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Disability Row Councillor Faces Fresh Investigation

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2:49pm 16th May 2013
(Updated 2:49pm 16th May 2013)

The Wadebridge Councillor who said disabled children should be put down is facing another investigation.

Collin Brewer stood down after the controversial remarks, but was re-elected to Wadebridge East.

Now he has been quoted as likening disabled children to "deformed lambs" in a new interview with Disability News Service.

Cornwall Council has confirmed it is launching a full investigation.

Officials at County Hall have released this statement: "The Council has received numerous complaints from members of the public over the recent comments made by Councillor Collin Brewer.  

"In recognition of the concerns which have been expressed, the Council's Monitoring Officer requested that the complaints be assessed as a matter of urgency in accordance with the Council's ethical standards regime.

"It has now been formally determined that the case merits a full investigation to decide whether there has been a breach of the Members Code of Conduct and, if so, the nature and extent of that breach. That investigation, which will be carried out by a senior lawyer from within the Council's Corporate Governance Team, will be expedited.  

"Earlier this week the leaders of the main political parties on the Council issued a joint statement to clarify the position of the authority: "The recently published comments which are attributed to Councillor Brewer are completely unacceptable and are contrary to the Council's policy of supporting all people with disabilities. Such views have no place in local government. These remarks represent the personal views of Councillor Brewer who does not speak for the Council or the people of Cornwall."

"It is anticipated that Councillor Brewer will not be allocated any seats on Council committees.  

"The authority does not have the legal power to sack a Councillor and following the Government's abolition of Standards for England in 2012 and changes to the Code of Conduct regime the Council no longer has the ability to suspend Councillors."

St Austell dad Reg Broad has a disabled son. He said: "What this has done is bring Cornwall into disrepute. I've had people phoning up saying they're not going to come down on holiday, they can't believe Cornwall has this sort of attitude, so it's affected a wide range.

"I certainly hope that people with disabilities, the people that the council have a duty to help and support become exactly that. We relook at things and move forward."

Devon and Cornwall Police are already looking into the fresh comments and earlier this week, made this statement: "This matter has been formally reported to Devon and Cornwall Police who will now look into the comments made to establish whether any offence has been committed and we will be contacting those who have reported this matter to us to update them."

Pirate FM has tried to contact Mr Brewer with no response, although in another interview, he said the comments were taken out of context.

Campaigner James Bull's leading fresh calls for him to quit: "He cannot say those things and think the people of Cornwall are going to sit back and allow it and if any other councillor thinks that they can say those sorts of things and get away with it, the exact same things will happen to them as well; we will not stand for it."

2:49pm 16th May 2013

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