County signs up to show support

Northumberland County Council chairman George Todd and vice chairman Jim Smith are seen with Armed Forces lead for the county Lt Col Hugh Campbell -Smith and the community covenant between the people of Northumberland and the armed forces community in the county. With them are Major John Inglis-Jones, 15 Brigade, Captain Mark Taylor, Queen's Own Yeomanry, Wing Commander Martin Perrin, RAF Boulmer, Group Captain Jeff Portlock, Station Commander RAF Boulmer, Colonel David Middleton, Northumbria Army Cadet Force, Lieutenant Colonel Jon Sear, Royal Marines and Commander Andy Collier, Royal Navy Reserves.
Northumberland County Council chairman George Todd and vice chairman Jim Smith are seen with Armed Forces lead for the county Lt Col Hugh Campbell -Smith and the community covenant between the people of Northumberland and the armed forces community in the county. With them are Major John Inglis-Jones, 15 Brigade, Captain Mark Taylor, Queen's Own Yeomanry, Wing Commander Martin Perrin, RAF Boulmer, Group Captain Jeff Portlock, Station Commander RAF Boulmer, Colonel David Middleton, Northumbria Army Cadet Force, Lieutenant Colonel Jon Sear, Royal Marines and Commander Andy Collier, Royal Navy Reserves.
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A SHOW of support for the Armed Forces was given at County Hall with the signing of a new covenant.

The Armed Forces Community Covenant was signed by Northumberland County Council last week as a pledge to work with charities, businesses and other agencies to support current and former service personnel.

The voluntary statement aims to complement the covenant that outlines the moral obligation between the nation, the Government and the Armed Forces, and seeks to encourage local communities to support the Forces, promote understanding of the issues affecting them, recognise the sacrifices made and support activities to integrate the Services into local life.

Deputy Council Leader Roger Styring, who is Armed Forces Community Champion and joint Chairman of the local Armed Forces Forum, said: “Northumberland has had a close relationship with the military for many years and has a long tradition of serving in the Armed Forces. We felt that it was important to recognise this relationship and take it further.

“There needs to be an understanding of the role that the military has in our society and more importantly the role that people have when they leave service and re-integrate into civilian life. This recognition extends not just to those in the Services, but also their families and veterans, the injured and the bereaved.”

The formal presentation of the covenant was made to Lieutenant Colonel Hugh Campbell-Smith, of the Queen’s Own Yeomanry, who is liaison officer for Northumberland.

Members of the Royal Marines, the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force were also in attendance, as well as representatives from the health service, Citizens’ Advice Bureaux, Combat Stress, the Royal British Legion, Jobcentre Plus and SSAFA.

Northumberland has close ties with the military, and RAF Boulmer, HMS Northumberland and the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers have all been granted the Freedom of the County.