PARENTS whose babies’ remains were disposed of without their knowledge are “stunned” that they were not informed that a report into the scandal was passed to Edinburgh City Council last week.
Former Lord Advocate Dame Elish Angiolini presented her findings to the council on April 14 after completing an investigation into former practices at Mortonhall Crematorium.
The scandal emerged in December 2012 when it was revealed that the crematorium had buried or scattered the ashes of babies for decades without their parents’ knowledge.
Families said they were told there would be nothing to scatter.
City council chief executive Sue Bruce confirmed she has received the report and said the council would be writing to parents to outline when it will be published.
Dorothy Maitland, operations director of Stillborn and Neonatal Death Society (Sands) Lothians, one of the affected parents, said she was “very, very disappointed” that no-one from the council had let her know they had the report.
She told BBC Radio Scotland: “I think they could have informed us that the report was with the council. None of us have slept last night. I would like to meet with Sue Bruce and discuss how we are going to support all these parents, bearing in mind that I am an affected parent and I am very scared that what I have actually been told is in fact not the truth.
“Everybody’s emotions are going all over the place at the moment.”
When organising her daughter’s funeral in 1986 she was told there would be no ashes to scatter as there were no ashes from a baby, but was later told this was not true and that her child’s remains had been buried in the Garden of Remembrance.
She told the programme: “I just could not actually take it in to begin with, it brought back so many old feelings. For years and years I’d been going to Mortonhall never really knowing where to put flowers in memory of my daughter and all these years there was an area where I actually could have been putting flowers.”
She said it would be difficult for parents to face the information in the report.
“It is extremely important that parents find out the truth about what happened to our babies,” she said.
“It’s going to be really, really difficult. It’s going to be hard-hitting reading for parents. It may set them back really badly but Sands will be there to offer support through this time.
“Parents need the truth. We should have been given the truth at the very beginning but the one thing for the future is I am confident this will never happen again. But it doesn’t help us, we have been robbed of an awful lot for a lot of years.”
Patrick McGuire, from Thompsons Solicitors, who represents most of the families involved, called on the council to state unequivocally when they received the report.
He said: “Firstly, I would have to say that the families and myself are stunned that we learned this news through reports in the media.
“My clients are bereaved parents who have been to hell and back over this whole business and they expect to be treated in a sympathetic and decent manner.
“Being kept properly informed is the least they could expect from Edinburgh City Council after what they have been through.”
In a statement last night, Ms Bruce said: ‘’I fully appreciate that parents will be anxious to read the report and we are keen for them to receive a copy as soon as possible. We will be writing to parents in the coming days outlining the timing of publication.”