H&F has made a series of pledges to recognise the remarkable contribution of regulars, reservists, veterans and the loved ones who support them.
The council’s most senior figures signed the Armed Forces Covenant at a ceremony at Hammersmith Town Hall on Tuesday (25 June), joining 3,000 businesses and organisations across the UK in wholeheartedly backing the services.
“It gives us great pride to publicly support the UK’s armed forces with practical, significant actions – not empty words,” said Cllr Alan De’Ath, H&F Council’s Representative for the Armed Forces. The Covenant was officially signed by Kim Smith, Chief Executive of H&F Council, and Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of H&F, in the Mayor’s Parlour.
Among the measures announced to reinforce the covenant’s wording are a pledge to offer work to veterans and a promise to increase assistance given to the families, partners of those serving in the military.
“The entire Armed Forces community deserves our support,” said Cllr De’Ath. “Because of the nature of their service, and the sacrifices the Armed Forces make, they can be at a disadvantage compared to other citizens. We aim to redress that.”
H&F Council will now actively recruit veterans of all ages, providing tailored pathways to work. It has also pledged to:
- build on existing support for council employees, who serve in the reserves, ensuring they have time for training and deployment
- grant leave and flexible working terms for spouses and partners of service personnel before, during and after a partner’s deployment
- ensure that council buildings and facilities are made accessible for Disabled veterans
- encourage managers to address the specific needs of Armed Forces regulars, reserves and veterans, and their families
- recognise and remember the sacrifice of others by active, long-term participation in June’s Armed Forces Week.
H&F Council Chief Executive Kim Smith said she was proud to sign the Covenant on behalf of borough residents, adding: “Our Armed Forces do so much to keep us all safe from threats, at home and abroad, as well as delivering aid to the neediest communities around the world. The Covenant demonstrates our commitment to them in return.”
Hammersmith & Fulham Council is already an active backer of Armed Forces Week every summer, raising a flag above the town hall, parading through the streets and hosting events to honour serving troops, their families, veterans and cadets. The council also invited all its staff members who are Reservists to proudly wear their uniforms to work.
In 2011, the council granted the borough’s Territorial Army regiment, the Royal Yeomanry, the highest civic distinction in its gift – Freedom of the Borough.
The citation paid tribute to the service of the oldest, most senior Territorial cavalry regiment which has its headquarters in Fulham.
Want to read more news stories like this? Subscribe to our weekly e-news bulletin.