Leader: ‘Families just want the truth to be known’

Mortonhall Crematorium. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Mortonhall Crematorium. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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THE move by one family to ask the police to investigate the Mortonhall ashes scandal is not surprising. Feelings among many parents are running high and there is a desperate need for answers.

The claim by some is that the 1935 Cremation Act places certain responsibilities on crematoria which, in this case, may have been incorrectly discharged under the law.

However, many parents are not looking for the council to be fined or individuals prosecuted. They just want to know what went on and why? How far did this practice stretch back, why was it allowed to continue and how many families were affected?

They want the truth.

The best hope for that, at present, is the current inquiry which, as the News reported yesterday, will now to be headed up by someone independent from Edinburgh City Council.

This investigation will also looking at practices across Scotland as evidence grows of widely differing policies among Scotland’s local 
authorities.

Hot stuff

Every family in the Capital would like to be able to cut their fuel bills. Now, the city’s most famous attraction has shown just what can be achieved by slashing more than £100,000 a year from its energy costs thanks to efficiency measures.

In 2008-9, Edinburgh Castle, via its custodians Historic Scotland, was paying out £400,000 annually in energy costs. A huge sum, but perhaps not surprising given a 1000-year-old castle is hardly state-of-the-art when it comes to insulation.

Much of that money comes directly from taxpayers, so the innovations which have dramatically cut the Castle’s bill are to be welcomed and 
applauded.

The drop of 27 per cent was achieved despite rising fuel costs, two colder than average winters and increasing visitor numbers at the Castle.

Historic Scotland is now looking to extend its cut in carbon emissions to other sites around the country, including works depots and offices, and at its headquarters in 
Edinburgh.

And with 345 properties and sites in its care, including Stirling and Urquhart castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys, and Skara Brae, there is plenty of scope in cutting the family bill.

Other government agencies are being similarly challenged to keep costs down in this way. It would be good for the public to hear about their progress, too.