Crunch meeting over town wi-fi
8:30am Friday 31st August 2012 in By David Wiles
A CRUNCH meeting is to be held of the board of troubled firm Digital City UK, which failed to roll out wi-fi internet access in Swindon.
Companies House, the official register of UK firms, started the process to strike off the company last August because it had breached Government rules by not filing its 2010 accounts by the May deadline.
This was suspended following objections from a Government department and a third party, which Companies House will not identify. It later transpired the company did not have enough cash to pay for an accountant to file its accounts Swindon Council and aQovia, the technical partner and other shareholder, agreed a deal whereby the council pays to file the accounts and the other pays to maintain the Highworth infrastructure.
The meeting, which will be held next month, is between the firm’s remaining directors, Coun Garry Perkins , cabinet member for regeneration and culture, and Mustafa Arif, of aQovia.
Coun Perkins said the meeting would be to agree the accounts ready for filing, including their level of detail and presentation.
It would also decide whether the firm should continue operating or be shut down, and determine the value of the Highworth infrastructure, which is thought to be worth in the region of £200,000.
It would also decide which shareholder should own it.
He said he would also find out how much Swindon Council would have to pay to file the accounts, and also discuss whether he would have to personally pay the £1,500 fine for late accounts, or whether this would be covered by Swindon Council.
“We wanted to see the infrastructure come back to the council ,” said Coun Perkins.
“I understand the original agreement was that the infrastructure would be returned to the council or be owned by the council, but it’s putting a value on it.”
He said the filing was only delayed because aQovia had questions for the company’s accountant.
He said the accounts would contain enough information to comply with the law, and he had no problem with the documents indicating how the council’s £400,000 loan was spent, but the board had the final decision.
He said he hoped the accounts would be filed soon after the meeting and, although there would be a fine, he was only a director as a council representative, not a private individual.
Meanwhile, resident Des Morgan, who has been following the wi-fi project, is threatening to take civil action against Digital City UK to force it to provide details of its expenditure as he doubts it will be in the accounts.
He said: “It will once again highlight the unsatisfactory way in which the council has sought to prevaricate and procrastinate. “The £400,000 is still a debt owed to the council.”
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