AN MP has assured Swindon’s IT companies that she will take their fight against Swindon’s wi-fi scheme to the corridors of Whitehall.

After a meeting with Chris Watts, a local IT businessman, South Swindon MP Anne Snelgrove said she will be discussing the way Swindon Council has handled the scheme with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) She will also be consulting the Department of Communities and Local Government to ask what retrospective action can be taken on behalf of Swindon IT firms – who feel they have been undermined by the decision to offer the contract to Digital City UK, of which the council is partner, without any tendering process.

Mrs Snelgrove said: “I will be contacting a number of departments to discuss what can be done, it’s important that local businesses know that this deal has been done above board.

“It has been suggested to me on a number of occasions that if the money that the council loaned the company to make this happen, £450,000, was given to local businesses it would have made a huge impact.

“Many have said to me that with this money small companies could pursue countless avenues – but they can’t with this council.”

In the past Mr Watts of Swindon IT firm Fourtiers Ltd has complained about the “assistance” given to the company by the council, including permission to erect transmitters, a £450,000 loan, and free office space.

He, along with other small businessmen, who are currently in discussion with lawyers from the Federation of Small Business (FSB), say by doing this Digital City UK has been gifted an “unfair advantage” in the marketplace.

He said: “I am not confident that the decision will be repealed but I am confident that there will be an investigation into this.

“There are just too many questions, and not enough answers.”

He added that he is still waiting for answers to some 17 questions posed to Swindon Council leader Rod Bluh at a scrutiny meeting on December 14.

Coun Bluh said: “I am very happy for Anne Snelgrove to do whatever she wants to do in relation to this.

“We feel this was done fully in accordance with the rules, and our lawyers agree.

“This was an investment the council made into a private company, which came to us, so there was no need for it to be put out to tender.

“We are confident the process was not only above board but robust.”

Yesterday the Adver published a story of one local resident who discovered Digital City UK had spelt its own email address incorrectly.