MCC has reaffirmed its commitment to working with our armed forces community, together with our five Town Councils (Abergavenny, Monmouth, Usk, Caldicot and Chepstow) who signed the Covenant for the first time. This makes Monmouthshire the only local authority in the UK to have the principal authority and all town councils signing the covenant in unison.
The Armed Forces Covenant represents a promise by the nation that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly. The covenant aims to bring together the armed forces community and the civilian community on a local level, nurturing mutual understanding and raising awareness of issues faced by the armed forces. It is a pledge that, together, we acknowledge and understand that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve with their lives.
The signing ceremony took place in the Council Chamber at County Hall during a meeting of the full council. The pledge was signed by Cllr Sheila Woodhouse as Chairman of the Council and Lt Col JPR Gossage RE on behalf of the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia). Signing on behalf of the Town Councils were Chepstow, Cllr Tom Kirton (Mayor), Caldicot: Cllr Dave Evans (Mayor), Monmouth: Cllr Richard Roden (Mayor), Usk: Cllr Christine Wilkinson (Mayor), Abergavenny: Cllr Tony Konieczny (Mayor).
The council currently holds a Silver award in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme and has submitted an expression of interest to gain Gold status this year. The scheme is awarded to employers who pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed forces community, and inspire others to do the same.
Cllr. Laura Jones, Monmouthshire County Council’s Armed Forces Champion said:
“It is so very important to recognise the work and commitment of our armed forces colleagues. The signing of this covenant reinforces Monmouthshire’s dedication to ensuring our armed forces colleagues continue to receive support and gratitude.”
Lt Col JPR Gossage RE said:
“These events are incredibly important to the Serving and Veteran’s Military Community in demonstrating the continued commitment and support for Service people and their families across the County of Monmouthshire. My Regiment is very proud of our heritage bearing the county name, and we truly appreciate the backing of the Mayors and the Councillors of Monmouthshire.”