North Lincolnshire Council has joined scores of other councils up and down the country by signing up to the Armed Forces Community Covenant.
The Armed Forces Community Covenant was signed at a ceremony at the Civic Centre, Scunthorpe, on Wednesday 19 October.
Among those attending were Air Commodore David Stubbs (RAF), Commander Andy Riggall (Royal Navy) and Colonel Jonathon Sykes (Army), Cllr Liz Redfern and Simon Driver (North Lincolnshire Council) and representatives from about 15 other local companies and organisations.
A Community Covenant is a voluntary statement of mutual support between a civilian community and its local armed forces community.
The aim of the covenant is to encourage local councils and communities to support the service community within their area and promote understanding and awareness amongst the public of issues affecting them.
It is intended to complement the Armed Forces Covenant, published by the Government in 2011 as a statement of the moral obligation which exists between the Nation, the Government and the Armed Forces.
Doug Gawley, Vice Chair of the Royal Air Force Association, Scunthorpe, said:
“All of us in the UK owe a great debt to our armed forces personnel, past and present.
"By agreeing to this Covenant and in agreeing to working with partners, both serving and veterans and local business communities, North Lincolnshire Council is demonstrating a real commitment to improving the lives of armed forces personnel.
“With a Community Covenant in place, North Lincolnshire Council will be well positioned to lead on bids for part of a £30million grant scheme which will be available over the period up to 2016.
"These can be for sums of between £100 and £250,000 to be used in projects supporting armed forces personnel in civilian life and also service/community linked projects.
"The veteran population in North Lincolnshire, based on those drawing a services pension, is around 4,000 whilst there are approximately 2,000 serving personnel with a Territorial Army detachment based at the Bryan Budd VC Barracks on Cottage Beck Road in Scunthorpe.”
Cllr Liz Redfern, Leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “The Community Covenant is our pledge to support the armed forces community in our area.
“It demonstrates our commitment to nurturing greater public awareness and understanding of the issues affecting the armed forces community.”
Simon Driver, Chief Executive of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “It’s important that we work together to improve mutual support in a way that benefits the whole community.
“The Community Covenant is our local statement of that mutual support between the civilian population and the local Armed Forces personnel.”