FLOUNDERING Wi-fi provider Digital City has failed to pay its last three monthly debts to the council.

It missed November, Decem-ber and January’s interest payments on the £400,000 it has borrowed.

The news has sparked renewed criticism of the internet firm’s horrendous performance.

And it contradicts an earlier assurance by deputy council leader Garry Perkins (Con, Shaw and Nine Elms).

In an email on December 20 to Des Morgan, a long-standing critic of the scheme, Coun Perkins wrote: “As with all the council’s loans, we have an active treasury management policy.

“Interest payments are still being made, the loan is not due for repayment.”

But by that stage, two of the monthly payments had been missed.

Mr Morgan, 59, of Caraway Drive, Moredon, said: “I’m concerned that the deputy leader of the council, who’s also a director of Digital City UK Ltd, appears to be unaware that the company he represents had defaulted on its interest payments.

“As a director, Garry Perkins should know if they’ve made payments or not.

“If, in the last 14 months, you haven’t met your objectives in terms of sales, you have to wonder if it’s a commercial viable business.

“They’ve got 20 customers – that’s pretty horrendous.”

Coun Perkins said: “I’ve never been involved with the day-to-day running of the company.

“I was asked in December whether it was up to date with its payments, and I said yes – because that’s what I had been told.

“When I made that statement it was correct, based on the information I had at the time.”

He said negotiations with a new investor in Digital City were under way, and that once that had been agreed, the overdue payments would be “squared off.”

“They will be paid once the deal is sorted out, and there will be not a penny lost to the council,” he said.

The revelation of the unpaid cash is in a report due to come before the Scrutiny Committee at the Civic Offices, in Euclid Street, at 6pm tonight.

The last time the issue was aired at a council meeting, it led to a heated exchange between Mr Morgan and council leader Rod Bluh (Con, Dorcan).

As Mr Morgan complained about the late arrival of answers to his latest set of wi-fi questions, Coun Bluh said: “Do you actually want this to succeed?”

Mr Morgan said: “We’re asking the questions on this, with respect.”

Coun Bluh replied: “I’ll take that as a no.”

Head of Digital City Rikki Hunt could not be reached for comment.