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

15 °C 10 °C

Scotland Live

  1.  
    Text 80295 11:53: Glasgow's Big G - your views

    We're asking where you think Glasgow's Big G should be moved to. Read the story here.

    John P Jones: I think it should stay where it is, at the heart of Glasgow.

    Give us your view by texting 80295, emailing here or using twitter #ScotlandLive.

     
  2.  
    11:49: Homeless hotel Evening Express

    Homeless people in Aberdeen have been put into hotels due to a lack of temporary accommodation.

    Between April and June, Aberdeen City Council booked a total of 20 hotel rooms due to a lack of temporary accommodation in the city.

    In July, the local authority booked 15 rooms for homeless people to use within the city.

     
  3.  
    11:41: The Press and Journal

    @pressjournal tweets: Highland woman, 96, apologises for crash that killed cyclist.

    Read the story here.

     
  4.  
    11:32: Where is Glasgow's Big G-spot?

    Glasgow City Council has revealed that the Big G used to mark the city's hosting of the Commonwealth Games will move from George Square to an as yet undisclosed permanent home. Where do you think it should go, and why?

    Tell us by texting 80295, email us here or tweet us using #ScotlandLive.

    Glasgow's Big G
     
  5.  
    11:23: Shipyard bids

    The joint administrators of Ferguson Shipbuilders in Port Glasgow have confirmed there were four bids for the shipyard received by last night's deadline.

    They said they were not in a position to disclose the identities of the four bidding parties.

    The preferred bidder should be announced early next week.

     
  6.  
    Weekend outlook 11:14: BBC Scotland Weather Latest

    Tomorrow- not a bad start to the weekend. Plenty of dry and bright weather around. The odd isolated shower. 16/17C in the south. 14/15C elsewhere

     
  7.  
    11:07: Ice bucket challenge

    In a video posted online, Scottish film star James McAvoy says: "I'd like to thank my ex-friend Jose Mourinho for nominating me for the ice bucket challenge.

    "I'm doing it to raise awareness of ALS, or as it is known in Britain, motor neurone disease.

    James McAvoy

    "And, as it is the year of the Scottish referendum, I'd like to nominate our political champions Alistair Darling and Alex Salmond to do their very most."

    And as the ice water pours over him, he says: "Alex/Alistair - you have got 24 hours".

     
  8.  
    10:52: Abuse crackdown

    Seven people have been arrested in a crackdown on domestic abuse and sex crimes in Edinburgh and West Lothian.

    A boy, aged 13, was among those caught following Operation Wolf. He has been referred to the Children's Reporter in connection with a sex attack.

    The remainder of those arrested were charged with historic domestic abuse and sexual offences.

     
  9.  
    10:47: Downs syndrome - your views

    Prof Richard Dawkins has been criticised for his view that it may be immoral for a mother to continue with a pregnancy if she knows the baby would be born with Downs syndrome.

    Colin in Greenock: The problem with Richard Dawkins view is that it turns human beings into commodities, items of convenience. No room for the less than perfect. There is no compassion or love in his stance. Do we really want our society to be like that?

    Anonymous: Dawkins and eugenics - wrong connection. Eugenics deals with hereditary disorders, Downs is not. Personally I applaud Dawkins for bringing the obvious unspoken to the fore.

    Angela Mackay: I have a little girl who was born with Down syndrome. We were never given the option to find out of she had DS or not. If we had we wouldn't have aborted her we would have been better equipped to deal with the shock of her birth. At eight months she is achieving milestones and brings the same joy, love and happiness her two older siblings do.

    Steve from Aberdeen: As a father of four healthy children I can only applaud anyone who cares for a child with special needs. I do however agree with Prof Dawkins as it would take a special kind of person to take on the challenges associated with downs syndrome. I don't think I could ever do it.

     
  10.  
    10:40: Body find

    Police Scotland have confirmed the identity of the woman whose body was found close to Hungladder on the Isle of Skye on Sunday evening.

    She was Margaret (Maggie) Pratt, aged 52, from Portree.

    The death is not being treated as suspicious at this time.

     
  11.  
    10:31: Shipyard rescue

    Clyde Blowers tycoon Jim McColl is one of the bidders to rescue financially-stricken Ferguson Shipbuilders.

    jim mccoll
     
  12.  
    10:27:

    Yes Scotland tweets: Saying "thank you" to the one million people who have signed the Yes Declaration #indyref#thanksamillion.

    THanks a million
     
  13.  
    10:21: Big G move

    The Big G in Glasgow's George Square, which marked the city's hosting of the Commonwealth Games, is to be given a new permanent outdoor display site.

    But the city council has not yet revealed where it will be located.

    big g

    Work will begin on Monday to dismantle it. It will then be strengthened and the metal will be treated to make it fit to be permanently displayed outdoors.

    Alongside the Big G, Glasgow City Council is looking into new homes for the 25 Clyde statues around the city.

     
  14.  
    10:15: Morning Call BBC Radio Scotland

    We're currently discussing Prof Richard Dawkins's controversial comments that it may be immoral for a mother to continue with a pregnancy if she knows the baby would be born with Down's syndrome.

    Prof Dawkins justified his statement by saying that he was expressing a scientific opinion which reflected what actually happened most of the time.

    Do you agree? Call 0500 92 95 00, email your views here or text us on 80295.

    You can listen live to the debate here.

     
  15.  
    Text 80295 10:05: Banter - your views

    When does banter become unacceptable?

    John Hall, Ayr: Those offended need a reality check. Obviously his comments are not pleasant and I don't share his bigotry, but privacy is the important thing here. The right to freedom of speech must be paramount.

    Mark in Cumbernauld: I have sent and received many texts that could be deemed as offensive but there was always humour in them. I don't see where the humour is in Malkys texts. That to me is the difference, they are not humorous but offensive.

    Craig: People who use such terms and consider it banter need to look at their own morality. Are these texts private? Not if sent using a phone paid for by his employer in which case they are the property of his employer.

    What do you think? Call 0500 92 95 00, email your views here or text us on 80295.

     
  16.  
    09:56: HSBC chief warns of 'capital flight'

    Uncertainty over currency in an independent Scotland could lead to "capital flight" from the country, according to the chairman of HSBC.

    Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Douglas Flint warned that a "Yes" vote in next month's referendum could leave Scotland's financial system in a "parlous state".

    Mr Flint, who describes himself as an exiled Scot, said the sterling currency union was an "anchor of financial stability" for Scotland.

    The three main parties at Westminster have all ruled out the Scottish government's preferred option of a formal currency union between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK.

     
  17.  
    09:48: James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Campaigners for Scottish independence say more than a million people have signed a declaration in favour of a "yes" vote.

     
  18.  
    09:44: Lightbulb moment

    A village in the Highlands is to host an open access wi-fi zone in a pilot project aimed at boosting internet services for businesses and tourists.

    The zone should be up and running in Brora by the end of the month.

    Science Photo Library

    But this isn't the first time the village, which is home to just 1,300 people, has been at the forefront of technological innovation - find out here why it's been dubbed Electric City for more than a century.

     
  19.  
    09:36: Flu jag

    Every child in Scotland aged 2-11 will be offered the flu vaccine from this autumn as part of a new immunisation programme.

    Children are two to three times more likely to be ill with flu than adults.

    So about 150,000 children aged two to five and 400,000 primary school children will be offered flu vaccination in 2014/15 to help protect them and reduce the risk of flu being spread to others.

    The vaccine will be given as a nasal spray.

     
  20.  
    09:23: Scots sprinter wins second gold

    Teenage sprint sensation Maria Lyle claimed her second gold medal at the IPC Athletics European Championships in Swansea.

    Maria Lyle

    The Scot, 14, won T35 100m gold on Wednesday, had an equally comfortable win in the 200m event in 31.05 seconds.

    "I'm really pleased, even though the time wasn't as fast as I would have liked," she told BBC Sport.

     
  21.  
    Text 80295 09:13: Banter - your views

    When does banter become unacceptable?

    Al from Strathaven: Here we go again. How easily offended the easily offended are! I doubt there is anyone listening who has not received or indeed sent an iffy text. Do the thought police now stop us telling the old jokes about the Scotsman, Englishman and Irishman. Its pathetic!

    Tommy in Ardrossan: Think the attitudes expressed by the texts are offensive and outdated but how did someone get hold of the private texts? Who dug them up who released them and why?

    Darren D ‏via Twitter: I'm not supporting Mackay but life would be v dull without banter.

    What do you think? Call 0500 92 95 00, email your views here or text us on 80295.

     
  22.  
    08:58: Jean Redpath tribute

    Scottish singer Jean Redpath has died, aged 77.

    Scottish singer and songwriter Sheena Wellington told Good Morning Scotland Jean was the "foremost ambassador for Scottish traditional song for more than 50 years".

    jean redpath

    Wellington said: "She brought back lots of songs that had been lost in the mists of time and performed with such grace and humour."

    She said Jean had brought Scottish traditional music to an American audience.

    "She would walk on stage and smile at the audience and that was it, they were won over. She believed implicitly in what she was doing."

     
  23.  
    08:51: Morning Call BBC Radio Scotland

    Former English Premier League football manager Malky Mackay has apologised for sending disrespectful text messages.

    On Morning Call, Kaye Adams asks: When does banter become unacceptable?

    malky mackay

    Tell us what you think by calling 0500 92 95 00, texting 80295 or emailing. The lines are open now.

    You can listen live to the debate here.

     
  24.  
    08:43: Ferguson's shipyards

    The first minister is due in Port Glasgow this morning to meet the workers laid off when the Ferguson's shipyard went into administration a week ago.

    The deadline for interested parties to table bids for the yard was up at 5pm last night.

    This morning it has emerged that the engineering tycoon - Jim McColl- has thrown his hat in the ring.

    The chairman of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions - Jim Moohan - told Good Morning Scotland he welcomed the interest that was being shown in the yard.

    He said: "I'd be very confident a very successful businessman like Jim McColl could develop a strategy and vision to put the yard in a very competitive place."

     
  25.  
    08:35: Newspaper review

    The front pages of Scotland's newspapers carry stories of the referendum, shipbuilding on the Clyde and Paul Gascoigne, as well as the situation in Iraq.

    newspapers

    You can see our newspaper review here.

     
  26.  
    08:28: What is tidal power?

    The director of the group behind a major tidal power project in the Pentland Firth said Scotland is now a world leader in tidal power.

    Tim Cornelius explained to Good Morning Scotland what tidal does and how it works.

    He said: "It is like an underwater windmill.

    "So just picture a turbine with three blades that goes underwater and literally the turbines rotate as the current comes in and the current goes out.

    "Big advantage of tidal power is it is completely submerged so you don't see it and you don't hear it."

    Mr Cornelius said the energy production from tidal was constant and high-predictable.

     
  27.  
    08:22: Power from the sea

    The construction of a major tidal energy project is set to begin later this year in the Pentland Firth.

    It has been announced that the MeyGen scheme has secured £50m in funding.

    Of that, more than £20m will come from the Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

    Atlantis CEO and MeyGen director Tim Cornelius. told Good Morning Scotland: "This is now the largest tidal power project, what we call free stream tidal power, certainly in Europe, if not the world. So, it certainly puts Scotland on the map as now being the world leader in free stream tidal power."

     
  28.  
    08:15: School gate

    The Independence referendum campaigns are being barred from most schools in Scotland ahead of polling day, BBC research finds. Read the story here.

     
  29.  
    08:10: GP websites

    Too few GPs have a website or allow appointments to be booked online, according to Reform Scotland. Read the story here.

    doctors
     
  30.  
    08:06: BBC Scotland Travel Latest

    Edinburgh M8 - eastbound delays between J2 Claylands and J1 Hermiston Gait

    In Edinburgh, Leith Walk - the traffic lights are out of action at Annandale Street, take care through the junction

    Glasgow M8 - looking slow eastbound around junction 22 Plantation

    That's true of the Glasgow-bound M77 at junction 2 Barrhead Road

     
  31.  
    08:02: BBC Scotland Weather Latest

    It is a chilly start across most places this morning. A lot of dry and bright weather to come for many, with some good spells of sunshine - particularly across the southern half of the country.

    Some showers around through parts of the north - the most frequent of which are found in the North West Highlands, and across Aberdeenshire.

    Some showers are feeding down the west coast too.

    Showers will continue through the day, becoming more extensive down the east coast this afternoon - with perhaps the odd rumble of thunder in among them.

    Temperatures around 16/17C in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Further north, closer to 14/15C - still on the cool side for the time of year.

     
  32.  
    08:00: Steven Brocklehurst BBC Scotland news website

    Good morning and welcome from the Scotland Live team and our rolling live text service of news, sport, weather and travel from across the country between now and 6pm.

     

Features

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.