A White Paper motion to be debated at the Council’s next full meeting on 16th November says the Covenant would aim to strengthen the partnership between Leeds City Council and the Armed Forces and could look at issues like giving members of the Forces higher priority in housing allocation.
Community Covenants are voluntary statements of mutual support between civilian communities and local Armed Forces communities. They’re intended to complement, at a local level, the national Armed Forces Covenant, which outlines “the moral obligation between the Nation, the Government and the Armed Forces”.
The first community covenant was launched in Oxfordshire in June. The scheme is being supported by £30million of Government funding over the next four years. Covenants have already been signed or are being drawn up in North Yorkshire, Sheffield, Wakefield and Bradford.
The motion tabled by Cllr Michael Lyons suggests that a report outlining proposals for the setting up of a local Covenant be drafted and presented to the Council’s Executive.
The full text of the motion says:
“This Council recognises and remembers the sacrifices made by the Armed Services community.
“Leeds City Council believes that the Armed Forces community, including serving personnel, veterans and their families, should not be disadvantaged, by virtue of what they do, when accessing public services.
“This Council therefore commits to a Community Covenant which will strengthen the partnership between Leeds City Council and the Armed Forces, encourage the integration of military and civilian communities, explore options for giving members of the Armed Forces higher priority for housing, and promote a wider understanding of issues affecting the Armed Forces community.
“Council requests that the Chief Executive produces a report, in consultation with local military representatives, for consideration by the Executive Board, which outlines proposals for the establishment of a Leeds Community Covenant.”