Ian Roome, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for North Devon, applauded North Devon Council's ongoing commitment to veterans and serving military personnel through its endorsement of the Armed Forces Covenant.
As the Leader of the council, Councillor Ian Roome proudly signed the covenant on behalf of North Devon Council on Monday, September 4th, following unanimous approval from the council's Strategy and Resources Committee.
During this significant moment, Wing Commander Alex Drake, representing the Wessex Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Association Air Regional Employer Engagement Officer, joined the meeting and co-signed the covenant on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.
The essence of the Armed Forces Covenant is a solemn promise that individuals who have served or are currently serving in the armed forces, along with their families, should receive fair treatment and should not encounter disadvantages when seeking access to public or private goods and services in the United Kingdom. This covenant invites businesses, public bodies, and charities to publicly declare their commitment to support the armed forces community by signing and upholding its principles.
North Devon Council demonstrates its commitment in various ways, including supporting the housing needs of military personnel and veterans through avenues like Housing Support, Devon Home Choice, and Disabled Facilities Grants. Additionally, the council actively welcomes job applications from veterans, reservists, spouses, and partners, offering reservists allowances for training and call-ups.
In an effort to further support armed forces charities and organisations, councillors are empowered to allocate funding through Community Councillor funding programs. Moreover, the council plays a proactive role in promoting significant events such as Armed Forces Day and Remembrance Day.
Councillor Ian Roome expressed his enthusiasm, stating, "I am thrilled that we can express our unwavering dedication to supporting our armed forces, veterans, and their families by endorsing the Armed Forces Covenant. This demonstrates our recognition and comprehension that those who have served or are currently serving in the armed forces, alongside their families, deserve equitable and respectful treatment in the communities, economy, and society. They should not face any unjust discrimination due to their service."
Wing Commander Alex Drake emphasised the significance of this commitment, saying, “The pledge to undertake support for the armed forces and its wider community via the Armed Forces Covenant is significant and one that is not taken lightly nor for granted by defence. I am immensely grateful to North Devon Council for their continued support to our Regulars, Reservists, Veterans, families and cadet forces, which directly enables our operations in the UK and overseas."