A commitment to continuing to support armed forces veterans and their families in Hertsmere has received cross-party backing.
Our councillors agreed a motion calling on the council to continue to ‘recognise the need to support veterans as a way of repaying our national heroes once they leave the armed forces’ at their full council meeting on Wednesday (18 November). The pledge highlighted existing policies and practices already in place at the council to provide support, such as waiving the need for any veteran made homeless or at risk of homelessness to demonstrate a local connection when applying for accommodation, but called on the local authority to ‘continually seek new and inventive ways to recognise and honour their service.’
Among the suggested measures was a call for businesses to offer discounted rates for veterans, such as that provided by InspireAll leisure centres.
Councillor Harry Mortimer, who proposed the motion, said: “This year marked the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and it is only right that at such time, we mark this moment by renewing and reinforcing our support for armed forces veterans.
“We know it’s a difficult time for all at the moment. Veterans, like many other groups, are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19, as many are dealing with pre-existing mental and physical health-related issues as a consequence of their active service.
“If this pandemic has highlighted one thing, it’s that we cannot stint when supporting those who put themselves on the frontline to protect others.
“Our motion, which I’m delighted received cross-party support, highlights the great work going on locally to support veterans.
“It also demonstrates our commitment, as a council, to seek new ways to show that support and use our influence to encourage others in the public and private sector, to do the same.“
Cllr David Carter, who seconded the motion, said: “In the UK for a very long time, we’ve had a proud tradition of recognising the unique contribution made by our tri-services military.
“Members of the armed forces are almost unique in the way that they are willing to undertake a mission when they cannot expect all of their comrades to come home, or at least without having some life-changing injuries.
“Many veterans will have had a great career in their military lives and transferred smoothly into civilian life, but sadly for some that transition might not have been so successful.
“Hertsmere already recognises the devastating impact of homelessness and veterans are supported in our housing allocations policy, but we could still do more.
“We couldn’t remember the fallen in the usual way this Armistice Day, but I want to ensure we never forget those servicemen and women who have returned and do all we can to support them and their families.”
We are a member of the Armed Forces Covenant Board, known as Hertfordshire Heroes, which works across Hertfordshire to ensure that veterans and those in the Armed Forces are recognised, remembered and supported.
To read the full motion and watch a webcast of the meeting go here. For more information on Hertfordshire Heroes go to our page or their website.
Posted on Friday 20th November 2020