A local councilor from Wadebridge, north Cornwall who said disabled children “should be put down” has apologized, but has refused to resign, claiming he “did nothing wrong”.
Collin Brewer, an independent councilor, made the remarks at a disabilities charity event designed to allow councilors to meet equal opportunity organizations and understand the issues they face.
Mr. Brewer responded by saying: “Disabled children cost the council too much money and should be put down.”
The offensive statement was made to Theresa Court, an advice services manager with Disability Cornwall, at an equalities event at County Hall in October 2011. Court made a formal complaint against him that has only recently been resolved and Disability Cornwall called for Brewer's resignation.
Brewer has since complied with standards board orders to apologize, but said he had no intention of resigning.
"Clearly it has gone to the standards board to provide any penalty whatsoever and the penalty they imposed was to write a letter of apology. I have no intention of resigning. I don't think I have done anything wrong. I have apologized. I have been a councilor for nearly 26 years. I have always worked to the best of my ability."
Court said, "I remember him coming over and asking what the stall was about. I was explaining to him about the parent partnership service when he said disabled children should be put down. He said they cost the council too much money.
"I felt physically sick. I was there with parents of disabled children at the time and I just had to turn my back on him. He is supposed to be an elected member representing public views and acting on behalf of the public. How anyone can come out with that is just shocking."
Brewer has publically said, "I said they should be put down. I was just hot under the collar, I suppose, coming from a council meeting where we had been talking about budget cuts and staff cuts. Sometimes people can just catch you on the wrong day.”
"It's not a good enough excuse, I will forever be apologising for it. I can't apologise enough. It's not something that's in my nature, I always support disabled charities. I am very sorry."