Yorkshire scores first with Armed Forces covenant

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Yorkshire is about to become the first region in the UK to sign up every council to the new Armed Forces Community Covenant.

Barnsley Council and its partners will be providing the grand finale with the historic signing next Tuesday.

The covenant is aimed at fostering closer ties between Armed Forces’ families and the wider community.

Just over half of the 430 councils nationally have signed up so far, with 15 (North East) Brigade – the largest regional brigade in the UK - the first to get all Yorkshire authorities involved.

Yorkshire and the North East has historically been an important recruiting ground for the Armed Forces; around 20 per cent of military personnel is drawn from the region.

Commander of 15 (North East) Brigade Brigadier Greville Bibby said: “The fact that we are the first regional brigade in the United Kingdom to have every local authority signed up to the covenant clearly demonstrates the great significance that Yorkshire and the North East place in the Armed Forces.

“Barnsley has always been a Forces-friendly town, with the local community supporting military personnel both past and present.

“The covenant will help cement that support at a local level and ensure that our Armed Forces, veterans and their families have the assistance they need and are treated with the dignity they deserve.”

Coun Steve Houghton, Leader of Barnsley Council, said: “The people of Barnsley have always been extremely grateful and proud of those men and women working in the Armed Forces. Our signing of the Armed Forces Community Covenant is an opportunity for us to recognise, formally, our ongoing commitment to support those involved with and leaving the Forces.”