Lack Of Trust Over Auditors’ Report Says Councillor

Cllr Gordon Bilsborough

A St Mary’s councillor says he’s outraged that only a select number of members have been allowed to see the Cornwall Council auditors’ report into events at the Five Islands School.

Four members have signed confidentiality agreements so they can receive it, but Gordon Bilsborough, who hasn’t viewed the report yet, wants the rest of the Council to have it if they are prepared to do the same.

He says not giving the report to the remaining seventeen councillors shows a lack of trust.

Chairman of Council Mike Hicks says he’s worried that the sensitive document could be passed around and is following legal advice.

Mike says there has been “leak after leak” and the Council could be hit with a massive fine for breaching data protection rules if details came out.

He says all councillors signed up to a code of conduct when they took office and the four people who have seen the report are in a privileged position because they’ve been involved with the case from the start.

Gordon also wasn’t happy that the administration officer told the chairman in yesterday’s Full Council meeting that there shouldn’t be any debate on the matter as the report wasn’t an item that appeared on the agenda.

That’s technically correct but Gordon feels that members need answers.

He has absolute confidence in the chair and vice chair of Council but says he will do his best to ensure the public can see as much of the report as possible.

Mike Hicks told Radio Scilly last night that there are no plans to release the report to councillors or the public at this stage, because the Council’s legal experts are reviewing it and the two Council officers who have been dealing with it, Penny Penn-Howard and Peter Lawrence-Roberts, are both on leave.

Mike says there is lots of, “mystery and confusion” surrounding the report and it’s a shame the process has gone on so long.

He said it’s frustrating that he can’t give out more information but he’s tied by the legal declaration.


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