The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served, and their families, are treated fairly. This commitment is made in recognition of the sacrifices they make on behalf of the country.

The Armed Forces Covenant is not designed to give the Armed Forces, Veterans and their families’ preferential treatment compared with other citizens but it should ensure that they get a fair deal and are not disadvantaged because of their Service.

The Armed Forces Covenant relies on the government, communities, businesses, and individuals of the UK to actively support it in order to make a difference. Local Authorities are at the heart of that support group. The six councils in the Liverpool City Region have all signed the Covenant, and this review examines how they are working hard to make sure that Servicemen and women, veterans and their families get a fair deal.

Why do we need an Armed Forces Covenant?
Life in the Armed Forces is different to the rest of society. Whilst a military career is challenging and rewarding, Armed Forces personnel make sacrifices in order to serve. They go where they are sent, when they are sent. As long as we need to defend our nation and its interests in an uncertain and dangerous world, we will need Armed Forces that are ready and willing to serve when called. So families will have to move, sometimes with little notice, to unfamiliar areas. Or they may have to live apart for extended periods of time and cope with the issues that this can bring. And they will face the stresses and strains that arise when their loved one is deployed on operational commitments. All of this means that they can find themselves at a disadvantage in comparison with their civilian neighbours in accessing the goods and services that as citizens we should all expect.

The Armed Forces Covenant and Local Authorities
The Armed Forces Community is part of the local community, and as such, ensuring that they are treated fairly and not disadvantaged should be integrated into all the services, support, engagement and work councils do in their local community.

When considering how local authorities should approach the Armed Forces Covenant they need to be mindful that underlying the promise that the Armed Forces Community should be treated fairly lay two principles:

  • The Armed Forces Community should not face disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public services
  • Special consideration is appropriate in some cases for those who have given the most, such as the injured, psychologically scarred, or bereaved.