Author Topic: Another 'Accidental Director' ? - Or Has Scrutiny Cttme Been Deceived Again?  (Read 14819 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Geoff Reid

  • Twitter: @Geoff_Reid
  • Active But Odd
  • Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 10109
  • Gender: Male
  • Bald as a chimps arse
 
 
Yesterday, in post #91 of the Cllr Perkins WiFi'asco Announcement Delayed Again thread I mentioned that I thought Cllrs Bluh & Perkins, and Rikki Hunt probably walked out of Mondays scrutiny meeting feeling quite pleased with themselves.

I said:

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

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


Well, '6pm today' passed about 27 hours ago and by now, courtesy of Swindon's growing Lamp-lighting network, I'm fairly sure that the latest nugget of WiFi'asco news has begun circulating around the civic community and, if the Conservative groups telephone-tree isn't on fire already, it will be within minutes of this post going live.

Lamplighters noticed early in 2011 that an interesting change had been made in the management structure of Avidity Consulting Ltd.  It was interesting because Avidity Consulting Ltd holds shares in Digital City and it is into this company that some observers suspect that most of the £400,000 loaned to Digital City (UK) Ltd has disappeared.

The change became even more interesting after Rikki Hunt said, first at Mondays Council scrutiny committee meeting and then in today's (paper edition) of the Advertiser, that he would 'Give' his 30 percent share of Digital City (UK) Ltd to Swindon Borough Council.

What Mr Hunt neglected to mention to either the Scrutiny Committee or the Swindon Advertiser is that he is no longer the managing director of Avidity Consulting, and has not been so since December the 31st 2010.

Don't take my word for it, here's a recent screenshot from Companies house.

Click the thumbnail for enlarged version




Others might like to supply some expert analysis, but in the meantime it is worth remembering that Avidity Consulting own 30% of the shares in Digital City (UK) Ltd.




Todays Adver Story:





« Last Edit: February 10, 2011, 07:35:33 AM by Geoff Reid »



Offline Ringer

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1802
  • Gender: Female
Is that John Hunt or John Richard Hunt?
To qualify for inclusion there is only one rule - something described must have been said to have happened. `If the facts don`t fit the legend, print

Offline Geoff Reid

  • Twitter: @Geoff_Reid
  • Active But Odd
  • Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 10109
  • Gender: Male
  • Bald as a chimps arse
Is that John Hunt or John Richard Hunt?

Depends which of Mr Hunts LinkedIn profiles you stumble across  :popcorn:

For clarity:  Mr John Richard Hunt is also known as 'Rikki' Hunt although he may use other aliases or variations of his fore, middle and surnames.

Offline I Could Do That

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1960
  • Swindon Born & Bred & Gone
I suppose, to be fair to the SBC Cabinet, The Eiffel Tower, was historically sold, in a spoof scrap sale.
Mind you, I haven't checked the names, of the buyers and salesman.
Proud to be gone

Offline Geoff Reid

  • Twitter: @Geoff_Reid
  • Active But Odd
  • Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 10109
  • Gender: Male
  • Bald as a chimps arse
 
 
Further to post#1, Chris Watts recently reminded us of some previous WiFi'asco Shenanigans With Shares:

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

  • SBC allegedly did not know that a senior officer was a Director of DC
  • Also the senior officer allegedly did not know he was a director (even though he had put this on his LinkedIn web page)
  • SBC allegedly did not know that DC shares had been allocated to an Isle of Man registered company, instead of the UK company listed in the cabinet briefing note
  • SBC allegedly did not know that DC shares had been allocated to the MD of DC directly , instead of the UK based consultancy company listed in the cabinet briefing note
  • They did not know that the alleged MD of the technology partner company was not a registered director of that company.
  • SBC did not know the director status within DC of the technology partner.

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

It's probably approaching the time when interested parties might be grateful if we produce a chronological time line of WiFi'asco events - with all the supporting public record documents attached.

Offline Richard Symonds

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4024
Geoff, you have to ask yourself exactly what did or what does SBC know about this amazing use or in my belief misuse of public money?

What exactly has happened to the £400,000?

What is Rikki Hunt's purpose in offering shares in a company unable to discharge its liabilities and is to all intents and purposes therefore bankrupt?

How long does SBC give this so called deal to take effect, before it puts Digital City into Administration or are to wait week after week for the 'announcement'?
All my posts are my own opinion and do not represent any political organization or group

Offline Geoff Reid

  • Twitter: @Geoff_Reid
  • Active But Odd
  • Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 10109
  • Gender: Male
  • Bald as a chimps arse
 
Richard, you'll no doubt remember that I recently said:


Assuming that Digital City (UK) Ltd has been servicing the interest payments on the loan from the loan money itself, and assuming that large monthly payments for consulting services and/or salary have been flowing out of Digital City's accounts and into those of Avidity Consulting Ltd, (another Company started by Mr Hunt), then I'm thinking that the original loan money must be almost exhausted.  Perhaps it has already run out....

... and if so, this naturally leads me to wonder whether Mr Hunt would, (or could),  reach into his own pocket to pay the £1,000 'ish per month in interest payments on theSBC loan.  Is it more likely that he would simply apply the acid-test of solvency to Digital City (UK) Ltd and, upon realising that it cannot liquidise, (in fact does not have),  enough assets to meet its liabilities,  start thinking seriously about winding the company up?

Is Digital City (UK) Ltd destined to join the list of 7 or 8 other companies wound up by Mr Hunt in the last few years or will Cllr Perkins promise that a 'cheque of at least £400,000 is in the post' be proved to be truthful?....


And:



The debt to SBC  is believed to be in the region of  £400,000 but I have no idea what may be owed, if anything, to other creditors of Digital City (UK) Ltd has.  The SBC loan is due to be repaid in full by December this year.   Currently, (according to Cllr Keith Williams speaking on BBC Wiltshire earlier this week), interest-only payments are, or have been regularly made each month.  I understand that these interest only payments have been made at the 'commercial rate', (according to SBC), of 3%  per month.  Let's round that figure up or down slightly and call it £1,000 per month.

Now, and this is where I'd like to point out that the next part of this blog post is mostly speculative , I'm having trouble reconciling the current actions and behaviour of Councillor Perkins against his past ones and I'm also finding what he's saying difficult to believe without any evidence being offered.   I've noticed that Councillor Perkins often makes statements from within the Council Chambers, (and therefore from behind the protection of 'Privilege'), which have quickly been proved false, although it does seem that Perkins isn't afraid of openly making wildly exaggerated claims in the local media as well, in fact he's usually something of a media whore.... but not this time -   This time Perkins is staying schtumm whenever he is outside the relative  safety of the chambers, which makes me even more suspicious that there's something 'iffy' in the offing...

....and then, as if by magic,  Cllr Williams pops up on BBC Radio Wiltshire, and after energetically slandering Chris Watts, goes on to repeatedly emphasise the following point about the £400,000 loan made by Swindon Borough Council to Digital City (UK) Ltd:

"The loan hasn't been defaulted on yet, and interest is being regularly paid"

I thought this was a most curious thing for Cllr Williams to mention even once, let alone several times.  Especially since I don't think anyone had actually asked a question which would naturally lead to that answer.  It was almost as if he was a little too keen to labour the point.

I think, at the time they made these statements publicly, they both knew that the loan had already been defaulted on but were willing to say otherwise.  In fact I'm willing to bet that they'd already been informed, or had sight of, the contents of the WiFi'asco update which was eventually presented to scrutiny last Monday.

When Cllr Williams gave assurances that Digital City was keeping up with it's interest payments and that the loan had not been defaulted on, Digital City had, in fact, already been defaulting on the loan since December 2010.  I believe Cllr Williams knew that.

You have to wonder whether they also knew about the December 2010 change of Directors at Avidity Consulting and consider whether the recent 'Anti Chris Watts' briefings from Cllr Williams and Justin Tomlinson MP were partly driven by fear at realising Rikki Hunt was slithering away from wifi'asco liabilities and the need to pass the blame-buck onto anyone but themselves or one of their own.  I believe that they also knew about the change of Directors.

I think I'll blog the rest of this tomorrow, but in the meantime.....

.....you shouldn't accept a damned thing a Cabinet Member says about the WiFi'asco as being true until you can prove that it actually is.  The public record over the last two weeks clearly shows that several of their statements have not been at all true.



Offline turnkeylane

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1
  • Hello !
Are the Swindon council taxpayers expected to believe that allegedly no one in the council knew anything about this resignation until 9th february 2011 when it appeared on this website? Is it about time the council taxpayers of Swindon heard from all very senior council staff and all councillors what they knew and when they knew it?

Write to your councillor and ask them, and also write to the CEO asking what the senior corporate board/team  knew and when they knew it.

Offline Geoff Reid

  • Twitter: @Geoff_Reid
  • Active But Odd
  • Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 10109
  • Gender: Male
  • Bald as a chimps arse
Are the Swindon council taxpayers expected to believe that allegedly no one in the council knew anything about this resignation until 9th february 2011 when it appeared on this website? Is it about time the council taxpayers of Swindon heard from all very senior council staff and all councillors what they knew and when they knew it?

Write to your councillor and ask them, and also write to the CEO asking what the senior corporate board/team  knew and when they knew it.


And I'd wish all who do so the very best of luck in receiving an honest answer.  The public record, (much of it re-published or linked to from Talkswindon), often highlights large variances between what is actually the truth, and what some Directors and Councillors at Swindon Borough Council want you to think the truth is.  Correspondents should be aware, (before they put pen to paper), that the administration is currently seeking a political rescue for the WiFi'asco.  Any answers they do deign to supply are likely to be increasingly biased politically as we approach May's local elections.  Cllr Garry Perkins, (Deputy Leader of Swindon Borough Council & a Director of Digital City (UK) Ltd), is seeking re-election in Shaw and Nine Elms Ward so I wouldn't assume he will want to discuss the WiFi'asco frankly with you when he shakes your hand and asks for your vote.

Just to clarify one small excerpt of information which was distributed to, and being discussed by, Cabinet members well in advance of the last Scrutiny meeting:

Quote
3.2   Loan repayment update

Three Interest payments on the loan have not been made and they were due on the 4th November 2010, 16th December 2010 and 20th January 2011. A further invoice has also been raised which is not yet due for payment.



Garry Perkins, (Deputy leader of SBC & a Director of Digital City (UK) Ltd), cannot deny that he was the very first councillor to have sight of the above comment - because he co-authored it*



* Who was the other author?, none other than the WiFi'asco's first accidental Director, Hitesh Patel. 

Since Hitesh was forced to resign from his semi-secret, (and denied-by-SBC), position as a Director of Digital City (UK) Ltd when his directorship was exposed here on Talkswindon, Hitesh has remained 'in post' at Swindon Borough Council as its 'Director for Business Transformation'.

Welcome to TS btw :)






Offline Outoftowner

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1632
  • Gender: Male
  • Hello !
How do we get the men with the pointed hats involved in this, as this has gone on to long abd is beyond a joke!

One of the contributers to the Adver comments, I think it was robfm, said that he has contacted the police. However I believe that the police do not normally respond to the type of allegation that he may have made.
 (phew, have to be carefull with the wording here!)
Normally I believe that the police will only respond to a complaint of wrongdoing from an offical body i.e. Swindon Borough Council, or similar in this case.

How do we bring that about?
What's it all about?

Offline Des Moffatt

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 337
  • Hello !
Dear TS community
I am getting a little nervous regarding the WiFi debate on Talk Swindon.
Someone new to the site would be forgiven for thinking all Swindon Councillors were idiots who have not performed their function to the best of their ability.
WiFi was launched in secret by an inner cabal of Tory Councillors under the direction of Councillor Roderick Bluh. Councillor Perkins was not involved at that stage. Councillor Foley the then deputy leader of the Council was not consulted at any stage until the deal was done.
No Labour or Lib Dem had any inkling of the day dream until it was launched in a blasé of publicity involving Caroline Selman. The then Labour MPs were unaware. Their only failing and it may not in the end have been a failing was to be as bold as I have been in accepting the technical advise given to me by a friend of my sons. Ann Snelgrove MP did her duty in exposing the matter in the House of Commons.
The leader of the Labour Group Councillor Montaut as chair of scrutiny forced it on to the formal Council agenda.
Even the Lib Dems fell of the fence at one stage and joined Cllr Moffatt and Montaut in recording their vote against the further £250,000 loan at the scrutiny meeting in March 2010.
Des Morgan has been very diligent in pursuing the public interest and a phone call from him prompted me to put the question to the proper officers of the Council that made the exposure of the default on the loan inevitable.
"If you don't tell the chair of Scrutiny, I will", I told Kevin Small anyway.
Having said that however, and in the absence of support from the editor of the local paper, without the input and support of TS those Councillors who sought to scrutinise this project would have been isolated and their input rubbished by the establishment.
Even today the rescue plan is being negotiated, presuming there is a rescue plan, in complete secrecy. I have made some points regarding defence of the Councils interests and in making them to the relevant officers had to make assumptions. My concerns may have been complete nonsense; I have no way of knowing.
Keep it in perspective friends, we are not all naive and gullible and many Tory Councillors are as perplexed as I am that Corporate Swindon is being damaged in this way. Only the Tory Group can deal with the problem.

Offline Geoff Reid

  • Twitter: @Geoff_Reid
  • Active But Odd
  • Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 10109
  • Gender: Male
  • Bald as a chimps arse
How do we get the men with the pointed hats involved in this, as this has gone on to long abd is beyond a joke!

One of the contributers to the Adver comments, I think it was robfm, said that he has contacted the police. However I believe that the police do not normally respond to the type of allegation that he may have made.
 (phew, have to be carefull with the wording here!)
Normally I believe that the police will only respond to a complaint of wrongdoing from an offical body i.e. Swindon Borough Council, or similar in this case.

How do we bring that about?


I understand a formal complaint/request for investigation is under consideration elsewhere.

I note that Rikki Hunt has been stealthily rowing his lifeboat away from the MV WiFi'asco since December 2010.

Offline Geoff Reid

  • Twitter: @Geoff_Reid
  • Active But Odd
  • Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 10109
  • Gender: Male
  • Bald as a chimps arse


Dear TS community

I am getting a little nervous regarding the WiFi debate on Talk Swindon.

Someone new to the site would be forgiven for thinking all Swindon Councillors were idiots who have not performed their function to the best of their ability.

WiFi was launched in secret by an inner cabal of Tory Councillors under the direction of Councillor Roderick Bluh. Councillor Perkins was not involved at that stage. Councillor Foley the then deputy leader of the Council was not consulted at any stage until the deal was done.

No Labour or Lib Dem had any inkling of the day dream until it was launched in a blasé of publicity involving Caroline Selman. The then Labour MPs were unaware. Their only failing and it may not in the end have been a failing was to be as bold as I have been in accepting the technical advise given to me by a friend of my sons.

Ann Snelgrove MP did her duty in exposing the matter in the House of Commons.

The leader of the Labour Group Councillor Montaut as chair of scrutiny forced it on to the formal Council agenda.

Even the Lib Dems fell of the fence at one stage and joined Cllr Moffatt and Montaut in recording their vote against the further £250,000 loan at the scrutiny meeting in March 2010.

Des Morgan has been very diligent in pursuing the public interest and a phone call from him prompted me to put the question to the proper officers of the Council that made the exposure of the default on the loan inevitable.

"If you don't tell the chair of Scrutiny, I will", I told Kevin Small anyway.

Having said that however, and in the absence of support from the editor of the local paper, without the input and support of TS, those Councillors who sought to scrutinise this project would have been isolated and their input rubbished by the establishment.

Even today the rescue plan is being negotiated, presuming there is a rescue plan, in complete secrecy. I have made some points regarding defence of the Councils interests and in making them to the relevant officers had to make assumptions. My concerns may have been complete nonsense; I have no way of knowing.

Keep it in perspective friends, we are not all naive and gullible and many Tory Councillors are as perplexed as I am that Corporate Swindon is being damaged in this way. Only the Tory Group can deal with the problem.


Yes, valid points Des.  It's often quicker and easier to type 'Councillors' than 'Cabinet members' and although TS regulars understand who comments refer to, it's possible that our many guest readers may lump all of you into the same boat, (let's christen her the 'MV WiFi'asco').

I've taken the liberty of highlighting some points in the above quote and adding a couple of URL's :)


Nb: Re: The Rescue Plan - See Rod & The Bluhnderbirds Seek Rescue For WiFi

Offline Steve Wakefield

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2566
  • Gender: Male
No one needs to write to me, and please note I am not speaking for any other Councillor or senior officer of Swindon Borough Council when I say this I speak only for myself.

I did not know anything about this resignation until a member of the public phoned me late in the afternoon/early evening of 9th February 2011. I have heard nothing from the council or Digital City on the matter in question.

All posts on this forum are my own opinion and do not represent the views of any council or any political party.  :banana:

ph1lc

  • Guest
Avidity Consulting is still owned by JR Hunt - he owns the only issued share.

Like other contributers I suspect that a great deal of money has transferred from DC to Avidity - ostensibly in the form of "management consultancy fees" for one JR Hunt.
Nothing unusual there, that is a pretty common way for directors to get money out of a company.

Roll on May when DC and Avidityare obliged to publish their accounts - they will have small company exemption, on won't need to publish a p&L, but from their balance sheet we will be able to make a very good guess as to where the money has actually gone.

Incidentally - aQovia are late filing their accounts at Companies House.

Offline Geoff Reid

  • Twitter: @Geoff_Reid
  • Active But Odd
  • Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 10109
  • Gender: Male
  • Bald as a chimps arse
Avidity Consulting is still owned by JR Hunt - he owns the only issued share.

Like other contributers I suspect that a great deal of money has transferred from DC to Avidity - ostensibly in the form of "management consultancy fees" for one JR Hunt.
Nothing unusual there, that is a pretty common way for directors to get money out of a company.

Roll on May when DC and Avidityare obliged to publish their accounts - they will have small company exemption, on won't need to publish a p&L, but from their balance sheet we will be able to make a very good guess as to where the money has actually gone.

Incidentally - aQovia are late filing their accounts at Companies House.

I won't be holding my breath waiting for Digital City (UK) Ltd or Avidity Consulting to submit their accounts on time  :-X

Ph1c: Out of interest, what's your opinion as to why Rikki Hunt installed his wife Laura as Director of Avidity before resigning ?

Offline Steve Wakefield

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2566
  • Gender: Male
Incidentally - aQovia are late filing their accounts at Companies House.

How late?
All posts on this forum are my own opinion and do not represent the views of any council or any political party.  :banana:

Offline MsD Meanor

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 136
  • Hello !
How do we get the men with the pointed hats involved in this, as this has gone on to long abd is beyond a joke!



The Masons? I thought they were all part of it....

Offline Geoff Reid

  • Twitter: @Geoff_Reid
  • Active But Odd
  • Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 10109
  • Gender: Male
  • Bald as a chimps arse

Des, can you clarify the following [my bold emphasis]:

WiFi was launched in secret by an inner cabal of Tory Councillors under the direction of Councillor Roderick Bluh. Councillor Perkins was not involved at that stage. Councillor Foley the then deputy leader of the Council was not consulted at any stage until the deal was done.

This looks like you are sure that neither Cllr Perkins or Foley had prior knowledge of the WiFi 'deal' before launch.  Have both cllr's, (both of whom were Cabinet members at the time), told you that they didn't know or do you know that that they couldn't have known? - there is a marked difference between the two positions.  My understanding is that at least four cabinet members were fully aware of and/or actively involved in the secretive wifi preamble. Perhaps now is the time to start clarifying who knew what, and when they knew it?

Thusfar I am aware of only one cabinet member who has openly and publicly claimed not to have known anything about WiFi, and that was Cllr Keith Williams, (Shaw & Nine Elms), who apparently saw no reason, (then), to disguise his surprise/disappointment (?) at being excluded. 

It seems to me that the double questions of 'who knew what & when did they know it?' become legally more relevant with every passing day and some cabinet members, (those quicker on the uptake), will try to distance themselves from responsibility.

It is important that we learn which of them, if any, acted in good faith, (if dumbly loyal) and which are the real rotten apples/idiots. 

Offline Des Moffatt

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 337
  • Hello !
I read your post half an hour ago and wrestle with the reply.
I stand by the sentence exactly as worded.
I know this.
It is said by some that I usually know the answer before I ask the question.
If Councillors Foley or Perkins believes me to have misrepresented their involvement, I will take my lumps. Only they are entitled to dispute my analysis.
Sorry if this is still vague. I had written much more but too much of it is analysis and conjecture. I may well be that as you say; who knew what and when will become very important. I remind you of the other sentence, precisely reproduced "if you don't tell the chair of scrutiny, I will"