Armed Forces Community Covenant

Community Covenant logo

In 2013 all the local authorities in Northamptonshire, signed the Armed Forces Community Covenant (AFCC).

This page lays out the principles of the AFCC and details some of the assistance available to ex-service or currently serving personnel.

Principles of the Armed Forces Community Covenant

The Armed Forces Community Covenant is a voluntary statement of mutual support between the civilian community and its local Armed Forces Community.

It is intended to complement the Armed Force Covenant, which outlines the moral obligation between the Nation, the Government and the Armed Forces, at the local level.

The purpose of the AFCC is to encourage support for the Armed Forces Community working and residing in South Northamptonshire and to recognise and remember the sacrifices made by members of the this Armed Forces Community, particularly those who have given the most.

This includes in-services and ex-service personnel, their families, and widow(er)s in the district.

For South Northamptonshire Council and partner organisations, the AFCC presents an opportunity to bring their knowledge, experience and expertise to bear on the provision of help and advice to members of the Armed Force Community.

For the Armed Forces Community, the AFCC encourages the integration of service life into civilian life and encourages members of the Armed Forced community to help their local community.

Useful information and links to organisations that can help serving, or ex-service personnel can be found on the Northamptonshire County Council AFCC webpage.

What can SNC do to help someone connected to the forces?

Housing

SNC has an obligation to provide adequate housing for everyone in the district and places conditions on planning permission for new housing developments to include a certain amount of affordable housing.

This can be on a rental or shared ownership scheme, but they are reserved for someone with a connection with the district.

When considering members of the Armed, reserve forces and their families, SNC's housing policy allows us to suspend that condition for a local connection.

Any lump sum received in relation to their service is also disregarded during any financial assessments and ex-service, or currently serving personnel and their families are given 'reasonable preference' when allocating affordable housing.

SNC's expert Housing Options Team provide a free housing triage service with the aim of providing housing advice and making quick and effective decisions on the most appropriate solutions to meet an individual housing need.

For more information visit the Housing Options webpage or call 01327 322374.

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction

SNC have also taken the decision to disregard income from War Widows Pension and War Disablement Pension when calculating an award of Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction.

For more information visit the Council Tax Reduction and Housing Benefit webpage, email at hbctr@southnorthants.gov.uk or call the Entitlements Team on 01327 322140.

Other working-age benefits are now administered by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Other support for our veterans and soldiers

From left to right images of Armed Forces Day, Poppy Appreal and VJ Day celebrations

Every year SNC host a flag raising ceremony on recognition of Armed Forces Day.
2015 saw the first flag raising ceremony held at the SNC offices at The Forum in Towcester which was attended by several branches of the Royal British Legion, the Sponne School Brass Band, SNC staff, members of the public, and the Reverend Ben Phillips from St Lawrence Church.

Armed Forces Day takes place on Saturday, 25 June in 2016 and SNC will advertise the date of the next flag raising ceremony via Facebook and in the local press.

The Council also supports the district's branches of the Royal British Legion during the Poppy Appeal.

In August 2015 the SNC Chairman, Councillor Roger Clarke held a celebration of peace during a VJ Day Tea Party
Veterans and pensioners from across the district were invited to the Council Chamber for an. afternoon of food, drink and music. Guests shared stories as members of the Council served them drinks and sandwiches made by the Pattishall WI.

The WI's president Kathie Barker and her husband John also led the 1940s sing-along.

Other remarkable stories came from former SNC member Tony Wilkinson and his wife Thelma who lost her 18-year-old brother on the Burma Railway.

And two of those with the closest connection with the war in Asia, and recipient of the Burma Star were Lt Commander Robert Wemyss and Sub-Lt Dr Edgar Tuck.

They signed up the same day, trained together and got their wings on the same day. They were posted to different aircraft carriers and did not see each other for 50 years. They now live next to each in Malthouse Court in Towcester.