Aberdeen’s commitment to the Armed Forces has been renewed with the formal signing of a new covenant between the City Council and the Armed Forces in the Town House.
The covenant was signed by the Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett, on behalf of Aberdeen City Council, and by Lieutenant Colonel Geraint Davies, commanding officer of Aberdeen University Officers Training Corps, on behalf of the Armed Forces.
The Armed Forces covenant is based on the premise that those who serve or have served – and their families deserve respect, support and fair treatment.
The Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett, who is Aberdeen’s Armed Forces champion said: “I am very pleased to sign the covenant on behalf of Aberdeen City Council as we have a deep appreciation of the Armed Forces community and that is clear from the additional commitments of the refreshed covenant.
“This covenant sets the standard and I hope it might form the basis for other local authorities to follow suit.”
The council’s key commitments to the Armed Forces are detailed in the covenant. These are to:
- offer up to 1% of 2,000 new council houses to those leaving the armed forces and adapt up to a further 0.5% for those injured in service
- support the employment of veterans and work with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) to establish a tailored employment pathway for service leavers
- support the employment of service spouses and partners and provide advice services to support cadet forces to prepare for future employment
- support our employees who are members of the Reserve forces, including by accommodating their training and deployment where possible
- offer support to our local cadet units, either in our local community or in local schools and we will engage with local schools and communities to promote the role and benefits of cadet forces and Reserve Armed Forces
- work with other organisations across the city to promote sporting opportunities for the Armed Forces
- arrange for colleagues from SAAFA, the Armed Forces charity, to use a council office one day a week to improve access to support for veterans
- ensure that Armed Forces personnel are not disadvantaged when it comes to gaining a place at a school for their children;
- to take part in Armed Forces Day.
The council is in the process of setting up a working group to ensure it meets these commitments. As part of its commitment the council donated £10,000 to the PoppyScotland appeal in the run up to Armistice Day 2018.
Following the signing, the Lord Provost in his role as Lord-Lieutenant, took the opportunity to present a special award to Aberdeen Lord-Lieutenant cadet Flight Sergeant Jamal Ronald, who has achieved the highest rank that a cadet can achieve in the UK.
FS Ronald, from the Bridge of Don area of Aberdeen, is based with 2288 Montrose Squadron Air Training Corps.