Councillors pledge to ‘help the heroes’

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BRITAIN’S armed forces will get extra help from Calderdale Council.

Council leaders say they are ready to sign a “Community Covenant” which will strengthen their ties and support for the local military and promote understanding and awareness.

It means ensuring all available health, housing, education and social care services are appropriate and properly funded.

“We must make sure that if services personnel and their families need help then it will be made available,” said Calderdale Council leader Janet Battye.

She said it was particularly important to honour the pledge as the 3rd Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment, formerly the Duke of Wellington’s, prepares to fight in Afghanistan.

A Military Covenant has existed since the reign of Henry VIII although it has not been formally enshrined in law.

The Government’s new Armed Forces Covenant expresses the enduring general principle that should govern the relationship between the Nation, the Government and the Armed Forces community.

Its Community Covenant Scheme encourages councils to set up their own as a way of thanking men and women for putting their lives on the line, said Coun Battye (Lib-Dem, Calder).

Full consultation is to take place with the council’s partners before the covenant is signed and any financial and service delivery implications will be explored.

The Government is supporting the scheme with a £30 million grant.