East Lothian’s MP and MSP have welcomed the support of East Lothian Council’s Leader and Chief Executive for the creation of the county’s first Armed Forces Covenant.
Fiona O’Donnell and Iain Gray have been calling on East Lothian Council to pledge its support for local Armed Forces personnel and their families through creating a Community Covenant.
While West and Midlothian Councils have both signed Community Covenants, which aim to bring to life the principles of the national Armed Forces Covenant, the last administration in East Lothian did not.
Ms O’Donnell and Mr Gray met with East Lothian Council’s new Leader, Willie Innes, and its Chief Executive, Angela Leitch, last Wednesday (25 July) to discuss a range of local issues, including the creation of a Community Covenant.
Following the meeting, Ms O’Donnell said:
“I am delighted that East Lothian Council’s Leader and Chief Executive have signalled their support for the creation of a local Armed Forces Covenant.
Community Covenants are a terrific way to ensure that the national Armed Forces Covenant is honoured and East Lothian’s Covenant will demonstrate that our county is serious about doing its bit for local Armed Forces families.
Iain and I look forward to working with East Lothian’s Provost Ludovic Broun-Lindsay to take this issue forward.”
Mr Gray added:
“I welcome East Lothian Council’s positive response to our suggestion of a Community Covenant to support local Armed Forces and their families. They make many sacrifices in the service of their country and I am glad that East Lothian is set to join neighbouring counties in honouring their commitment and dedication.”
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.
Full details of the Community Covenant Scheme can be found at: www.mod.uk/covenant