ARGYLL and Bute Council continues its commitment to support local service personnel and their families with the appointment of the Argyll and Bute Community Covenant Partnership.
At a meeting on Thursday 20 September, councillors agreed the way forward in terms of looking after the armed forces community in the area.
Elected members confirmed that the role of the Argyll and Bute Community Covenant Partnership will be to consider local applications for funding under the Community Covenant Grant Scheme. This programme, which offers funding of £30 million over four years, was launched by the Ministry of Defence in August.
It aims to strengthen ties between those who serve or have served in the armed forces and the communities in which they work and live.
Community groups, including charities, schools and volunteer groups, can submit applications for awards between £100 and £250,000. These grants can be used for a range of projects which meet the aims of the covenant – for example bringing together armed forces families with others in their communities, or exhibitions explaining what a local armed forces unit has been doing.
Once an award is agreed, the Ministry of Defence will release the funds to the council, which will manage the finances.
The council is also supporting the Ministry of Defence Firm Base initiative, which was set up to create stronger relationships between local authorities and the military services. A dedicated council contact has been appointed and a formal programme of meetings will be put in place. This will ensure that the needs of current and former service personnel in Argyll and Bute will be met, for example in terms of future planning of council services like housing, education and care.
Argyll and Bute Council’s Veterans' Champion, Councillor Maurice Corry, said: “With major bases like Faslane and Coulport in our area, it is especially important to consider the needs of servicemen and women and their families. We are committed to ensuring that these needs are met and have already developed strong relationships with the armed forces operating within Argyll and Bute.
“The creation of the Argyll and Bute Community Covenant Partnership helps to cement those strong ties. It also provides an opportunity for us to share knowledge, experience and expertise to give active and positive support to the armed forces community.”
Councillor Corry intends to visit all areas of Argyll and Bute in due course, and will be delighted to meet interested members of the community.