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Bereaved parent says council response is ’complete and utter nonsense’

Patrick McGuire, PartnerThompsons Solicitors has described a report published today (Monday) examining the disposal of infant remains at Hazelhead Crematorium as “woefully inadequate”.

Thompsons Partner Patrick McGuire who is acting for dozens of parents across Scotland and is heading up the campaign for a public inquiry into the baby ash scandal said: “Today’s report simply highlights a lack of policy and procedure around infant cremation at Hazelhead Crematorium and does nothing to address the serious concerns and questions our clients have about the disposal of their babies ashes following their desperately sad and premature deaths.”

Mr McGuire added: “The audit brings us no further to the truth and in fact throws up more questions than it actually answers. It is woefully inadequate and is an insult to the parents affected”

The audit states that the review cannot verify the completeness of records, can only consider available data which is retained by the council and the crematorium and cannot verify that where there were ashes these were scattered or returned based on parents’ wishes. It also confirms that where the records states no ashes were present this record will not be challenged.

Aberdeen City Council has responded to the audit by stating that it intends to formalise its policy for procedures around the cremation of infants under 18 months old.

One parent whose baby was cremated at Hazelhead Crematorium in the early 90s and who wishes to remain anonymous said: “The council’s response to the audit is complete and utter nonsense. To say their procedures are sound is ridiculous. For 20 years I believed there were no remains from my precious baby and I grieved on that basis. To now know there were remains but no one can tell me where they are is incredibly hurtful and has caused me untold grief.

“Today’s report has done nothing to ease this pain and I believe a public inquiry is the only way I will get answers. I have asked the Infant Cremation Commission to disregard my submission as I now believe this is in fact standing in the way of me ever knowing the truth about what happened to my baby all those years ago.”

The deadline for submissions to the Commission into the disposal of baby ashes in Scotland is Friday 19th July.

Thompsons Solicitors will be holding a public meeting in Aberdeen the disposal of baby ashes and invites anyone with an interest in this to attend the meeting. A date for the meeting is yet to be confirmed.


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