Mortonhall baby ashes: Edinburgh City Council plans memorial

Mortonhall Crematorium The memorial is part of a council action plan in response to 22 recommendations made in a report by former Lord Advocate Dame Elish Angiolini published in April

A memorial to remember the hundreds of babies whose ashes were not given to their parents in Edinburgh is being planned for the Meadows.

Parents affected by the Mortonhall Crematorium baby ashes scandal are to be consulted later this year on the design and location of the memorial.

Bruntsfield Links, Princes Street Gardens and Mortonhall are also being considered as possible locations.

The plans are to be considered at a council meeting on Thursday.

The memorial is part of a council action plan in response to 22 recommendations made in a report by former Lord Advocate Dame Elish Angiolini published in April.

These included that the council should review how Mortonhall crematorium is managed, ensure the location of interment of remains is recorded in future and discuss options for memorials with parents.

The council said its working group had given "sustained and proper consideration" to each of the recommendations made by Dame Elish.

Immediate actions include discussions with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) about existing practice and permits and the introduction of an infant cremator.

Dorothy Maitland The scandal was first uncovered by Dorothy Maitland, whose daughter Kaelen was cremated at Edinburgh's Mortonhall 25 years ago

There has also been an exchange of letters between the council and the Scottish government as well as the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities and the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management.

The council plans to hold discussions with infant death charities SANDS and SIMBA about when the time is right to open discussions with parents about improving the landscaping and the design of a memorial.

Staff at Edinburgh's Mortonhall crematorium secretly disposed of the remains of stillborn and dead newborn babies without their families' knowledge over decades, from 1967 to 2011.

Sue Bruce, Edinburgh City Council's chief executive, said: "I would like to re-iterate my sincere apologies to the bereaved families for the distress they have suffered as a result of the practices at Mortonhall Crematorium.

"I want to thank them for their co-operation with the investigation and contributions to the report and also thank Dame Elish and her team for their hard work.

"The families should be able to take comfort from their dedicated campaigning which has resulted in our action plan and the Infant Cremation Commission report by Lord Bonomy which will lead to legislative change in Scotland to ensure nothing like this can happen again.

"I have been impressed by the willingness of all the participants, especially the parent representatives, to work together. The publication of this action plan marks a significant step forward to ensuring that the highest possible standards are adhered to at Mortonhall.

"I am pleased with the progress already made but we now need to build on that impetus to ensure the action plan is closely monitored and delivered in full.

Mortonhall Crematorium Mortonhall Crematorium staff told parents there would be no ashes

"The working group will continue to closely with the Scottish government to ensure our actions are consistent with the recommendations of Lord Bonomy."

Other measures in the action plan include a review of staffing in bereavement services and the development and roll out of a management and leadership programme.

The report into the Mortonhall scandal by Dame Elish Angiolini found parents faced "a lifetime of uncertainty" over what had happened to their infants' remains.

Earlier this week, an investigation into the handling of baby ashes across Scotland, led by Lord Bonomy, made 64 recommendations.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Edinburgh, Fife and East

Weather

Edinburgh

14 °C 8 °C

Scotland Live

  1.  
    10:58: New oil field discovered

    Oil firms BP and GDF Suez have announced the discovery of a new field in the UK Central North Sea.

    The find, which spans adjacent blocks operated separately by the two companies, has been flow-tested at a maximum rate of 5,350 barrels per day.

    North Sea oil platform

    The discovery has been called Marconi by GDF Suez subsidiary GDF Suez E&P UK, while BP has named it Vorlich.

    GDF Suez E&P UK managing director Ruud Zoon described the discovery as "encouraging".

     
  2.  
    10:45: Smith Commission meeting

    The Smith Commission, set up to consider more powers for the Scottish Parliament, has held its first meeting.

    Speaking on Good Morning Scotland, journalist and broadcaster Iain MacWhirter predicted hard work ahead.

    "All the parties agree that there should be some kind of declaration to entrench the constitutional autonomy of the Scottish Parliament and that it will exercise power on its own right, and on its own account, and not as delegated by Westminster," he said.

    Lord Smith Commission chair for the Smith Commission in Edinburgh, talks to the media following all-party talks aimed at reaching agreement on what new powers should be devolved to Scotland

    "Obviously, there's still a great deal of disagreement: the SNP wants devo-max, Labour don't want anything like that. I think the original idea is that there would be some kind of deal along those lines."

     
  3.  
    10:37: Cumbernauld arrest

    A 16-year-old boy has been arrested after a 15-year-old girl was allegedly raped as she walked home in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire.

    The girl was said to have been attacked by one of two males who approached her in the town's Beechwood Road shortly before midnight on Saturday 11 October.

    Beechwood Road, Cumbernauld

    Police were called after the girl returned home.

    The arrested 16-year-old is expected to appear from custody at Airdrie Sheriff Court on Friday.

     
  4.  
    10:26: Apology over ambulance error

    The Scottish Ambulance Service has apologised after an ambulance was dispatched to Aberdeen rather than Orkney.

    The delay in getting help to the injured man was said to have been caused by a control room mistake about the location.

    The tourist had fallen on Great Western Road in Kirkwall but the ambulance was dispatched to the one in Aberdeen.

    The service said there was a delay of 20 minutes in getting to hospital.

     
  5.  
    10:23: Green shoots of recovery?

    The Petitions Committee of Scottish Borders Council is considering a call to restart garden waste collections.

    A petition on the issue, organised by former Hawick councillor Andrew Farquhar, has attracted 7,700 signatures.

    Garden rubbish

    The green waste collections ended in April and critics claim that more waste is going to landfill as a result.

    Councillors had been advised that continuing the scheme and introducing food waste collections would result in an annual cost of £600,000.

     
  6.  
    Text 80295 10:18: Hospital food - Your Views

    Stephanie, Renfrewshire: My daughter spent five days in Yorkhill Hospital two years ago. The food was salty, processed, crappie. Potato waffles, low grade sausages, tinned beans. Not a vegetable in sight! My one-year-old wouldn't eat it and I couldn't blame her. Shameful way to feed our sick children.

    Ray Russell, Dundee: I've had a couple of stays in both Crosshouse and Ninewells hospitals. Enjoyed the food looked forward to meal times and I'm a veggie!

     
  7.  
    10:09: Zaluska incident The Scotsman

    Tweets: Dundee United probe players over "conduct" - believed to be linked to Zaluska.

    Read the full story here.

     
  8.  
    09:52: Celtic plot Europa League progress

    Ronny Deila wants Celtic to prolong their Europa League adventure this season.

    Speaking ahead of tonight's game against Group D opponents Astra Giurgiu, Deila said beating the Romanians would boost their chances.

    Celtic are joint top of the group with four points from two games while Astra have lost their two matches.

    Celtic manager Ronny Deila

    "It's a very important match [at Celtic Park] and if we can win we put ourselves in a very good position," the Norwegian said.

    "If we can win both games against them it is fantastic, but they are a very good team and the Europa League is a high level.

    "They haven't started so well but we know what Astra is capable of doing - if they are playing in the Scottish league they would be top, and that's the level we are going to meet. But I know if we are at our best we have a very good chance to win."

    Live commentary of tonight's game (20:05 kick-off) on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW, with live text coverage too.

     
  9.  
    Text 80295 09:39: Hospital food -Your views

    Jane, Dumfries: I work as a nurse at Dumfries Infirmary. The food for the patients is hot, well presented and of good quality. It is prepared 'in-house' and that is the key to providing good food. The menu is varied and provides for all needs. I can highly recommend it.

    James, Dundee: My wife had a day stay in Ninewells last year. The staff nurse of the ward allowed me to stay with my wife, that day she had a lovely lunch; I even got a sandwich and a tea cake. I think NHS meals get a bad deal.

    S, Paisley: I didn't expect even 3-star food, but the food in my local hospital was inedible: so packed full of salt and tough, overcooked and rubbery. Definitely out of a packet, but they insisted it had no salt added at all! I had to get my partner to bring in a flask of pasta or ravioli every day to help me recover. The two things you need most when ill or in recovery are good nutrition and undisturbed sleep, neither of which you are allowed to get hospital.

     
  10.  
    09:28: Weather update Kawser Quamer Presenter, BBC Weather

    It's a cloudy and mild start for most today with outbreaks of rain mainly for central and west Scotland.

    Heaviest and more persistent across the West Highlands, Argyll, Lochaber and Skye, and at times Stirlingshire.

    The rain is likely to be lighter and patchier for Dumfries and Galloway and Glasgow.

    An improving picture for parts of Moray and Aberdeenshire, with some brightness or hazy sunshine developing. A similar picture for the East Lothians and East Borders too. Much brighter with sunny intervals for the Northern And Western Isles.

     
  11.  
    09:23: Coming to see Nessie

    The first half of 2014 has been the busiest for Scottish tourism in six years, statistics show.

    Edinburgh Castle

    More than 1,100,000 overseas visitors came to Scotland between January and June - up 16% on the same period last year, according to Visit Britain.

     
  12.  
    09:13: Stability returning to economy

    The Scottish economy continued to grow in the last quarter but at a slower pace than the previous three months, a report says.

    The Scottish Chambers of Commerce's (SCC) quarterly business survey found firms were still performing strongly.

    Construction workers

    However, a number cited continued difficulties in the eurozone and world economies as a challenge to growth.

    SCC said the "exceptional" performance of the second quarter would be hard to replicate in the final quarter of 2014.

     
  13.  
    09:04: Last word in dictionaries...

    Do you know your twerking from your photobomb? Or what about a hamfatter from a whiskerando?

    They represent four of the more unusual words in the latest edition of the Collins English Dictionary which was first created in Scotland in 1819 and is still compiled here.

    This Collins family dictionary dates from the 1880s

    At one point in the 1900s there were four dictionary companies in Scotland alone. William Collins' has been passed through six generations of the Collins family and this edition contains 750,000 words and phrases.

    Elaine Higgleton, publisher with Harper Collins, said the company are constantly looking for new words and monitoring the change in language.

    Can you think of any other words worthy of inclusion?

    Let rip via text to 80295, tweet using #ScotlandLive or email here.

     
  14.  
    08:54: Rangers latest Chris McLaughlin BBC Sport

    Talks between Rangers shareholder Sandy Easdale and former director Dave King have ended without agreement.

    Former director King is looking to invest in the Ibrox club in return for eventual control of boardroom affairs.

    Rangers shareholder Sandy Easdale (left) and Dave King

    It is understood Easdale wants more details and information on who else is involved in the plan but further discussions have not been ruled out.

    Easdale, though not on the plc board, holds significant influence, because he holds voting rights for 26% of shares.

    That gives him power of veto over a proposed new share issue, which is central to King's plans.

     
  15.  
    08:46: Morning Call Louise White Presenter, Morning Call

    The NHS in Scotland is being criticised once again about the quality of hospital food. How important is the quality to you?

    And businesses in Edinburgh could be asked to open their toilets to the public as council facilities are closed to save money. Whose responsibility is it to provide toilets for the public?

    Toilet roll

    The lines are open now 0500 92 95 00 and/or text 80295.

    Listen live to the programme, from 08:50, here.

     
  16.  
    08:37: Drug dealers face eviction

    Drug dealers in Aberdeen run the risk of being evicted from their homes as councillors prepare to discuss the plans.

    Police records show that 50 council houses were subject to at least one drug search resulting in criminal charges in 2013, although none of those resulted in evictions.

     
  17.  
    08:30: Tune in... Gary Robertson BBC Radio Scotland

    Two long-lost episodes of TV series At Last the 1948 Show found. Comedy writer Barry Cryer was part of the show. He's on #bbcgms 0845.

    Listen to BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme, while you're on the move, on the train, on the couch or at your desk in the office, here.

     
  18.  
    08:23: Read all about it...

    The Herald reports that senior Scottish Labour figures are putting the party under fresh pressure to revise its devolution proposals by calling for full control over income tax.

    Thursday's front pages

    The Scottish Sun reports that people who post sleazy snaps of ex-lovers online face being jailed for five years.

    Read the rest of our newspaper round-up here.

     
  19.  
    08:18: Mushroom mash-up Eleanor Bradford BBC Scotland Health Correspondent
  20.  
    08:12: The Kelpies from scratch

    Here's a Kelpies time-lapse being shown in New York as part of Tartan Week.

     
  21.  
    08:10: What's with the long faces?

    The development of the site containing Scotland's newest cultural landmark, The Kelpies, has won a national engineering award.

    The 300-tonne, 98ft (30m) horse head sculptures were created in the Helix Park in Falkirk by artist Andy Scott.

    The Kelpies

    The Helix development has been named as the winner of the Saltire Society 2014 Civil Engineering Award.

    Its competition had included the Hydro in Glasgow and Edinburgh's Waverley train station.

    The award was established in 1981 to recognise excellence and showcase the best in Scottish engineering.

     
  22.  
    08:04: Grangemouth revamp 'on schedule'

    The owners of the Grangemouth refinery say radical changes are on track a year after the site was closed by an industrial dispute.

    Ineos is converting the petrochemical site to use shale gas from the US, which it hopes will boost production.

    Workers at Grangemouth refinery

    Work at Grangemouth ground to a halt a year ago amid a bitter dispute between Ineos and members of the Unite union.

    Unite said changes to pay and conditions since then had caused some workers to leave.

     
  23.  
    08:02: Travel update BBC Scotland Travel Latest

    In Glasgow, Polmadie Road is closed between Aikenhead Road and Calder Street because of a road traffic accident. Police are in attendance.

     
  24.  
    08:00: Welcome Thomas McGuigan BBC Scotland News

    Good morning and a warm welcome to Thursday's instalment of Scotland Live as we offer you a comprehensive round-up of news, sport, travel and weather between now and 18:00.

     

Features

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • FutureThe future is now

    Get the latest updates and biggest ideas from BBC Future’s World-Changing Ideas Summit

Programmes

  • A virtual girlfriendClick Watch

    Using the latest tech to find friends on a night out and meet a virtual girlfriend

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.