Military covenant aim for Forces Day

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A COMMUNITY covenant to strengthen ties between the Armed Forces and residents in the East Riding could be signed this summer under plans being considered by East Riding Council.

The authority is developing plans to establish a Community Covenant, which would complement the national Armed Forces Covenant, and could be signed on Beverley’s Armed Forces Day on July 1.

The council has already identified areas where more local support may be given to service personnel after staging a workshop and consulting 30 organisations which have contact with veterans, serving members of the Forces and their families.

These include a lack of affordable housing, support for alcohol and drug misuse, childcare support for service families at Leconfield, language and cultural support for Nepalese (Ghurka) service families in Leconfield, financial advice, and more help for veterans wanting to find alternative employment.

Projects named in the covenant could be supported by the Community Covenant Grant Scheme, and the East Riding may consider making a joint application with neighbouring Hull Council to this scheme, after the city council signed a landmark agreement to help service personnel last year.

The City of Hull Armed Forces and Veterans’ Charter, signed on October 4, was the first of its kind in the country to include support for Merchant Navy personnel and fishermen who have seen active service.

York and North Yorkshire councils have already established their own military covenants, and last December the Yorkshire and Humber Local Government Association (LGA) - representing all 32 councils across the region - collectively agreed to commit to the Government’s Armed Forces Community Covenant.

East Riding Council’s Cabinet will consider whether to approve an action plan to deliver the covenant on Tuesday.