A FIRM commitment to supporting our Armed Forces has been made by Argyll and Bute Council and the Ministry of Defence.
Council Chief Executive Cleland Sneddon and HM Naval Base Clyde’s Executive Officer Commander John Livesey have signed the Argyll and Bute Armed Forces Covenant.
It pledges the Council’s support for the Armed Forces community and recognises the value serving personnel, both regular and reservists, veterans and military families, contribute to the country.
Mr Sneddon and Commander Livesey made the commitment at a signing ceremony at the Helensburgh.
The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces and their families should face no disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services. Organisations signing it include Councils, businesses and charities.
Mr Sneddon said: “On behalf of Argyll and Bute Council I would like to pay tribute to every member of our Armed Forces, their families and our veterans. They have made sacrifices for us and for our country and deserve our thanks, our respect, and our support.
“I am delighted to sign this Covenant and demonstrate the Council’s recognition of how important their contribution is, but also to what we will do to ensure they are fully supported in Argyll and Bute.
“Both we and the MOD are fully committed to working together to underpin that support, now and in the future.”
The Council’s Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Barbara Morgan, said: “We all owe our Armed Forces a debt of gratitude. Our pledge to the Armed Forces Covenant clearly shows we as a Council and a community recognise that debt and also that we have a deep obligation to making sure their needs are met in return.
“The MoD is such a huge part of the Argyll and Bute community. They are doing such an important duty for us, and our country, and we will do our duty by them.”
Commander John Livesey, who signed the agreement on behalf of the MOD, said: “The links between the Armed Forces and Argyll and Bute go back many decades. With the signing of the Covenant today we will ensure that those links remain strong and enduring into the future.
“On behalf of HM Naval Base Clyde and the entire Armed Forces I would like to thank Argyll and Bute Council for the work they have being doing to ensure that veterans, serving military personnel and their families receive the best possible welcome.”
In the Covenant the Council commits to upholding its key principles, which are that no member of the armed forces community should face disadvantage in accessing public and commercial services compared to any other person, and that in some circumstances special treatment may be appropriate, especially for the injured or bereaved.
It also sets out the Council’s specific commitments as an employer, which are: Promoting that we are a family-friendly organisation; striving to support the employment of service spouses and their partners; endeavouring to offer a degree of flexibility in granting leave for service spouses and partners before, during and after a partner’s deployment; seeking to support our employees who choose to be members of the Reserve Forces, including by accommodating their training and deployment where possible; offering support to cadet units, either in the community or in schools, where possible; and aiming to take part in Armed Forces Day.