Lord Provost pledges to boost support for veterans
Strengthening the Council's commitment to the Armed Forces and boosting support for veterans is at the heart of a new covenant signed in Edinburgh today (Tuesday 5 March).
Witnessed by members of the Royal Navy, Air Force, Army and Veterans charities, an Armed Forces Covenant for Business was signed on behalf of the Council by Edinburgh's Lord Provost Frank Ross during a special event in the City Chambers.
It is estimated that there could be up to 40,000 veterans, 1,500 serving personnel and 500 cadets living in Edinburgh.
The covenant, which aims 'to engender an environment where the Services community across Edinburgh is not disadvantaged as a result of their service and is regarded as an asset to society', commits to:
- Promoting the fact that the Council is an armed forces-friendly organisation
- Working with the Career Transition Partnership to establish a tailored employment pathway for Service Leavers
- Supporting Council employees who choose to be members of the Reserve forces
- Offering support to local cadet units
- Recognising forces service as residency under the Edinburgh Housing Index
- Responding to the UK and Scottish Governments’ Veterans Strategy with the establishment of the Lord Provost’s Veterans Commission for Edinburgh.
The Lord Provost’s Commission will be established to review the current pattern of provision and need for veterans in Edinburgh and set out the future policy direction for the delivery of public services to veterans in the Capital.
Commenting, the Lord Provost said: “As Veterans’ Champion for the city, I am delighted that the Council is now committed to taking our relationship a major step further forward by signing the Armed Forces Covenant for Business. In doing so, we are recognising quite clearly the value that serving personnel, reservists and military families bring to our organisation and to our communities.
"We are fortunate to have so many people in our city who are working together to help prevent service personnel and their families being disadvantaged as a result of their service, yet there is so much more we can do to highlight the support on offer.
"A fantastic example is the Council's Housing Service, where time spent in the forces is recognised as years of tenure. If veterans declare themselves to us within three years of leaving the forces, we can help them settle into a safe and secure home, but many choose not to identify as veteran when they present to us. By signing the Covenant for Business, we will be able to boost awareness and the supportive measures we have available.
"Any organisation or charity can sign the Armed Forces Covenant too and publicly make their own promises of support - I hope to see many Edinburgh-based businesses do just that and follow our lead."