Southend-on-Sea Borough Council Leader, Councillor Nigel Holdcroft, officially signed a major Armed Forces covenant pledge made by the public, private and voluntary sectors.
This Covenant represents a voluntary statement of mutual support between the civilian community and the local Armed Forces Community. It symbolises a formal promise taken by all signatories as part of the national Community Covenant Scheme, launched by the Ministry of Defence, to strengthen the bonds between both communities, raise awareness and provide practical support.
Councillor Nigel Holdcroft said: “We are extremely grateful and proud of our dedicated Armed Forces, so it is our duty to ensure they receive the services and help they and their families need to integrate into civilian life. “Our residents continue to demonstrate their support for the Armed Forces in many ways, and this pledge is another important way to do so. “The community turned out vast numbers to cheer the Royal Anglian Regiment when it previously marched through the town, and our veterans events are always extremely well attended. “The pledge spells out our practical commitment to the Armed Forces, such as in our new housing policy where we are giving a priority to service personnel.”
Essex County Council Leader, Councillor Peter Martin, said: “We are extremely grateful and proud of the dedication from our Armed Forces and it is therefore our duty to ensure they receive the services and help they and their families need to integrate into civilian life. “I am very pleased that Southend are supporting this pledge and joining everyone in Essex in showing their respect and supporting the Covenant.”
Speaking on behalf of the Armed Forces community throughout Essex, Colchester Garrison Commander Colonel Mike Newman said: "The military already enjoys strong support from the people and institutions of Southend, which we are immensely grateful for, and the signing of the Community Covenant only serves to strengthen and formalise these existing bonds. "But the Community Covenant represents far more than a symbolic statement of mutual support. It gives a framework for joint work to ensure that services such as housing, education and health reflect the needs of military personnel, veterans and their families. "I look forward to a productive relationship to improve understanding between the military and civilian communities in Southend and also to ensure that the Armed Forces play their part in the community in which they live and work."
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