This week has been very difficult for us all at Aberdeen City Council. Following the allegation made regarding baby and adult cremations at Hazlehead Crematorium, I have been reflecting on the impact it has had across the city and the wider North-east and the effect on all of us working for the Council.
The shock and grief of bereavement is both intensely personal and something that can be shared by a whole community. For many it never goes away. The fact that this allegation has distressed members of our community, some possibly our own staff, affects all of us.
Compassion and understanding must be at the heart of everything that we do within Aberdeen City Council. We all have a determination to serve the citizens of Aberdeen and to serve them well. I appreciate the seriousness of the allegation that has been made, and their widespread and profound impact. I also know that public trust may be lost if it is found that a failure to provide a proper service has hurt families, some of whom may be our own colleagues. I understand that trust may be difficult to regain. However, regain it we must.
Over the months and years ahead further challenges will arise because council services play such a huge and often very personal role in the lives of our citizens. How we, all of us, react to and resolve these situations will be how our community judges us.
My thoughts remain with those families affected by the uncertainty of what may have happened at Hazlehead Crematorium. I promise that we will provide all the support and help that we can to those affected and that we will be open and honest during the inquiry process.