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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Signing of new Community Covenant

The West Lancashire Community Covenant has been officially signed. The covenant encourages local communities to support veterans and people in the armed forces.

It calls on the civilian community to support the service community in their area and promote understanding and awareness among the public of issues affecting the armed forces community.

West Lancashire Borough Council approved the covenant at its meeting in October 2013.

Representatives of the armed forces visited the Council offices to join Council members and senior staff in signing the covenant. National military charities the Royal British Legion, SSAFA and the Veterans’ Council were also in attendance to put their names to the document.

Parish Councils and organisations such as the North West Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, West Lancashire Community Leisure, NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group, Jobcentre Plus, Lancashire West CAB and Lancashire County Council also signed up.

Councillor Iain Ashcroft, the Mayor of West Lancashire, said: “The people of West Lancashire and the Borough Council are proud of our links with the armed forces. The Council awarded the Freedom of the Borough to the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment at a formal ceremony in 2011 and the crowds at that event and recent Remembrance Sunday Service prove local people have the highest regard for our servicemen and servicewomen.

“This covenant shows the Council’s continuing support of current and former service personnel and their families living in the borough.”

The purpose of the covenant is to reinforce the principles of the government’s pledge which:

  • Recognises the unique nature of service
  • Ensures people are not disadvantaged as a result of service in the armed forces, and
  • Allows special treatment where justified, such as in the case of injured personnel

A working group is to be set up, which local organisations will be encouraged to join, to formulate an action plan which may include bids to the government’s Community Covenant Grant Scheme. This scheme aims to support projects which provide benefits to both the armed forces and civilian communities at a local level.

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