Statement re Collin Brewer
Last updated: 23/04/2013
Add to My Bookmarks
Statement from Cornwall’s Director of Children’s
Services Trevor Doughty:
"As Director of Children’s Services for Cornwall Council I am
shocked and disappointed by the remarks made by Councillor Brewer.
The comments were cruel and ignorant and are contrary to the
Council’s policy of supporting all people with disabilities.
We are very proud of the disability services
provided in Cornwall and wish to totally disassociate ourselves
with these completely unacceptable views."
Background to the complaint
The Council received a complaint from Disability Council over
remarks alleged to have been made by Collin Brewer at County Hall
in October 2011.
The complaint was determined in accordance
with the Council’s procedure for assessing and determining
allegations of breaches of the Members’ Code of Conduct.
This procedure was adopted following the changes made to the
ethical standards framework for Councillors by the Localism Act
The process was led by the Council’s
Monitoring Officer who sought the views of an Independent Person
and a panel of three members of the Council’s Standards
Committee. This panel, which was chaired by Councillor
Hughes, was convened solely to give its views to the Monitoring
Officer on this issue.
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.
The complaint was received at the end of
October 2011 and referred for investigation by a Standards
Sub-Committee the following week. Following the investigation
of the complaint it was further considered in May 2012 but a final
decision deferred pending the introduction of the Government’s
changes to the ethical standards regime which took effect on 1 July
2012. As a result of the level of complaints that were being
dealt with in the context of the changes to the procedures the
decision was not issued until the beginning of November 2012 and
all parties were kept informed of the delay.
The assessment and review of complaints
involves the consideration of confidential information and is
undertaken in private session and so the Council is unable to
publish details of the consideration of the Code of Conduct
complaints. However a copy of the decision relating to this
matter is available for public inspection.
A full copy of the procedure and the options
open to the Council is available on the Standards Committee Information page.
Story posted 27 February