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Councillor resigns over 'put down' disabled children comment
9:50am Thursday 28th February 2013 in Cornwall
A Cornwall Councillor has resigned following a public outcry over his comments that disabled children should be "put down".
Related links. Councillor said disabled children should be 'put down'
Disability Cornwall had called on Colin Brewer to resign over a comment made to one of their staff in 2011.
Mr Brewer has been found to be in breach of several counts of misconduct while in public office following the comment
Disability Cornwall said that Cornwall Council hosted an event in October 2011 at County Hall for their councillors to meet equalities based organisations and learn about some of the issues faced by their members at a local level and services available to support people.
A spokesman said: "Upon approaching the Disability Cornwall stand, their staff informed the councillor about the Parent Partnership Service, a statutory contract delivered by Disability Cornwall which supports parent carers of children with special educational needs.
"Councillor Colin Brewer for Wadebridge East responded by saying 'disabled children cost the Council too much money and should be put down'.
Disability Cornwall Advice Services Manager Theresa Court said: “I was absolutely horrified anyone would make such a depraved comment, let alone a Cornwall Councillor and at a public event”.
She added: “As far as I was concerned I had a duty to make a formal complaint against Councillor Brewer to seek appropriate justice.”
The investigation and complaints process is now complete and the Independent Standards Committee have, as a sanction, ordered Councillor Brewer to make a formal written apology to the charity.
Councillor Brewers apology letter read: “I am writing to offer my whole hearted apology for the offence these remarks have clearly caused. While I meant no offence by my remarks to you I can see, in retrospect, that they were ill judged and insensitive and should not have been made at all.”
Chair of Disability Cornwall Steve Paget said: “It is of great concern to us that anyone with such beliefs, let alone to vocalise them, could be a representative and elected member of our local authority. For such a serious issue and multiple breach of code of conduct, bringing the council into disrepute, we did expect no less than this Councillors resignation.”