On Thursday, the 16th of February, Torridge District Councillors and Senior Officers pledged their ongoing support to armed forces personnel by signing and renewing the Armed Forces Covenant. The Council were already past supporters of the Covenant, which put measures in place to support service personnel, veterans and their families.
The United Kingdom’s Armed Forces Covenant is the country’s commitment to its armed forces. It represents a pledge that those who serve or who have served will be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they served. The Covenant focuses on helping serving and retired members to have the same access to government and commercial services and products as any other citizen. The support is provided in many vital areas, including education and family well-being, having a home, starting a new career, access to healthcare, financial assistance, and discounted services.
Torridge Council has consistently supported current and former service personnel and their families in the district, and councillors remain proud of the relationship they have formalised through the Covenant. By example Torridge currently offers multiple housing support measures to former personnel and disregards War Disability Pensions and War Widows Pensions when calculating income for Council Tax Support.
The Council also provides paid leave to staff members in the reserve forces for training duties. In tribute to past and serving members of the armed forces Councillors and staff also organise and observe various services of commemoration throughout the year, including Remembrance Sunday and flag-raising events such as Armed Forces Day.
The adoption of the Covenant fulfils a promise Torridge made in their published Strategic Plan for 2020-2023, which it plans to strengthen through further work in the coming years.
Councillor Rachel Clarke – Lead Member for the Armed Forces, said:
“Our armed forces give so much, and their sacrifice is recognised by residents right across the district and wider county. We will continue to strengthen our commitment to them in the coming years and engage with others, including local businesses, to help veterans transition from service back to civilian life. They have earnt and deserve our respect and ongoing support.
Photo Left to Right: Staci Dorey, TDC. Sean Kearney TDC. Cllr. Simon Newton, Cllr Doug Bushby, Chair of TDC. Cllr Ken James, Leader of TDC. Cllr. Rachel Clarke, Lead Member for the Armed Forces, TDC. Cllr Claire Hodson, Deputy Leader of TDC. Steve Hearse, Chief Executive, TDC.