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Mid Worcestershire MP and Defence Minister Peter Luff welcomed the UK’s first tri-service Armed Forces Covenant, published yesterday, which ensures that members of the armed forces community do not suffer disadvantages as a result of their service. He also praised Wychavon District Council’s commitment to helping former members of the armed forces.
Peter commented,

“The Armed Forces Covenant will reassure servicemen and women across the country that their interests will be protected by the government.

“The obligation the nation owes to our servicemen and women, set against the commitment and sacrifice which they make, is enormous. The Government has no higher duty than the defence of the realm and the Covenant is a statement of the moral obligation that we owe to those who risk their lives on our behalf.”

The Covenant will include a new fund of £3m per year to support state schools with large numbers of service children, an increase in council tax relief for military personnel serving on operations overseas from 25% to 50% and the introduction of a Veterans’ Card. With an amendment to the Armed Forces Bill its principles will be enshrined in law.

Peter added,

“I also want to congratulate Wychavon District Council on their “Civvy Street” leaflet, an information guide for local servicemen and women who are planning to leave the forces or who have already left. It shows them that there are resources on offer to assist them with all their resettlement needs. It’s really encouraging to know that there is support from local and national government to help secure them a better future.”

Wychavon District Council published the leaflet in March to coincide with the ceremony to award the Freedom of the District to the Mercian Regiment. It lists a range of local services from housing and licensing to employment and health to help them to get started.

Peter said,

“The core principles of the Covenant are that members of the Armed Forces Community must not suffer disadvantage as a result of their service and that they receive special treatment where appropriate. I am delighted to see that Wychavon’s leaflet perfectly echoes the sentiments of the Covenant.”


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