Rochdale Borough Council’s Acting Chief Executive visited Number 10 Downing Street this week. Linda Fisher was invited by Prime Minister David Cameron to a special Armed Forces reception, held to celebrate the work being done across the country to support the Armed Forces Community Covenant. Rochdale has been recognised nationally for the progress made since they signed the covenant in 2012.
Linda was joined in the garden at Number 10 by around 150 guests including military personnel, charities, the Ministry of Defence and government ministers.
The Prime Minister spoke about the importance of the Community Covenant and said he recognised there is some fantastic work being done across the country. Earlier that day he had opened the re-designed Imperial War Museum in the capital.
Councillor Alan McCarthy, Lead Member for the Armed Forces at the council, said he is pleased to see Rochdale’s work being recognised by the Prime Minister:
“For the last two years we have worked so hard to implement changes to the way we work as a council to support Armed Forces, whether serving or veterans and their families and I think we are making a positive difference. Whilst there is more to do, I am proud of what we have delivered and achieved.”
Acting Chief Executive Linda Fisher, who co-ordinates Armed Forces work across Greater Manchester as well as Rochdale, said the Prime Minister recognised the good work being done and said how important it is to acknowledge the enormous sacrifices made by our Armed Forces and their families:
“It really was a privilege to be invited to Downing Street. I am pleased with the progress made since we signed the covenant and I was very proud to represent the borough today. We have taken an innovative approach to supporting our Armed Forces and their families, with measures such as our web pages, free access to leisure and guaranteed interview scheme receiving national praise from the Royal British Legion. We have tried to identify how we can better support our military community, proactively changing our policies on council tax, discretionary crisis fund and education, as well as making a real effort to identify Armed Forces families in the borough so we can ensure they get the support they need. Local businesses and our partners are also supporting us and I’m proud of our team work. Across Greater Manchester, councils are making a difference and there is some fantastic work taking place, which the Prime Minister was very interested to hear about.”
The council signed the Armed Forces Community Covenant in 2012 – a statement of support between a civilian community and its Armed Forces community. For more information on Armed Forces events, the support available or about signing the covenant visit www.rochdale.gov.uk/armedforces email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01706 926986.
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