Fareham pledges support to armed forces

The Mayor of Fareham, Councillor Susan Bayford, looks on as Captain Steve Dainton signs the armed forces covenant Picture: Keith Woodland
The Mayor of Fareham, Councillor Susan Bayford, looks on as Captain Steve Dainton signs the armed forces covenant Picture: Keith Woodland

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MEMBERS of the armed forces in Fareham have been pledged support from the town after the signing of an armed forces covenant.

The signing of the covenant marks an official pledge from Fareham Borough Council that members of the forces and their families will not lose out when it comes to services including education, housing, and health.

The covenant was signed at HMS Collingwood by the mayor of Fareham and the commanding officer of the Royal Navy base.

Councillor Susan Bayford, the mayor, said: ‘It’s been a pleasure to meet and talk to some of the personnel at HMS Collingwood on this important day.

‘At a national level, the armed forces covenant outlines the shared values between the nation, the government, and the armed forces.

‘In the same way, the community covenant, which has been signed today, reaffirms the spirit of co-operation between the council, our armed forces community, and residents of the borough.’

The signing of the agreement coincided with HMS Collingwood’s termly divisions.

During the divisions, Cllr Bayford was invited to inspect the guard of honour with Captain Steve Dainton, the commanding officer of HMS Collingwood.

Capt Dainton said: ‘This builds on a strong relationship we have with Fareham Borough Council.

‘The covenant is a firm pledge that will enhance this relationship and will ensure we work even more closely together.

‘I am delighted the mayor and key councillors were able to come here today to witness the sailors at HMS Collingwood at their very best.’

HMS Collingwood was granted freedom of the town of Fareham in 1974.

Aside from the main event, Cllr Connie Hockley gave some of the sailors poppy seed cards.

The cards are part of the council’s Remember project, which will see a number of events taking place to tie in with this year’s centenary of the First World War.

The events will include the planting of wildflower meadows, workshops, and poppy planting.

As reported in The News, Gosport, Havant, and Portsmouth councils have already signed community covenants with members of the armed forces in their areas.

The community covenants are local versions of the government’s national armed forces agreement.

It aims to improve support for members of the armed forces, veterans, and their families, when it comes to accessing services.