Leaders from Boston Borough Council, East Lindsey District Council and South Holland District Council – the South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership (SELCP) – have re-signed the Armed Forces Covenant.

By re-signing the Covenant, the Partnership Councils demonstrate their commitment to the Armed Forces Community in supporting them to have the same access to government and commercial services as any other citizen.

In doing so, the Partnership Councils recognise the struggles faced by some of the Armed Forces Community and will help and support serving personnel, reservists, veterans, and military families by upholding the principals of the Armed Forces Covenant.

The Partnership Councils will show their support by appointing an Elected Member Armed Forces Champion in due course and a Staff Member Armed Forces Champion for each partner Council to promote support for the Armed Forces Community.

The Partnership Councils will also support and encourage the employment of Military Veterans, Serving Spouses and Partners and Reservists and encourage support for and membership of local Cadet units.

Commitment will also be shown through the Partnership Councils supporting and promoting Armed Forces charities, Armed Forces events and encouraging local businesses to consider offering discounts for those in the Armed Forces Community.

Wellbeing Lincs also signed the Covenant along with representatives from Kirton Medical Centre, Swineshead Medical Centre and Parkside Surgery as part of the Primary Care Networks who collectively shared their support for the Armed Forces Community.

Among the three Council Leaders were the Joint Chief Executive for the South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership Councils, Rob Barlow, who opened the event alongside Deputy Chief Executive (Communities), John Leach. The event also welcomed special guests, Wing Commander, Kerstie Wright; Ministry of Defence Regional Employer Engagement Director, Bruce Spencer; and Deputy Regional Employer Engagement Director, Kirstie Lawrence.

Observers of the ceremony included the Veterans Support Service, Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, Blind Veterans UK, Butterfly Hospice Trust and The Forces Employment Charity (RFEA).

In a speech at the ceremony, Bruce Spencer explained that “Reserves have been mobilised numerous times across the last decade” and went on to describe examples where Reservists have helped resolve issues the public have faced such as the Fuel Crisis of last October, the role out of Vaccinations for COVID-19 and the natural disasters that have happened in the last 10 years. He closed his speech by saying “that is the importance of the Armed Forces Covenant, no disadvantage for the military service”.

A joint statement from Councillor Paul Skinner Leader of Boston Borough Council, Councillor Craig Leyland, Leader of East Lindsey District Council, and Councillor Gary Porter, Leader of South Holland District Council, said: “We feel honoured to have re-signed the Covenant alongside Wellbeing Lincs and the Primary Care Network, showing our joint commitment and support to the Armed Forces Community.

“Supporting the Armed Forces is just as important today, as we rely on them to help keep our country safe at a time when war continues. We would like to thank those in attendance and thank the serving personnel, reservists, veterans, and military families whose resilience we value.”