Civilian military partnership goes from strength to strength
Thursday, 26 July 2012
Hampshire has been recognised as a national leader in partnership working with the armed forces and local communities, members of the Hampshire Senate heard at their meeting in July.
UK armed forces are changing
UK armed forces are currently undergoing radical changes to ensure they are fit for purpose in the 21st century. As a county with a very strong military presence, including the Army in Aldershot, Andover and Winchester; the RAF at Odiham; and the Royal Navy in Portsmouth, Gosport and Fareham - an effective partnership has been forged between the three Armed Forces, Hampshire County Council, district and borough councils, the NHS and others. This includes the Community Welfare Pathway, which aims to provide help and support for serving personnel and their families.
'Part of the local community'
Councillor Ken Thornber, Chairman of Hampshire Senate said:
"The armed forces are a significant part of our local community and we are proud to continue our work to ensure that service families receive the help and support they need. Recognition at a national level for best practice is also a great tribute to Hampshire's work in this area.
"The shape, size and role of the armed forces is changing rapidly, as we have seen in terms of the Strategic Defence and Security Review. With 22,000 serving men and women in Hampshire, as well as a large number of veterans and reserves, we have worked to identify their specific needs and provide support where we can. Much has been achieved through more effective joint working, including holding employment fairs, launching an education newsletter and working more closely with charities and welfare agencies.
"Hampshire's initiatives have also secured over £500,000 in funding from the Armed Forces Community Covenant, out of a total £3 million awarded by the MOD across the UK. This is testament to the strength of our partnership work in Hampshire."
The Hampshire Senate is made up of the Leader of Hampshire County Council, Leaders of most Hampshire Borough and District Councils; the Chairman of the Hampshire Police Authority, Chief Constable of Hampshire Police, Chairman of Hampshire Fire Authority and the Chief Fire Officer of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service; the Chairman of NHS Hampshire; the Hampshire Association of Local Councils and the New Forest National Park Authority. There are also seats for the voluntary and community sector, the Armed Forces, the newly-formed Enterprise M3 and Solent Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), and Federation of Small Businesses (Wessex Region).
It aims to achieve better working, efficiency and coordination between public services to provide high quality, cost effective and efficient services for local residents.
The Armed Forces Community Covenant grant scheme has been set up to fund local projects which strengthen the ties or the mutual understanding between members of the armed forces community and the wider community in which they live.
Up to £30 million over four financial years has been set aside to help communities undertake projects that promote greater understanding between the military and civilian populations.