Cornwall Council issues a statement on the comments made by Councillor Brewer
The party group leaders at Cornwall Council have released a joint statement in response to the recent comments (click here for them) made by Councillor Collin Brewer, as follows:
“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.”
Jeremy Rowe, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group, John Wood, Leader of the Independent group, Fiona Ferguson, Leader of the Conservative group, Malcolm Moyle, Leader of the Labour group, Stephanie McWilliam , Leader of UKIP group, Dick Cole, Leader of Mebyon Kernow
The Council further clarified:
Following the Government’s abolition of Standards for England in 2012 and changes to the Code of Conduct regime the options available to the Council when a breach of the Code of Conduct is found have been limited. There is no longer the ability to suspend Councillors. The Council has never been able to disqualify Councillors in response to Code of Conduct complaints. In this case the Monitoring Officer found that there had been a breach of the Code of Conduct and determined that the only appropriate and proportionate sanction he could impose was to require Councillor Brewer to issue a formal apology. Mr Brewer was notified of this in November 2012 and subsequently wrote to the complainant apologising unreservedly for his remarks.
The Council does not have the power to stop anyone standing for election. Both the qualifications for candidates and the reasons why an individual could be disqualified from standing for election are clearly set out in legislation. The reasons for disqualification include being employed by the Council or holding a politically restricted post, being declared bankrupt or being sentenced to at least 3 months imprisonment during the previous 5 years. As none of the criteria for disqualification apply to Mr Brewer he was entitled to stand for election to Cornwall Council and was subsequently chosen by local voters to represent the Wadebridge East electoral division.
The Council is committed to ensuring that all staff and Members receive appropriate training in equality and diversity issues. Equality and diversity training is mandatory for all paid staff and we staged specific workshops for all Members during the first week of their induction programme. Further training, on-going workshops and awareness sessions will also be available throughout the four year life of this Council.