NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Former Aberdeen council chief executive 'conscious of ashes distress'

Hazlehead Crematorium

The former chief executive of Aberdeen City Council has said she is "very conscious of the distress" that families feel following the baby ashes scandal at a city crematorium.

A report said "unethical and abhorrent practices" included babies being cremated with unrelated adults.

Valerie Watts said she hoped the response given by the current management provided some reassurances.

She was chief executive between 2011 and 2014.

Meanwhile, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has paid tribute to "courage and dignity" of families involved, and said she hoped action being taken would give some comfort.

The current chief executive of Aberdeen City Council, Angela Scott, said on Wednesday she was willing to meet families affected by the baby ashes scandal at Hazlehead crematorium.

The Crown Office is to examine the results of the probe.

Former Lord Advocate Dame Elish Angiolini prepared the 400-page national cremation investigation, which was commissioned by the Scottish government.

BBC Scotland revealed in 2013 that no ashes had been offered to the families of infants cremated in Aberdeen over a five-year period.

Baby and adult ashes were mixed together and given back to relatives of the adult, while the parents of infants were told there were no ashes.

The crematorium at Hazlehead in Aberdeen was among those investigated after it emerged staff at the Mortonhall crematorium in Edinburgh had been burying baby ashes in secret for decades.

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