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Councillor: 'Put Disabled Children Down'

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12:35pm 1st March 2013
(Updated 12:35pm 1st March 2013)

A Cornish councillor has who said disabled children should be "put down" has resigned.

Collin Brewer from Wadebridge told a charity they cost too much money.

He says it happened after a budget meeting and he was trying to provoke discussion.

Charity Disability Cornwall was so shocked it made a formal complaint after it happened in 2011 and Mr Brewer wrote a letter of apology.

Mr Brewer's decision to quit came last night, just hours after he told Pirate FM he believes in freedom of speech and would not quit.

He had said: "I would be offended as well if someone said that to me. If I'd had time to apologise at the time I would have.

"I don't remember much about it. I said something that offended a person there. They turned their back on me and, as far as I was concerned, that was the end of it."

He says he thought he was being sold something: "If someone rings me up at night and tries to sell me plastic windows, I'll tell them where to stuff it. I'd expect them to turn it around and defend whatever it is they are trying to sell."

You can hear more of his interview here...


Now Colin Brewer said he has not slept for two nights, he is not eating and the remarks he made will live with him forever.

Chair of Disability Cornwall Steve Paget, MBE 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 councillor's resignation."

Head of Cornwall's Children's Services, Trevor Doughty, said: "As Director of Children’s Services for Cornwall Council I am shocked and disappointed by the remarks made by Councillor Brewer. The comments were cruel and ignorant and are contrary to the Council’s policy of supporting all people with disabilities.

"We are very proud of the disability services provided in Cornwall and wish to totally dissociate ourselves with these completely unacceptable views."

Tiffany from Wadebridge has a son with Asperger's. Mr Brewer is her councillor. She said: "I was staggered. There were no words. I was so, so angry and disgusted that anyone could even think that, let alone say it.

"I have emailed him and asked him to consider his resignation as the only honourable thing he can do in the circumstances.

"He shouldn't be there. I don't want him representing me or my family or my town or my county and I think I'm no alone in that."

Lisa Nicholls' daughter Savannah needs round-the-clock care after a long battle with cancer left her brain-damaged.

Lisa, from Penzance, said: "My initital reaction was, like most parents in my position, blood boiling in my throat. I'm not a violent person, I don't like fighting, unless it's sported. But the frustration, when you've got a child you love so much, that you've seen go through absolute hell, you feel so much anger.

"It should be deemed punishment itself, it should be a crime itself. These children can't defend themselves, can't speak for themselves, and it's basically like punching square in the face, the parents of these children that go through absolute hell, loving them and looking after them and caring for them. It really is absolutely disgusting."

12:35pm 1st March 2013

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