Audit Report Released To Media Today
The long awaited Council-commissioned report into last year’s crisis at the Five Islands School is released to the media today.
Bryce Wilby was originally suspended in May on allegations of financial impropriety and weeks later, allegations that adult images were found on a laptop he used were shared in a governors’ meeting.
Bryce denies all allegations. He resigned later in the summer.
Although Radio Scilly, Scilly Today and BBC Cornwall are receiving report copies at the Town Hall at 10am we’ve been told that we cannot reveal the contents until Thursday. It’s to be fair to the press because the time lag in the printing process means it wouldn’t appear in The Cornishman until February 7th.
But Bryce Wilby doesn’t want the report released. He has read it and is formally complaining to Cornwall Council’s finance chief, their external auditors and potentially the Local Government Ombudsman.
He says he’s unhappy with the process followed by Cornwall auditors and the actions and conduct of some Scilly Council officers, councillors and school governors.
As a complaint has been lodged, his wife Maria says she doesn’t think that the report should be released as she believes that those who undertook the work could be investigated.
Maria is unhappy with its contents. She alleges that evidence Bryce submitted was not used and she’s sent Radio Scilly details of educationalists, island officials and residents whom she claims are unhappy after their evidence was also allegedly not taken into account.
Maria says Bryce told the auditors that the governors’ meeting minutes contained information that would support him. She alleges that the auditors claimed those minutes were missing, but says they are publicly available on the school website.
And Maria claims that the report states that her husband consistently lied. Maria alleges that, by defaming Bryce, the Council is attempting to justify its own actions. She also alleges that the Council has breached procedure in the last few weeks and these have all been reported to the Department for Education.
Maria alleges that the findings of the audit make it clear that Bryce was being harassed and that could help their case for compensation or further action “enormously.”
The Council’s director of finance Peter Lawrence-Roberts has said that no comment about the report will be made ahead of the date-embargoed release today.