Council launches probe into dumped ashes

Share this article
Have your say

A PROBE into the practices at Mortonhall Crematorium which led to the babies’ ashes being dumped in a mass grave has begun, the city council announced today.

The council said a key aim of the report would be to establish the facts regarding historical practices at the council-run facility.

It follows the Evening News exclusively revealing this week how grieving parents were told by bosses at the Crematorium there would be nothing to scatter after the cremation of their children. In fact the ashes of babies who were stillborn or who had died within days of being born were kept by the crematorium and later buried in cardboard boxes.

The investigation will involve interviewing former and current staff members of bereavement services, speaking to families through the support group Sands and looking at procedures in other facilities.

The report on the findings will be made public and is expected to be reported to a council committee as early as possible in the new year.

Environment leader Councillor Lesley Hinds said: “A key aim of this report will be to see what lessons can be learnt for the future and identify what is best practice.

“We want to be open and honest about the historic practices at Mortonhall Crematorium and I have asked for a swift report to establish the facts.

“We will of course work closely with Sands on the investigation and continue our discussions with them over some form of permanent memorial.

“The report will be made public and I hope that we will be able to do that next month. It is only right and proper that a senior officer from a completely separate service leads this investigation.”

Mike Rosendale, the council’s head of schools and community services, will lead the inquiry and report directly to the chief executive.

A dedicated phone line, 0131 200 2383, and an online form has been set up for anyone who has concerns and wants to contact the council.