up shop and adopting the siege mentality that we all know and love him for.

The chair announced the public question item and stated that Mr Watts has submitted 17 questions in writing at which point Cllr Bluh turned to the public gallery and said "yeah, if he really did write those question!"

Cllr Bluh apologised in writing two days later:

Dear Mr Watts

Thank you for your email.

I think there has been a misunderstanding.  I believed all the 17 questions to be from you but someone in the meeting suggested that this might not be the case and I wanted to be sure they were all from you so that I could reply to you in detail on all of them.

If this did not come across that way I sincerely apologise.

I may be the Leader of the Council as Leader of the Conservative Group but I do try to avoid doing my job at all on any Party Political footing as it just gets in the way.  My job is to deliver for Swindon and when Party Politics does come into play it is usually because others have driven me down that road.

I hope this helps and will ensure that you get a fully reply as soon as possible.

My best wishes for the coming festive season.

Regards
Rod Bluh


Just to confirm, the 14th Dec 2009 was the first time that I had stepped into the Civic and I was not affiliated to any political party.

These were the questions that vexed our leader:
http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=4640.msg29001#msg29001 (http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=4640.msg29001#msg29001)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: bobwright on September 05, 2011, 12:58:52 AM
There has been a fundamental split in behaviour shown towards the Wi-fi project:

Those seeking the truth and asking quite fundamental questions about the use of public money (a duty of all members)
Those who avoid the truth and have used their office in a manner to prevent public scrutiny of their behaviour and use of public money

Those seeking the truth has resulted in uncommon bedfellows being drawn together on the need for honest answers and acceptable behaviour in public office.

Those who will not tell the truth have been supported by compliant and protective associates who have condoned or stood by their behaviour

Throughout there has been a litany of excuses, delays, lack of responsibility and accountability yet we have been asked to trust, wait and support the risk. On one occasion the Leader of Council even challenged others over his integrity on the matter. Perhaps the most telling request was the need to be brave. The shame of it has been with a few notable exceptions the lack of bravery of the Tory group to take on Architects and Paymasters of this scandal. The compliance of Tory group has let the people of Swindon down. There is still time for them to act and they have the votes to make a difference.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on September 05, 2011, 08:09:58 AM
There has been a fundamental split in behaviour shown towards the Wi-fi project:

Those seeking the truth and asking quite fundamental questions about the use of public money (a duty of all members)
Those who avoid the truth and have used their office in a manner to prevent public scrutiny of their behaviour and use of public money

Those seeking the truth has resulted in uncommon bedfellows being drawn together on the need for honest answers and acceptable behaviour in public office.

Those who will not tell the truth have been supported by compliant and protective associates who have condoned or stood by their behaviour

Throughout there has been a litany of excuses, delays, lack of responsibility and accountability yet we have been asked to trust, wait and support the risk. On one occasion the Leader of Council even challenged others over his integrity on the matter. Perhaps the most telling request was the need to be brave. The shame of it has been with a few notable exceptions the lack of bravery of the Tory group to take on Architects and Paymasters of this scandal. The compliance of Tory group has let the people of Swindon down. There is still time for them to act and they have the votes to make a difference.

Woteva; same old Tories!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Muggins on September 05, 2011, 09:04:28 AM
Geoff: Muggins, the way they 'get to' people like yourself is to keep dangling the Community power-carrot in front of you whilst keeping the denial-of-opportunity-to-your-community hovering over your rump.  The proposed Housing Ballot is a the latest example of this....

But I think you know that.... 

Actually Geoff, reading this I think I have already been visited. 

Funnily enough the last thing this administration (nationally or locally) is offering is 'power'. The chance to do more with less or for nothing is what they are offering.  Luckily I have very thick skin and a very :2funny: large rump.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on September 05, 2011, 10:49:05 AM
Bump. Chris Watts had started a thread, whilst I was doing one on here. I will post it there.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Anne Snelgrove on September 05, 2011, 11:20:01 AM
Here's a link to my blog post about Wifi, how and why I got involved in December 2009:

http://annesnelgrove.org.uk/blog/2011/09/digital-city-and-swindons-doomed-wifi-project#overlay-context=blog/2011/09/digital-city-and-swindons-doomed-wifi-project  (http://annesnelgrove.org.uk/blog/2011/09/digital-city-and-swindons-doomed-wifi-project#overlay-context=blog/2011/09/digital-city-and-swindons-doomed-wifi-project)

It is disingenuous to make out the whole disaster is Labour's fault merely because we questioned the basis upon which the Wifi scheme was based. My involvement initially arose from legitimate questions asked by the FSB at a meeting with me, held at their request. The person who requested that meeting on behalf of the FSB is now a Tory councillor.....
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on September 05, 2011, 12:07:30 PM
Here's a link to my blog post about Wifi, how and why I got involved in December 2009:

[url]http://annesnelgrove.org.uk/blog/2011/09/digital-city-and-swindons-doomed-wifi-project#overlay-context=blog/2011/09/digital-city-and-swindons-doomed-wifi-project[/url]  ([url]http://annesnelgrove.org.uk/blog/2011/09/digital-city-and-swindons-doomed-wifi-project#overlay-context=blog/2011/09/digital-city-and-swindons-doomed-wifi-project[/url])

It is disingenuous to make out the whole disaster is Labour's fault merely because we questioned the basis upon which the Wifi scheme was based. My involvement initially arose from legitimate questions asked by the FSB at a meeting with me, held at their request. The person who requested that meeting on behalf of the FSB is now a Tory councillor.....


Does the same person  represents the FSB now? http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/local/4804145.Anger_from_firms_over_wi_fi_decision/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/local/4804145.Anger_from_firms_over_wi_fi_decision/)

Is it the same person who said Rikki remained an asset?
http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/local/9209669.Calls_for_bankrupt_entrepreneur_to_quit_business_forum/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/local/9209669.Calls_for_bankrupt_entrepreneur_to_quit_business_forum/)

Funny old game politics isn't it!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on September 05, 2011, 12:40:55 PM
It is disingenuous to make out the whole disaster is Labour's fault merely because we questioned the basis upon which the Wifi scheme was based.

Anne you make a good point, and as an MP I am sure that you would have taken the same action regardless of, which party was the administration.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: ph1lc on September 05, 2011, 01:38:11 PM
Don't lets get sidetracked by politics.

DC failed for ONE reason and ONE reason only. It's business plan was fatally flawed.
£450K was clearly never enough money to complete the project.
The business plan was that the £450k could be used to get revenue generating service started in some areas. This revenue would pay to complete the project.

What beggars belief is that no-one in the council asked what happens if the £450 K is gone before you are able to generate revenue?

As an accountant Rod Bluh should have seen this. The so called finance professionals amongst the officers should most certainly have asked this.

Had Rikki gone to the Council in the first place asking for enough money to complete the project, then it would probably be up and running by now.

The only thing is he wouldn't have had 25% of the company for free.

It's now up to Gavin Jones to look amongst his finance deprtment as SACK the officers responsible.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: komadori on September 05, 2011, 09:03:29 PM
DC failed for ONE reason and ONE reason only. It's business plan was fatally flawed.
£450K was clearly never enough money to complete the project.
The business plan was that the £450k could be used to get revenue generating service started in some areas. This revenue would pay to complete the project.

What beggars belief is that no-one in the council asked what happens if the £450 K is gone before you are able to generate revenue?
Questions like that were asked, and the answer given was that the value of the hardware would exceed the value of the loan, on the basis that if Digital City UK Ltd defaulted on the loan, the entirety of its assets would belong to the council, not any of the other investors. Yes, I know that doesn't seem to accord with normal insolvency rules, but that's what we were told.

As an accountant Rod Bluh should have seen this. The so called finance professionals amongst the officers should most certainly have asked this.
You would think so, but I recall being present in the council chamber when not only members of the council cabinet, but also the council's most senior finance officer, said they thought the business case was good. ???

Had Rikki gone to the Council in the first place asking for enough money to complete the project, then it would probably be up and running by now.
I'm not convinced. Remember, one of the things that surprised them, apparently, was that hills in Highworth would affect the wifi signal. That the team behind this backed such basic telecommunications knowledge suggests the project was never going to get far.

It's now up to Gavin Jones to look amongst his finance deprtment as SACK the officers responsible.
Officers advise, councillors make decisions. Whilst there are many aspects of officers' behaviour that concern me about this affair, let's not encourage Mr Bluh and friends from ducking their responsibilities by heaping the blame onto the council officers.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 05, 2011, 10:03:44 PM
Quote
What beggars belief is that no-one in the council asked what happens if the £450 K is gone before you are able to generate revenue?


Well according to Mr Hunt he was going to see DC making a profit in February 2010 -yes really it was in the SA as one of his quotes.

Additionally, according to the infamous Internal Audit report dated 9 April 2010 page 8 clause (b) 3.1.16 Digital City had obtained a bank loan in its own right. One day i feel sure someone will tell us how much had been borrowed and under what terms - I really don't think Coun perkins will know
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on September 06, 2011, 08:40:23 AM
Posted on another thread. I forgot to mention the Audit Committee, Des Moffatt reminded me of it last night and and I know it is one that Des Morgan attends to ask questions about wifi. Cllr Moffatt and Allsopp, a few months back put a motion forward for Audit Committee to review the wifi. It was voted down.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: ph1lc on September 06, 2011, 09:32:24 AM
Komadori
You say that Councillors decide and Officers advise - that of course is absolutely true.

You also say that you were in the chamber when amongst others the "council's most senior finance officer" said the business case was good.

We all need professional advice - and if some one gives me bad advice, I replace them.
Like you I don't want to see Bluh and Perkins get off the hook, and I'm sure that they will get theirs next May at the ballot box. I for one will be leafleting every house in their ward telling the electorate that you can't trust them.

The "most senior finance officer" you refer to must be sacked - the advice he gave was clearly rubbish, we can't afford to employ buffoons like that. We need competent officers to rein in lunatics like Bluh Edwards and Perkins.

The assertion given to Cabinet that the hardware would be worth more than the loan has always made me chuckle - it is possibly true that when the whole town was finished that this would have been the case but only a fool would have failed to see that this could not  be achieved without further capital.


Des
The assertion that DC had obtained a bank loan in it's own right is an interesting one.
Very few new businesses are able to raise funds in this way without a directors guarantee. When DC finally file their accounts, we should be able to best guess how much even from abreviated accounts.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on September 06, 2011, 10:19:00 AM
The assertion that DC had obtained a bank loan in it's own right is an interesting one.
Very few new businesses are able to raise funds in this way without a directors guarantee. When DC finally file their accounts, we should be able to best guess how much even from abreviated accounts.

If I recall correctly, (I'd have to trawl our WiFi-archives before claiming 100% accuracy on this though), it was claimed by SBC that Mr Hunt/Digital City (UK) Ltd were bringing/investing a "Significant Six Figure Sum" into the venture but, when questioned, (during a scrutiny meeting I think), as to how much this significant six figure sum actually was the spokesman declined to give an answer.  Whether that figure was raised via a bank loan I do not know.

I don't recall hearing that DC had managed to raise a bank loan, when was that discussed/claimed ?

I also believe that, in the very early days, WiFi was being reported as a £1.4 million or £1.5 million venture although, (again, if I remember correctly), initial talk of 'other' investors' appeared to evaporate as soon as the mainstream media became interested and, as we've brushed against it, lets not forget that the campaign to promote wifi in the national and international media was a stunning success which led to councils from all over the world (according to Rodders) beating a path to Swindon's door.



Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on September 06, 2011, 10:26:15 AM
A significant six figure sum:

£0 minus £400,000 =  minus £400,000

I'll get me coat. ;D
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on September 06, 2011, 10:39:34 AM
A significant six figure sum:

£0 minus £400,000 =  minus £400,000

I'll get me coat. ;D

Well, yes... but more to the point, a six figure has be at least £100,000 yes?  (unless Bluh & Co are re-interpreting where decimal points should be and how many decimal places are included - I suppose Bluh might argue that £10 is a six figure sum if expressed thus: £10.00.00), anyway...

...add the 'significant six figure sum' - lets call it £100,000, to the £400,000 loan and you have £500,000, of which we can only really see where £100,000 has been spent on installing the hardware for the wifi  and other assets, (and that's a generous figure), so where did the other £400,000 go?  I raise the possibility that either the unnaccounted for amount is much larger than previously suspected, or that the 'significant six figure sum', (just like the other £1,000,000 of investment money which failed to materialise), couldn't materialise because it never existed in the first place, and that the only genuine source of 'investment' into the wifi scheme has only ever been Swindon Borough Council from day one.

I would love to be proved wrong on this, but I'll require documentary evidence - I won't accept the 'word' of a cabinet member.

I also wonder there is something significant about the £400,000 figure because, (and it's possible that I'm completely wrong about this), but I think the 400k number keep cropping up elsewhere.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on September 06, 2011, 10:51:01 AM
Here is I beleieve the first adver article on wifi http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/archive/2009/11/17/Wiltshire+News+%28gazette_wiltshire_news%29/4742872.Swindon_to_give_free_internet_access_to_all_residents/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/archive/2009/11/17/Wiltshire+News+%28gazette_wiltshire_news%29/4742872.Swindon_to_give_free_internet_access_to_all_residents/)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on September 06, 2011, 11:25:38 AM
I think that several parties wanted to, at least imply, that SBC were not the only source of funding.

http://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=29346&J=1 (http://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=29346&J=1)

Quote
Loan Advance to Digital City (UK) Limited Cabinet Date: 31st March 2010


Quote
2.2. The loan to Digital City (UK) Limited was for a maximum sum of
£450,000 to fund a portion of the costs of development and
installation of the Wi Fi network.


Rikki was potless and badly in debt by this time but he needed people to believe that he was putting money up front, either from his "business empire" or from a loan.
It would have taken just a few days at this point for his fellow directors to find out if he had contributed anything at all.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: komadori on September 06, 2011, 11:55:55 AM
I also wonder there is something significant about the £400,000 figure because, (and it's possible that I'm completely wrong about this), but I think the 400k number keep cropping up elsewhere.

I can't find anything directly relevant, but £500k seems to be a popular limit at which various government regulations on local authority capital expenditure kick-in. (Unrelated example (http://www.communities.gov.uk/localgovernment/localgovernmentfinance/capitalfinance/parishtowncouncil/))
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on September 06, 2011, 12:54:34 PM
Here is I beleieve the first adver article on wifi [url]http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/archive/2009/11/17/Wiltshire+News+%28gazette_wiltshire_news%29/4742872.Swindon_to_give_free_internet_access_to_all_residents/[/url] ([url]http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/archive/2009/11/17/Wiltshire+News+%28gazette_wiltshire_news%29/4742872.Swindon_to_give_free_internet_access_to_all_residents/[/url])


Quote from: Swindon Advertiser
"The £1 million project will be funded by a mixture of public and private money"


Thanks Steve, I think it's reasonable to assume that the £1,000,000 figure was given to the Adver either by a Council spokesperson/press officer, SBC or Digital City press release or directly from Cllr's Bluh or Edwards.

I also think that the figure was subsequently inflated to £1,400,000 in other publications.

Readers might also recall that Digital City (UK) Ltd had also submitted three applications/bids for cash to the Technology Strategy Board (http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=6560.msg44420#msg44420)

Quote from: Rikki Hunt
In partnership with aQovia, we have had Round One success with one of three bids we put to the Technology Strategy Board. Our successful bid was around downloading music and creating a revenue share with the content owners, so the content owners, network providers and subscribers are all working together. I will keep you informed of our progress.


I wonder whether the TSB viewed the applications in a similar manner to that of Enterprising Bathgate Ltd.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: bobwright on September 06, 2011, 01:16:37 PM
As a member of the council  I should have the confidence that a Leader who is a Qualified Accountant and a Deputy Leader who is an experience Director should have the level of expertise to ensure that the public money invested would be professionally managed and accounted for. The fact that people are now trying to work out the finances involved and the failure to provide accounts to Companies House has proved I was wrong. I don't think my evaluation about their level of expertise was necessarily wrong what I hadn't accounted for was when they realised they had been duped they were so embedded politically and personally they created a farce to save face.


Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: ph1lc on September 06, 2011, 01:51:56 PM
Good point Bob.

Now is the time for the Councils Audit Committee to fully investigate the whole fiasco.

Specifically, 1)what other finance was available to DC, 2) why to Council felt able to release their loan before the other finance was legally committed, 3)Why were the Council prepared to proceed on the current shareholding basis. Hunt and Aqovia appear to have financially contributed zilch.

I hope, Bob that you will call for the matter to be referred. I will be writing to my ward Councillers to ask that they do, and would urge all other TS mambers to do likewise.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 06, 2011, 06:52:55 PM
Quote
Specifically, 1)what other finance was available to DC, 2) why to Council felt able to release their loan before the other finance was legally committed, 3)Why were the Council prepared to proceed on the current shareholding basis.

Allegedly DC had secured a bank loan of their own - for how much has never been declared although SBC et al would have known.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on September 06, 2011, 07:09:42 PM
I hope, Bob that you will call for the matter to be referred. I will be writing to my ward Councillers to ask that they do, and would urge all other TS mambers to do likewise.

No point in my doing that - one of them is Perkins and the other two seemed to be joined to him one at each hip!!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 06, 2011, 07:16:53 PM
Quote
I don't recall hearing that DC had managed to raise a bank loan, when was that discussed/claimed


According to the infamous Internal Audit report dated 9 April 2010 page 8 clause (b) 3.1.16 Digital City had obtained a bank loan in its own right. One day i feel sure someone will tell us how much had been borrowed and under what terms - I really don't think Coun perkins will know
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on September 06, 2011, 07:23:16 PM
I share Bob Wright's concern about the matter of trust.  Both Bluh and Perkins seemed to offer the type of expertise to guarantee the security of OUR MONEY.  Sadly on both counts that would appear to be without foundation.

Quote
[I don't recall hearing that DC had managed to raise a bank loan, when was that discussed/claimed /quote]

I really don't think Coun perkins will know'

What on earth was he doing on the board then Des?

As for involving the Audit Committee why should the people of Swindon trust their ability to be impartial when they did this?

Posted on another thread. I forgot to mention the Audit Committee, Des Moffatt reminded me of it last night and and I know it is one that Des Morgan attends to ask questions about wifi. Cllr Moffatt and Allsopp, a few months back put a motion forward for Audit Committee to review the wifi. It was voted down.

Another useful piece of information for the forthcoming elections, but...........

What we need is a fully independent revue of everything connected to this Saga and that should not involve anybody in any way connected to Swindon or the Protagonists.

I hope I am not being unrealistic?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 10, 2011, 04:36:59 PM
Sometimes it's like drawing 'hens teeth'

Dear Mr Patel

You say the data is from the agency used. Yet in your first email you quite clearly say “I have today had the following details of the leaflet drop from Rikki Hunt” – so I am bound to ask ‘which is it?’ – Rikki Hunt or the agency which delivered them?.  I am bemused why this single issue should be causing so difficulty to you.  It is quite a simple request and given the fact that both the printer and delivery agency would be required to keep details for at least 6 years, it really should be an easy task to get the data.

The reluctance to obtain the data infers there is an issue – the fact you claim to have proof and are so unwilling to reveal it is quite baffling.

As you are not an officer of Digital City (albeit you were at the time the alleged marketing campaign was conducted) I am not sure why you are seeking to withhold the information.  There is no commercial confidentiality issue at stake as Digital City has ceased trading. 

Mr Hunt is no longer a director of Digital City and is therefore in no position to attest to anything on behalf of Digital City.

I am very sorry that my persistence in trying to get an honest and accountable answer appears to discomfit you – perhaps it is borne out of an historical reluctance on the part of your office to be as open and transparent as you might have been.

Asking me to believe the word of Mr Hunt is frankly quite insulting to me and the many people who have been involved in this issue

Regards

Des Morgan
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Hitesh Patel [mailto:HPatel@swindon.gov.uk]
Sent: 07 September 2011 15:12
To: Des Morgan; Steve Jones (Committees)
Cc: Stephen Taylor; 'Peter Heaton-Jones '; Douglas Campbell; Gavin Jones; Kevin Small ( External ); Stuart McKellar
Subject: RE: Digital City Leaflet information -Scrutiny Question
 

Dear Mr Morgan,

The details of the leaflet drop are from the agency used. I will forward to the Chair of Scrutiny the details of the agency and proof that the origin of the data.

I will await any further instructions on ‘proof’ from the Chair of Scrutiny.

Regards 

Hitesh

 

From: Des Morgan [mailto:des.morgan@breathe.com]
Sent: 06 September 2011 20:56
To: Hitesh Patel; Steve Jones (Committees)
Cc: Stephen Taylor; 'Peter Heaton-Jones '; Douglas Campbell; Gavin Jones; Kevin Small ( External )
Subject: RE: Digital City Leaflet information -Scrutiny Question
 

Just to add some weight and understanding as to my scepticism please consider that in February ‘no one knew the figures’ – In June, councillors were told that based on ‘recall’ it was probably 2 main leaflet campaigns and that the distribution runs were about 3,000 per campaign, ten weeks later in September the ‘bid’ has risen to 4 leaflet campaigns and 3,500 leaflets per campaign.

Sorry – but that doesn’t fill me with any confidence – proof is what is needed.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Des Morgan [mailto:des.morgan@breathe.com]
Sent: 06 September 2011 18:16
To: 'Hitesh Patel'; 'Steve Jones (Committees)'
Cc: 'Stephen Taylor'; 'Peter Heaton-Jones (heatonjones@hotmail.com)'; 'Douglas Campbell'; 'Gavin Jones'; 'kevinsmall@hotmail.com'
Subject: RE: Digital City Leaflet information -Scrutiny Question


Dear Mr Patel

I am very grateful for this information.  Very sadly, without verification, I am not willing to accept that the figures presented by Mr Hunt have any veracity whatsoever. 

In order to accept the integrity of the figures I would like to see a copy of the invoice from the printer showing how many leaflets were printed and paid for.  In addition I would like to see an invoice from the company charged with delivering the leaflets in Highworth and details of the route they used in delivering the leaflet. I would make the point that my own survey of houses in Highworth suggests that the leafleting campaign, if it took place at all, was so spectacularly unsuccessful that many homes have no recollection of receiving a leaflet.

I await with interest sight of the leaflet and would remind you that this was first requested by Coun Small in February and it is now September, I am amazed that officers have allowed this matter to remain unresolved for such a lengthy period. Might I suggest that an answer is obtained before the next Scrutiny Committee meets?

Regards

Des Morgan   

 


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Hitesh Patel [mailto:HPatel@swindon.gov.uk]
Sent: 06 September 2011 13:46
To: Steve Jones (Committees)
Cc: Stephen Taylor; Des Morgan (des.morgan@breathe.com); Peter Heaton-Jones (heatonjones@hotmail.com); Douglas Campbell
Subject: Digital City Leaflet information -Scrutiny Question

Steve

I have today had the following details of the leaflet drop from Rikki Hunt .


FOUR campaigns in Highworth for Digital City
Highworth in total  3,500 houses/addresses targeted. ,so in total approx. 4 x 3,500 =14,000 leaflets delivered
Delivered to  residential and business
Copies of the leaflets are not with Mr Hunt, he has asked the agency to see if they kept copies. Will keep you updated on this.

Hitesh

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: DavidPayne on September 10, 2011, 06:18:45 PM
Do you all think the protagonists in Council were duped or just completely inept and incompetent and therefore should never be in charge of any money other than their own?

Culpably reckless - an observational reality that needs no enquiry as to individual capabilities, the actuality of which would only exacerbate the corporate offence.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on September 11, 2011, 08:28:44 AM
Does anyone know who is Company Secretary of Digital City?

Is it the Borough Solicitor?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 11, 2011, 09:03:53 AM
Quote
Does anyone know who is Company Secretary of Digital City?

Is it the Borough Solicitor?

It's not the Borough Solicitor (he really isn't that silly). At last reading DC employed a local agency to administer Company Secretary issues.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on September 11, 2011, 09:39:18 AM
But an individual has to be Company Secretary so who is it Des?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on September 11, 2011, 10:14:22 AM
But an individual has to be Company Secretary so who is it Des?

Richard me old mate

Sorry to put a spoke in your wheel, you now only need one director to administer a ltd co.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Weebleman on September 11, 2011, 01:36:46 PM
But an individual has to be Company Secretary so who is it Des?

Richard me old mate

Sorry to put a spoke in your wheel, you now only need one director to administer a ltd co.
That's correct Steve, I'm in that position myself. However, in this case the single director automatically takes on the role of the Company Secretary and all the associated responsibilities, unless there is a non-director appointed as such.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on September 11, 2011, 03:13:09 PM
Weebleman

Thankyou appreciated for the clarity about duties of a director/NED.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 11, 2011, 05:31:22 PM
The 2006 Companies Act determined that a private company will no longer be required to have a company secretary

Previously all companies were required to have a company secretary. The Act provides that private companies no longer are required to have a company secretary. However, if a private company decides to appoint a company secretary, then the authority of a private company secretary will be the same as that of a public one. Therefore, the appointment of a company secretary to a private company must be notified to the registrar of companies and be recorded in the company’s register of secretaries.

Hope this is clear

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Terry Reynolds on September 11, 2011, 08:21:46 PM
Have I missed the boat or did I read in the adver a few days ago, that the council had signed up to a firm to take over the wifi contract and all will be settled as soon as this new lot take over, with the council being reimbursed for losses so far made  This will be spelt out in some 'paper' on the 13th?. or was I dreaming as I cant see anybody else making comment on this.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: swindoncentric on September 11, 2011, 08:52:48 PM
You're right, you're not dreaming!

However, if the 'paying back' of the council's investment involves a new company with a different 'mark II' wi-fi/telecoms plan/partnership/PPI, which has agreed to invest £400,000 towards the Borough (maybe in a section 106 monies type of situation?), then it's not really 'getting the money back. It's simple an entirely different plan, with a number that is the same as the Digital City amount.

The only way this money will ever be properly recovered is if the investor buys-out Digital City and agrees to the council terms of paying back the 400k plus interest. Which is highly doubtful.

It is now nearly impossible to get the 'real' 400k back, it's a false-equivalence to try and say your none-Digital City is 'paying it back'.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on September 11, 2011, 09:08:27 PM
Des

Have you other emails about the leaflet drops, I ask as I recall at scrutiny in February they said one leaflet had been dropped, and that is why Cllr Peter-Heaton Jones was persistent in his questioning about a drop and a marketting campaign. Furthermore the interview on BBC radio asked if they had been seen in Highworth. The printer will usually have copies and invoices so it will eb easy for that information to be gained, perhaps you should consider contacting Peter Heaton-Jones and update him with copies of your emails?. 
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on September 11, 2011, 10:03:07 PM
But an individual has to be Company Secretary so who is it Des?

Richard me old mate

Sorry to put a spoke in your wheel, you now only need one director to administer a ltd co.
That's correct Steve, I'm in that position myself. However, in this case the single director automatically takes on the role of the Company Secretary and all the associated responsibilities, unless there is a non-director appointed as such.

But Weebleman doesn't Digital City have three Directors - Perkins Mrs Hunt and Mr Aqovia Arif.  So which one of these three is responsible for the role of the Company Secretary?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: komadori on September 12, 2011, 12:04:29 AM
No, Digital City has 2 directors, Mr Perkins and Mr Arif. Company Secretary duties are performed by Jane Secretarial Services Ltd, a London-based company.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on September 12, 2011, 07:43:45 AM
No, Digital City has 2 directors, Mr Perkins and Mr Arif. Company Secretary duties are performed by Jane Secretarial Services Ltd, a London-based company.

Thanks Komadori.

So what do we know about Jane Secretarial Services Ltd?  Sounds a bit like a one man band to me!

But, whatever it will represent another cost to DC.  So what happened to Laura Hunt then?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 12, 2011, 08:10:10 AM
Quote
The printer will usually have copies and invoices so it will eb easy for that information to be gained, perhaps you should consider contacting Peter Heaton-Jones and update him with copies of your emails?. 


Indeed you are as ever, so perceptive. Sadly those who were supposed to be monitoring DC - remember that bit in the original document about keeping an eye on monthly sales performance and the supposed importance that marketing would play - well guess what Mr patel (he who was a director at the time of the leaflet drop) saw but didn't keep a copy of the leaflet and so interested was he in the issue; despite it being the subject of what some have described a unusual attention, that he didin't have any details of the actual scale of the leaflet drop.  Coun Perkins is just as guilty of having only a cursory interest in the DC issue - after all he has never seen monthly management accounts!

I digress - In order to get the info Mr Patel had to ask Mr Hunt and guess what,  Mr Hunt in a Damascus moment remembered that the figures had increased from the 1 drop you recall and from the 2 he thought he did to a magnificent total of 4 drops.

I spent some time in Highworth this weekend and asked anumber of people whther or not they had ever seen a DC leaflet.  Not only that I asked a few people I know who live in Highworth to ask a friend if they had received a DC leaflet - I guess I know only the wrong type of people for no one had ever seen a DC leaflet
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 12, 2011, 08:11:54 AM
Quote
But, whatever it will represent another cost to DC.  So what happened to Laura Hunt then

Mrs Hunt was appointed a director of Avidity Consulting in the period Rikki Hunt was making his arrangements to evade avoid paying his debts to people like HMRC
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Weebleman on September 12, 2011, 09:23:26 AM
No, Digital City has 2 directors, Mr Perkins and Mr Arif. Company Secretary duties are performed by Jane Secretarial Services Ltd, a London-based company.

Thanks Komadori.

So what do we know about Jane Secretarial Services Ltd?  Sounds a bit like a one man band to me!

But, whatever it will represent another cost to DC.  So what happened to Laura Hunt then?
As I understand it, although there is no longer a need to have a Company Secretary one can still be appointed if it's deemed necessary in the company's constitution. The fact that DC have no need to have a secretary but have chosen to (what looks like) outsource this role to Jane Secretarial Services Ltd appears to me to be yet another layer of obfuscation that needs investigating. Where's OutofTowner when you need him?

Putting Janes SS aside, I assume that if there are still two Directors of DC then the one responsible for returning the accounts etc is the one that Co. House address their correspondence to -- i.e. in my experience everything from Co House comes addressed to a person either by name or position.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on September 12, 2011, 09:57:59 AM
Des

Did you know they were going to have a shop in Highworth as part and parcel of their promotional machinary? Did it come and go as I must have missed it?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Weebleman on September 12, 2011, 11:18:17 AM
No, Digital City has 2 directors, Mr Perkins and Mr Arif. Company Secretary duties are performed by Jane Secretarial Services Ltd, a London-based company.

Komadori, where did you get the reference to Jane SS from? If it's this one, they submitted Dormant accounts to Co. Ho. in Sept 2010.
http://www.levelbusiness.com/doc/company/uk/02648350 (http://www.levelbusiness.com/doc/company/uk/02648350)

It seems there's a lot of it about  :coolsmiley:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on September 12, 2011, 11:22:15 AM
No, Digital City has 2 directors, Mr Perkins and Mr Arif. Company Secretary duties are performed by Jane Secretarial Services Ltd, a London-based company.

Komadori, where did you get the reference to Jane SS from? If it's this one, they submitted Dormant accounts to Co. Ho. in Sept 2010.
[url]http://www.levelbusiness.com/doc/company/uk/02648350[/url] ([url]http://www.levelbusiness.com/doc/company/uk/02648350[/url])

It seems there's a lot of it about  :coolsmiley:


Weeble there seem to have been an awful lot of Directorial Changes on the 22nd May 2009!!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Weebleman on September 12, 2011, 11:36:27 AM
No, Digital City has 2 directors, Mr Perkins and Mr Arif. Company Secretary duties are performed by Jane Secretarial Services Ltd, a London-based company.

Komadori, where did you get the reference to Jane SS from? If it's this one, they submitted Dormant accounts to Co. Ho. in Sept 2010.
[url]http://www.levelbusiness.com/doc/company/uk/02648350[/url] ([url]http://www.levelbusiness.com/doc/company/uk/02648350[/url])

It seems there's a lot of it about  :coolsmiley:


Weeble there seem to have been an awful lot of Directorial Changes on the 22nd May 2009!!

Not wrong there!  :)
How about this then. A chain of link between Jane SS to a group of solicitors known as:
Thrings LLP
6 Drakes Meadow
Penny Lane
Swindon
SN3 3LL

http://www.lawyers-and-solicitors.com/find-a-solicitor/jane-secretarial-services-limited/ (http://www.lawyers-and-solicitors.com/find-a-solicitor/jane-secretarial-services-limited/)
http://www.thrings.com/ (http://www.thrings.com/)
http://www.thrings.com/site/contact/swindon_office/ (http://www.thrings.com/site/contact/swindon_office/)

I don't know if anyone we know works for Thrings.... but worth a sniff araound I reckon.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Weebleman on September 12, 2011, 11:40:03 AM
I might be barking completely up the wrong tree of course...... If only my mate OutofTowner weren't sunning himself in the Med I'm sure he'd be on to it like a dog with bone  :fish:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 12, 2011, 12:32:49 PM
Quote
Did you know they were going to have a shop in Highworth as part and parcel of their promotional machinary? Did it come and go as I must have missed it?


Indeed - yet another aspiration i'm afraid. You have to admit Rikki Hunt does 'bullshit' like no one else. The pity is that 'Bullshit Baffles Brains' and in the case of SBC that says it all.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 12, 2011, 12:35:33 PM
Quote
I might be barking completely up the wrong tree of course......


It's quite common for a company the size and nature of DC to use a servcie provider such as Janes SS. They would be a darn sight cheaper than using a firm of solicitors.

I think there is a danger in trying to read to much into the use of Janes SS. Which you may think odd given my cynicism of anything done by Dc and the cabal of Coun perkins and Mr patel
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: komadori on September 12, 2011, 12:42:20 PM
Komadori, where did you get the reference to Jane SS from? If it's this one, they submitted Dormant accounts to Co. Ho. in Sept 2010.
[url]http://www.levelbusiness.com/doc/company/uk/02648350[/url] ([url]http://www.levelbusiness.com/doc/company/uk/02648350[/url])

It seems there's a lot of it about  :coolsmiley:

From what I found, it is a brand of a company of solicitors in London, providing services to over 100 active companies, and having provided services to over 90 defunct ones. The details of the company you found seem consistent with that, except for it's non-trading status.

I think there is a danger in trying to read to much into the use of Janes SS. Which you may think odd given my cynicism of anything done by Dc and the cabal of Coun perkins and Mr patel

I totally agree. Given the number of companies it provides Company Secretary services to, I don't see anything untoward about it.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Weebleman on September 12, 2011, 02:03:52 PM
Quote
I think there is a danger in trying to read to much into the use of Janes SS. Which you may think odd given my cynicism of anything done by Dc and the cabal of Coun perkins and Mr patel

Des, on reflection you're probably right. My problem is with the second part of your post.

Quote
It's quite common for a company the size and nature of DC to use a servcie provider such as Janes SS. They would be a darn sight cheaper than using a firm of solicitors.

I was under the impression that DC only had a couple Directors and a couple shareholders and employees(?). If I have the wrong end of the stick then please put me right (I have broad shoulders), but if my understanding of their operation is correct then I don't see any need at all to employ an external secretary. It would be a darned sight cheaper doing it themselves, and it just adds another layer to hide behind.
[Just my opinion of course]
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: komadori on September 12, 2011, 02:36:32 PM
Implicit in what you're saying is an assumption that the accounts of a small company are simple.  :angel:

And whether or not it's cheaper all depends on how much this company charges. From what I can find, they mainly provide services to small companies not large ones.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Weebleman on September 12, 2011, 03:31:42 PM
Implicit in what you're saying is an assumption that the accounts of a small company are simple.  :angel:

And whether or not it's cheaper all depends on how much this company charges. From what I can find, they mainly provide services to small companies not large ones.
Not at all. Accounts are managed and drawn up by accountants. The role of a company secretary is not fixed but is primarily concerned with keeping the company's documents up to date and submitting the returns to Companies House when required. Depending on the size of the company other responsibilities may be added (after all it's only a job spec). The point I was trying to make earlier is that given the number of officlals concerned with DC it is probably no more difficult to manage from a Co Sec. perspective than my own company, and I reckon I spend at most 3 hours/year dealing with Co. House. The role does not require any particular qualifications or skills, including accountancy/legal.

Anyway I'm guilty of taking this important thread off topic today, for which I appologise :bottom: Let's get back to the real task in hand.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 12, 2011, 04:02:11 PM
Quote
I was under the impression that DC only had a couple Directors and a couple shareholders and employees(?). If I have the wrong end of the stick then please put me right (I have broad shoulders), but if my understanding of their operation is correct then I don't see any need at all to employ an external secretary. It would be a darned sight cheaper doing it themselves, and it just adds another layer to hide behind.
[Just my opinion of course

And on TS your opinion is as valid as anyones, and it's a good point, as is

Quote
Accounts are managed and drawn up by accountants. The role of a company secretary is not fixed but is primarily concerned with keeping the company's documents up to date and submitting the returns to Companies House when required. Depending on the size of the company other responsibilities may be added (after all it's only a job spec). The point I was trying to make earlier is that given the number of officlals concerned with DC it is probably no more difficult to manage from a Co Sec. perspective than my own company, and I reckon I spend at most 3 hours/year dealing with Co. House. The role does not require any particular qualifications or skills, including accountancy/legal.

The primary aim of a Co Sec is to maintain all the legal documents, such as the share register, a record of charges, all issues appertaining to the Companies Act including the filing of accounts etc. In a big compnay the role is a speiclaist one and to be in post would normally require the incumbent to be a Chartered Secretary (similar to a Chartered Accountant)

With regard to DC, they are really very 'small beer' in the scheme of things and as such the role could be undertaken by a competent person.

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: notsochav on September 12, 2011, 04:31:25 PM
Hmmm the more levels of obfuscation and overt obstruction there are the more likely it is that ordinary people who have other important things in their lives will just get a headache and say "whatever" and let the council get on with it. So many companies, partnerships, forums, trusts. Does the Swindon Forward rubbish actually HAVE to be so impenetrable?  Cynics may actually suggest that it is deliberately configured to appear an impenetrable labyrinth of interconnections to frustrate any attempt at clarity, perhaps to stop anyone actually finding out what is going on with their own money. Yes that's right councillors - NOT NOT NOT your money and I know there's nothing like feeling good spending other people's money but come on if the whole thing looks like it's been set up to look like a dodgy scam and most of the public are baffled, how on earth are we expected to have faith and respect for our councillors. Can someone please just admit that it all never ever needed to be so damned complicated in the first place?

Or is it like the Emperor's clothes and if I can't understand why it's so complicated it must be because I'm stupid?


Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Muggins on September 12, 2011, 04:39:54 PM
DEs: Quote With regard to DC, they are really very 'small beer' in the scheme of things and as such the role could be undertaken by a competent person.


I believe the terminology is now 'A Fit and Proper Person'  which means soooo much more than just competent.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 12, 2011, 05:03:31 PM
Now that of course depends what you might mean by 'fit' - as in I know you to be a 'well fit' young lady person.  I'm sure that's why Mr Muggins gave me a black eye when i suggested the same!!!!!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Muggins on September 12, 2011, 05:41:27 PM
Can't be me Des, I'm not 'fit', in any way you take the word and Mr muggins is not in to fisticuffs. And even I would know that he would not leap to my defence, but tell me I deserved whatever it was I was getting and leave me to my fate, whilst concetrating on his pint of 3B's - like I said in another thread, I'm still waiting for my prince to come. 

Mind you I wouldn't mess around near my two daughters if I was you!



Title: wi-fi 'Saga' Jim Grant's Letter Calling For Council Bosses To Quit
Post by: Steve Wakefield on September 13, 2011, 05:25:38 PM
Jim Grant's Adver Letter Calling For Council Bosses To quit: http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/yoursay/swindonletters/9247874.Call_for_council_bosses_to_quit_over_wi_fi_issue/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/yoursay/swindonletters/9247874.Call_for_council_bosses_to_quit_over_wi_fi_issue/)
Quote
On Friday?s BBC Radio Swindon ?Drive Time? programme I called on both Swindon Borough Council?s leader and deputy leader to resign from their cabinet positions due to their involvement over wi-fi.
 
Although there have been bitter disputes with the leader of the council over his highly interpretive use of Swindon Borough Council?s written constitution to get the £400,000 loan to Digital City made without informing councillors or council taxpayers, there are ultimately three reasons why Swindon Council?s leader and deputy leader should resign from their senior positions within the council.
 
Firstly, I believe both Councillors Bluh and Perkins are culpable because they have both failed to recover even a penny of the £400,000 loan to Digital City, despite the company being contracted to pay back all of the money to the council by October this year.
 
Secondly, I have called for this because both Councillors Bluh and Perkins have consistently failed to explain to Swindon taxpayers where their £400,000 has gone. This destroys all credibility the council has to say to taxpayers about how their council is being open and transparent in using their money.
 
And thirdly, I have called for this because the council?s reputation is being harmed at a national level, with the wi-fi failure being covered in the national press, including the Guardian newspaper.
 
The leader of Swindon Council ultimately has to take the rap for this as it was his unilateral decision to agree to lend Digital City £400,000 of council-taxpayers? money, with council members and even most cabinet members not even being informed of the project.
 
However, the deputy leader of the council does have to take much of the responsibility for Digital City not paying back any of the £400,000 council taxpayer loan since it is he who is acting on behalf of the council as a director of Digital City.
 
Now I understand that some will suggest my resignation calls are politically motivated and that if Swindon council taxpayers want Councillors Bluh and Perkins out they can exercise their right to vote them out.
 
However this is beyond political parties. This is about two men who have taken actions unilaterally in the name, and on behalf of, the council which have lost £400,000 of council taxpayers? money. And because it is these two councillors, and only these two councillors, who have made such mistakes, I believe it is them who have to go.
 
Councillor Jim Grant Leader of the Labour Group
 


Another letter here

Quote

Give wi-fi date

I have already written to your paper (Adver, February 18) voicing my thoughts on whether or not Swindon needs a Wi-Fi service at all. I still think that it is a pointless exercise given the alternatives and restrictions in the proposed system.
 
However I must applaud Councillors Bluh and Perkins in their continued support of the enterprise. As seen (Adver, September 3), hindsight is a wonderful thing and anyone can criticise a failure after the event.
 
And I am sure that Councillor Bluh is right in saying that eventually the council investment will be returned.
 
By the same token I can sit in my armchair, without fear of contradiction and say, “One day man will walk on Mars”. I agree with the councillors that one day Swindon will see a Wi-Fi network, maybe not in our lifetime and probably not developed by Digital City or whoever the new partner is likely to be.
 
All I seem to be hearing is denial of past mistakes or errors of judgment. If the councillors are prepared to continue to support this enterprise they must be prepared to give us a time scale, be that next week, next year or in five years time. They should both publicly state they will continue to support this cause until a definite date in the future, and if the project is not complete on that date, then put their money where their mouths are and resign in an honourable fashion.
 
I feel sure that in any other organisation this amount of ‘project slippage’ or overrun would have one result and one result only – a new project manager!
 
Martin Evenett Beatrice St Swindon


letter after housing one http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/yoursay/swindonletters/9247911.Housing_Matters_is_not_as_neutral_as_claimed/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/yoursay/swindonletters/9247911.Housing_Matters_is_not_as_neutral_as_claimed/)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on September 13, 2011, 07:04:31 PM
Go for it Jim about time it was sought.  O0
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on September 13, 2011, 07:42:26 PM
Quote
“One day man will walk on Mars"
Fire up the Quattro! No that was Life on Mars? ashes to ashes :wink:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 13, 2011, 07:44:57 PM
Quote
Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?

It appears we are nearing the end of the first episode, but not without some last minute changes.  At the last Cabinet Meeting, Coun Bluh spoke about papers being released on the 13th and a Special Cabinet Meeting taking place on the 20th - i note the Special Meeting will now take place on Thursday 22 September at 3.45pm.

It should be a good meeting. Here's hoping we will hear some good news but somehow i doubt that £400k plus interest will be winging its way back into Council coffers any time soon.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on September 13, 2011, 08:19:42 PM
Des

Do you know if the mystery company Whose name though shall not mention is named in any of the special cabinet document? Have they asked not to be named until the last possible minute because of the rush of major international players that will rush in as soon as they find out who it is? Or is it because their shareholders  will be  :2funny: all the way to the bank?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on September 13, 2011, 11:17:21 PM
When I started this thread I had absolutely no idea it would generate 10090 reads - Wow!!

Still a long way to go though.

We need to identify what happened to the money?

What Councillors Perkins Bluh and Edwards knew and when?

and to ensure that never again is something like this ever undertaken in our name without the necessary processes being Transparently Completed and Agreed through normal Democratic Channels.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on September 17, 2011, 07:51:45 AM


All the posts concerning WiFi 2 - The New Deal - have been split and moved into the WiFi 2 forum   http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=7917.0 (http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=7917.0)  :)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on September 17, 2011, 04:34:19 PM
Weebleman said:

Quote
Jane Secretarial Services Ltd appears to me to be yet another layer of obfuscation that needs investigating. Where's OutofTowner when you need him?

Sorry. I've had a week in the sun, supporting the Greek economy by consuming only locally made food and drink.

Such a lot has happened in one week, it's going to take ages for me to catch up. I will check into Jane Secretarial Services some more. My initial research showed that Rikki Hunt used them quite a lot, as he did a firm of solicitors in Drakes Way. Luckily a partner in that practice is also a member of Swindon Strategic Economic Partnership.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Weebleman on September 17, 2011, 04:44:12 PM
Weebleman said:

Quote
Jane Secretarial Services Ltd appears to me to be yet another layer of obfuscation that needs investigating. Where's OutofTowner when you need him?

Sorry. I've had a week in the sun, supporting the Greek economy by consuming only locally made food and drink.

Such a lot has happened in one week, it's going to take ages for me to catch up. I will check into Jane Secretarial Services some more. My initial research showed that Rikki Hunt used them quite a lot, as he did a firm of solicitors in Drakes Way. Luckily a partner in that practice is also a member of Swindon Strategic Economic Partnership.
Welcome back mate. I trust you removed your flip-flops before sunbathing. There's nothing worse than strap marks to ruin a good tan :). Regarding Janes services I think the concensus was that it was a bit of a red herring.... and things have moved on a bit since then.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on September 18, 2011, 10:09:49 AM
I didn't go in the sun Weebleman, I left that to Mrs Outoftowner. I learned my lesson at China Sea Beach Club, holding my broken speedboat facing the waves, while you went to get some tools to fix it.

Anyway. I see the hasty introduction of the WiFi 2 project, without pausing for public consultation or breath, as being used to try to put a smoke screen over WiFi 1.
People have acted improperly and £400,000 of public money is missing. This is still the case.
I don’t intend, at this point, to look too deeply at the WiFi 2 project, suffice it to say that despite Capita having some fans, I only know them as corporate oddjob-men. They are renown for taking on management projects from central and local government and large, publicly subsidised, organisation and failing to deliver, despite taking lots of cash. The common themes are that the public pays and the public looses, while those that commission the service never complain. I suppose there is a clause in their contracts about non-disclosure of failure.
For my part then, I shall continue to chase WiFi 1 and I‘m sure others will too.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on September 19, 2011, 11:08:27 AM
Seek and ye shall find:

Jane Secretarial Service Ltd.

Rikki Hunt’s companies, Cardio Ltd, then DM54, Avidity Consulting, then DM55 and Digital City, then DM56, were all incorporated in August 2009. Two of the directors on start-up were Jonathan Payne, of the legal firm Thrings, of Drake Close, Swindon and Lee & Pembertons.  Jane Secretarial Services then became the Company Secretary for all three companies.

Now,  as I believe Jonathan Payne was on the management group of the Swindon Strategic Economic Partnership and he is the senior partner in Things, whose business includes forming new companies and the transfer of ready-made companies to clients, as well as providing Company Secretary services, it would not be unusual for Rikki Hunt to have used his services. It would have, at the very least, boosted his credentials with Jonathan.

Both Jonathan Lee and Lee & Pembertons resigned their directorships in all three companies very quickly as Rikki Hunt took on his appointments. So the companies were formed and transferred to the client as normal. Jane Secretarial Services stayed on as the Company Secretary in all companies until August and September of 2010. i.e about one year.
 
Jane Secretarial Services and Lee & Pembertons Ltd have a very similar list of company directors and both companies have filed accounts at Companies House since 1998 and 2000 respectively as “dormant”. Both companies are, however, listed as “active”, although their accounts are dormant.

Lee & Pembertons also had Jane Secretarial Services as their company secretary. One of the directors of Jane Secretarial Services and Lee & Pembertons Ltd was Jonathan David Payne so he should have known that the companies that he used to form Rikki’s companies were “Dormant”.

Interestingly, Jonathan Payne resigned his directorships of both Jane Secretarial Services and Lee & Pembertons Ltd in May 2010 and his legal company, Thrings LLP, became Thring Townsend Lee & Pembertons LLP in March 2011.

Looking at Thrings LLP record at Companies House they were incorporated in March 2009, have had a remarkably large movement of members coming and going and have only filed one set of accounts, as a “dormant” company.

It may be the norm that this is how new companies are formed and this is how lawyers work, I don’t know.  What I do know that it's not how I work.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on September 19, 2011, 12:00:41 PM
 
A point of WiFi-1 information:

(http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/documents/companies_house/Hitesh%20appointment_Page_1THUMB.jpg) (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/documents/companies_house/Hitesh%20appointment_Page_1.jpg)        (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/documents/companies_house/HitashPatel%20terminationTHUMB.jpg) (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/documents/companies_house/HitashPatel%20termination.jpg)        (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/documents/companies_house/Hitesh%20appointment_Page_2THUMB.jpg) (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/documents/companies_house/Hitesh%20appointment_Page_2.jpg)        (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/documents/companies_house/share%20allotment_Page_1THUMB.jpg) (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/documents/companies_house/share%20allotment_Page_1.jpg)        (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/documents/companies_house/share%20allotment_Page_2THUMB.jpg) (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/documents/companies_house/share%20allotment_Page_2.jpg)


Thring Townsend Lee & Pembertons were the solicitors who assisted Swindon Borough Councils Director of Business Transformation, Mr Hitesh Patel, to become a Director of Digital City on the 15th of September 2009 - which was some time before Mr Patel subsequently co-authored a cabinet briefing note (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/documents/chronological/2009_10_12_Swindon_Borough_Council_Cabinet_Member_Briefing_Note_provision_of_loan_to_Digital_City.pdf) dated the 12th October 2009, in which he recommend investing/lending £450,000 of taxpayers money to Digital City (UK) Ltd - a company he was already a Director of

The 12th October 2009 Cabinet Briefing Note

(http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/documents/chronological/2009_10_12_Swindon_Borough_Council_Cabinet_Member_Briefing_Note_provision_of_loan_to_Digital_City_thumbnail.jpg) (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/documents/chronological/2009_10_12_Swindon_Borough_Council_Cabinet_Member_Briefing_Note_provision_of_loan_to_Digital_City.jpg)



It is a matter of public record that Mr Patel did not inform Cabinet members that he was a Director of Digital City, and that his Directorship of Digital City was repeatedly denied by Swindon Borough Council until the facts of the matter were exposed by Talkswindon using publicly available documents from Companies House.

That Hitesh Patel actually did know that he was a Director of Digital City became increasingly difficult for him to deny when we also exposed that he had been advertising his directorship on the LinkedIn network, as described and illustrated here: http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=5406.msg34438#msg34438 (http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=5406.msg34438#msg34438)

Despite a concerted attempt to see a report into the above, (authored by the Deputy Chief Executive of Swindon Borough Council), the Chief Executive remains adamant that it will not be released, not even under the freedom of information act. (http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/chief_executives_investigation_i#comment-14249)

I noted that the first decision not to release the report on Hitesh Patel was made by Stephen Taylor, co-author (with Hitesh Patel) of the Oster 2009 cabinet briefing note which recommended the £450,000 loan to digital city but did not mention Patels Directorship.

I also note that Mr Taylor was still denying his colleagues Digital City Directorship, right up until the point we published the documents to confirm that he was.  We knew he was, and they knew he was a director....but they seemed to think that we didn't know, (there's another distasteful aspect to this which I will discuss face to face, but not publish), but we wanted to give them the opportunity to tell the truth before we published anything.  They chose not to admit it, so we published the facts.

Anyway, on the 12th of March 2010, (two days after his directorship was publicly denied by SBC and us proving that he was a director) a  'TM01' form, (termination of Directorship) was electronically submitted to Companies House terminating Mr Patel's directorship at Digital City (UK)Ltd. (http://www.talkswindon.org/politics/wifi/documents/companies_house/HitashPatel%20termination.jpg)

A few days later the leader of the council, Rod Bluh, phoned me at home to berate me for 'scaremongering' over the whole Hitesh 'thing', claiming that Hitesh didn't know he was a director and the whole thing had been an accident..... so I calmly invited him to personally check Hitesh Patels LinkedIn profile, and then phone me back so he could apologise. 

He has never phoned back.....  :)



Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: bobwright on September 19, 2011, 12:43:36 PM
outoftowner - I think Wi-fi2 is relevant if it becomes a vehicle for the same behaviours to continue or leads to future employment opportunities.

I think there are many who are fed up with arms length relationships which removes accountability.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on September 19, 2011, 12:58:00 PM
outoftowner - I think Wi-fi2 is relevant if it becomes a vehicle for the same behaviours to continue or leads to future employment opportunities.

I think there are many who are fed up with arms length relationships which removes accountability.

That's a fair point and, if you examine the way Rod Bluh and Garry Perkins are trying to politically 'manage' their transition from the failed WiFi-1 to WiFi-2, you will notice that they are still employing the same behaviours and techniques which so badly damaged WiFi-1 from day one.

These people do not learn from their own mistakes and are incapable of accepting advice and guidance.  Swindon deserves, (and needs), much better.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on September 19, 2011, 02:11:12 PM
Bob & Geoff,

I agree Wi-Fi2 is very relevant and must be watched closely. I was just saying that I shall not personally spend as much time on Wi-Fi2 as I do on Wi-Fi1, as my personal fish are already frying nicely at the moment.

(However! Once you get started on these things and you see the underhanded methods at use, it is tempting!) :spin:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mart on September 19, 2011, 05:03:53 PM
I too think the potential success of WiFi2 is jeopardised by the involvement of the same people behaving in the same way.

WiFi1 could have been a dignified defeat if it had been handled differently, notwithstanding the fact it was flawed from Day 1 because of the manner of it's conception.

I understand though that any vehicle with the faint whiff of success will find these same herberts clambering aboard, to continue that analogy we can also be confident that said vehicle will be left on wasteland as a smouldering hulk at the first whiff of failure whilst the same 'erberts deny having anything to with it, one of them will probably feign memory loss.

If WiFi1 is now being rebranded as the carefully considered foundation for WiFi2 then perhaps we should consider the Blitz as an early foray into urban regeneration.

Erm, that's not a serious business offering by the way, though I could knock up a Powerpoint presentation if you gave me £400k, mebbe even knock out some leafllets. All I need now is a director who doesn't know he is and one who doesn't know what one is.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Bassettina on September 19, 2011, 05:36:36 PM
swindon's wi-fi project got a brief mention on BBC Radio 4's 'call you and yours' this lunchtime.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on September 19, 2011, 05:45:32 PM

Missed you and yours, (was still in the land of nod), what was the gist of it?

@Mart: Your Blitz analogy is spot on :)

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Bassettina on September 19, 2011, 06:26:31 PM

Missed you and yours, (was still in the land of nod), what was the gist of it?

@Mart: Your Blitz analogy is spot on :)


http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b014pw4f (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b014pw4f)

Chapter 7 - a short discussion on the economics of wi-fi with a  brief mention of swindon. not very exciting - certainly not as good as the Round Britian Quiz!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mart on September 19, 2011, 07:25:18 PM
Mart: Your Blitz analogy is spot on

Yup, I've often been called an analogist. I think that's what they said....
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on September 26, 2011, 09:35:19 AM
At Cabinet last Thursday September 22nd I asked the following three questions:

1.  When did the Deputy leader, in his capacity as a Director of Digital City, know that Companies house intended to strike this company from the Register?

2. Upon receipt of the information what action did he take?

3.  What action is he taking to ensure fully Prepared and Audited Accounts are submitted to Companies House clearly showing how the £400,000 loan from the people of Swindon was spent?

He answered the first question by saying when it broke in the public domain, which as we all know was via Talk Swindon. 

The second and third questions were answered that he was in contact with his colleagues in Aqovia and accounts were being prepared.

I now include my report on Council Last Thursday night during which the Labour Motion secured yet more information.  But why oh why do we have to fight so hard for every crumb of information from people who are supposed to be acting in our name?

As I have written up elsewhere I was at Full Council on Thursday night and think it prudent to reprint the Labour Motion in the context of the debate and comment on it.

Motion - No Confidence
Councillor Jim Grant will move and Councillor Bob Wright will second that:


"The council notes the decision made by Swindon Borough Council's Leader and Lead Member for Finance to enter into an agreement with Digital City (UK) Ltd., to provide Wi-fi coverage across the borough, with Council loaning £400,000 to Digtal City.  In the Cabinet Member Briefing Note used to authorise the deal, it is stated that, should Digital City default on the repayment of the loan back to the Council, security is provided through the transfer of the ownership of Digital City's assests back to the Council (Cabinet Members and senior officers have been on record as saying the value of the company's assets was the same as the value of the loan).

This Council also notes the international publicity that arose from this decision, with the Leader of the Council and the CEO of Digital City lauding the public-private partnership and suggesting this could be a  flagship project for other Local authorities around the world to follow.

In light of Digital City not paying anything back to the Council on its loan, either monetarialy or through the value of its assets and the damagee the Council's reputation has received at an international level, this Council therefore has no confidence in its Leader and calls on him to resign from his cabinet position forthwith.

This Council also notes the minutes of of the Special Committee Meeting on the 25th of March 2010, which Councillor Garry Perkins was appointed to act on behalf of the Council as a Director of Digital City.

The Council believes that Councillor Garry Perkins has failed in his duty as a Council Appointed Director to protect the Council's interests, including not calling a meeting of the Digital City Board since being appointed and failing to act on Digital City (UK) Ltd., being warned by Companies House it would dissolve as a company by November, which would have led to the company's assets being transferred to the Government.

This Council therefore has no confidence in the Deputy Leader of the council and calls on him to resign from his Cabinet position forthwith.

This Council also calls for an immediate extraordinary meeting of the Digital City Board of Directors to determine how the company will pay back the Council the full value of its loan and instructs its Chief Executive, in consultation with the Council's politicl group leaders to produce a report the next Full Council Meeting detailing what the Council's £400,000 loan to Digital City has been spent on."

This motion produced a very spirited debate which for me personally was highlighted by Councillor Perkins reaching for his mobile phone to record proceedings before requesting permission from Madame Mayor, who when asked by the Labour Group said she had not given permission.  It was impossible to determine whether or not Councillor Perkins did or did not record this debate.  I previously had asked via Public Questions when the Electronic Recording of all Council and important Committee meetings would be available to the public, as agreed at Full Council some time ago and was told it was in hand.  Now I believe the adminstration do not want this facility as it will bring to the attention of the public what is happening in their name but perhaps it would have been of benefit to Councillor Perkins as he did want a record of what had been said, so perhaps the good Councillor will expedite matters.  I do not intend to let this matter rest and will raise it again more forcefully if it is not achieved within a reasonable time.

Steve Wakefield has already told you about Councillor Nick Martin's speech and Councillor Mark Edwards reaction to it.  I am surprised the Labour Group did not offer to include ME in the motion as he certainly did seem somewhat disappointed at being excluded.  Knowing Nick Martin as I do it is my opinion that he would never have sanctioned this loan in the first place or many other pRojects so is almost certainly the reason why he was replaced.  That said he gave a valiant, if not completely convincing, defence of the two named persons in the motion.

Whilst Labour never had a cat in hells chance of geting this through Council this political act achieved some positive results. 

Firstly we learnt that Garry Perkins had in fact attended no less than 6 Board Meetings at Digital City and was expediting Accounts with his colleagues in Aqovia, the Managing Director and the Financial Director who lives in the south of France and to whom many telephones calls were necessary!  It is interesting to note that this debacle continues to cost the people of Swindon yet more money!!  There was a promise that the Companies House deadline would be met, but why on earth did it take this motion to extract these facts, they should have been made available without coertion.

Secondly I believe there was a veiled threat that anyone voting for this motion could be liable to some form of action so the poor old Tories had something of a hobsons choice and to a man and woman they voted, in a Recorded Vote, against.  Whatever they say in private they have condoned what was done in connection with Digital City, a fact that will undoubtedly count against them in the forthcoming elections.  The good old Liberals sat on the fence as they always do.

This debacle will run and run and sadly the Conservative Group just don't seem to understand the longer they withold information the worse it will become for them.

I now look forward to full disclosure as to how the £400,000 loan was spent!
Title: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near? Where's The Money Gone Anyone Heard?
Post by: Got Signal on September 27, 2011, 12:28:18 PM
I am still waiting to find out anyone know?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 27, 2011, 02:22:54 PM
I have had answers to 5 questions i raised on the subject of Digital City and transparency.  Here is the first one with an answer followed by my 'supplementary' to which i expect no answer.

Question1:Regarding the use of the £250,000 second tranche of the loan made available to Digital City (UK) Ltd. How much of the £250k was used to pay off costs associated with the Highworth pilot?

Answer 1:Based on the information the Council has received it is only possible to make an estimate of the type of costs Digital City funded using the £250k.  We do not possess information on what other activities the company was undertaking at that time and what costs would be attributable to these other activities.  We are therefore unable to say conclusively how much related to the Highworth pilot.  On this basis, and respecting the right of the company to determine to what extent their financial details are shared publicly, Council officers are unable to respond to this question.  
DRM Comment:This conflicts with written documentation and verbal statements in which councillors and officers have maintained they did know where and on what the money had been spent. With regard to this question, Coun Perkins assured me that he would give me the figures, he is also on record as stating “I have no problem with people understanding where the money was spent – at all” this is a direct quote from the councillor and I expect him to honour his word on the issue and I submit that claiming to be respecting the rights of DC is a fairly ‘lame excuse’ for protecting your position. Indeed Coun Perkins’ comment in Cabinet that he would provide the information trumps any sensitivity the Council may have. Such is the ‘tricky’ position of Coun Perkins that he cannot sit at the top table of Cabinet and take both a political view on this matter and a commercial one on behalf of DC.  The assurance made to me was that I would receive answers to my question; there is nothing complex about the arithmetic.

It is quite amazing that having given DC £250k to ‘continue the rollout programme’ that you now claim to ‘not know’ where the money was spent.  Where was the monitoring by officers or by the Council’s board representative?

Coun Perkins is on record as claiming he knows where and on what the majority of the money was spent, so it is a little disingenuous to claim the figures are ‘unknown’

I would also refer you to Coun Edward’s statement in an email where he states with absolute clarity

"The Council’s money has been spent on providing a loan to Digital City UK Ltd, as agreed by Members.  A condition of the loan is that the Council receives monthly accounts information from Digital City.  Through this the Council does have visibility of where the money has been spent"
Title: "absolute disgrace" Says Rod Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on September 27, 2011, 03:12:35 PM
Des

Thank you for keeping us all up to speed on what is happening it appears that the Conservatives are mired in wifi and it just won't go away despite huffing and puffing and threatening Garry Perkins has sold the good name of SBC down the river and taxpayers have seen their money squandered on get a fast buck and get rich quick schemes, rather than using the money to empty the bins and keeping the streets clean.

The money is out there!

As Rod himself said in his own words to the BBC
Quote
"absolute disgrace"


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-15030990 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-15030990)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 27, 2011, 04:14:56 PM
I simply do not understand the behaviour of our political leadership. At times they ooze sincerity and at others they portray themselves as 'political harlots'.  The issues surrounding Wi-Fi 1 will not go away simply becasue there is a version 2 in the offing. A version which incidentally is nothing like the original proposition.

Lets' consider the first tier savings potential available to SBC - the opportunity to streamline existing in-house services and intranet provision. To make savings they need to exploit their existing relationship with Capita (who are after all the IT whizz kids at SBC - aren't they?) and i imagine UKB and Capita will be working like 'little ants' on getting this part of the deal put together, why? - well that's an easy one to answer. It's because SBC's internal communication platform and the running costs associated with it, is the immediate income generator for UKB and Capita, and of course it's the easy win for SBC.

Will UKB or Capita provide social inclusion, assist new and exisiting small businesses, assit the Council's locla rea partners, enable swindon to become a more desirable business location, support the Council's sustainability agenda, support the CPCP programme or provide additional revenues to the Council. The answer is plain to see and in all fairness to UKB they have been honest and upfront in declaring that none of the above is theri business.  They will provide the network (as in the example of Network Rail - it will be upto others to provide the add on services and you can rest assured that UKB will do their commercial best to obtain users but users will only come if they can make a profit.

How does SBC get its share of the cake?  I suppose there are three obvious ways, the first is in the 'savings' they make, which i am sure they will tell us is 'income' (a bit like spending is always investment and reduced spending is always cuts) or by the payment of an introduction commission and finally by a profit share scheme. The £400k looks a distant bet doesn't it?. Even Rob Buckland had the good grace to call it what it is - lost for ever

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on September 27, 2011, 04:27:17 PM
I simply do not understand the behaviour of our political leadership. At times they ooze sincerity and at others they portray themselves as 'political harlots'..........  The £400k looks a distant bet doesn't it?. Even Rob Buckland had the good grace to call it what it is - lost for ever

Des
Oozing sincerity, can I say that going from Political Harlot to good grace in one abridged quote. You certainly know how to top and tail your post.  :wink:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on September 27, 2011, 09:27:07 PM
I have had answers to 5 questions i raised on the subject of Digital City and transparency.  Here is the first one with an answer followed by my 'supplementary' to which i expect no answer.

Question1:Regarding the use of the £250,000 second tranche of the loan made available to Digital City (UK) Ltd. How much of the £250k was used to pay off costs associated with the Highworth pilot?

Answer 1:Based on the information the Council has received it is only possible to make an estimate of the type of costs Digital City funded using the £250k.  We do not possess information on what other activities the company was undertaking at that time and what costs would be attributable to these other activities.  We are therefore unable to say conclusively how much related to the Highworth pilot.  On this basis, and respecting the right of the company to determine to what extent their financial details are shared publicly, Council officers are unable to respond to this question.  

What kind of an answer is that then?  They insult our intelligence with it and will have to accept the consequences of their intransigence. 

With Rod Bluh's ideas on Due Diligence should these new people be worried about what and with whom they are getting involved?  Anyway why should they pay for the administration's past mistakes? 

As has been said elsewhere the money is lost as it was as soon as it was signed over to Digital City and its incompetent Directors. 

Or was there more to it than that?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on September 27, 2011, 11:30:06 PM
Richard

You know the political saying.... you got an aswer to your question, you might not like it, but you got an answer. That is why when it comes to asking questions about wifi perhaps Des Morgan could outlast  the Energizer Bunny??? Energizer Bunny® - Darth Vader - 1994 Commercial (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxafIhYFOr0#)   :wink:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 28, 2011, 09:41:44 AM
I'm just waiting for the final assault on me which will be along the lines of Des Morgan's questions to the Council have cost £xxxx pounds in offcier time which compared to the £400k paid out to Digitla city is x%.

I feel sure this will be the next line of attack on my scrutiny of the process
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 28, 2011, 10:08:52 AM
The administration does not like being 'over scrutinused' by members of the public - they see people like me as irritating and irksome. Of course what they never understand is that democracy allows people like me to scrutinise for a purpose and it is answers such as this one which leads to yet another question.

This is answer 2 to a series of 5 questions I raised at Cabinet. I do thank Coun Bluh for his answers even though they were not quite what i was expecting - in many ways!

Please remember the question i am asking is about Digital City's financial viability and the company's commercial performance, the term viability in this context can only ever mean one thing - was the company's financial state in good health and the term performance means did they and could they do what they had to do.

The launch of Wi-Fi in Highworth took place on 16 December 2009 - the same month issues of financial viability came to light. There were no 'flashing lights' in the report to cabinet asking SBC to approve the second tranche of £250k - one does wonder whether members would have been happy to sign off the additonal money had they been aware of 'officer concerns'?

Question 2: When the Council and its nominated directors became aware of concerns regarding the financial viability and performance of Digital City (UK) Ltd., and the actions that were subsequently taken to protect the Council’s investment and the delivery of the company’s Business Plan; At what point, having been in receipt of monthly management accounts, did Council officers (not members) begin to register issues with the financial viability and performance of Digital City. I would like an answer to reflect the month in which concerns were realised and the month in which officers shared the information between them

Answer 2Concerns were first raised in December 2009, leading to a meeting involving leading Members and the company’s Chief Executive in January 2010.

DRM Comment: I truly hope this answer is ‘in error’ – are you really stating that within days of the launch of the Wi-Fi project in December 2009, the Council became aware of issues with the financial viability and performance of DC.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on September 28, 2011, 01:18:45 PM
Quote
DRM Comment: I truly hope this answer is ‘in error’ – are you really stating that within days of the launch of the Wi-Fi project in December 2009, the Council became aware of issues with the financial viability and performance of DC.

So members of TS were not alone in their thoughts. Swindon Borough Council members were aware of "issues with the financial viability and performance of DC" in December 2009 BUT the second tranche of money, another £250,000, was still handed over 3 months later, with no apparent close scrutiny of where it was spent!

I find this hard to believe. Surely Deputy Leader Gary Perkins, as SBC's representative Director of DC, was briefed to keep a close eye on the money. Does he in fact know where it went then?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Greengirl on September 28, 2011, 03:41:52 PM
I was just going to ask that very same question Out of Towner.

An answer to a question can be just a way to stall and avoid giving the real answer- hoping people will run out of steam and accept the situation.

We don't have to though.

The answer given is not OK. It just raises more questions. Not very bright are they?

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on September 28, 2011, 04:07:44 PM
Quote
DRM Comment: I truly hope this answer is ‘in error’ – are you really stating that within days of the launch of the Wi-Fi project in December 2009, the Council became aware of issues with the financial viability and performance of DC.

So members of TS were not alone in their thoughts. Swindon Borough Council members were aware of "issues with the financial viability and performance of DC" in December 2009 BUT the second tranche of money, another £250,000, was still handed over 3 months later, with no apparent close scrutiny of where it was spent!

I find this hard to believe. Surely Deputy Leader Gary Perkins, as SBC's representative Director of DC, was briefed to keep a close eye on the money. Does he in fact know where it went then?

OOT

But this would not matter as they have monthly accounts and financial meetings as well as cash flow etc, all the things that a real grown up business does. Therefore Garry Perkins knows exactly where it went and can account for it. He is being reluctant this is about cock up not conspiracy. The monthly accounts will demonstrate that he was in control, in the know and accountable. Simples :popcorn:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: jennyb on September 28, 2011, 07:21:36 PM
I'm just waiting for the final assault on me which will be along the lines of Des Morgan's questions to the Council have cost £xxxx pounds in offcier time which compared to the £400k paid out to Digitla city is x%.

I feel sure this will be the next line of attack on my scrutiny of the process

Des,

I got this response via a Cabinet Tracker when I had suggested that it may have been a better use of everyone's time to sit down and discuss the matter at hand....

From Cllr Perkins on behalf of Cllr Bluh

'You raised a specific question about the amount of Council time spent on this issue.  As an open, transparent council we do not log the amount of time spent answering correspondence from individuals about specific issues.  For the project as a whole this local council discourages “clock watching” and instead focuses on the outcomes'. 

J
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on September 28, 2011, 09:52:35 PM
I missed the wifi 2 bit of scrutiny, but Bob Wright filled me in on the detail. It appears that the chair asked some probing questions about the project.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on September 28, 2011, 11:10:27 PM
We can wait for Bob Wright  :popcorn:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 28, 2011, 11:37:23 PM
Quote
But this would not matter as they have monthly accounts and financial meetings as well as cash flow etc, all the things that a real grown up business does. Therefore Garry Perkins knows exactly where it went and can account for it. He is being reluctant this is about cock up not conspiracy. The monthly accounts will demonstrate that he was in control, in the know and accountable. Simples

Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction.  Sorry to go out of sequence but here is the answer to question 5 - hope it helps

Question 5: The access provided to the Council and senior Councillors to the management and monthly accounts of Digital City (UK) Ltd. According to the Director of Finance, he had access to the monthly management accounts of DC. Did he receive these in a timely fashion (what amount of time elapsed between the month end and the provision of the monthly management accounts) and what was the condensed version offered to councillors?

Answer 5  Management accounts were received sporadically from December 2009 until June 2010, in the first two weeks following the month end.  Thereafter the monthly cash position was reported until August 2010.  The reason given by Digital City for not providing full management accounts every month was to save accountancy costs.  Members were appraised at various meetings of the company’s need to secure additional investment to fulfil the business plan objectives.  DRM Comment: This answer conflicts in some ways with what the Director of Finance stated in the last Cabinet Meeting.  He confirmed he had received regular monthly management reports.

I would also refer you to a statement issued by Coun Edwards in which he said

 “The Council’s money has been spent on providing a loan to Digital City UK Ltd, as agreed by Members.  A condition of the loan is that the Council receives monthly accounts information from Digital City.  Through this the Council does have visibility of where the money has been spent”.

 What does concern me and should concern others is the knowledge that the Council accepted ‘sporadic’ financial reporting between December 2009 and June 2010 and after giving £250k to DC did not insist on any monthly management reports. What type of operation loans £250k to a company which has raised concerns as to its financial probity and then fails to monitor them?  As an accountant I would expect you to recognise the lamentable failure of oversight which is apparent in this matter.

The company argued that to save money they would not produce management accounts – and your officers accepted that as a valid reason.  Councillor, words fail me. It becomes clearer day by day that officers simply ignored protocols and Councillors failed to ask the right questions.

With regard to your last point – I attended many public meetings and at none was the issue of ‘the need to secure additional investment’ raised.  When asked by myself and Brian Cockbill whether the company was seeking additional investors, Coun Perkins on 19 January 2011 stated “nor is the Company seeking new investors” and in an email to me of the same date Coun Perkins stated ‘The commercial viability is underlined by the fact that investment is coming to Digital City to allow this project to move forwards
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on September 29, 2011, 12:56:43 AM
Now over 12,000 reads and rising!!  Is this something of a record Geoff?

All the above recent posts prove is that not only are we at the mercy of incompetent Councillors we are now in the hands of incompetent officers as well!!

Will the Director of Finance share with his paymasters, that is the people of Swindon, exactly what has happened to this £400,000 loan or face the possibility of being asked for his resignation when there is a change of administration?

Wi-fi is not going away any time soon and if the administration would just be honest with us for just once and tell us what went wrong and apologize we may let the matter rest after those responsible have resigned of course.

On that subject I had a very interesting conversation tonight and learnt that it had been suggested to Rod Bluh, some long time ago, that he could deal with this issue by saying he got this one wrong and apologize.  Apparently this provoked an unfortunate reaction, and indication of which many of us have experienced at first hand.

Anyway with the new ward boundaries announced elsewhere things could be entirely different next May and with all this being talked about on an increasing basis by those who will decide even Shaw could see the end of Councillor Perkins or wherever else he intends to offer himself up for election for that matter!!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on September 29, 2011, 10:09:32 AM
Des

Are you at the end of the beginning yet?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: bobwright on September 29, 2011, 11:22:59 AM
Got Signal – Not sure what you are expecting and I hope the meeting minutes reflect the questions asked and the answers given.

I did ask why a procurement matter was a scrutiny item. The Administration has already set up the means through Capita to secure a suitable provider through a tender process. The first two answers did not make sense to me, based on them we would be scrutinising every purchase. In my view there has been a desperate effort by the Administration to connect the UKBroadband proposal to the failed Wi-fi project and therefore justify their failure. I was told that Cabinet needed to authorise the due diligence and this is why it was a scrutiny matter.

I do not see the point of having a Lead Members if they can not progress a matter like this. It did not appear to require an outlay from the council and was more about operational savings through a market provider. There was a reliance on Hitesh Patel to provide the justification for the selected provider.

Des Moffat related to the meeting that Jim Grant, the Labour Group Leader has asked for a ‘firewall’ to be placed between the two different projects. They are different providers, different contracts with different technological solutions. There is no connection between the two solutions except by the Administrations attempts to claim the second could not have happened without the first failure.

I think there is an essence of truth in the claim because of all the effort to save face, rebuild credibility and fulfill promises is only happening because of the first failure. Even so the documents I have seen make it clear we will not be getting all the promises, for instance there is no provision for social exclusion.

Whilst we were given a UK Broadband company overview (appendix 1)  there was no documentary evidence provided about the procurement process, no tender details, no evidence of value for money, and no documents to confirm and support the verbal explanations given by Hitesh Patel. More importantly Cabinet saw fit to progress the matter without any written evidence.

The Chair Kevin Small sought through his questioning to get some evidence to back claims. We were told we had to accept the word of Hitesh Patel, Gary Perkins confirmed he had seen evidence and could support the verbal statements. Another case of good faith?

I told the meeting that I had been told that the Chair referred to in the Scrutiny document was a Chair of the Council and not the UKBroadband Chair. Also that UKBroadband had not referred to the failed Wi-fi project at Highworth as the reason for coming to Swindon. I suggested it was because the council had approached them. I was told by the Rod Bluh that this was wrong and UKBroadband have put in writing that they came to Swindon because of the previous failed Wi-fi project at Highworth. I wait to see this.

Previously we had been advised that Councillor Perkins had been working his socks off to find a replacement for the failed Wi-fi project. I think this must have been very attractive for a company to find a ready made customer with a big contract and providing a foothold in local authority work. I imagine a customer anxious to recover from failure is as good as it gets.

It was stated that the revenue from public sector work would provide the basis for the £400k rebate to the council. The money will be given to the council across 5 years if contracts/revenue supports the rebate. This was referred to by Kevin Small as being similar to a Co-op Divi. At this time the only public sector commitment is from the council itself, so we will be paying UKBroadband Council Tax money and they will be giving some Council Tax money back if they make money?

It may be argued we are getting a good deal but we saw no evidence of that at scrutiny. UKBroadband will be getting a contract at a price they have stipulated and an opportunity to market their product on a larger scale. The grounds for the procurement are the savings it will bring to the council. I heard a figure of an 11% savings mentioned. Councillor Small asked what would have the price have been if we had not sought the contract. There was no evidence provided of an alternative figure to show a saving on the contract could be demonstrated?

Gary was asked not to use the word guarantee regarding the £400k dividend. There are a number of reasons why there is no guarantee including SBC possibly walking away from the contract, the public sector work needs to be sufficient and we are still at a due diligence stage.

I stated that the process had not progressed far enough for this to have been a Scrutiny item. I stated I understood why the Administration were anxious for this to be put to the Cabinet and Scrutiny however it was a procurement issue and the lack of evidence and documents meant we could only rely on good faith.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: DavidPayne on September 29, 2011, 02:02:24 PM
It may be argued we are getting a good deal but we saw no evidence of that at scrutiny. UKBroadband will be getting a contract at a price they have stipulated and an opportunity to market their product on a larger scale. The grounds for the procurement are the savings it will bring to the council. I heard a figure of an 11% savings mentioned. Councillor Small asked what would have the price have been if we had not sought the contract. There was no evidence provided of an alternative figure to show a saving on the contract could be demonstrated?

Is it being inferred that SBC is getting a better deal than it would have, had it negotiated from a position of not having already stuffed £400k.

Start chopping the onions cos it sounds like tripe to me.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Greengirl on September 29, 2011, 03:18:59 PM
It may be argued we are getting a good deal but we saw no evidence of that at scrutiny. UKBroadband will be getting a contract at a price they have stipulated and an opportunity to market their product on a larger scale. The grounds for the procurement are the savings it will bring to the council. I heard a figure of an 11% savings mentioned. Councillor Small asked what would have the price have been if we had not sought the contract. There was no evidence provided of an alternative figure to show a saving on the contract could be demonstrated?

Is it being inferred that SBC is getting a better deal than it would have, had it negotiated from a position of not having already stuffed £400k.

Start chopping the onions cos it sounds like tripe to me.

Clever of SBC to make this already tortured fiasco even more complex to try and hide the fact that it is, indeed, tripe.

 So many pertinent questions have not been answered adequately. People doing a procurement job in any other large industry would have been sacked, if not worse, for this.

They seem to forget that there are still a lot of procurement experts out there in Swindon - so many came when Swindon was actually expanding in the 80s. They expect more from their council.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 29, 2011, 06:38:02 PM
Quote
I was told by the Rod Bluh that this was wrong and UKBroadband have put in writing that they came to Swindon because of the previous failed Wi-fi project at Highworth. I wait to see this.

I think what is true is that UKB saw Swindon as a willing participant as a result of the administrations desire to make the whole Borough a Wi-Fi zone. It is patent nonsense to think that UKB saw the failure of DC to develop a sustainable Wi-Fi system in Highworth as a reason to come to Swindon. I am sure that UKB would never have written to SBC stating that 'they were inclined to do a deal with SBC as a result of a failed project' - and I suspect the alleged letter from them doesn't actually say anything of the sort.

It reminds me of Coun Bluh's assertion on the radio and in a number of Council meetings,  that SBC rejectd an apporach from BT to install Wi-Fi because BT wanted £7million.  According to Coun Bluh this was a matter of public record - however when i asked him for proof or the evidnece to support his claim  - he was unable to provide any.

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Muggins on September 29, 2011, 06:59:35 PM
Also on the radio - and they keep repeating the bit of the interview, when the radio guy asks about the Wifi and the new thingy - whoa, says Bluh, (and something like this:-) there is real buzz of excitement around town about us having G4.  (It that's what it's called)

Strange, I'm not excited and all I have to ask is - what the heck is G4?



Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 29, 2011, 07:15:52 PM
Quote
there is real buzz of excitement around town about us having G4.


Hi Muggins - the term is 4G and all it means is 4th Generation - in other words it's more upto date than 3G (3rd Generation) and any of its predecessors.

4G is the latest incarnation of :-

4th Generation Wireless Technology (4G)- it is the first mobile technology designed from the ground up for data and is perfect to meet the rapidly growing demand for mobile access driven by the explosion of wireless enabled devices.

The UK's existing networks will struggle to cope with demand because they were designed for relatively low density usage, not high density data hungry wireless devices.

In a world where data demand is driven by the need to always be on-line and a huge increase in video services, ultra fast, high capacity 4G over licensed spectrum is required.  Why 4G?

•Fast, secure, reliable and high capacity connectivity, ideal for mobile and remote workers to access secure networks
•Similar social and economic benefits to superfast fixed broadband – but greater flexibility
•Complements fibre networks to deliver a truly comprehensive connectivity plan
•More cost effective alternative for the real rural market – lower cost per line compared to fibre
•Open wholesale capacity – one network for all

I know this to be true as the blue highlighted words are culled from the UKB website.

As for there being a buzz of excitement around town - I'm afraid that is simply Coun Bluh making yet more wild assertions. I recall him talking about 'world wide interest in the DC project' In todays Adver the Leader of the Council uses the 'buzz' word again when he tells us that 'his head is buzzing at the moment' - indeed it probably is. I'm afraid it's only in his head that 'buzzing ' is occurring.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: swindoncentric on September 29, 2011, 08:06:18 PM
As the town buzzes with the Capita/UK Broadband business proposition (people have been talking about nothing but that all day, at bus stops, on buses, between drivers, in Greggs, between the town centre drunks, everyone's talking about it), the Swindon Wi-Failed Digital City site is offline again, so an appropriate time to ask...

Where is Talk Swindon and the Armchair Auditors in holding those to account for what happened with Digital City? Are people still awaiting answers to questions, legal enquiries, etc?

What's the current state of play?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on September 29, 2011, 08:41:50 PM
Quote
the Swindon Wi-Failed Digital City site is offline again

I have it on good authority ( Coun Perkins a director of the failed company) that Digital City is not trading, thank goodness for that, as due to the fact it has no money it would be committing an offence if it was.

I am sure it didn't escape anyones notice that according to the paper presented to Cabinet last week that, the short term plan for the Wi-Fi network in Highworth is to ensure this network continues to operate an amazing ambition given that Digital City is not trading!




Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on September 30, 2011, 07:13:52 AM
As the town buzzes with the Capita/UK Broadband business proposition (people have been talking about nothing but that all day, at bus stops, on buses, between drivers, in Greggs, between the town centre drunks, everyone's talking about it), the Swindon Wi-Failed Digital City site is offline again, so an appropriate time to ask...

Where is Talk Swindon and the Armchair Auditors in holding those to account for what happened with Digital City? Are people still awaiting answers to questions, legal enquiries, etc?

What's the current state of play?

Swindoncentric

Strange you posted this, yester-day whilst having lunch with some fellow wifi  heretics, we discussed will Swindoncenric do a special 10 things not heard on the buses this week?

Bob Wright informed me that he is of the belief that Uk Broadband will save the council Capita exactly 11 pence percent a week of its lease line bill  that is the saving we are talking of as Bob wont say how much they pay it cannot be judged against a real saving e.g. a comparison across the market. UK Broadband are being sucked invited into into Swindon's wifi vortex, as they said at cabinet they were asked by Capita/Council to solve a problem for them. I think Bob and Des may discuss this on their radio programme on Monday so like you I will have to listen in.

In my opinion again little detail, is known about wifi 2 in Swindon and how UK Broadband will asssit the council with its problem.  Like wifi 1 details of wifi 2 are appearing as vague and elusive as Rikki Hunt in the heyday of DC.  Des Morgan will be kicking himself as I am for missing the wifi item on Wednesday. Why because everytime I hear about it, it tolls an ominious bell for the success of wifi 2. This concerns me as wifi 2 is completly seperate from wifi 1 and is as different as fish is from fowl, yet as I say it is in danger of being drawn into the political  "Big Top" of the Swindon wifi circus.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: ph1lc on September 30, 2011, 01:27:58 PM
I think Councillor you are absolutely correct.

The answer is simple - let Rod Bluh hold his hands up and admit the truth, as you and everyone else on here knows it.

1) Digital City was one big f** up. He should never have got into bed with Rikki.

2)The 2 schemes are nothing to do with each other at all.

Then you and all the other Councillors must look at the officers involvement in DC and ensure that this can never happen again.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Muggins on September 30, 2011, 02:39:32 PM
I'm thinking that this thread is like an beloved, elderly, terminally ill relative. 

When it finally dies, you do realise we will all need counselling, don't you?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Chav on September 30, 2011, 11:46:21 PM
I think Councillor you are absolutely correct.

The answer is simple - let Rod Bluh hold his hands up and admit the truth, as you and everyone else on here knows it.

1) Digital City was one big f** up. He should never have got into bed with Rikki.

2)The 2 schemes are nothing to do with each other at all.

Then you and all the other Councillors must look at the officers involvement in DC and ensure that this can never happen again.
Yup!

You know,  ... there are still peeps out there who are still convinced that they will get their two hours of free wifi a day!

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on October 01, 2011, 01:32:19 AM
You know,  ... there are still peeps out there who are still convinced that they will get their two hours of free wifi a day!

Yep Chav Babe it is a bit like the Tabernacle Stones being re errected anytime soon and the Big Spend Weekend producing lots and lots of business for Swindon.

But then a least le pissoir was fully flowing in all its glory yesterday!  Well it damn well should do for £250,000

and as for the big telly it was talking to itself merrily with none of the dozens of people sat in front of it watching - what an obscene waste of money!

Swindon has money to burn  except in the care homes where they proudly announce significant savings but I will write that one up another day.

Meanwhile, will someone please tell me how these politicians can successfully connect a failed Wi-fi 1 to Wi-fi 2 or do I need to be re educated? 

Maybe Two Brains Willets could offer a university course in  :spin:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mart on October 01, 2011, 11:56:33 AM
A town centre that vibrates and buzzes.

Is it just me?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Terry Reynolds on October 01, 2011, 12:05:53 PM
Mart, many years ago, those who then held the chains of office, thought the out of town shopping centres were the bees knees and so they sprang up all outside town, the town centre then sank into nothing, and of course it didnt help  that planning permission was also given at the same time, for the lower half of town to become the
bar centre of the drunks etc,  but those responsible wont tell you abou that, theyll just harp on about the water display or other mundain things.....
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Bassettina on October 01, 2011, 02:42:36 PM
A town centre that vibrates and buzzes.

Is it just me?

You obviously haven't waited for a bus on Catherine Street. Rank over flowing bins and skips at the back of Bushwackers were certainly vibrating and buzzing in the October sunshine!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Alex on October 02, 2011, 02:56:07 PM
Apologies if this is on some other thread, but I heard this today - Graham Mac has done it again- he's is a brilliant interviewer- even Mr Bluh appears to be amused before he gets angry again

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/wiltshire/mack/mack_20110927-1419a.mp3 (http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/wiltshire/mack/mack_20110927-1419a.mp3)

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on October 02, 2011, 11:01:00 PM
Alex - it's a stellar piece from Graham Mack.  I rather like Cou Bluh's new message, that it's the 'destination' and not the 'journey' that is important. This suggests that in Coun Bluh's world - the end justifies the means - a very dangerous stance to take when engaged in politics.

I wish Coun Bluh would stop perpetuating the lie regarding the political interference which 'allegedly' delayed the Digital City Wi-Fi prgramme for 6 months - that is from October 2009 to March 2010. He knows that claim to be a lie and despite being asked for proof has never been able to provide it.

It is also the case that he maintains that Rikki Hunt approached the Council with the Wi-Fi proposition, as we know Rikki Hunt is on record as stating equally clearly that SBC approached him - for what it's worth i believe the former but am amazed that SBC hasn't asked Rikki Hunt to retract his comment.

Coun Bluh speaks about 'wanting Wi-Fi since 2006' that would about the time he alleged BT wanted £7million from SBC to do a deal - despite being asked on a number of occasions to substantiate that claim, he has been strangely silent. 

Every day we discover some aspect of the deal with Mr Hunt which raises another question of SBC and certain councillors.

Coun Bluh now states that he and his colleagues were concerned at the financial viability of Digital city in Decmber 2009 - only 3 months after signing the deal with the company - what confidence can anyone have in the supposed risk assessment of the business plan submitted by Mr Hunt if it was in trouble within days of WiFi in Highworth being launched?

And what can one make of this statement, made by a senior officer of SBC - "I believe it has been clear since March 2010 that the Council had concerns about Digital City's ability to deliver on the agreed business plan within the available funding" and yet they still considered that making over the payment of £250,000 was 'in the best interest of the Council'  I have to say that the concerns now being expressed were not apparent in the document presented to cabinet.

Finally - if officers who undertook the second risk assessment (the one against which the second loan was made) were concerned about Digital City's finances, why did they approve the loan?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Bassettina on October 03, 2011, 06:09:39 AM
Have the risk assessments ever been seen?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on October 03, 2011, 07:39:10 AM
Quote
Have the risk assessments ever been seen?

Far too sensitive a document to ever be given daylight. The best we know is that "The risk assessment undertaken was thorough and came to a balanced conclusion" read into that what you will.

What i know is that the officers who compiled the Risk Assessment were the same officers who authored the report advising the payment of the £250k was essential if the DC project was to continue and not to give DC the money would place at risk the first tranche of £150k. 

So astute was their thinking that not only did SBC lose the £150k they also lost the £250k and all within 6 weeks of giving it to DC.

It is against this background that Coun Bluh and others ask us to believe that SBC officers demonstrated competence in this matter.

Consider this fact - at the time DC was given the £250k they had no cash in hand, were trading on a bank overdraft and only paying essential bills. Hardly conduct conducive to being awarded a sum of £250k - especially taxpayer money.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Muggins on October 03, 2011, 09:24:27 AM
"You obviously haven't waited for a bus on Catherine Street. Rank over flowing bins and skips at the back of Bushwackers were certainly vibrating and buzzing in the October sunshine!"

Don't you just love the local wildlife?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Tobes on October 03, 2011, 11:28:16 AM
Graham Mack for Mayor!!!

 ;D
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: swindoncentric on October 03, 2011, 11:55:28 AM
"You obviously haven't waited for a bus on Catherine Street. Rank over flowing bins and skips at the back of Bushwackers were certainly vibrating and buzzing in the October sunshine!"

Is that quote from Graham Mack? It's certainly an 'on the money' quote!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on October 03, 2011, 01:15:38 PM
Have Rod Bluh's   Swindon conservatives emitted more of a hum around  some of their achievements  in Swindon than a buzz?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Bassettina on October 03, 2011, 05:24:32 PM
"You obviously haven't waited for a bus on Catherine Street. Rank over flowing bins and skips at the back of Bushwackers were certainly vibrating and buzzing in the October sunshine!"

Don't you just love the local wildlife?

I would put Catherine Street bus stop in the top five of the worst smelling places in Swindon.

But best for wildlife? There's a fair number of rats that live in and around the back of the station, near Polaris car park.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Bassettina on October 03, 2011, 05:29:02 PM
Quote
Have the risk assessments ever been seen?

Far too sensitive a document to ever be given daylight. The best we know is that "The risk assessment undertaken was thorough and came to a balanced conclusion" read into that what you will.

And no doubt doubt too commercially sensitive to be available through an FOI?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Alex on October 05, 2011, 03:08:00 PM
I see that Mr Bluh has " hit back at critics"  in today's Adver regarding Wifi and rival politicians'  criticism of his integrity- he is considering whether or not to raise a case with the council's standards committee   :


 "These constant accusations and innuendoes about subverting the process. What was done may not have been to their liking but it was done through council procedures" 

( I must admit I thought he spelt out in the last interview that he gone against what the advice was when he asked for it) .

I see that Graham Mack isn't being blamed directly.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Leslit on October 07, 2011, 10:22:19 PM
I see that Mr Bluh has " hit back at critics"  in today's Adver regarding Wifi and rival politicians'  criticism of his integrity- he is considering whether or not to raise a case with the council's standards committee 

I do wish the man would stop being such a big girls blouse and get on and do it!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on October 08, 2011, 08:15:43 AM
I see that Mr Bluh has " hit back at critics"  in today's Adver regarding Wifi and rival politicians'  criticism of his integrity- he is considering whether or not to raise a case with the council's standards committee 

I do wish the man would stop being such a big girls blouse and get on and do it!

I missed that one in the adver. Did he say anything about rival politicians' criticism of his judgement? Or if the rival politicians were in his own party?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on October 09, 2011, 12:44:08 AM
I thought only that sort of thing only happened to the ruling group  in Cotswold District Council?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Alex on October 09, 2011, 01:41:03 PM
I see that Mr Bluh has " hit back at critics"  in today's Adver regarding Wifi and rival politicians'  criticism of his integrity- he is considering whether or not to raise a case with the council's standards committee 

I do wish the man would stop being such a big girls blouse and get on and do it!

I missed that one in the adver. Did he say anything about rival politicians' criticism of his judgement? Or if the rival politicians were in his own party?


Sorry Steve, the paper has gone now, the implication was that it was the fault of the labour party- at least that's how I read it.  :wink:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on October 22, 2011, 03:56:59 PM
Coun Bluh wishes that critics of his administration would simply go away.  He suggests that those of us who have been at the fore in holding him to account are simply 'well meaning' but not professional - by professional he suggests that journalists present issues in a balanced and proportionate manner whereas the 'armchair scruineer' so beloved of Mr Eric Pickle the Communities Secretary are nothing more than irritating and therefore an impediment to progress.

Perhaps Coun Bluh should be asked searching questions by officers and colleagues but we know that neither group wishes to 'offend' the Leader, some in order to protect their jobs and other to protect their preferment.

I asked Coun Bluh a series of questions on Wi-Fi (to those who have asked me if i intend to lay down my sword in this matter can i assure you I have no intention of retreating an inch form my stated position) Hwere is the latest question and Coun Bluhs reply

Quote
Q2 comment During the last meeting of cabinet I asked a very specific question with regard to the receipt of Digital City’s monthly management accounts. I asked whether Coun Perkins had received them and whether Coun Edwards had received them.  Both answered in the negative. However, the Director of Finance volunteered the information that he was in receipt of Digital City’s monthly management accounts. His answer suggested that he had received the monthly management account figures for the entire period of Digital City’s existence.

I have since received a communication from Coun Bluh in which he states that “Management accounts were received sporadically from December 2009 until June 2010 … thereafter the monthly cash position was reported until August 2010”

Q2.       
Will the Council confirm that the provision of monthly management accounts was a condition of the Loan Agreement?

Response: Yes

Will the Council confirm exactly how many times they received monthly management accounts in the period December 2009 until June 2010?

Response: Five.

Will the Council advise why, having given Digital City £250k in the first week of May 2010 they allowed the company to stop reporting on where it was spending that money sometime during June 2010?

Response: At no point did the Council agree any change to the reporting requirements set out in the loan agreement.  I was careful to use the word ‘allow’ as opposed to ‘agree’ – recognising they actually mean different things. In this case ‘allow’ implies a passive acceptance whereas ‘agree’ suggests an active participation.  The end result is of course the same, in that DC did not provide Monthly Management Accounts from June onwards, which from your answer to Q2 was a contravention of the agreement.

I have been advised the following

On the first instance where the company failed to provide monthly accounts the Director of Finance insisted these be provided.  The company's MD stated he had misunderstood the requirements of the loan agreement and was intending submitting only quarterly accounts.  It was made clear that this was not acceptable.  Disclosure of monthly accounts resumed until the period prior to the release of the second tranche of funding.  At this point the company was paying only essential bills through an overdraft facility.  In the period from June onwards the company had very little financial transactions to report, as was evidenced by monthly cash reports.  It was known that the company would be seeking an additional partner / investor at that point to take the project forward.  An insistence on monthly management reports at that point or prior to the second tranche of funding being released would have offered little additional information on the company's financial position, as very little expenditure was being incurred at either of these points.  By August it was already clear that the project would stall without the further investment that was being sought.

I draw your attention to the highlighted area and to the final comment. In the case of the highlighted area, it is clear that officers and councillors knew that DC was in dire financial straits at March 2010 and yet allowed the £250k to be paid over to DC and by August of 2010 the Council was absolutely clear that the project was heading for a crash. Yet you still kept up the pretence that the project was live and ongoing. Worse was yet to come. The Company defaulted on its interest payments with officers and councillors expressing faux surprise.  I suggest such ‘incredulity’ was utterly fake. Having acknowledged the position of DC’s finances it beggars belief that officers and councillors maintained a pretence that all was well.


Will the Council advise how the decision to waive the receipt of monthly management accounts was made and by whom and why Coun Edwards did not make this point clear when in February 2011 he stated that “the Council receives monthly accounts information……….through this the Council does have visibility of where the money has been spent”?

Response: At no point did the Council agree any change to the reporting requirements set out in the loan agreement.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: jennyb on October 23, 2011, 07:51:34 AM
Des,

It is interesting that the Temporary East Wichel School was happening around the same time.

Cllr Perkins was Lead Member at the time. 

SBC's own evidence indicates that those involved in the temp school were not au fait with the facts.

Much money was spent to no lasting benefit.

Cllr Bluh says it will take a bit of digging to supply answers to our questions on the temp school.

We say we have the evidence to support our questions.

Bit of a pattern emerging?

J
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on October 23, 2011, 02:30:22 PM
Has anyone looked to see if any accounts have been submitted to Companies House yet?

The more questions that are asked on this subject the more questions the replies or lack therof raise!

This is not going away anytime soon and it will be interesting to see if this dovetails into the Croft situation?

and one further point just how Innovative do you think these answers can become for this most Vibrant of unproven concepts, Des?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on October 23, 2011, 04:36:14 PM
As of today Digital City (UK)Ltd have still not filed their company accounts at Companies House. The company "Return", which was due to be filed on the 11th of September is also overdue.

It seems that SBC where getting monthly accounts and they say that just after the £250K was handed over there were "very little financial transactions" to report.
So the money must have disappeared almost straight after it was given to Digital City (UK).

Where could that money have gone and not left a trace in the accounts or assets of Digital City (UK)?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on October 23, 2011, 08:19:18 PM
Quote
So the money must have disappeared almost straight after it was given to Digital City (UK).

Indeed and it is this quite amazing fact which Coun Bluh and Coun Perkins simply decline to address.

I do not hold coun Perkins to account for the £150k given to DC in October 2009 but i do believe it is incumbent on Coun Perkins to honour his promise as made on air with the BBC - to reveal all in terms of just on what was the £250k spent.

Let's not forget it was Coun Perkins who assured listeners to the BBC and attendees at Cabinet that he had no problem - at all  - in making the details known.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: jennyb on October 23, 2011, 11:26:30 PM

In October 2009 Someone decided that the Croft Site was numero uno.... in November 2009 Cllr Perkins and the Cabinet agreed to spend £££ on a temporary school which was not needed .

So...at the same time as eyes were off the ball in relation to £££ for Wifi ..those same eyes were also off the ball in terms of the Croft.

Does this administration care about the use of public funds?

Does this administration care about anything apart from survival?

J
 
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on October 23, 2011, 11:31:55 PM
As of today Digital City (UK)Ltd have still not filed their company accounts at Companies House. The company "Return", which was due to be filed on the 11th of September is also overdue.

It seems that SBC where getting monthly accounts and they say that just after the £250K was handed over there were "very little financial transactions" to report.
So the money must have disappeared almost straight after it was given to Digital City (UK).

Where could that money have gone and not left a trace in the accounts or assets of Digital City (UK)?



I'd be surprised if Digital City Director Garry Perkins can produce any original accounts, invoices or bank statements from Digital City whatsoever.....


(http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSv7t31-aHHEZCyzbZHKBIqOIY_CeV5PChHw63gmOXthE1hZ9cjJg)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on October 24, 2011, 07:58:43 AM

Geoff said:
Quote
I'd be surprised if Digital City Director Garry Perkins can produce any original accounts, invoices or bank statements from Digital City whatsoever.....

If this is the case and Cllr Perkins knows that this is the case, he must have known very early in the project that a) the £250K was missing and b) there were no accounts or receipts to show where the £250K went.

He should have called the police then......as we said!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: boothill on October 24, 2011, 10:53:10 AM
As of today Digital City (UK)Ltd have still not filed their company accounts at Companies House. The company "Return", which was due to be filed on the 11th of September is also overdue.

It seems that SBC where getting monthly accounts and they say that just after the £250K was handed over there were "very little financial transactions" to report.
So the money must have disappeared almost straight after it was given to Digital City (UK).

Where could that money have gone and not left a trace in the accounts or assets of Digital City (UK)?


Perhaps it's just me who finds a certain mountain climbing entrepreneur's silence deafening ?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on October 24, 2011, 12:07:07 PM
Quote
Perhaps it's just me who finds a certain mountain climbing entrepreneur's silence deafening


I think it is 'just you' on this occasion. It's such a pity he didn't tell the Council just how precarious his personal financial state was, back in March 2010.  Although it is quite clear that the council knew that Digital City was in distress. Before Council officers take me to rask for making such an assertion let me quote direct from an impeccable source.

Quote
"I believe it has been clear since March 2010 that the Council had concerns about Digital City's ability to deliver on the agreed business plan......"

Mr Hunt plays no part in the management of Digital City, that dubious honour falls to one Coun Garry Perkins. The same person who said "I have no problem with people understanding where the money was spent - at all"

However, what is clear is that Coun Perkins is not doing anything to make the accounts available
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on October 26, 2011, 11:57:17 PM
However, what is clear is that Coun Perkins is not doing anything to make the accounts available

I don't think he ever had them.  Until Perkins can produce them and prove me wrong, my default 'belief setting' is that Mr Hunt probably shredded them a long time ago.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Bassettina on October 27, 2011, 06:42:07 AM
Would that have coincided with Digital City's short-lived hamster bedding arm?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on October 27, 2011, 07:20:43 AM
Was a shredder shown as a capital asset? If not how do we know it was not the Tories what shredded them?

The Tories cannot produce them because they don't exist is a whole new twist on the debacle. I wonder if Des Morgan has got an answer to the Highworth leaflet question other than the blather from officers, that he posted up sometime ago?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Greengirl on October 27, 2011, 07:56:28 AM
If it was treated as Fraud- surely the police would have access to the Bank details directly. HMRC do don't they?  Investigators can investigate and they do. Its all there somewhere.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on October 27, 2011, 08:58:13 AM
Precisely Greengirl!

Firstly someone who thinks that they have been defrauded (SBC) have to take what evidence they have  to the police. The police can then get access to all the banking details of the suspect person(s) and or company.

Long ago, SBC should have required their Director of Digital City (UK) Ltd. to produce accounts to show where taxpayer's money had gone and if there were no accounts or the accounts did not add up, then made a report to the Police. It is not too late to do this but questions will forever be asked about why it didn't happen straight away.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on October 27, 2011, 10:06:51 PM
Quote
I wonder if Des Morgan has got an answer to the Highworth leaflet question other than the blather from officers, that he posted up sometime ago?

The answer I got was that DC had leafleted Highworth 4 times - I was then sent 3 leaflets (one a simple tariff rate card type leaflet in 2 sizes and one blue double sided leaflet) Frankly, the lefalets proved nothing especially as the principle one was allegedly posted in Highworth in February (according to Rikki Hunt) and yet was annotated 'comparrison sicbasis is like for like and correct on 27/07/2010' that date is clearly is 5 months after they were allegedly delivered.

No one within the Civic Offices is prepared to attest to the integrity of the alleged leaflet drop and most certainly Coun perkins and his collegaues are hiding behind the last vestige of 'commercial confidentiality'.  As for Mr Patel - least said the better.

Do I believe there were 4 leaflet drops in Highworth - no i don't.

Quote
Long ago, SBC should have required their Director of Digital City (UK) Ltd. to produce accounts to show where taxpayer's money had gone and if there were no accounts or the accounts did not add up, then made a report to the Police. It is not too late to do this but questions will forever be asked about why it didn't happen straight away.

Very true. But according to Coun Edwards and Mr McKellar they had monthly management accounts and knew where the money was spent.  It was only when Coun Bluh was asked to be more specific that it was discovered that the accounts had been 'sporadic' that is 5 times out of 7 and after June (that is after the £250,00 was given to Mr Hunt) the management accounts were not sent as according to Coun Bluh - the accounting costs were too high and according to Mr Jones it was becasue there was 'nothing to report' - you see at May 2010 just as the £250,000 was handed over, DC was paying only essential bills and that from an overdraft facility.  There was no money in the bank at June 2010 other than the £250,000 of taxpayers money, that is the money Coun perkins is 100% responsible for as a director of Digital City UK Limited
 
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on October 28, 2011, 07:31:45 AM
  As for Mr Patel - least said the better.

Do I believe there were 4 leaflet drops in Highworth - no i don't.

It was only when Coun Bluh was asked to be more specific that it was discovered that the accounts had been 'sporadic' that is 5 times out of 7 and after June (that is after the £250,00 was given to Mr Hunt) the management accounts were not sent as according to Coun Bluh - the accounting costs were too high and according to Mr Jones it was becasue there was 'nothing to report' - you see at May 2010 just as the £250,000 was handed over, DC was paying only essential bills and that from an overdraft facility.  There was no money in the bank at June 2010 other than the £250,000 of taxpayers money, that is the money Coun perkins is 100% responsible for as a director of Digital City UK Limitedb


Blather, bullshit, or Bollox erm... or Barrow Boys?  if you recall is wifi 2 to be
signed today?  Do we now wait for  a sycophantic adver report? A free press has a constitutional duty to scrutinise the political wielders of power, as Rod reminded us all in his column they are the professional journalists.  :coffee:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on October 28, 2011, 08:29:08 AM
Des Morgan said:

Quote
you see at May 2010 just as the £250,000 was handed over, DC was paying only essential bills and that from an overdraft facility.

Let us ponder these "essential bills". Office rent, er no, that was free. Hardware er no, no more lamposts were having equipment fitted by then. (I'm sure SCS can confirm this.) Advertising er no, the only advertising we've seen is the vibrant quotes of Rod and Rikki in the press, which was free.
Staff salaries er no. Despite Rikki claiming that his pRodject was employing people we know that, apart from sub-contracting the installation work to SCS, it wasn't.

So what does that leave us with? Director's salaries? Directors expenses?

Into this business arrangement someone then poured £250,000. Team, you have one guess as to where that money went.

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on October 28, 2011, 08:34:39 AM
Quote
as Rod reminded us all in his column they are the professional journalists.

and we are the 'citizen correspondents' who by dint of not being professional journalists do not present both sides of the argument and cannot separate 'fact' from 'opinion'

The Swindon Adver will never ever hold Coun Bluh to account - they reportnews, in the past tense. The adver is not staffed with investigative journalists, indeed I doubt that the number of journalists left in the news room would enable any one of them to actually 'stay' on a story for more than a week.

The essence of the Swindon Advertiser can best be recognised it the papers title.

It benefits Coun Bluh to have a supine press and docile media.  Even Graham Mack and Lee Stone have their 'hands tied'

Sometimes, TS can be a bit too close to the knuckle in its output - to counter that some Councillors have only a fleeting relationship with the truth when it comes to the things they say and indeed promise.

I have just written to Coun Small asking why it is that questions I asked at the 4 October Scrutiny remain unanswered. This si the 11th occasion i have had to ask for answers and i guess I will, not for the first time be asked to re-submit my questions as 'they will have been lost'  Of course Councillors will then accuse me of asking too many questions, conveniently forgetting that my previous questions were unanswered.

Apologies are fine but I think the issue has become a little personal.  Gavin, Stephen - democracy is not being practised within the hallowed halls of the Civic Offices on yuor watch!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on October 28, 2011, 08:40:42 AM
Quote
Let us ponder these "essential bills". Office rent, er no, that was free. Hardware er no, no more lamposts were having equipment fitted by then. (I'm sure SCS can confirm this.) Advertising er no, the only advertising we've seen is the vibrant quotes of Rod and Rikki in the press, which was free.
Staff salaries er no. Despite Rikki claiming that his pRodject was employing people we know that, apart from sub-contracting the installation work to SCS, it wasn't.

So what does that leave us with? Director's salaries? Directors expenses?

Into this business arrangement someone then poured £250,000. Team, you have one guess as to where that money went

Or to quote an impeccable source:

"The Council has had visibility throughout of the type of spend being incurred, i.e. office costs, marketing, web design, network support and equipment.  This information is not in itself sufficient to ascertain which of these costs were incurred in relation to the Highworth pilot.  An assumption can reasonably be made that most costs did relate to this element, as it was the primary area of focus, but the company was also engaged in discussions and technical assessments with parties outside Swindon.  These were an accepted part of the business plan, which envisaged sales outside Swindon.  Only the company can confirm how costs should be apportioned across the different activities"

You may think having had sight of the Manangement Accounts for December through to June the information was suffcicient to separate Highworth costs from any other. You would also imagine that Coun Perkins himself as the person 100% resposnible for ensuring SBCs £250,000 was not frittered away would know - indeed he declared that he 'did know' and that he would be happy for us to know - once again Coun Perkins says one thing and does another.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on October 28, 2011, 09:01:02 AM
From an impeccable source:

Quote
but the company was also engaged in discussions and technical assessments with parties outside Swindon.

So, return train-fare for 2 to Bathgate, 2 Jock pies with peas and 2 pints of heavy for lunch, 2 fish suppers and 4 pints of heavy for dinner and maybe finish the evening at "The Crewn.".....£250,000. Kerching!

The "technical assessments" couldn't have taken long because we can find no one in Digital City (UK) Ltd that could assess the impedance of a pin-head.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on October 28, 2011, 09:36:06 AM
Does anyone think the accounts promised by Councillor Garry Perkins will ever be filed with Companies House?

If not what action can be taken to ensure this information is made available within the public domain?

I cannot believe that there is any way in which he can get out of this situation without giving us the information we require.

Don't worry Garry wherever you stand for Council you will be asked what you did with £250,000 of our money, so why not publish the details now and avoid some of the pain?



Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on October 28, 2011, 10:58:22 AM
Quote
Does anyone think the accounts promised by Councillor Garry Perkins will ever be filed with Companies House?

If not what action can be taken to ensure this information is made available within the public domain?



http://www.insolvencydirect.bis.gov.uk/insolvencyprofessionandlegislation/dearip/dearipmill/chapter26.htm (http://www.insolvencydirect.bis.gov.uk/insolvencyprofessionandlegislation/dearip/dearipmill/chapter26.htm)

Quote
Investigations hotline

You can call the hotline on 0845 601 3546 to:

    report misconduct by a disqualified director or an undischarged bankrupt illegally acting in the management of a limited company, or
    to complain about a company or the conduct of a director of a company that is still trading.



The Companies Investigation team at The Insolvency Service may help.

 :popcorn: :coffee:
Title: Will Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' be Resolved by 23.59 on Monday 31st October 2011?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on October 28, 2011, 04:32:49 PM
Quote
if you recall is wifi 2 to be signed today?

What I do seem to remember from the start of this in 2009 is that the loan made  to DC by SBC is due to be repaid at the end of October 2011.  What I do know will happen on Monday 31st October 2011, apart from being the last day of October 2011; it is All Hallows Eve.   >:D

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on October 28, 2011, 05:20:54 PM
Another significant event will overcome us as well Steve. You'll be tripping over things in the street on the way home from work, as the clocks go back this week-end and it will be dark early.

(I bet some wish the clocks would go back 3 years!! But they'd probably still act like fools, even with hindsight.)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on October 30, 2011, 06:14:34 PM
Does anyone actually believe the £400,000 loan from the Council to Digital city UK Ltd., along with outstanding interest will manifest itself tomorrow Monday October 31st , being the deadline for the repayment thereof?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mart on October 30, 2011, 06:44:49 PM
Oooooh! Me first, me first! (I'm jumping up and down with my hand in the air, straining with eagerness).

No.

Accounts?

No.

The chances of The Lone Director having an Arnie 'Total Recall' moment.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100802/ (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100802/)

0.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Geoff Reid on October 31, 2011, 12:40:14 AM
Does anyone actually believe the £400,000 loan from the Council to Digital city UK Ltd., along with outstanding interest will manifest itself tomorrow Monday October 31st , being the deadline for the repayment thereof?


Nope....

.....And neither will the accounts suddenly appear:


(http://img.ehowcdn.co.uk/article-page-main/ehow/images/a07/54/f5/clean-jammed-paper-shredder-800x800.jpg)
Title: 31st October 2011 has been ripped off the desk calendar and.....?
Post by: Got Signal on November 01, 2011, 08:28:04 AM
In October 2009 Swindon people were being boasted to assured that by 1st November 2011 not only would they all have free wifi, and not only the loan would have be repaid the council would have a handsome £700k profit paid in towards council services.  Was Rod Bluh the only one who believed it? 

If he was not a fictional character would Jim Royle be saying  today free Wifi 400K and 700K Profit My Ar*e?

* I wish to make it clear for those that do not know who Jim Royle is, he is  a Manchunian fictional character from a BBC comedy.  :2funny:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Royle_Family (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Royle_Family)

Anyone remember another quote about nuclear technology.. electricity too cheap to meter?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Too_cheap_to_meter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Too_cheap_to_meter)

Too cheap to meter is that political spin for free?

Where's our money! Where's our money, Where's our money! Said it three times will it now appear magically out of a hat?  :wink:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on November 01, 2011, 09:18:43 AM
I think at the time more political priorities were distracted as a lot of political interest was raised  about the story that Monty got locked in the Civic?  :wink:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on November 01, 2011, 09:43:33 AM
Politicians are often distracted, but consistently remain in denial about tragic political sideshows.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on November 19, 2011, 09:51:40 AM
I continue to be surprised at how information on the original deal is still 'leaking' into the public arena. The Wi Fi project, its financial propriety, the honesty of the business proposition and above all the integrity of those who claim to be mortally offended at any suggestion they may have acted unwisely, without knowledge and in some cases with a degree of assinine stupidity is constantly being challenged.

In March 2011 Mr Hunt and Coun Perkins sat before the scrutiny Committee and told the assembled Company that they had confidence in the future of Digital City - that was just days before Mr Hunt was declared a bankrupt and Coun Perkins confirmed he would be happy for us all to know on what the £400k was spent (but he's not telling) and that the doom mongers would be proved wrong.

Now there is 'new evidence that Cllr Edwards attended a meeting with relevant officers on 2nd February 2011  and was briefed about the issues facing Digital City UK and whether the Council should seek to recover its loan. 

I sat through the Scrutiny meeting in March 2011 which was supposed to be Mr Hunt and Coun Perkins briefing the committee on the progress of DC and can attest that at no point were any concerns about the recovery of the £400k raised.

Clearly there were some.  This added to the meeting which took place in January 2010 and the stated view of senior officers that there were concerns about the ability of DC to perform in line with the original business plan, could lead to a hint of 'cover up' within the serried ranks of senior officers and councillors within the hallowed portals of Euclid Street.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on November 19, 2011, 05:34:00 PM

Now there is 'new evidence that Cllr Edwards attended a meeting with relevant officers on 2nd February 2011  and was briefed about the issues facing Digital City UK and whether the Council should seek to recover its loan. 

I sat through the Scrutiny meeting in March 2011 which was supposed to be Mr Hunt and Coun Perkins briefing the committee on the progress of DC and can attest that at no point were any concerns about the recovery of the £400k raised.


So Des are you saying that Councillor Mark Edwards was acting incompetantly or on instruction? 

I think we need to know!

and this stinks more and more at every turn of events and provides those who seek to challenge, at the next election, the ability of the present administration as to their competance to manage anything on behalf of the people of Swindon.

Come clean now Rod and stop the speculation once and for all by publishing exactly what happened to our money, an investment for which you were duped into providing in your enthusiasm and the results of which you have never apologised. 

Free Wi fi my ar**.................!!  It cost us £400,000 and has not been provided except for a few months and a few people in Highworth.  What an expensive and catotrophic mistake?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Karsten on November 23, 2011, 01:53:34 PM
This Wi-Fiasko is criminally laughable, but has anyone been made accountable?

NO.

Do people in Swindon  know about it or even care.. :WTF:

Ye.. err no..

Has our MP talked about it in da' House? :wakeup:

Nope.

Is there any point bitching about the money or split milk.. :argh:
no

Swindon was scammed.. not by Tricky but by it's lack lustre councillors and ultimately party loyalists and the disinterested non voters.
There are plenty more scammers waiting in line.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: bobwright on November 23, 2011, 03:00:26 PM
Karsten - Accountability is still being pursued, a direct question on the submission of the accounts was asked of the Deputy Leader of the Council who is one of the Directors of Digital City last night. You may or not know he promised to meet the deadline for accounts submission.

The wi-fi debacle does have reasonance on the doorstep. I am not sure if you venture far from you street however Town wide it is recognised as this Admistrations waste of public money. They also do not understand the logic of recoverability of losses from someone different offering services for business. The people of Swindon were promised Borough wide free wi-fi access and that was not delivered. Only some disengenious politicians would seek to dress up the new scheme as being anyway connected to the previous scheme.

Our current MP's may not be asking questions but our former and prospective MP is and has.

If the public raises questions on public money use councillors should be answerable and I do not see that as bitching

Regarding your last point I think there are good councillors but the lack of backbench influence has been noticeable and those very few voices within the Administration that did raise their voices now seem to have left the party or council. If you think those responsible are the scammers that is your view however I thought you also sought to become a councillor or have I got that wrong
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Karsten on November 23, 2011, 06:51:37 PM
SBC doesn't follow the rules... 
3 councillors gave away the 400k..

one civil servent decided to urgently 'repair' the MI wasting 1.2m

FOI's are excused with "not in public interest" or "no data accessible/held".

I had a look at the new temporay 'Park'.. is anyone satisified with wasting 150k on that patch of grass?

I have stood in elections yes.. because I think most bollocticians lie, cheat and are self orientated not public.  :o
I stand as a protest vote.  and its become sort of a hobby.
People aren't interested in voting and voter apathy is a big problem in my opinion.
The goverment claim unions should have minimum % of votes before a strike vote can be deemed legal.
Would they transfer that to an election?
First time I stood only 18.5% voted in Central.

MPs != honourable members     NOT

I was comparing Digital City to Springfields MonoRail  as soon as I read about the giveaway 'loan'.
It was an obvious scam.   
I registered on the website about 2 yrs ago.. never contacted.
But I bet you not one person will be blamed or have to refund the loan.
Everyone one knows who should be blamed, but I bet they still get voted in next year, unless we have a Swindon Spring and occupy ??   forget it. :-(
 

I do go out and talk to people..   
most are bored if you mentions SBC and don't care about the Wi-fi scandal..
they all have ADSL broadband anyway so why should they.
It's the councillors that don't go out...
or let you contact them.   How many of them just give out a mob. telephone number?
No address or email.

You only see them once a year..

sometimes on TV raging  :tickedoff: against a poor misguided BBC reporter..
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Muggins on November 24, 2011, 09:24:32 AM
"I stand as a protest vote.  and its become sort of a hobby.

Do you think that is the act of a responsible citizen then Karsten?"

It maybe that people are interested in the Wifi, they just choose
not to share that with you becasue they know you are an hobbiest politican rather than a real one.

Certainly when asked everyone I know has an opinion on it or at least know about it.
More so I would say than any other subject in Swindon, after all everyone was promised free wifi for the investment.  The word FREE usually get's peoples attention.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Karsten on November 24, 2011, 09:23:37 PM
Do you think that is the act of a responsible citizen then Karsten?"

Is giving 400k away responsible?
Or claiming fake expenses?
Money for questions?
MEP expenses??


I personally believe the UK has as much corruption as 3rd world countries; it’s just covered up better.
I'm not a politician; to me it's just a load of bollocks talking nonsense. I.e. Bollocktics

They don't control anything, its bigger fish that lurk in the darker water that control business.
When shares dive how often do you hear of directors losing fortunes? 
Employees yes, directors and high level managers no.
When I started out working, ABB bought the company I worked for and then closed one of their own factories. 
The director of my company got the job of saving 1 million on the closure cost of the other factory. 
He managed it by making workers accept the lower wages at our factory and accept to be bussed out from Oslo.   
They did call a wild cat strike, but they all got the sack immediately so were forced to accept the terms.
His reward?  1 million.
That’s the way the world works. Money breeds money.


Look at how workers rights are being sacrificed now in the UK, by removing ACAS rights.   
Companies will now be able to hire and fire people without fear of a tribunal.
So permanent employment will only start after you have worked for 2 yrs.

How come the w bankers got away with ruining the worlds economy but not one company or person has been held responsible for the bad decisions or lies they told?
Do you think the really rich have got poorer?  With 50% raises?

I actually wish I was younger because I'd love to join the Occupy protests.  Also the Anti nuke protests.

I do not believe Bluh and the Bluhigans will be held responsible for the Wi-fi loan and the way they have mis managed the Digital city farce.
Tricky is long gone.  Off on his next corporate sca, err adventure.

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Mart on November 24, 2011, 10:23:48 PM
I think I would be relatively relaxed about having a few more amateur politicians who remained incredulous they had been voted in and really felt the burden of expectation upon them.

I would prefer these to polished professional politicians who expect to be voted in because they have been assured this will be so and spend the balance of their tenure repaying their debt to party central.

I have the deepest contempt for those who aspire to that life.

I have some real sympathy for the Karsten view and I think the attempts to gain public office with a decent dollop of cynicism and low expectation is creditable. It is an entirely sensible view of politics and accords it he value it, and the majority of it's practitioners are due.

If more people took this view Politics would be cleaner and the country healthier.

I kind of like 'Don't Elect Me' as a campaign slogan, or 'Don't Vote For Me Either' as the counter slogan. I'm quite fond of 'What Election?' as well.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on November 25, 2011, 07:18:37 AM
[quote author=Karsten link=topic=7600.msg72111#msg72111 date=1322169817
I do not believe Bluh and the Bluhigans will be held responsible for the Wi-fi loan and the way they have mis managed the Digital city farce.
Tricky is long gone.  Off on his next corporate sca, err adventure.
[/quote]

We shall just have to wait and see about that  :popcorn:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on November 27, 2011, 08:06:53 PM
November 30th fast approaching which was the date given for filing.

will it happen?

I doubt it, but you never know.

I feel another FOI coming on!!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: ph1lc on November 27, 2011, 09:27:00 PM
Don't hold your breath  - they don't need to file much, just a summarised balance sheet.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Bassettina on December 05, 2011, 06:17:41 AM
There was something in Saturday's Adver about the strike-off being held up, but it's not yet on the paper's website.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on December 05, 2011, 07:39:00 AM
There was something in Saturday's Adver about the strike-off being held up, but it's not yet on the paper's website.

Can you give some more detail please Bassettina?  :santa_rolleyes:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on December 05, 2011, 10:01:44 AM
It was a good  :2funny:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Weebleman on December 05, 2011, 10:13:15 AM
Yer Tiz:

Plenty of comments I could add about this; but for the time being, let's hope the "mystery Government department" is the fraud squad.
In my view they'd do well to let the doughnut van continuing trading in the parade so that the sweet smell of frying doughnuts combats the stench of the books being cooked in some darken hovel in the DMJ building.

Quote
Digital City has been temporarily saved from being closed as a company following objections from a mystery Government department and a third party.
Companies House proposed to strike off the firm because it had never filed its first annual accounts - due on May 14, or its annual return - due September 11.
The register of UK firms issued a notice on August 16, stating that unless a good reason could be offered, it should be struck off within three months and dissolved.
But Companies House has revealed that the process was suspended on August 31 because a third party sent an official objection on, or just before, this date. A Government department also objected on September 22. However Companies House will not reveal the identity of the objectors or the reason for the objection. They both have until March 22 to provide evidence for why it should not be struck off.
Striking off is different from a normal liquidation. It means the Government is shutting it down for not complying with the rules. In this case, all the assets would become property of the Government.
The firm, based at the David Murray John Tower, is more or less a shell, except for the wi-fi infrastructure installed in Highworth. It only has two directors: Garry Perkins, Swindon Council's deputy leader, and Mustafa Arif.
Swindon Council says the issue with Digital City will not jeopardise its new broadband project. A spokesman said: "The council's representative on the board and the council's chief executive are continuing to work with the board of Digital City to determine the future of the comany."
Digital City was set up in August 2009 to drive through the council-backed scheme to make free wi-fi available across Swindon.
The firm, headed by the later-bankrupt businessman Rikki Hunt, who stepped down from the post this year. Digital City borrowed £400,000 out of a potential £450,000 pot the council had made available to it.
It managed to set up wi-fi in Highworth but the project floundered before it could be rolled out across Swindon.
Its only asset is the infrastructure in Highworth, which the council wants to keep running while the future of the company is in the balance.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on December 05, 2011, 10:16:12 AM
As I said its a good  :2funny: :2funny:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on December 05, 2011, 10:26:15 AM
Yer Tiz:

Plenty of comments I could add about this; but for the time being, let's hope the "mystery Government department" is the fraud squad.
In my view they'd do well to let the doughnut van continuing trading in the parade so that the sweet smell of frying doughnuts combats the stench of the books being cooked in some darken hovel in the DMJ building.

Quote
They both have until March 22 to provide evidence for why it should not be struck off.

I have documentation that states the date on which it will be struck off, unless evidence can be shown to the contrary, to be February 28th 2012
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Karsten on December 05, 2011, 12:34:35 PM
I wonder how much Gary Perkins has been paid?
What work has he done as he claims not to know much?
How much was Tricky paid in salary?
Mustafa?
Is this info any where to be found.  Since no records have been published probably not.
Can a FOI be used to find out?

Why keep it open for just 10 users? 
What running costs does it have?   
I believe it gets power from SBC's Street lamps.
So instead of switching off street lamps, chuck the wifi crap and refund the 10 'customers'.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on December 05, 2011, 02:00:41 PM
Quote
Why keep it open for just 10 users? 


At the March 2011 meeting I believe Mr Hunt advised the Scrutiny Committee that the connections allowing use had been terminated, i am pretty sure that there are no active or 'live' users
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on December 05, 2011, 02:02:08 PM
I
Quote
wonder how much Gary Perkins has been paid?
What work has he done as he claims not to know much?
How much was Tricky paid in salary?
Mustafa?
Is this info any where to be found.  Since no records have been published probably not

This of course flies in the face of Coun Perkins statement that he would welcome people knowing where the money went
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on December 05, 2011, 02:10:52 PM
Isn't one person who first complained about Digital City to Companies House one of our own?


And my money is on the Insolvency Service being the government department that are looking at the affairs of Digital City. Digital City were trading while insolvent, which I believe is considered "naughty".

I'm sure that they can get access to any Digital City bank accounts to see where the money went which may then lead to Weebleman's Wish, a visit from the Fraud Squad.

Merry Xmas to current and past Digital City (UK) board members! :santa_afro:

http://www.bis.gov.uk/insolvency/Companies/company-investigation/how-do-I-complain-about-a-company

 :santa_cool:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on December 05, 2011, 03:10:29 PM
Isn't one person who first complained about Digital City to Companies House one of our own?


And my money is on the Insolvency Service being the government department that are looking at the affairs of Digital City. Digital City were trading while insolvent, which I believe is considered "naughty".

I'm sure that they can get access to any Digital City bank accounts to see where the money went which may then lead to Weebleman's Wish, a visit from the Fraud Squad.

Merry Xmas to current and past Digital City (UK) board members! :santa_afro:

[url]http://www.bis.gov.uk/insolvency/Companies/company-investigation/how-do-I-complain-about-a-company[/url]

 :santa_cool:


So Outoftowner my Councillor and Deputy Leader of the Council, Garry Perkins, could be in a spot of bovver then?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on December 05, 2011, 03:11:47 PM
Quote
Digital City were trading while insolvent, which I believe is considered "naughty".


Slightly worse than naughty - positively illegal (I know you know)  :santa_afro:

Of course there is also the 'crime' of trading knowing that the company may be unable to meet its debts, which means that at some time before the commencement of the winding up of the company, that person knew or ought to have concluded that there was no reasonable prospect that the company would avoid going into insolvent liquidation, and that person was a director of the company at that time.

The key issue here is one of 'liquidation' and of course as we know it was the decision of the Council to not issue default proceedings against DC, which would almost certainly have resulted in the company having to appoint a liquidator. The reasons given by SBC for not invoking the default proceedings were given as follows - "both SBC and digital city were seeking new partners, and secondly, legal action or the appointment of an administrator was deemed costly and offered little chance of a positive outcome".

One may reasonably ask what business it was of SBC to be worrying about the cost of administration.  As for a positive outcome, it's a little rich for SBC to be worrying about outcomes when they simply failed to secure the loan against either the assets of the company (worthless) or of Mr Hunt personally. In fact as we know the Council loaned the money totally unsecured despite its protestations to the contrary at the time.

In truth the decision of SBC to desist from taking any action agaiast DC benefited only one person.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on December 05, 2011, 03:22:10 PM
Quote
So Outoftowner my Councillor and Deputy Leader of the Council, Garry Perkins, could be in a spot of bovver then?

Coun Perkins has only one defence and that is he did not know the extent of the situation at DC. In such a case 'The court shall not make a declaration under this section (Sect 214 of The Companies Act) with respect to any person if it is satisfied that after the condition specified in subsection (2)(b) was first satisfied in relation to him that person took every step with a view to minimising the potential loss to the company’s creditors as (assuming him to have known that there was no reasonable prospect that the company would avoid going into solvent liquidation) he ought to have taken.

For the purposes of subsections (2) and (3), the facts which a director of a company ought to know or ascertain, the conclusions which he ought to reach and the steps which he ought to take are those which would be known or ascertained, or reached or taken, by a reasonably diligent person having both—

(a)the general knowledge, skill and experience that may reasonably be expected of a person carrying out the same functions as are carried out by that director in relation to the company, and (b)the general knowledge, skill and experience that that director has.

The questions to be asked are :-

Did Coun P know there was no reasonable prospect that the company would avoid going into solvent liquidation?

Did Coun P have the general knowledge, skill and experience that may reasonably be expected of a person carrying out the same functions as are carried out by that director in relation to the company?

For the avoidance of doubt and for the purposes of this section of the Act a company goes into insolvent liquidation if it goes into liquidation at a time when its assets are insufficient for the payment of its debts and other liabilities and the expenses of the winding up.


Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on December 05, 2011, 03:36:39 PM
The questions to be asked are :-

Did Coun P know there was no reasonable prospect that the company would avoid going into solvent liquidation?

Did Coun P have the general knowledge, skill and experience that may reasonably be expected of a person carrying out the same functions as are carried out by that director in relation to the company?

For the avoidance of doubt and for the purposes of this section of the Act a company goes into insolvent liquidation if it goes into liquidation at a time when its assets are insufficient for the payment of its debts and other liabilities and the expenses of the winding up.

1.  Garry Perkins would always argue, having taken instructions from his Leader, that the pRoject was Vibrant and a Goer.  As Rod would never countenance failure there would always be a nice man on a white charger galloping to his rescue with a bucket full of money.

2,  Garry Perkins stated at full Council he was a Director of nine companies so he should be fully conversant with all the legal requirements of being a Director and if he isn't now he should be debarred from being one immediately.

3.  I believe that Digital City was insolvent in March 2010 and as soon as he became aware of this the sensible course of action would have been for Garry Perkins to have resigned immediately.  The fact he did not do so makes him accountable and in my opinion liable. 

So.........

Simple Question Garry where are the accounts, if you know now is the time to publish them because next May the opposition parties are going to have a field day at your expense?  Bring it on!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: ph1lc on December 05, 2011, 06:51:36 PM
Unfortunately the directors of DC won't be charged with trading insolvent. It's a defence to trade your way out. Their defence will be that they believed there was prospect of a further investor.

i doubt it was the the insolvency service - unless SBC have complained , which I doubt (unless of course Rodders wants shot of the Perkinator).
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on December 07, 2011, 03:01:26 PM
Sadly my faith in honest and open answers from officers and councillors is at an all time low - they simply refuse to answer straightforward questions with strightforward answers.  And i genuinely thought certain senior people were trying to be open and honest - no more i'm afraid. So everything now goes the open route using FOIs.

In papers prepared for cabinet dated 22 September 2011 under a heading titled
Quote
Digital City: Loan repayment and Next steps.

2.12. Digital City has been in arrears in its interest payments for the SBC loan. The Council could have treated this as a position of default and instigated legal proceedings against the company and sought external advice on taking this option. A number of key factors pointed against this action. Firstly, both DC and SBC were actively seeking new partners to allow the project to be taken forward. Secondly, legal action and or the appointment of a formal administrator would have been costly with little chance of a positive outcome, given the company’s financial position etc.

1. Please provide details of the meeting at which the decision was taken to ‘not proceed’ with issuing a default notice.
2. Please provide details as to who was present at the meeting when the decision was made.
3. Please provide details of why relevant legal or accounting opinion was not sought.
4. In what way was the ‘search for new partners’ different from the ‘search for new partners’ which was being considered in January 2010 and in subsequent months>
5. What costs would have been incurred by SBC in ‘calling in the loan’?
6. In what way would insolvency have reduced the value of the assets, given SBC through the Borough Solicitor has always maintained that SBC has first claim on the assets of DC?
7.In what way would the winding up of DC impact upon the future of Highworth given that in March 2011 Mr Hunt and Coun Perkins advised that the Highworth phase of the project was not operational?
8. In 2.15 the Council state that it is the council’s intention to keep the current Highworth Network running and operational. Please confirm whether or not this ‘objective’ was achieved
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on December 07, 2011, 04:53:27 PM
Des

Are you doing this as a tidying up exercise now because you believe that someone has not been truthful with you or just not answered your questions? Someone said to me recently that your tenacious pursuit of this is commendable, but you have not been in the Swindon Advertiser with it recently and they were wondering if you had lost interest since the new deal was done?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on December 07, 2011, 05:03:04 PM
I have been writing but i fear the Adver has little stomach for the Wi-Fi saga. This is altter sent but never printed, i suspect it will not see the light of day.

Sir – At last the new Wi-Fi deal has been announced. The view from the Leader of the Council is that this is a good arrangement for the people of Swindon, based on past performance we need to study the detail before we get too carried away. Let’s look at the first claim that the deal is good for the Council. I guess it must be, as it means Council staff will have some of the latest communications technology at their fingertips and the ability to link with each other at fairly high speeds and on the move. The second claim made, is that the deal is somehow inextricably linked to the failed Borough wide Wi-Fi project for which Digital City received £400k of Council Tax payers money. That claim is at best disingenuous and worse a feeble attempt to fool the people of Swindon that some how the political elite have managed to pull a rabbit from the conjurors hat. For let us be very clear, this new deal is not the same as or even similar to the Wi-Fi project. It doesn’t offer any of the seven promised benefits associated with the original project, and crucially it doesn’t begin to meet the Council’s primary reason for entering into the business relationship with Digital City. In fact it doesn’t even involve Digital City which is a mystery when you consider that according to Coun Bluh it was the work undertaken by the company which attracted UK Broadband in the first place.  The reality is that the relationship between the Council, Capita and UK Broadband is really a fusion of political expediency and commercial pragmatism which creates the illusion of a close and unique relationship.

The business relationship entered into by the Council with service provider Capita and UK Broadband is for the delivery of 4G Ultra quick network access; I am sure Councillors will be aware that BT is working on real trials with the very same technology being offered by UK Broadband and one is bound to ask whether in ensuring value for money and best practise, Council officers have spoken to BT or obtained competitive quotes to support their choice of UK Broadband as the service provider. I hope we will not have to listen to another unsupported claim that BTs cost to participate was prohibitive, as Coun Bluh knows only too well the original claim was totally without foundation.

Let us then consider the alleged savings, I use the word alleged as it only a vague ‘hope’ that savings of £480k will accrue over a period of five years. The Council has form for making extravagant claims which it is unable to deliver on. In the original Wi-Fi proposal the Council was going to benefit from a £700k net profit after two years – this from a turnover reckoned to be never more than £600k – an unlikely outcome if ever there was one. Coun Bluh now wants to use the potential savings of £480k to set off against the loan, interest and expenses owed to the Council Tax payers by Digital City. This is a dramatic shift from the oft quoted position that ‘the loan will be repaid’ a statement repeated on 19 January 2011 by Coun Perkins who is both Deputy Leader of the Council and a Director of Digital City.  Swindon residents understand the position with regard to the repayment of a loan to be quite straightforward. The company who receives the loan has to repay it. Coun Bluh is asking the Council Tax Payer to loan £400k and repay it themselves. This may well be acceptable accounting to him but it will seem odd to the people of Swindon. It also fails to address why the Council lent Digital City a further £250k when they knew the company had financial problems and were concerned at the company’s ability to deliver on their original business plan. 

What about an income stream to the Council, one of Coun Bluh’s big concepts when loaning £400k to Mr Hunt; here the trick is for UK Broadband to find enough willing partners to utilise their technology before the next tranche of 4G spectrum licenses enter the market in 2012/13. As far as SBC is concerned - if UK Broadband is unsuccessful there will be no financial return to the Council, if they are successful the best that the Council can hope for is some crumbs from the table which is all that is being offered.

Coun Perkins as a Director has a legal responsibility for the actions of Digital City and if he was aware that the Company was not able to meet its obligations or indeed was even aware that it might not be able to repay the loan he must accept that responsibility. What is clear is that he was aware that Digital City had no money of its own to pay its debts.

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on December 07, 2011, 05:18:17 PM
Quote
Are you doing this as a tidying up exercise now because you believe that someone has not been truthful with you or just not answered your questions? Someone said to me recently that your tenacious pursuit of this is commendable, but you have not been in the Swindon Advertiser with it recently and they were wondering if you had lost interest since the new deal was done?


Believe me the last sentence is 'way off the mark' - my appetite for the subject is undimmed. The behaviour of some senior councillors and officers is, in my opinion. quite outrageous and it is to the leaderships shame that they refuse to see what is clear and evident if they would only 'open their eyes'.

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on December 07, 2011, 05:26:45 PM
Des

Cheers I will pass this reply onto them.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on December 19, 2011, 01:59:11 PM
My disappointment with Coun perkins is now complete.  In a series of questions put to him his answers reflect his incapacity to simply be honest. Let me be very explicit.

On the 10 December i asked this question and the answer is as shown

6. On what date did Digital City UK Limited formally ‘cease trading’?

Answer: I do not accept the premise of your question.  Digital City UK Limited has not formally ceased trading.  

I do not believe this answer is open to any interpretation beyond what it clearly states.  Which leaves me slightly mystified as on the 1 June 2011 only 6 months ago Coun perkins sent me an email in which by way of an answer to a similar question Q3 - he said 

3)     Digital City has not functioned post December 2010.

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

Now either Digital City is trading or it is not trading - what half way house is there? Or will Coun perkins seek from his legal eagle comfort in the term 'formally'?  And if it is still trading - and according to Coun Perkins it is - how can it when it has no money in DC's bank accounts and to avoid any doubt, this is according to Coun Perkins himself
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on December 19, 2011, 02:10:11 PM
So let's see - how difficult is this as a question: -

UK Broadband has signed a contract with SBC and Capita to provide communications services to the Council. This is not the ‘same’ arrangement as the Council had with Digital City UK Limited.

8.   Is there any contractual link in this ‘new deal’ between UK Broadband and Digital City UK Limited?

Answer: As stated at Cabinet on 22nd September 2011 by Mr. Nicholas James, Chief Executive, UK Broadband, the reason the company came to Swindon was because of the Council’s vision for a high speed wireless network for the town and the Highworth pilot. The Cabinet report outlines the contractual relations and there is nothing further to add to this.  

I would like every Councillor who criticises people like me for being 'persistent' to the point of annoyance to wonder just why it is that a simple question  cannot be answered with an honest answer.

Let's be very clear the cabinet report does not make any suggestion that there is a 'contractual' link between DC and the other 3 parties.  In the absence of Coun Perkins confirmation that there is or isn't it is probably safe to assume that there isn't especially as the Cabinet agreed to the Chief Executive to take such action as he considers necessary  to conclude the Council's interests in DC.

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on December 19, 2011, 02:16:39 PM
To conclude this very sorry saga - Coun Perkins said on the BBC (2 September 2011) that he "had no problem with people understanding where the money was spent" I therefore asked him 2 questions
 
1.   Is it your intention to publish a detailed breakdown of where and on what the £400k was spent?

Answer: That is a matter for Digital City.  The accounts will be available via Companies House. Of course what Coun Perkins is missing here, is the fact that he is Digital City

2.   When will the accounts be filed?

Answer: As soon as the Digital City Board finalise the details. See above.

I think it more than likely that Coun Perkins will attempt to wriggle out of his BBC committment as it really doesn't suit him to reveal the truth about this very odd deal
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on December 19, 2011, 02:51:52 PM
How odd - according to Coun Perkins the Highworth network is still operational, being used by Highworth residents and being managed by SBC and aQovia. One wonders at what cost to the Council and one has to ask - why?

Quote
Q3.   Please would you advise how the Council is ensuring the Get Signal ‘network continues to operate’ and how this is possible in view of the fact that according to an email dated June 2011 to me from Coun Perkins, states that Digital City UK Limited has ceased trading.  The Borough Council to my knowledge is simply a shareholder in the Company and not the ‘managing agent’ for the Company.

Answer to Q3. The network in Highworth continues to be operational, Highworth residents are using it. Where operational issues arise the shareholders SBC and aQovia work jointly in resolving these
.

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on December 19, 2011, 03:26:26 PM
Could someone please look at the Companies House database and see if any accounts have been filed?

I think it is time to do something if they have yet to be completed and filed.

As far as I am concerned this is far from being concluded Des, it is just beginning so Councillor Perkins had better give some answers to those of us he purports to represent here in Shaw and Nine Elms or face the consequences of his lack of action.

After all he does claim to be our Councillor, and Deputy Leader of the Council.  Some Councillor some Deputy and some Council!! 

This lot are completely out of control and are completely unaccountable.

But they will pay dearly for their contempt!!
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Outoftowner on December 19, 2011, 03:34:12 PM
Perkinator said:
Quote
Answer: I do not accept the premise of your question.  Digital City UK Limited has not formally ceased trading.

Des said:
Quote
And if it is still trading - and according to Coun Perkins it is - how can it when it has no money in DC's bank accounts and to avoid any doubt, this is according to Coun Perkins himself

Now a quick Google gives me this:

Quote
Wrongful Trading is an unlawful act as set out in Section 214 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
Wrongful trading is the act by Directors of a period of trading in which debts and liabilities are incurred and typically increase, whilst having no reasonable prospect of a company avoiding insolvent liquidation. It is the action by Directors of accepting credit when it is highly unlikely that the same would be discharged due to the financial position of a company.
Wrongful Trading only applies to company Directors, whereas Insolvent Trading can be undertaken by individuals such as sole traders.

Ph1lc has said that he believes a defence to what the Directors of Digital City are doing is that they are trying to trade their way out of the, insolvent, situation.
(They are surely insolvent, as their debt tp SBC, if we take the October date, is more than a month overdue full and final payment.)

My question is, "How long can Digital City (UK) try to trade themselves out of this mess?


PS, Richard,  Companies House is still showing the last significant information for Digital City (UK) Ltd as the suspension of the strike off action last August. So no accounts yet.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on December 23, 2011, 08:22:16 PM
Readers may be interested to know that I had further discussions this week on our favourite topic of the £400,000 loan by Swindon Borough Council to a Private company, Digital City (Uk) and they repeated what they said when the Wi-fiasco started some two years ago now, that in their opinion, it was illegal, under the Local Government Act.

However, having said that they did wonder if the fact that a Member, in our case the Deputy Leader of the Council, being a Director just might have tipped it in the Direction of it being Legal.

Is this the reason why Garry Perkins has toughed it out and stayed on the board of a bankrupt company and why they are so keen for it to be struck off the Register of Companies, without having to tell us what happened to the money and why a £700,000 return was not achieved within this two years, as was promised as justification for the 'investment'?

A good enough reason, on its own, to make sure that it is maintained on the Register until such time as a full and detailed account is made of what happened to the money, surely?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on January 02, 2012, 10:34:48 PM
As we enter 2012 I hear on the grapevine that our esteemed Leader believes the Wi-Fi topic is 'dead in the water' with only a few zealots likely to be airing their views to a disinterested swindon public.

Other information seeping back to me is that some of his own side accept the fact that the intellectual argument has been won by the 'well meaning' armchair scrutineers but in truth the people of Swindon 'don't care' and it will not be an issue in Mays election.

I wonder -mmmmmmmmmm
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: jennyb on January 02, 2012, 10:39:42 PM
As we enter 2012 I hear on the grapevine that our esteemed Leader believes the Wi-Fi topic is 'dead in the water' with only a few zealots likely to be airing their views to a disinterested swindon public.

Other information seeping back to me is that some of his own side accept the fact that the intellectual argument has been won by the 'well meaning' armchair scrutineers but in truth the people of Swindon 'don't care' and it will not be an issue in Mays election.

I wonder -mmmmmmmmmm

Des,

I think our esteemed leader would be naive in the extreme to believe that this has gone away.

J
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on January 02, 2012, 11:57:43 PM
As we enter 2012 I hear on the grapevine that our esteemed Leader believes the Wi-Fi topic is 'dead in the water' with only a few zealots likely to be airing their views to a disinterested swindon public.

Other information seeping back to me is that some of his own side accept the fact that the intellectual argument has been won by the 'well meaning' armchair scrutineers but in truth the people of Swindon 'don't care' and it will not be an issue in Mays election.

I wonder -mmmmmmmmmm

I suspect you heard that from Justin Tomlinson MP who told you that he had heard that on the doorstep  :santa_grin:

As JennnyB posted


Des,

I think our esteemed leader would be naive in the extreme to believe that this has gone away.

J

Who will be the first to disagree with Jennyb?   :popcorn:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on January 03, 2012, 08:43:14 AM
As we enter 2012 I hear on the grapevine that our esteemed Leader believes the Wi-Fi topic is 'dead in the water' with only a few zealots likely to be airing their views to a disinterested swindon public.

Des, I say he does this at his own peril because I for one will not let matters rest until we achieve satisfaction and I am sure you hold that view too.

As for Shaw & Nine Elms where I live, business folk do not approve of the actions of their Councillor, their Deputy Leader of the Council and Director of Digital City (UK) Ltd, to whom they, the Council Tax Payers of Swindon loaned £400,000 of their money by less than straighforward means.

This is far from dead in the water, but if Rod Bluh chooses to believe that then it shows just how out of touch and devoid of reality he really is!   :santa_cry:

Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on January 03, 2012, 08:48:26 AM
Who will be the first to disagree with Jennyb?   :popcorn:

I wonder if Russell Holland going to come on here and defend his leader or is he quietly waiting for his opportunity to take over himself?

Mind you if Rod loses his seat in Old Town, for that is where we all expect him to stand as he would certainly not hold his old seat with Park South included in it, I would suggest that Russell is none too safe either.

I feel sorry for the Conservatives because I am sure they do not know which fire is the most dangerous and therefore which one to fight first? 
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: oldtowner on January 03, 2012, 12:08:08 PM
 
 
Mind you if Rod loses his seat in Old Town, for that is where we all expect him to stand as he would certainly not hold his old seat with Park South included in it, I would suggest that Russell is none too safe either.
 
The Conservatives ran a survey in Old Town late last year asking local residents what they thought (Rod testing the water?)

Anyways recently, December,  they sent out letters thanking people for taking part. The letter I received was signed by Robert Buckland.

The point is the letter had a list of Conservative candidates who will be standing in Old Town in May. They are;

Roderick Bluh
Brian Mattock
Peter Mallinson

Mattock , who was hoping to land himself a cushy little number on the new housing association board will have to stand now that vote is a resounding NO. (he might get another one come May)

Bluh, is obviously running scared out of his old ward and thinks the Old Town will be a safe bet. Just goes to prove that his only interest is himself and not for the elecorate that he;
a) is deserting in his old ward
b) thinks will provide him with a safe seat in Old Town
c) is so out of touch, as he has demonstrated this past year, if he thinks Old Town is a safe Conservative seat

Mallinson, was already rejected by his previous electorate. Why doesn't he stand in the same ward that rejected him and justify himself. Oh, let me guess .... see point b) for Bluh

If Bluh or Mallinson had a shred of decency and integrity they would stand in the same wards they represent or previously represented. But they are cowardly and are taking what they think is the easy option - running away to a suppossedly safe haven.

They are just as bad, but not quite, as Bawden and Foley who are also bailing out of Old Town to Lawn and Chisledon - they obviously dont have any faith that the silent majority, that they say they represent, in Old Town would relect them.

May 2012 will be an interesting time. I sense the winds of change are blowing through Swindon.


Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Monkey Boy on January 04, 2012, 02:22:18 PM
Not wishing to distract from wifi but am finding the machinations of people standing in which wards with the new boundary changes, could it be considered that for Cllrs Bluh and Foley (not so for Mallinson, I think, isn't he a West Swindon resident?), that the changes provide an opportunity for them to stand in the wards in which they live (I think Cllr Foley lives in Lawn doesn't she?), especially as Cllr Foley is still representing part of her old ward.  Under this thinking, she was always going to be perceived as NOT standing again in a part that she previously represented....

I think I feel a new thread coming on.....

And here it is so we don't distract from wifi:  http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=8207.msg73706;topicseen#msg73706 (http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=8207.msg73706;topicseen#msg73706)
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on January 04, 2012, 03:12:04 PM
As we enter 2012 I hear on the grapevine that our esteemed Leader believes the Wi-Fi topic is 'dead in the water' with only a few zealots likely to be airing their views to a disinterested swindon public.

Des, I say he does this at his own peril because I for one will not let matters rest until we achieve satisfaction and I am sure you hold that view too.

As for Shaw & Nine Elms where I live, business folk do not approve of the actions of their Councillor, their Deputy Leader of the Council and Director of Digital City (UK) Ltd, to whom they, the Council Tax Payers of Swindon loaned £400,000 of their money by less than straighforward means.

This is far from dead in the water, but if Rod Bluh chooses to believe that then it shows just how out of touch and devoid of reality he really is!   :santa_cry:


£400K is yet to be repaid due in full with interest on 31st October 2011 the company is still in existence and Cllr Perkins is a director when will the council take some action to recover the council tax payer funded loan that is outstanding? Bluh Blew £400K and walks away that is a sad reflection on the state of Tory politics in the Borough of Swindon. 
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Des Morgan on January 05, 2012, 08:36:32 PM
Quote
when will the council take some action to recover the council tax payer funded loan that is outstanding?


The Cabinet Member for Finance has decided not to invoke the default clause in the Loan Agreement.  Ostensibly this was to make the business deal with UK Broadband more likely (although there appears to be no evidence or suggestion that UK Broadband is an investor in Digital City) and to preserve the value of the assets of Digital City.  Given Digital City's assets are worth the square root of zero that is probably the most specious claim ever made by the Council it is certainly on  a par with the claim that on a turnover of just over £500k Digital City would return a £700k net profit.   Alchemy should have been Coun Bluh's profession, as opposed to accountancy.

It is my view that some well placed people were fully aware that one person stood to be held liable for any debts owed to SBC if Digital City was placed into administration.  As the law stands a director can become personally liable for company debts if they allow a company to trade while it is insolvent - or likely to become insolvent I take the view the Council has failed in its basic duty of seeking recovery of the debt owed by Digital City. The inaction displayed in not exercising the default clause makes a mockery of the original assurances made to Council members and the promise that there was a default position covering breach of the agreement.

More importantly the reasons given in Cabinet papers for Coun Edwards decsion to not invoke the clause are no longer valid and he now ought to invoke the clause.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Smithedon on January 05, 2012, 08:38:22 PM
 :agreed:

Great point.....
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Got Signal on January 05, 2012, 09:04:09 PM
Des

The council has failed in its duty an interesting use of a phrase and what was said by Cllr Edwards is no longer valid. I can see that this still has some rumbling on to do.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Smithedon on January 05, 2012, 09:06:27 PM
Des

The council has failed in its duty an interesting use of a phrase and what was said by Cllr Edwards is no longer valid. I can see that this still has some rumbling on to do.

Totally  :agreed:
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on January 06, 2012, 01:03:41 AM
As no attempt is being made to account for £400,000 of Council Tax Payers Money on a dubious business venture that did not deliver a fraction of what was promised means this is definitely not to be allowed to rest.

The fact that the Deputy Leader of the Council one Councillor Garry Perkins is still a Director and has failed in every way to protect our money and at the same time comply with company law makes it even more important.

I wonder what it will take for higher authority to take action to investigate this appalling and diabolical situation?

What a can of worms exists in Euclid Street and we must rid ourselves of them at all costs.

I wonder what Mr Pickles thinks of his unaccountable colleagues when he spouts off about working with the community. 

What utter bollocks. 

The Conservative MP's have every reason to investigate this on our behalf.

divided loyalties their party or the public who elected them - a hobson's choice
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Weebleman on January 06, 2012, 08:49:29 AM

I wonder what it will take for higher authority to take action to investigate this appalling and diabolical situation?

The Conservative MP's have every reason to investigate this on our behalf.
divided loyalties their party or the public who elected them - a hobson's choice

 :agreed: Given the time line that some of these events took place (very well researched by Des) surely there is corruption on some level that should properly be investigated.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: ph1lc on January 06, 2012, 09:09:22 AM
Sorry Des - invoking clauses it a bit of a red herring. I see where your argument is going, but the chances of any Director being made liable are absolutely zero.
At the point that the money was advanced, the Company was not insolvent and that is what would get any Director off the hook.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on January 06, 2012, 09:31:48 AM
At the point that the money was advanced, the Company was not insolvent and that is what would get any Director off the hook.

Do we actually know that as fact ph assuming that this discounts the Council's second loan of course?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: ph1lc on January 06, 2012, 09:42:31 AM
I'm afraid we do Richard. When the second tranch was advanced the project was still proceeding.

The real scandal is the second tranche being advanced. It was blatantly obvious to antone with even a single brain cell that the second advance was not going to complete the project without substantial further funding. That's where the Council - both Councillors and Officers have fallen short. Without guarantees of further investment the £250k was going to be poured down the drain.

I don't agree with much that Cllr Edwards does or has done, but he is correct in that there was no point persuing DC for the loan. The Company had no monety to pay it back, and the only hope was that another investor could be found.

Unfortunately - as people pointed out on this illustrious forum a long time ago, the technology was old hat.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on January 06, 2012, 10:02:11 AM
Basically we agree that there is no point of taking the Deputy Leader to Court in his position as Director of Digital City (UK) Ltd., but and this a big but......................

As nothing happened after the second tranche of money was made available to DC is it fair to say they were bankrupt when they received it?

Only Garry Perkins knows in his capacity as Director and for that he is accountable to the people of Swindon!!

Unfortunately - as people pointed out on this illustrious forum a long time ago, the technology was old hat.

But it was Vibrant and Innovative and totally sponsored by Rod Bluh and Mark Edwards, a decision made without the CABINET AND OTHER SWINDON BOROUGH COUNCILLORS.  For that alone should there not be a criminal inquiry?
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: ph1lc on January 06, 2012, 11:14:20 AM
Now there you may well have hit the nail on the head Richard. Bluh and Edwards have a lot to answer for, wether is goes as far as criminal I don't know. Incompetant most definately.

What of the Councils Director of Finance? Did he raise any objections? What of Gavin Jones? The money was not handed over without their knowledge and they are both culpable.

Were DC bankrupt when they received the second tranche  - no most definately not. The point is that they needed further funding to complete the installation. The Council should not have handed over the second tranche until that funding was guaranteed.
Title: Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
Post by: Richard Symonds on January 06, 2012, 11:44:53 AM