Somerset Armed Forces Covenant
The Covenant is a promise from the nation to those who serve. It says we will do all we can to ensure they are treated fairly and not disadvantaged in their day-to-day lives. This includes offering injured servicemen and women and bereaved families extra support as appropriate. A veteran is defined as anyone who has served in the Armed Forces. Families and dependents, reservists, veterans and cadets are all included for support within the covenant.
Somerset West and Taunton Council is a signatory to the Somerset Armed Forces Covenant. The Covenant brings together local authorities, and other public sector organisations, charities, businesses, communities, individuals and the military in a pledge of support between local residents and the Armed Forces community in the county.
Armed Forces Covenant Fund
The Fund is an annual £10 million which is available in perpetuity. The Government will therefore keep the operation of the Fund under review to ensure its aims are delivered through a process of continual improvement.
Armed Forces Day
Armed Forces Day is an opportunity to show your support for the men and women who make up the armed forces community, from serving troops to service families, veterans and cadets.
How we are helping the armed forces
40 Commando Royal Marines is based in Taunton Deane and many ex-armed forces personnel and their families and dependents live in the district.
Local Authorities and Housing Associations can allocate housing based on local needs.
The Somerset Common Lettings Policy details how armed forces personnel are not disadvantaged by the current allocations system. Section 8.2 of the policy outlines how additional priority has been given to serving or former members of the Armed Forces.
Council tax support
The majority of war pensions are completely disregarded in calculating entitlement, as part of our Council tax support scheme. This demonstrates our commitment to providing extra financial help to local residents who receive these pensions.
We also apply the same war pensions disregard in calculating housing benefit entitlement.
Armed Forces Champion
Cllr Bob Bowrah is the Armed Forces Champion. He oversees and drives forward delivery of the Covenant commitments in our area.
The Armed Forces Champion has a vital role to play in:
- understanding the aims of the Armed Forces Covenant and how through the Somerset Armed Forces Covenant we can support these aims
- considering the needs of the Armed Forces Community in relation to the Council's policies and service delivery
- raising awareness of the Somerset Armed Forces Covenant
- acting as a point of contact for the Armed Forces Community and other key stakeholders, such as service charities and other service providers
The Somerset Armed Forces Covenant is co-ordinated by Somerset County Council.