Praise after Portsmouth City Council signs forces pledge

PLEDGE Gerald Vernon-Jackson with Commodore Tony Radakin. Picture: Malcolm Wells (121034-2889)
PLEDGE Gerald Vernon-Jackson with Commodore Tony Radakin. Picture: Malcolm Wells (121034-2889)
An exercise involving Hampshire emergency services has been held on board HMS Queen Elizabeth in Portsmouth

Portsmouth firefighters tackle blaze on HMS Queen Elizabeth in mock emergency first on the new ship

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PORTSMOUTH City Council has been honoured by the Royal British Legion for its efforts to support the local armed forces community.

The authority was praised by the forces charity at a reception to publicise the Legion’s Best Practice Guide to Community Covenants.

The council signed the community covenant earlier this year to pledge that servicemen and women will not be discriminated against because of their jobs.

The Royal British Legion highlighted the ‘good work’ being done in Portsmouth to foster relations with military staff – thousands of whom live and work in the city – and lists the authority in its best practice guide which is distributed across the country.

City council leader, Cllr Vernon-Jackson said, ‘I’m delighted that the council has been highlighted in the Legion’s best practice guide because we are committed to doing all we can to support our local armed forces community.’

The Legion has urged all local authorities across the UK to sign a community covenant and implement practical measures to benefit armed forces communities.

More than 150 have now signed, including Portsmouth and Hampshire County Council – with more in the pipeline.

With around 430 authorities in total, however, there is still some way to go.

The Legion’s director general Chris Simpkins said: ‘Armed forces families deserve support from the whole community.

‘Our new guide shows the ways local authorities are embracing this challenge by not only signing a community covenant, but also, crucially, ensuring that there are tangible local benefits.

‘They have the Legion’s sincere thanks.’