Merton Council set to pledge support for Armed Forces
A pledge of support to the armed forces will be made by councillors this year.
It is understood Merton Council has agreed to sign up to the Armed Forces Community Covenant, a voluntary statement, signed in order to pledge mutual support to the local armed forces by the civilian community.
As well as encouraging respect and support for current and former service personnel, it can lead to grants being awarded by the Ministry of Defence for projects which support the forces.
Councillor Debbie Shears, the leader of the council’s opposition Conservative group, said the pledge came about after months of lobbying the administration.
She said: “I am only sorry it’s taken so long to secure this commitment from Merton’s Labour Council.
“It was back in the summer that I first wrote to the Leader of the Council asking him to sign the borough up to the Covenant yet for months I heard nothing.
“The work doesn’t stop here though.
“We will be pressing the Council to set a date for the official signing ceremony with representatives from local veterans’ organisations early in the New Year.”
The council’s cabinet member for engagement and equalities, Councillor Edith Macauley, said in November the council would ensure the covenant “reflect local need and make a difference to armed forces staff, veterans and their families”.
She added: “We are committed to signing the Community Covenant but recognise that it is more than just a piece of paper; we want to do it properly.”