Army Community Covenant
(L-R) Helen Briggs (Chief Executive of Rutland County Council), Brigadier Andrew Williams OBE (Commander 49 East Brigade) and Roger Begy (Leader of Rutland County Council and Chairman of Rutland LSP)
Rutland County Council has pledged its support for the services by signing the official Armed Forces Community Covenant.
The covenant, which encourages support for the local Armed Forces community, was signed (Friday 13 January 2012) at Oakham Castle by Helen Briggs, Chief Executive of Rutland County Council and Brigadier Andrew Williams OBE, Commander 49 (East) Brigade.
Leader of Rutland County Council Roger Begy OBE, who also signed the document as Chairman of Rutland Together, commented: “I am delighted to sign this agreement on behalf of the local community. Rutland has a long and proud military tradition dating back many years. However, few years will have been as significant as 2012 with the departure of the Royal Air Force from Cottesmore and the arrival of the army in July”.
Roger Begy added: “The Covenant shows that the local community is willing to do everything possible to provide help, advice and support to members of the Armed Forces Community. In return, the Armed Forces Community promises to do as much as they can to support their community and promote activity which integrates the service community into civilian life”.
Brigadier Williams added: “The Rutland Armed Forces Covenant seeks to further reinforce the existing ties between the Armed Forces and the Council. We are naturally very proud to be involved. Rutland has a long history of supporting their local military personnel and as importantly, their families. This Covenant will help further cement that support at a local level, and ensure that our Armed Forces, veterans and their families have the support they need, are not disadvantaged for being Servicemen and are treated with the dignity they deserve in the future.”
Rutland County Council has enjoyed a close working relationship with the local Armed Forces community in recent years:
- Armed Forces Day is celebrated annually with a flag raising ceremony in Oakham
- Events are often held to provide residents with an insight in military life
- Military personnel have played active role in major events including Rutland Day
- Homecoming parades for military personnel in Oakham Town Centre
The Armed Forces Community Covenant encourages the Rutland community to support local military personnel and their families. It’s hoped that it will also help nurture public awareness and understanding of issues affecting the Armed Forces community.
The Covenant also recognises and remembers sacrifices faced by the Armed Force Community. This includes in-Service and ex-Service personnel, their families and widow (er)s in Rutland.
Rutland Together, the Local Strategic Partnership for Rutland, also signed the document to show support on behalf of their 50+ members who include local health services, emergency services and voluntary groups.
Preparing for the arrival of the army at Cottesmore is a corporate priority for Rutland County Council.
Troops from the 2nd Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment will arrive at Cottesmore (from Cyprus) in July 2012. It’s estimated that around 250 of these soldiers will bring families with them. Further troops from 7 Regiment the Royal Logistic Corps will then arrive (from Germany) in 2013.