Despite the new money, councils still face an overall funding gap of almost £8 billion by 2025 just to maintain services at current levels. It is becoming increasingly challenging to maintain the current level of support for the Armed Forces Community.
- Armed Forces serving personnel, veterans and their families are valued members of our communities. All councils have signed the voluntary Armed Forces Covenant and are committed to honouring their obligations to those who have served their country.
- Councils work with partner organisations to provide a range of services that support serving personnel and their families. They also help veterans and their families adjust from the Armed Forces to civilian life.
- Good progress has been made embedding the principles of the Covenant across local services, especially in housing, education, employment support and health.
- The vast majority of councils have appointed an Armed Forces Champion who helps to embed the Covenant across local services. While the Champion role is working well, we also need to ensure sufficient resources to enable councils to meet their Covenant obligations.
- The LGA has found that a recurring challenge for councils is identifying veterans. More information about the number of veterans in our communities would help councils better plan their local services to make sure we have the right services in place. We look forward to this issue being addressed through the Government’s veterans strategy.
- We welcome the additional £10 million funding for the mental health of veterans announced in the Chancellor’s Budget last year. This will help to ensure that veterans in need of mental health support can access timely, effective and integrated services. The funding should be available to veterans and managed through councils who want to work with armed forces charities, health and other local partners to further strengthen mental health support for veterans and ensure it links to wider mental health activity.
- Despite the new money, councils still face an overall funding gap of almost £8 billion by 2025 just to maintain services at current levels. It is becoming increasingly challenging to maintain the current level of support for the Armed Forces Community.
- This year’s Spending Review is an opportunity to tackle the urgent funding gap facing local government. It is important the Government continues with its Ministry of Defence (MoD) Covenant funding for councils.
- It is a great concern that the (MoD) Covenant funding for councils starts to end from March 2019 as this will impact upon future capacity to deliver specific projects that further the Covenant locally. We want to support councils to share the learning from Covenant funded projects and embed Covenant activity across councils and partners.
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Armed Forces Covenant, House of Commons debate, 6 February