The Causeway Coast and Glens council is to develop a local ‘community covenant’ to support former members of the armed forces.
DUP Councillor Trevor Clarke spoke at length about the need for the local council to support the Armed Forces Covenant and to develop a ‘community covenant’ in the local area.
“The aim of the Armed Forces Community Covenant is to encourage charities, local authorities, businesses, communities and individuals to work together with the military to offer support to service personnel and their families, as well as reservists and veterans,” he said.
“The aims of a Causeway Coast and Glens Community covenant might include encouraging local support for the armed forces community; promoting understanding and awareness of issues affecting the armed forces community; recognising and remembering the sacrifices made by the armed forces community; encouraging activities which help integrate the armed forces community into local life.
“There are many thousands of serving and veteran members of the Armed Forces resident in the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area. Those who risk their all on our behalf deserve the support of us, of the community.”
The UUP’s Daryl Wilson paid tribute to the way Councillor Clarke had spoken anbd said his party pledged their support for his motion.
TUV Councillor Sharon McKillop gave emphatic backing to the proposal and paid tribute to her brother, who serves in the armed forces. She said: “I am more than happy to second Councillor Clarke’s motion.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Philip McGuigan said: “We will not be supporting the motion. This motion would be, basically, raising a particular group of people above everybody else in society. We believe everybody in society should have access to whatever services they need regardless of what their role in society is. For that reason, we won’t be supporting it.”
Council CEO David Jackson said he would speak to the Ministry of Defence to find out what would be expected of the Causeway Coast and Glens in terms of a ‘community covenant’.
The motion was passed by a heavy majority, with only the three Sinn Féin councillors present in opposition.