ANGUS MP Mike Weir has given his backing to a scheme which aims to strengthen links between the civilian and armed forces communities.
Mr Weir attended a recent Royal British Legion event at the House of Commons to promote the creation of Community Covenants and highlight the importance of local communities getting behind the armed forces in their own area.
Launched by the Government in 2011 following a successful campaign by the Legion, the scheme is helping to transform the relationship between local communities and serving and reservist armed forces personnel, veterans and their families.
A covenant between Angus Council, Angus College, NHS Tayside, the voluntary sector, the civilian community and the armed forces community in Angus, was signed in April this year.
It aims to encourage support and understanding for forces members and their families as well as raise awareness among the public of issues affecting their community.
The principles of the national Armed Forces Covenant, which the community covenants complement, have been written into law and recognise the unique nature of Service and state, that no disadvantage should arise from it, such as in accessing public services, and special treatment should be allowed where justified.
The Legion is encouraging all local authorities to sign a covenant and the Angus agreement is one of more than 50 signed so far. The scheme also offers access to a £30 million of Government funding from the Community Covenant Grant Scheme for local projects.
Mr Weir said: “Community Covenants are a fantastic way for local authorities and the wider community to show their support for our Armed Forces and their families. These Covenants are about securing real improvements in the welfare of Armed Forces personnel, veterans and their families in constituencies across the UK.
“I am pleased that so many local authorities are signing up. Now all of us need to ensure the commitments made really make a difference where it matters – on the ground.”