Councillor wades back into disabled costs row
Collin Brewer, the Cornwall councillor who was re-elected despite saying some disabled children "should be put down", has likened the decision to that faced by farmers with deformed lambs.
Mr Brewer, who hung on to his Wadebridge East seat by just four votes at the Cornwall council elections, in a recent interview with the Disability News Service (DNS) also compared the cost of keeping ten public toilets open with the amount required to look after one disabled person.
Disability Cornwall, the charity to which the 69-year-old made his original comments in 2011, called the recent revelation "frightening". It claimed it showed that his original apology was prompted "not by any genuine regret, but ... by his own self-serving political ambitions".
In the interview, Mr Brewer said he had been approached by a farmer in his ward about his original comments, who made it clear he "didn't see a lot wrong with what I said, because it is something they do every day".
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He said: "If they have a misshapen lamb, they get rid of it. They get rid of it. Bang.
"He's certainly got a point. We are just animals. He's obviously got a point… You can't have lambs running around with five legs and two heads."
When asked if he believed there was not much difference between putting down a lamb and a disabled child he added: "I think the cost has got to be evaluated. It is not something I would like to do but there is only so much in the bucket."
Mr Brewer is currently on sick leave from the council and pulled out of a meeting with protesters at a demonstration against him in Truro last Thursday.
He also said in the interview with DNS that he tried to "keep as far away from health in the council" as possible because he believed there was a good argument for killing some disabled children with high support needs in order to save money.
But he also revealed in the interview that more facilities for disabled people need to be built to save on the expense of out-of-area placements and praised the move away from the use of "massive institutions" for people with mental health conditions.
A spokesperson for Disability Cornwall said it was sadly no surprise that Mr Brewer's views were echoed by others.
"It's particularly frightening these views may be held by those who have the positions and power to make life and death decisions.
"It is a sad indictment of our so-called 'civilised' society that disabled children are increasingly discussed within a context of affordability, as if they were goods on a shelf that can be picked up and discarded at will, dependent upon what's in the public purse."