The Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry has praised the dedication of the county’s Armed Forces, and especially those Reservists employed by the County Council, for their valued contribution, as they proudly wore their uniforms on Reserves Day (8 September).
The Local Authority has been proudly supporting Hampshire’s Armed Forces for many years, with over 60,000 veterans, 20,000 serving personnel, 1,200 reservists and 4,000 civilians employed by the MoD throughout Hampshire. The County Council employs a number of reservists and a great many ex service personnel from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force.
Councillor Perry said: “We’re very proud of reservists throughout Hampshire, which is why we’ve thanked them for their ongoing dedication to serve the nation. The County Council was one of the first local authorities to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and establish a strategic Civilian Military Partnership to ensure those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly and equitably. As part of our long-standing commitment to the Armed Forces, the County Council’s reservists are entitled to two weeks additional paid leave for training and other duties. Our overall commitment was recently recognised with a Gold Award, within the MOD Employer Recognition scheme.”
Reserve Forces make up approximately one sixth of the UK’s Armed Forces personnel. They are integral to protecting the nation’s security at home and overseas, particularly providing capability in specialist areas such as medicine and cyber security.
Councillor Andrew Joy, the County Council’s Armed Forces Champion and Executive Member for Communities, Partnerships and External Affairs, said: “Although our Armed Forces reservists aren’t always immediately recognisable as frontline personnel, they readily commit their free time to train, so that they are ready to respond to any military demand whether at home or overseas. Wearing their uniforms at work on Reserves Day not only helps to raise community awareness of Reservists’ commitment, but it also demonstrates our encouragement and support for them.”
Hampshire County Council has consistently promoted projects and policies in support of the military, including promotion of civil events such as Armed Forces Day, and free or discounted entry for serving or ex-service members to the County Council’s attractions.
In November, the County Council will also host an event for service leavers and their partners/spouses to showcase career opportunities available to them within the local authority.
For more details on the County Council’s strong links with the Armed Forces visit www.hants.gov.uk/armed-forces