The East Riding Community Covenant will be signed and launched at the Armed Forces Day in Beverley on Sunday, 1 July 2012 at 10.30am after the opening ceremony at 10am.
The covenant will be signed by The Hon Susan Cunliffe-Lister, Lord Lieutenant and the Queen’s representative in the East Riding, together with more than 21 representatives from the armed forces, East Riding public authorities, the voluntary, community and business sectors.
The East Riding Community Covenant will recognise the service community in our area and will strengthen ties and promote understanding and awareness amongst the public of issues affecting the armed forces.
Nationally the Armed Forces Covenant was published by the Government in May 2011 and sets out the relationship between the nation, the state and the armed forces. It recognises that the whole nation has a moral obligation to members of the armed forces and their families, and it establishes how they should expect to be treated.
A key aim is to redress the disadvantages that the armed forces community may face in comparison to other citizens and to recognise the sacrifices that they have made.
Detailed research in the East Riding has shown that there are a number of areas where help and support could be provided for the armed services personnel, veterans, and their dependants, and an action plan is being taken forward to help address these in the East Riding.
The areas are:
To help support this process the Government has provided £30m nationally for the Community Covenant Grant Scheme for which bids can now be submitted for financial assistance.
Councillor Chad Chadwick, Chairman of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: "I am delighted to be signing the East Riding Community Covenant on behalf of the council which shows our commitment to supporting members of the armed forces and recognises the sacrifices they make on a daily basis.
"I hope that the Covenant will encourage support for the armed forces and make it easier for service people including veterans to access all the help and support that is available."
Councillor Jackie Cracknell, portfolio holder for community partnerships, said: “1st July is a very important day when the East Riding Community Covenant is signed. I am very passionate about the aims of the covenant to support and encourage the armed forces in the East Riding. We should not forget the sacrifice our armed forces make for the greater good of the country and the world. It is important to understand the issues that the armed forces community face, and how the Council, its partners and the wider community can help and support them.
“We also look forward to the support that the armed forces - including ex-service personnel - can give to our community with their skills and abilities in a variety of ways. I hope that the residents will seize this opportunity to participate and support this important event.”
Councillor Dominic Peacock, East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Armed Forces veterans’ champion, said: “I am delighted that the covenant is being signed at such a high profile public event like the Beverley Armed Forces Day. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate that the Council and its partners are helping to ensure that there is increased communication between all military and civilian parties to the covenant to better coordinate more equal access to all services.
Maj(Retd.) Peter Todd (Falklands veteran) works at the Defence School of Transport. He said: "The efforts of all the various support agencies working together to give the best possible solution to problems will no doubt enhance the well being of those veterans requesting assistance."
Donna Murphy, Defence School of Transport (Leconfield) spokeswoman, said: “The work that these organisations have undertaken into implementing the Community Covenant has been fantastic. In addition to assisting military veterans, the Covenant also highlights the public’s support for our hardworking service men and women."