Armed Forces Covenant
Armed Forces serving personnel, veterans, reservists and their families are valued members of our communities. Their huge contribution during the pandemic has further underlined this. All councils have signed the voluntary Armed Forces Covenant and are fully committed to honouring their obligations to those who have served their country.
We support the aim of the Armed Forces Bill, which will introduce a new statutory duty on public authorities to have ‘due regard’ to the Covenant in the areas of housing, education and health, to help ensure armed forces personnel, veterans and their families are not disadvantaged by their service when accessing key public services.
Councils work alongside armed forces charities and partner organisations to support veterans and their families to adjust from the Armed Forces to civilian life, including housing, money advice, employment support, schools and health and wellbeing services.
The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust provides valuable funding for local Covenant projects. However, the funding is short-term and limited nature means that it cannot cover the local capacity needed to sustainably drive forward the Covenant given the other funding pressures that local government faces. Sufficient and sustainable core local government funding is needed to enable councils to continue meeting the needs of their armed forces communities.
We will continue to work positively with the Government to further embed the Covenant
locally, building upon what has already been achieved.
- We support the MOD’s commitment to review potential new burdens costs for councils one year after the new statutory duty starts. Whilst many councils are already leading comprehensive approaches to local Covenant delivery – and there is learning to draw upon from other similar duties – some councils may incur additional costs to get ready for and implement the new duty.