Council to sign covenant

Serving and former members of the armed forces and their families will be offered greater support in Crawley, thanks to a new initiative.

Crawley Borough Council and its partners will sign a Community Covenant on Armed Forces Day (June 29).

The Covenant commits civilian and military personnel to work together, and encourage support for the armed forces community living in Crawley.

It also aims to raise recognition for the sacrifices they have made. And support personnel when they return to civilian life by helping them reintegrate into the community.

Cllr Michael Jones (Lab, Bewbush) campaigned for the Community Covenant. He said he was thrilled a date had been set to sign it. He said: “There is no doubt this means something very deep to the people of this town, members of the armed forces and veterans, and their families. I absolutely believe that all the communities want to join together on this issue. It is nearly a year now since I successfully got cross-party support for this from the council. I look forward to attending the formal ceremony later this month.

“The Covenant is about help and support for servicemen, it’s about recognition and raising awareness of the difficult duties they often have to undertake, and it’s about what happens when they come back to ‘civvy street.’

“I hope the council will take advantage of the funding the Ministry of Defence is offering for specific projects. But in the meantime, let’s celebrate that this important initiative is now formally going forward.”

The Covenant will deliver projects that address the needs of the armed forces and enable the armed forces community to support the wider Crawley community.

A council spokesman said: “We’re delighted to be signing Crawley’s Community Covenant at the Armed Forces Day event. The Crawley-specific covenant encourages the local community to support the armed forces community and promote understanding and awareness of issues affecting it.

“Similarly, Armed Forces Day raises public awareness of the contribution made to our country by those who serve in the armed forces and gives everyone an opportunity to show support for the men and women who make up the armed forces community.”

The covenant will be signed at the town hall.