Police will not check wi-fi deal
5:30am Friday 7th February 2014 in By Mike Benke, @Michael_Benke
A MEETING of Swindon Council’s cabinet resolved not to formally refer the issue of the town’s wi-fi scandal to the police.
Last month a report was published by the scrutiny committee saying the council had been the victim of the sales skills of businessman Rikki Hunt, leading to the loss of a £400,000 council loan.
The decision on whether to make an official complaint to the police was deferred to the cabinet meting on Wednes-day night.
It emerged that last month that council leader David Renard (Con, Haydon Wick) and the council’s chief executive, Gavin Jones, contacted the police over the issue but they said they would not be carrying out any more investigations.
A Wiltshire Police spokesman said: “The allegations have been reviewed by Wiltshire Police and with the information available to them they will not be investigating the matter further.”
The police have been contacted on a number of occasions previously to see if there has been any wrong-doing but as there is insufficient evidence it has not been taken further.
Following on from this information it was decided by the cabinet not to make any further complaints to the police.
The motion passed also said that no further council time will be spent on the issue.
He said: “This will not go away unless we lance the boil properly.
“In my opinion you are wrong in not making a formal complaint to the police.
“I do believe that to protect the council from further accusations then it is important for everyone to see that the police have made the decision not to prosecute.
“If we do not then there are those who will not let this drop.”
The report, which was completed last month, said that mistakes were made at the time as too much information was withheld to prevent it from being scrutinised.
This led to the loan being given to Digital City UK, of which Rikki Hunt was the managing director.
It criticised the decision to authorise £250,000 of the loan, saying that if council officers were in possession of all the information they have reached a different conclusion.
Rikki Hunt has denied any wrong-doing at any point over the failure of the scheme.
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