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Minister encourages further support under the Community Covenant

Defence Minister Anna Soubry has reminded local authorities of their pledge made by signing up to the Armed Forces Community Covenant.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Defence Minister Anna Soubry has written to every local authority that has signed the Community Covenant [Picture: Sergeant Ross Tilly RAF, Crown copyright]
Defence Minister Anna Soubry

The Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans has written hundreds of letters urging local authorities to remember the commitments made under the Covenant.

And she has so far been overwhelmed by the responses.

Every local authority in Great Britain has now signed up to the Community Covenant, and the minister wrote to thank them for their support and to urge them to consider the pledge in their day-to-day work.

The Covenant, enshrined into law in 2011, is based on 2 main principles:

  • service personnel and their families should not face disadvantage compared to civilians
  • special consideration may be appropriate in some cases, especially for the wounded and bereaved.

Miss Soubry asked the authorities to test their policies and services against these ideals.

After sending the letter in January 2015 she has received many positive replies, and has praised the high quality of work going on in local communities up and down the country.

Miss Soubry said:

There are many examples of excellent work already happening at a local level.

I appreciate that we are in difficult times, but delivery of the Covenant does not necessarily mean money and resources.

And, where money is required there are schemes such as the £30 million community covenant grant scheme, which will run until April 2015.

Equally, a permanent fund of £10 million per year has been set aside in support of the Armed Forces Covenant that you can bid for.

Buckinghamshire County Council is one such authority which has successfully achieved the aims of the Community Covenant.

Published 2 February 2015