County MP, Fiona O’Donnell, is calling on East Lothian Council to pledge its support for local Armed Forces personnel and their families by creating a Community Covenant.
With support from MPs including Ms O’Donnell, the Royal British Legion successfully campaigned last year to get the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant enshrined in UK law. The Covenant outlines the obligations between the nation, government and the Armed Forces respectively.
The Legion has now developed Community Covenants as a way to ensure that the national principles of the Armed Forces Covenant are brought to life through the work of local authorities.
Over 50 Community Covenants have been signed throughout the UK so far, helping to transform the relationship between local communities and Armed Forces families, and the UK Government has allocated £30 million funding for projects aimed at delivering Community Covenants.
After attending a parliamentary event organised by the Royal British Legion which highlighted the importance of local communities getting behind Armed Forces families, Ms O’Donnell said:
“Community Covenants are a terrific way to ensure that the national Armed Forces Covenant is honoured. They’re also a way for local authorities and communities to show their support for Armed Forces families living locally.
I was therefore disappointed to learn that while West and Midlothian Councils had both signed Community Covenants, the last council administration in East Lothian didn’t.
Later this month I will be meeting with the new Leader of East Lothian Council, as well as the Council’s Chief Executive, and I will be encouraging them to sign a Community Covenant on behalf of our county. We need to ensure that we are doing our bit for local Armed forces families.”
Full details of the Community Covenant Scheme can be found at: www.mod.uk/covenant