Buckinghamshire Council has signed a new Armed Forces Covenant, continuing its support for the local armed forces community.
The covenant was signed at a council meeting on 6 December by Cllr Mimi Harker OBE, Armed Forces Champion and Vice-Chairman of the Council, and Air Commodore Simon Harper OBE, Regional Air Officer for the South-East.
The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise that those who serve or have served in the armed forces and their families, should be treated fairly and not face disadvantages when accessing public or commercial services in the UK. Businesses, public bodies or charities who wish to support the armed forces community can sign the covenant and publicly declare their commitments.
The covenant promises that the council will:
- recognise and honour the sacrifices made by the armed forces
- raise public awareness of issues affecting the armed forces and their families
- reduce any disadvantages suffered by the armed forces community as a result of their service or association
- encourage activities which help to integrate the armed forces with the wider community
Speaking at the signing of the covenant, Cllr Mimi Harker OBE said:
“The covenant sets out the commitments we make to support our armed forces community and ensure they are treated fairly. This includes offering a guaranteed interview scheme for serving reservists and all ex-service people where they meet the minimum criteria for a role. And, for those working for the council, we have a staff network set up to provide support, understanding and a chance to meet colleagues with shared experiences. The key aspect is ensuring that no-one in the armed forces community is disadvantaged by virtue of their service when accessing council services.
“We have had a covenant in place for some time, and we have continued to refine it, strengthening our commitment to these brave men and women. What’s more, in July of this year we achieved the top Gold award status in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, recognising our high level of support to employees who are part of the armed forces community.
“We are incredibly proud of the help and support we give to our servicemen and women and we would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of them for their dedication and service to our country.”
Air Commodore Simon Harper OBE said:
“The pledge to support the armed forces community via the Armed Forces Covenant is significant and one that is not taken lightly nor for granted by defence. I am delighted that Buckinghamshire Council has re-signed the Armed Forces Covenant and re-affirmed its strong support and commitment to serving personnel, veterans and their families who live and work in the county.”
If you are a Buckinghamshire resident and part of the armed forces community, please visit the council’s website to find out what support is available to you. Businesses and organisations can find out more about signing the Covenant on the Armed Forces Covenant website.
The Armed Forces Covenant is a pledge that together we acknowledge and understand that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve with their lives.
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