Shropshire to strengthen links with Armed Forces
Shropshire communities will have closer links with the Armed Forces in the county after an historic document was signed by Shropshire Council and its partner organisations.
The Armed Forces Community Covenant is a voluntary statement of mutual support between the civilian and Armed Forces communities. Representatives from Shropshire Council, the police, health and fire service, business and voluntary sectors, parish and town councils, the civilian community and the Armed Forces, signed the covenant at the full meeting of the council on Thursday 3 May 2012.
The proposal to sign the covenant was agreed unanimously by councillors at the meeting, with many speaking passionately to support the covenant.
As well as developing links between Shropshire and members of the Armed Forces, the covenant gives communities the chance to apply to a £30 million central Government pot for projects which strengthen ties or improve understanding between the military and wider community.
Shropshire Council Leader, Keith Barrow, said:
“Shropshire has a long-standing relationship with the military, and it’s only right that we formalise that by signing this covenant. Members of the Armed Forces do an incredibly important job, often in extremely dangerous situations, and it can be beneficial in many ways for them to have good links with their civilian community when they are based in Shropshire.”
The aims of the Shropshire Covenant include:
- Encouraging activities which help integrate the Armed Forces community into Shropshire life
- Encouraging the Armed Forces community to help and support the wider Shropshire community, whether through participation in events and joint projects, or other forms of engagement.
Brigadier Mark Banham, Officer Commanding 143 Brigade, said:
“This community covenant recognises the very close links between Shropshire Council and the Armed Forces community in a county with a long history of support to our military.”
Chief Fire Officer, Paul Raymond, added:
“The Fire Service in Shropshire has always worked very closely with our military colleagues. Many firefighters have served in the military and so we have a special link with the brave members of our Armed Forces and will do all we can to support them. This covenant formally recognises this support.”