‘The bereaved parents deserve better than this’

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The scandal engulfing the city council right now is not the making of those currently in charge at the City Chambers. Their job has been to sort it out.

It was clear from the moment we revealed what has happened at Mortonhall Crematorium that many bereaved parents would head there to try to make sense of it.

There they should be welcomed with the utmost compassion and respect. They should be greeted perhaps by a trained counsellor – or at least someone prepared to put them in touch with one – and shown all the steps that have been taken to preserve the dignity of the child they have lost.

We are assured that some steps have been taken to do this.

But the total lack of respect shown to the Garden of Remembrance where the children’s ashes are buried has understandably shocked grieving parents.

It simply beggars belief that officials have spray painted dates by the children’s graves rather than erected suitably dignified markers. As horrified father Scott Ewens says, they would have been far better doing nothing.

It is also concerning that the council should try to refute the words of the woman who uncovered the scandal in the first place.

Dorothy Maitland’s concerns that babies’ ashes may have been simply swept into the bin must be thoroughly investigated.

Attempting to deny that happened before the investigation is complete can only undermine faith in its independence.

The truth is that we do not yet know all that happened at Mortonhall – which is why a major investigaton has been launched.

The bereaved parents deserve far better than this.

Christmas cheer

FOR some it can be the loneliest time of the year.

As families throughout Edinburgh celebrate Christmas Day, enjoying the food and drink and swapping of presents, we are often reminded to spare a thought for those who will be on their own.

Kirsty Smith is going further as we reveal today how, in memory of her grandmother who died on Christmas Day, she is collecting gifts for pensioners in Leith who would otherwise have little festive joy.

It is a wonderful gesture by Kirsty and has no doubt taken a huge amount of organisation and 
planning.

We should all fully support her 
efforts and help to ensure Christmas is a magical time for as many people as possible in the city this year.