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Northamptonshire unitary councils deepen pledge to armed forces

Community, safety and emergencies

17 December 2021

North Northamptonshire Council logo

Support for armed services personnel, veterans, and their families is set to improve in Northamptonshire after the unitary councils received bronze awards in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS). 
West Northamptonshire Council and North Northamptonshire Council have already signed the Armed Forces Covenant (AFC) which puts in writing both council’s commitment to supporting those connected to the forces. The ERS Bronze award is now the first step in a constant improvement programme which makes it easier for reservists to find flexible employers and improves employment pathways between the forces and the private and public sectors. 

A career in the military can provide a uniquely rich and broad experience.  
So not only do we have a duty to support those who volunteer to serve, we also need to make sure they have clear routes back into civilian employment where the rest of us can benefit from that rich experience.
Cllr David Smith, WNC’s AFC Member Champion and Cabinet Member for community safety and engagement
Our emergency services are a traditional route for those leaving the armed services, but there’s also a huge overlap with local councils in terms of sense of duty, serving the community and working towards something much bigger than yourself.  
I’m really proud that, as a county, we have made the commitment to go further and to tap into the skills and experience those from the armed forces can offer our communities.
Cllr Andy Mercer, NNC’s AFC Member Champion and Executive Member for housing and community

In addition to signing the AFC, Bronze ERS holders must show they promote being armed forces-friendly to partners and show they are open to employing reservists, armed forces veterans (including the wounded, injured and sick), cadet instructors and military spouses/partners.  
Among other measures, Silver ERS awards are given to employers who have a policy in place which will allow reservists to fulfil their military commitments, while Gold award holders have committed to taking on those leaving the services via the Careers Transitions Programme and have registered for the Forces Family Portal. 
Both WNC and NNC offer a range of support for serving personnel, veterans and their families which could include help with housing and Council Tax.