THE COMPANY that is hoping to set up the UK’s first free wi-fi network has also submitted a bid to run a series of CCTV cameras in the town.

Digital City, which is run by former Swindon Town FC chairman Rikki Hunt, wants to put cameras into the Broadgreen area.

Earlier this month the council announced it had secured £40,000 of funding to install and monitor the six cameras to crack down on anti-social behaviour there.

Mr Hunt said: “We have tendered to the council to provide the CCTV coverage in Broadgreen.

“The council went out to several people and we are waiting to hear back.

“I can’t say anything else really because of legal reasons – once you have tendered to run something for the council you can’t say anything else in public until it’s been decided.”

Digital City has already been loaned £450,000 by the council to set up a wi-fi network covering the whole of Swindon.

But the scheme has missed both its original deadline of April this year and a revised deadline of September.

It is thought that Digital City wants to install 12 wi-fi boxes so that the six cameras can be moved around the area, according to where they are most needed.

The wi-fi boxes would then also provide the area with wireless internet coverage similar to the pilot scheme in Highworth where a limited period is free each day and people can then pay for top ups.

But there have been concerns raised over whether Digital City should be given the contract, given that the wi-fi network is still not fully up and running.

Deputy leader of Swindon Council, Garry Perkins, said: “They have proved that wi-fi does work and 95 per cent of Highworth now has wi-fi coverage.

“This is more about CCTV and Digital City has always said that part of its package would be to offer add-ons such as CCTV coverage.

“Rikki Hunt has already been working in partnership with CCTV companies, so this is not unexpected or unusual.”

He said the cameras would be monitored by Swindon Commercial Services like the rest of the CCTV in the town.

The £40,000 funding was made available to the Broadgreen Tasking Group, which brings together members of the community with the police, council and other partners, to draw up priorities for the area and anti-social behaviour, in particular fly tipping and problem parking, have been two of those priorities for a number of months.