A councillor who said disabled children should be "put down" has apologised but said he will not resign as he has not done anything wrong.

Collin Brewer, an independent member of Cornwall Council, made the comment to Theresa Court, the advice services manager for the charity Disability Cornwall at an equality event in October 2011.

Brewer said that disabled children should be put down as "they cost the council too much money", Court claimed. She filed a complaint against him but the matter has only just been resolved by the council's standards committee.

Members of the committee ordered Brewer to write a formal letter of apology to the charity. The letter read: "I am writing to offer my wholehearted 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."

But he said he had no intention of resigning. He told the BBC: "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 apologised. I have been a councillor for nearly 26 years. I have always worked to the best of my ability."

Court described how she was "absolutely horrified" by the "depraved comment".

Chair of Disability Cornwall, Steve Paget, said Brewer's resignation was the very least he expected following the remarks

"It is of great concern to us that anyone with such beliefs, let alone vocalising them, could be a representative and elected member of our local authority," he said.

"For such a serious issue and multiple breach of the codes of conduct, bringing the council into disrepute, we did expect no less than this councillor's resignation."

'Having a bad day'

A spokesman for the charity Scope said it was an "outrageous statement".

"Comments such as this have absolutely no place in modern society and should be consigned to the history books," Scope said.

"To hear such an ill-judged and insensitive statement from a councillor is deeply disturbing and demonstrates that they are clearly not fit for office.

"Sadly, hostility such as this is not uncommon for many disabled people.

"Thoughtless comments like this that make it even harder for disabled people to overcome the multiple barriers they face and live their lives just like everyone else."

Brewer told the BBC the comment was the result of a "bad day" and was meant to provoke a reaction about the issue of service costs.

He added: "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."

Update: Collin Brewer resigns