New strategy for veterans

One of the key principles of its recently published ‘Strategy for our veterans’ is that former Armed Forces personnel are able to access, when necessary, support from the public and voluntary sectors that meets their needs.

LGA Chairman Lord Porter said: “Identifying veterans has always been a challenge for councils and we are pleased that the strategy recognises the need to collect more information about the number of veterans in our communities. This will help councils better plan their local services.”

He added: “Additional funding announced in the Budget for the mental health of veterans will help to ensure that those in need of support can access timely, effective and integrated services. This funding needs to be made available to veterans through councils, which want to work with armed forces charities, health and other local partners to further strengthen mental health support for veterans and ensure it links to wider mental health activity.”

But he raised concerns about Ministry of Defence funding for the Armed Forces Covenant, which is ending from March 2019.

“All councils have signed the voluntary Armed Forces Covenant and are committed to honouring their obligations to those who have served their country. The Government needs to continue this funding if councils are to maintain and build on the current level of support for veterans and other people in vulnerable circumstances,” said Lord Porter.

The strategy was published shortly after Armistice Day on 11 November, when councils around the country marked the centenary of the end of the First World War with processions, poetry reading, beacon lightings and bell ringing.

Among those remembering those who have lost their lives in conflict were residents, members of Sandhurst Town Council and the Royal Military Academy, pictured (left) at the Sandhurst War Memorial.

Author

‘The strategy for our veterans’, see www.gov.uk/government/publications/strategyfor-our-veterans

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