Middlesbrough Council has underlined the town's support for the Armed Forces by adopting an Armed Forces Community Covenant.
The signing of the Armed Forces Community Covenant took place on June 19 2012 at the Town Hall. Then-Mayor Ray Mallon signed the Covenant on behalf of Middlesbrough Council. It was also signed by Thirteen Group and representatives from the Army, Royal Navy, and RAF. The Community Covenant was due to be re-signed by the Mayor and several local businesses on 16 April 2020, but this has been postponed due to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. It's hoped the signing will now take place in September 2020.
The aim of the Community Covenant is to strengthen the relationship between local communities and the military. It also offers formal recognition of the sacrifices made by service personnel on active duty. It provides a platform for the Armed Forces community to help and support the wider community through participation in events and joint projects.
Middlesbrough's Community Covenant is intended to complement the national Armed Forces Covenant. The national Covenant is a promise by the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly.
We aim to fulfil our obligations under the Covenant by:
- working with partners to make sure that the needs of our local Armed Forces community are being identified and met
- making sure that military service doesn't result in members of the Armed Forces community being disadvantaged compared to other citizens
- making sure that the contribution of the Armed Forces to our community is remembered, honoured and celebrated
We actively support local Armed Forces events including homecoming and freedom parades, and we also have a strong partnership with the Yorkshire Regiment.
The council has two appointed Armed Forces Champions, whose role is to maintain Middlesbrough Council's commitment to support the Armed Forces and their families, and veterans, and to raise the profile of the support provided by the council and the community.
An Armed Forces forum has also been set up. It includes representatives from the Armed Forces and organisations supporting ex-service personnel, as well as elected councillors and partner organisations. The aim of the forum is to encourage all partners in Middlesbrough to work together to take positive measures which will prevent any disadvantage to individuals as a result of military service, or their return from it.