Tory call to review Veterans charter

A CALL from Conservative Deputy Leader Rob Gledhill to review Thurrock Council’s veterans charter was met with universal support at Last weeks full Council. The charter, which was originally signed in March 2012, outlines Thurrock Council’s commitment to help former service personnel when they leave the armed services.

Councillor Rob Gledhill said “I would like to think this council has and will continue support all who have have taken the oath of allegiance to the crown and served in the finest armed forces in the world, the British armed forces. How have we done this so far, we have unanimously agreed a veterans charter that says we will and we have some good examples like our new housing policy which rewards years served in the forces with years on the Councils waiting list. But what more could we have done or will be able to do in the future?”

The motion to review the Councils Veterans Charter at Wednesday’s Council meeting, which was unanimously supported, outlined other examples of how Thurrock helps veterans including the new Local Council Tax Scheme which will ignore any compensation or pension awarded from military service. The review will look at the Charters successes so far and examine where opportunities have been missed.

After the meeting Councillor Gledhill said “We had details of a housing scheme where former offenders will help build new homes for themselves and others. However, did we consider a similar scheme for forces personnel which, in my opinion, too many of whom leave the forces and become homeless? If not we can do this by reviewing the charter we have, looking to see if we can still get money set aside by government to set up military covenants and to actively imbed a ‘think veterans’ ethos into all policies, service change or actions of the Council. I would also hope that the Council will aim its recruitment towards personnel who are about to leave the armed forces. History shows that those leaving the armed services have not always been properly supported, this review will be one step closer to helping those who serve the nation and put themselves in the firing line to keep us safe.”

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