Appearances can be deceiving. I see that, having Swindon Borough Council loaned almost £½M to the company in which it has a 40% stake that is installing wireless internet across Swindon, that company has contracted the installation and maintenance to Swindon Commercial Services. That’s the same Swindon Commercial Services that Swindon Borough Council has recently made into an arm’s length company, and would obviously like it to have a few ‘external’ contracts in its first year of pseudo-independence, to make its finances look rather more rosy. The same Swindon Commercial Services that has amongst its directors one Mr Hunt, who so happens to be chief executive of the wifi company.
Public sector commercial dealings should not only be above board, but should be seen to be above board. The appearance of this deal is rather more incestuous than is seemly.