The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly.
The covenant's twin underlying principles are that members of the armed forces community should face no disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services; and that special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given the most such as the injured or the bereaved.
The covenant for communities supports the armed forces covenant. It is a voluntary, non-binding commitment by local councils to support members of the armed forces community in their area.
The aim is to embed and sustain activity, to ensure that members of the armed forces community receive the support they need in their local communities in recognition of their dedication and sacrifice; nurture public understanding and awareness of the issues affecting the armed forces community; and encourage activities, which help to integrate the armed forces community into local life
The Wiltshire Community Covenant was first launched in August 2011. The aim of the covenant is to encourage local communities to support the service community and enhance understanding and awareness among the public of issues affecting the Armed Forces Community. It was ratified by Wiltshire at the Wiltshire Assembly in December 2013, and re-signed by Wiltshire Council, the MoD and representatives from industry and the public and voluntary sectors in March 2017 at MoD Lyneham.
Wiltshire pledges commitment to working together with its Armed Forces at covenant signing
Baroness Scott of Bybrook OBE, Leader of Wiltshire Council signed the document on 9 March 2017 at MOD Lyneham, alongside Col Ed Heal OBE, Head of Establishment, MOD Lyneham; Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon; Vic O'Brien, Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership on behalf of the business community; Martin Hamer of Community First representing the charity sector and David Noyes from the Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group.
As part of the MCI partnership, there is a specific workstream for the Wiltshire Covenant in Communities. In 2016, the workstream completed the following tasks:
- Refresh and rebrand the existing covenant to encompass the community, veterans and corporate elements under one overarching Wiltshire Armed Forces Covenant.
- Review the local arrangements for administering and supporting bids to the Covenant Fund to ensure that all applications meet the new criteria and maximise the potential benefits of the grant to the whole county.
- Recommend any changes to human resources policy regarding the employment of veterans, reservists or military spouses and partners as set out in the covenant
- Look for opportunities to enhance military civilian integration outside of projects being supported with covenant funding.
- To expand the scope of the current workstream to review the position of military families' role in fostering
Copy of Wiltshire's signed covenant and a list of signatories