HAMPSHIRE County Council (HCC) has pledged its continued commitment to the armed forces following a recent meeting.

After a meeting on June 13, cabinet members of the council signed a renewed Armed Forces Covenant. 

The covenant has been updated to comply with the Covenant Duty, a new obligation under the Armed Forces Act 2021, implemented in November 2022. 

This renewal will ensure that serving and veteran members of the Forces, and their families, are treated fairly and are not disadvantaged when accessing public services such as education and healthcare. 

A formal signing event will take place later this year.

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Cllr Rob Humby, leader of HCC, said: “Hampshire is home to one of the largest armed forces communities in the UK, and we’ve always taken our duty to the particular needs of that community very seriously. It is vital that we continue our commitment and active support for the Armed Forces by signing an updated Covenant.

“We’re proud of our Hampshire Civilian Military Partnership, first established in 2009 to formally recognise the importance of our public service provider relationship with the Armed Forces.

"We are also delighted that we were one of the first local authorities to sign the original Covenant in 2011 and only two local authorities to receive the Defence Employers Recognition Gold Award in 2016."

Armed Forces Personnel and their families can find other sources of support through the County Council’s Armed Forces webpages and Connect to Support Hampshire.

External grants are available to support Hampshire’s Armed Forces Community, for example, the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, which has several different grant streams open each year.