SWINDON’S Wi-Fi project jumped over the latest hurdle last night when the council’s scrutiny committee decided to approve the plans.

Councillors had raised concerns over the make-up of the company running the scheme and the details of the £450k loan being made to it by the council.

They asked officers to provide more information about one of the companies involved in the deal, which is registered to the Isle of Man.

But after being presented with the information by council officers before the weekend, they decided they were satisfied with the deal and ratified the cabinet’s decision to loan the money to pay for the scheme.

Leader of the council Rod Bluh said: “A paper has been presented to you which I think answers all the questions quite clearly and I’m entirely satisfied from what we have seen that nothing has fundamentally changed.

“The internal audit report made I quite clear that due process has been followed.”

Coun Bob Wright said: “This has never been about Wi-Fi, it’s about the decision-making and what was involved.

“Surely you should leave that to an external auditor to decide?”

Coun Bluh said: “There is this constant underlying suggestion that there is something not quite right and I am beginning to take exception to it.

“There is not one shred of evidence that has showed that the council is at fault.”

The Minister of Commerce on the Isle of Man would also be happy to provide a reference for the company, he added.

“I don’t know what else I can possibly do. I have absolutely nothing to hide about this deal and never have had.

“I am really proud of the opportunity for Swindon and disappointed that five months later we are still going through this.”

Councillors voted that they were satisfied with the information provided to them but added that they wanted regular progress reports from officers.