This report explores the results of a consultation project carried out by a partnership of UK borough councils into how the commitment to the covenant is being delivered within their areas.
In May 2018 a letter was sent to local authority chief executives via the Local Government Association (LGA) by the Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Mrs Heather Wheeler MP and the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Defence People and Veterans, the Rt Hon Tobias Ellwood MP. The letter encouraged local authorities to consider how they could ensure that Covenant initiatives remain current and continue to support the Armed Forces community. With the support of the LGA they were keen to gauge interest in sector-led support on local delivery of the Covenant and promote the availability of funding from Forces in Mind Trust to support councils. The Charnwood, Melton and Rushcliffe (CMR) Borough Councils partnership began in 2017 when monies became available for local authorities to apply for under the Armed Forces Community Covenant funding round. The relocation of Headley Court in Surrey to the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) at Stanford Hall, Nottinghamshire, was well underway and with Stanford Hall sitting on the border of the three boroughs it was felt that a joint partnership delivering on the Armed Forces Covenant was the best for the community. Following the development of the CMR partnership and the attendance at Civil Military Partnership Boards it was found that there were large gaps in knowledge and capacity of local authorities who did not have a dedicated Covenant officer. The work of the Armed Forces Covenant is often given to an officer who has responsibility for other areas and is therefore unable to prioritise this work.
Charnwood, Melton and Rushcliffe Borough Councils Partnership, 2019. Bringing the Armed Forces Covenant to Life: Evaluation Report. Available at: <https://www.fim-trust.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/20191030-Bringing-the-Armed-Forces-Covenant-to-Life-FiMT-funded-CMR-training-and-consultancy-evaluation-FINAL.pdf>.