Extracts from Cornwall Council’s report into DNS interview with Collin Brewer


Cornwall Council has today (8 July) published its report into comments about the costs of supporting disabled children made by independent councillor Collin Brewer in an interview with DNS on 8 May 2013.

For a transcript of his comments, visit this DNS page.

Brewer has been “formally censured” for the “outrageous and grossly insensitive comments”.

Council officer also concludes that “there appeared to be a lack of understanding of the damage he had done and any real remorse for the distress he had caused”.

Council makes it clear it had limited powers to act over Brewer’s comments, and would have recommended a suspension at the minimum if the government had not revoked those powers in its Localism Act.

Monitoring officer has “has imposed the highest level of sanctions currently available to the council”

Actions to be taken by the council:

1 Brewer will be asked to make a formal apology “as to the gross offensiveness of his comments and for the significant distress they have caused”.

2 Brewer has been told to receive media training

3 Council’s group leaders will be asked not to allocate Brewer a seat on any committee that deals or might deal “with issues relating to disabled children or other vulnerable members of the community”.

4 Recommendation to council and leader that Brewer “should not be nominated as the council’s representative to any outside bodies that are involved in the provision of services or support to disabled children or other vulnerable members of the community”.

5 Brewer has been banned from “those parts of council premises from where services to disabled children are directly provided, managed or commissioned”.

6 Meeting should take place between council’s interim chief executive, Brewer and other senior officers “so that it may be explained in the clearest possible terms to Councillor Brewer the Council’s position on and commitment to the provision of services to disabled children and other vulnerable groups, the critical importance of the Council’s role in Safeguarding and to Equality and Diversity”.