Crunch meeting over town wi-fi

This Is Wiltshire: Councillor Garry Perkins Councillor Garry Perkins

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.”

Comments (14)

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8:40am Fri 31 Aug 12

RichardR1 says...

This will go down in history as one of the biggest farces, behind the Mechanics, and Locarno Swindon Council has been involved in.

Des Morgan is right that we as rate payers deserve to know the detail. If Mr Perkins wants rate payers to pay the fine, and the accountants fees, we deserve an answer.

Will we get one, probably not. It is as corrupt to hide the truth as it is to syphon off tax payers money to fund a joke of a project.

So what did happen to the new business partner waiting in the wings.
This will go down in history as one of the biggest farces, behind the Mechanics, and Locarno Swindon Council has been involved in. Des Morgan is right that we as rate payers deserve to know the detail. If Mr Perkins wants rate payers to pay the fine, and the accountants fees, we deserve an answer. Will we get one, probably not. It is as corrupt to hide the truth as it is to syphon off tax payers money to fund a joke of a project. So what did happen to the new business partner waiting in the wings. RichardR1

8:52am Fri 31 Aug 12

dc the 2nd says...

You're right.

I supported the project from a technical point of view, but the execution by SBC has been as inept as imaginable.

Now with EE getting the 1800mhz go ahead for LTE this year it makes this redundant.

Also council gary perkins looks like Mr Bronson from Grange Hill.
You're right. I supported the project from a technical point of view, but the execution by SBC has been as inept as imaginable. Now with EE getting the 1800mhz go ahead for LTE this year it makes this redundant. Also council gary perkins looks like Mr Bronson from Grange Hill. dc the 2nd

11:43am Fri 31 Aug 12

The Real Librarian says...

This was a bad idea at the time and its a worse one now.

Guys - cut our losses and quit
This was a bad idea at the time and its a worse one now. Guys - cut our losses and quit The Real Librarian

11:43am Fri 31 Aug 12

The Real Librarian says...

This was a bad idea at the time and its a worse one now.

Guys - cut our losses and quit
This was a bad idea at the time and its a worse one now. Guys - cut our losses and quit The Real Librarian

11:44am Fri 31 Aug 12

The Real Librarian says...

This was a bad idea at the time and its a worse one now.

Guys - cut our losses and quit
This was a bad idea at the time and its a worse one now. Guys - cut our losses and quit The Real Librarian

11:44am Fri 31 Aug 12

The Real Librarian says...

This was a bad idea at the time and its a worse one now.

Guys - cut our losses and quit
This was a bad idea at the time and its a worse one now. Guys - cut our losses and quit The Real Librarian

11:51am Fri 31 Aug 12

Strange old life this says...

I have asked the same question about this mysterious and now obviously non existant major new investor a few times. Whatever happens with accountants fees or fines or the valuation of the Highworth assets (I would suggest approximately £0.00) in fact their may even be a cost concerned in decommissioning the existing apparatus. The one thing that will be evident will be that the obfuscation, wriggling, evasion, double dealing, underhanded, hand wringing shown by the two SBC Councillors involved will continue for as long as it takes to put the good people of Swindon off the scent. Good luck Des Morgan, both of these individuals should be made totally responsible and held to account for their unprofessional conduct and poor judgement.
I have asked the same question about this mysterious and now obviously non existant major new investor a few times. Whatever happens with accountants fees or fines or the valuation of the Highworth assets (I would suggest approximately £0.00) in fact their may even be a cost concerned in decommissioning the existing apparatus. The one thing that will be evident will be that the obfuscation, wriggling, evasion, double dealing, underhanded, hand wringing shown by the two SBC Councillors involved will continue for as long as it takes to put the good people of Swindon off the scent. Good luck Des Morgan, both of these individuals should be made totally responsible and held to account for their unprofessional conduct and poor judgement. Strange old life this

11:52am Fri 31 Aug 12

Strange old life this says...

I have asked the same question about this mysterious and now obviously non existant major new investor a few times. Whatever happens with accountants fees or fines or the valuation of the Highworth assets (I would suggest approximately £0.00) in fact their may even be a cost concerned in decommissioning the existing apparatus. The one thing that will be evident will be that the obfuscation, wriggling, evasion, double dealing, underhanded, hand wringing shown by the two SBC Councillors involved will continue for as long as it takes to put the good people of Swindon off the scent. Good luck Des Morgan, both of these individuals should be made totally responsible and held to account for their unprofessional conduct and poor judgement.
I have asked the same question about this mysterious and now obviously non existant major new investor a few times. Whatever happens with accountants fees or fines or the valuation of the Highworth assets (I would suggest approximately £0.00) in fact their may even be a cost concerned in decommissioning the existing apparatus. The one thing that will be evident will be that the obfuscation, wriggling, evasion, double dealing, underhanded, hand wringing shown by the two SBC Councillors involved will continue for as long as it takes to put the good people of Swindon off the scent. Good luck Des Morgan, both of these individuals should be made totally responsible and held to account for their unprofessional conduct and poor judgement. Strange old life this

5:22pm Fri 31 Aug 12

The Fibbing Bar Tender says...

So councillor Garry Perkins said
"he was only a director as a council representative, not a private individual."???

Good grief!
Man up Mr Perkins
Either you are director or not

High time those responsible for tjos charade were brought to book
So councillor Garry Perkins said "he was only a director as a council representative, not a private individual."??? Good grief! Man up Mr Perkins Either you are director or not High time those responsible for tjos charade were brought to book The Fibbing Bar Tender

5:27pm Fri 31 Aug 12

The Fibbing Bar Tender says...

That should read

"High time those responsible for THIS charade were brought to book"

My big fat fingers sought of clip the wrong keys.

They sought of have a mind of there own at thymes :):):)
That should read "High time those responsible for THIS charade were brought to book" My big fat fingers sought of clip the wrong keys. They sought of have a mind of there own at thymes :):):) The Fibbing Bar Tender

11:20pm Fri 31 Aug 12

OldTown90 says...

I am reliably informed that Cllr Perkins was also lead for Childrens Sevices when the Croft School( another failed commercial enterprise )was instigated.

When will the populace realise that this current Administration is out of control?

Doesn't Swindon deserve better than this?
I am reliably informed that Cllr Perkins was also lead for Childrens Sevices when the Croft School( another failed commercial enterprise )was instigated. When will the populace realise that this current Administration is out of control? Doesn't Swindon deserve better than this? OldTown90

1:13pm Sat 1 Sep 12

house on the hill says...

Does anyone know where the money actually went? How many individuals were paid and how much and more importantly why when it failed?
Can we see the accounts as it is our money? Crooks the lot of them both inside and outside SBC.
Does anyone know where the money actually went? How many individuals were paid and how much and more importantly why when it failed? Can we see the accounts as it is our money? Crooks the lot of them both inside and outside SBC. house on the hill

4:47pm Sat 1 Sep 12

Wellfire says...

£400k is the headline figure but the loss is far greater with add ons like the free office accommodation and loss of interest. We put MPs and peers behind bars for a lot less and so we should, but those responsible for this fiasco will probably walk away scot free. No wonder politicians at all levels are held in such low esteem.
£400k is the headline figure but the loss is far greater with add ons like the free office accommodation and loss of interest. We put MPs and peers behind bars for a lot less and so we should, but those responsible for this fiasco will probably walk away scot free. No wonder politicians at all levels are held in such low esteem. Wellfire

2:36pm Wed 5 Sep 12

Nostim says...

House on the Hill

Ask Ricky Hunt
House on the Hill Ask Ricky Hunt Nostim

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