MP urges Armed Forces backing

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STRONGER loCAL support for the Armed Forces has been backed by local Westminster MP Jo Swinson.

The move comes after the Liberal Democrat member attended a House of Commons event highlighting the need for local communities to get behind the Armed Forces in their area.

It was organised by The Royal British Legion and aimed at promoting Community Covenants across the UK.

Covenants were launched last year to develop mutual understanding, meet the needs of the Armed Forces community and identify opportunities for closer working in their area.

More than 50 have been signed so far, including one for East Dunbartonshire - and another 50 are in the pipeline.

A covenant also offers access to £30m of Government funds for local projects that strengthen ties or mutual understanding between the Armed Forces community and the wider community.

Ms Swinson said: “I was delighted to show my support for The Royal British Legion and to back its call for communities to strengthen ties with the Armed Forces community in their own area.

“Covenants are a fantastic way for local authorities and the wider community to show their support for our Armed Forces and their families.

“These covenants are about securing real improvements in the welfare of Armed Forces personnel, veterans and their families in constituencies across the UK.

“I am pleased that East Dunbartonshire has joined so many other local authorities by signing up. Now all of us need to ensure the commitments made really make a difference where it matters – on the ground.”

Chris Simpkins, the Legion’s director general said: “Community Covenants provide an excellent opportunity to honour the Armed Forces Covenant and really bring its principles to life at a local level.

“We’re delighted that a growing number of local authorities from across the political spectrum are engaging with their local Armed Forces communities, and charities such as the Legion, to show their support for our brave Service men and women and their families. We ask every local authority to sign up.”