Agenda item

Armed Forces Community Covenant


The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director, Communities, which informed the Members of the Armed Forces Community Covenant set out in Appendix 1 to the report. The term ‘Armed Forces’ referred to the Army, Royal Navy and Air Force.


The Board was advised that Halton was part of a pan Cheshire Covenant covering the Local Authorities of Cheshire East, Cheshire West & Chester, Warrington and Halton.  In addition to local authorities, health, probation and Job Centre plus were involved in supporting the covenant.


The Board was further advised that the Armed Forces Community Covenant had been signed by dignitaries representing each of the authorities on the 30th June 2012, Armed Forces Day.


It was reported that each Local Authority was required to have a nominated Armed Forces Champion, the Community Development Manager had been designated this role in Halton.  The Armed Forces Champion provided representation on a Community Covenant working group that covered the Cheshire area and provided a point of liaison for the forces.


Furthermore, it was reported that The Armed Forces Community Covenant set out twenty pledges, around five key themes:-



        Employment & Benefit;


        Health; and



It was reported that the Council would work with partners to assist and support our armed forces and their families in line with the pledges set out in the covenant.


            The Board noted that The Territorial Army were also included in the Covenant as they would be utilised more in the future with the reduction in the armed forces. 


            The Board discussed the importance of knowing how many armed forces families could be re-locating to Halton.  It was noted that this would need to be addressed in the Housing Strategy; school provision would need to be considered and it would also have an impact on GP and health services.  In response, it was reported that the number of people re-locating was currently unknown as the armed forces did not collect such data on discharge.  However, transition arrangements had been raised at a meeting in Preston but information had not as yet been received.


            It was highlighted that key partners would need to be identified in the Borough to help to deliver the pledges in the covenant.  Clarity was sought on how some of the pledges would be fulfilled i.e. re prosthetic limbs, how the Board would monitor it and ensure that it was meeting its obligations.  In response, it was reported that some pledges wold be via local provision.  However a North West network existed for such work as prosthetic limbs and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) were keen to do some work on understanding the pledges.  It was also reported that the Veteran Association had met with the CCG to consider how local services could be improved generally and how the provision could be mainstreamed to ensure they were given priority and due care and attention. 


            It was noted that £35m had been allocated to the fund and very little had been accessed to date.  It was also noted that a high number of ex forces personnel were involved in the criminal justice system.


RESOLVED: That the report and comments raised be noted.



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