Council signs up to veterans’ scheme

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West Sussex County Council is to automatically offer job interviews to retired military personnel.

Concerns about the legality of the scheme were raised by Cllr Bob Lanzer (Con, Maidenbower) at a meeting of the full council on Friday (March 27) but it was eventually passed anonymously.

The council will now sign up to the Veterans’ Interview Programme which means applicants coming from the armed forces who meet the essential criteria for the post can be expected to be offered an interview.

The idea was put forward by Graham Jones (UKIP, Felpham), a retired member of the airborne forces, who said retired service veterans faced problems adjusting to civilian life, with the biggest issue being finding worthwhile employment.

Crawley Borough Council signed up to the scheme last August.

County council leader Cllr Louise Goldsmith, who has a son in the Royal Marines, said: “We need to give these men a chance. They are not looking for any more, but one chance in respect for all that they have done.”