Mother slams Councillor Collin Brewer for saying disabled children should be "put down"
THE MOTHER of a disabled girl has said she will fight to stop Collin Brewer from being re-elected as a councillor in May, following his comments about disabled children.
Mr Brewer, an independent Cornwall councillor for Wadebridge East, said disabled children cost the council too much money and "should be put down".
He made the comments to Disability Cornwall at County Hall in October 2011 when the group had an information stand at an event to allow councillors to meet equalities organisations and understand some of the issues they face.
He has since been forced to write a letter of apology to Disability Cornwall and removed from the independent grop at Cornwall Council - but has said he will not stand down.
But now mother of two Samantha Barritt, from Wadrbridge, has spoken of her disgust.
She said: "I am absolutely livid at what this man has said. He has no right to be a councillor and I will fight to stop him being re-elected (in May).
"My little girl has cerebral palsy and what he has said it simply outrageous. I will be telling everyone not to vote for him. I'm sure a lot of other people will too because he cannot be a councillor after what he said – it made me flip.''
Disability Cornwall, which helps parents of children with special educational needs, has said they expected Mr Brewer's resignation.
Chair of Disability Cornwall Steve Paget, MBE added: "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."
The group's adult 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.
"As far as I was concerned I had a duty to make a formal complaint against Councillor Brewer to seek appropriate justice."
An investigation was launched and the independent standards committee ruled that Mr Brewer should write a letter of apology to the organisation.
His 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."
When we contacted Mr Brewer about whether he would resign he initially claimed that he could not recall the incident.
However when prompted he said that he was not aware that there had been calls for his resignation and indicated that he could not stand down.
He said: "I had come to their stall after a long council meeting and I was probably a little bit het up as we had had some difficult debates.
"I could see that they were trying to sell me something so I said something to them which I thought would provoke a reaction. But they turned their backs on me and I walked away – I thought that was the end of the matter until the complaint.
"I used to be a salesman and I said it to provoke them into a discussion – I expected them to parry it and talk to me.
"I didn't mean any offence and didn't want to upset anyone."
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