Agenda item

Motions on Notice (Procedure Rule 11)


Armed Forces


Councillor Tom Baker-Price proposed a Motion in respect of the support available from the Council to the armed forces, their families and service veterans.  This Motion was seconded by Councillor Julian Grubb.


In proposing the Motion, Councillor Baker-Price reminded Members that the Council had signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant in 2012.  In signing up to this covenant, the Council was promising to treat armed forces personnel, their families and veterans fairly.  The actions proposed in the Motion highlighted how the Council could address this responsibility.  Under the proposed Motion, staff who were in the reserve forces would be treated fairly.  It also recognised that members of staff with family in the armed forces might require additional support.  Redditch Borough Council already had a range of flexible working arrangements in place, but the proposed actions would enhance these arrangements in order to meet the specific needs of armed forces personnel, their families and veterans.  By signing up to the Motion, the Council would show leadership, particularly if action was taken to achieve the bronze award under the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.


A career in the armed forces was incredibly diverse, with armed forces personnel serving in areas such as UN peace keeping missions, counterterrorism and defence.  However, the experiences of armed forces personnel could be traumatic or could be difficult to transition from so additional support was needed.  The actions proposed in the Motion had already been agreed by other local authorities.  Councillor Baker-Price concluded by urging other Members to continue to raise the issue of support for the armed forces to ensure that action was taken.


In seconding the Motion, Councillor Grubb commented that he was proud to support the Motion.  Councillor Grubb was the Council’s Armed Forces Champion and he recognised that action to support the armed forces was important.  Many of the actions detailed in the Motion were aspirational.  However, if the Council made a start on some of the actions, this would create a good foundation on which to build further support in future.


Following the presentation of the Motion, Members discussed the subject in detail.  There was general agreement amongst Members that the Motion addressed an important issue.  Members acknowledged that veterans often faced challenges, including with securing housing and alternative employment, once they left the armed forces and needed additional support.  In addition, Members commented that there was already a significant amount of support for the armed forces in Redditch, as demonstrated by the turnout of Members and the public at the recent local Remembrance Sunday commemorations.


During consideration of this item, the Leader advised Members about the action that was already taken by the Council to support the armed forces, including reservists, family members and veterans.  This included:


·                Flying the Armed Forces Flag for Armed Forces Day.  In 2021 the Armed Forces Flag was flown from Monday 21st June through to Armed Forces Day on Saturday 26th June.  In 2022, Armed Forces Day would be Saturday 25th June, so the Council would fly the flag from Monday 20th June.  Members were asked to note that the flag would be flown on the front of the building and not on top of the Town Hall, where the Union Flag had to take precedence. 

·                Under the Council’s Housing Allocations Policy, the Council considered persons in the armed forces as having been resident in the UK for the purposes of applying for social housing and they were eligible to join Redditch Homes without the need for a local connection.  The Council also took into account any medical conditions arising from time served in the armed forces when considering high medical need or disability banding.  This included Members or former members of the armed forces who were suffering with a severe and enduring mental illness or disorder where the medical condition would be significantly improved by a move to alternative accommodation.  The financial resources available to an armed forces veteran were disregarded when assessing their financial resources to support their housing needs, in cases where the financial settlement was received as compensation for an injury or disability sustained on active service.

·                Redditch Borough Council supported training commitments and time off for staff who volunteered in non regular forces.


Members were informed that the Council welcomed this opportunity to demonstrate the authority’s continued commitment to the armed forces community within Redditch.  In line with the proposed Motion, the Council would explore the opportunities that working with the Career Transition Partnership might present, particularly in relation to the promotion of vacancies. The Council would also engage with the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme with a view to gaining a bronze award whilst maintaining an ambition to achieve a gold award in the future.


The Council would commit to reviewing the existing Service in Non Regular Forces policy with a view to ensuring it remained fit for purpose, particularly in relation to the granting of leave. Members were asked to note that, through this policy, the Council supported training commitments and time off for staff who volunteered in the non-regular forces.


The authority would aim to exploit the opportunities these engagement activities would provide, to ensure, wherever possible, that members of the armed forces community were supported to achieve the best possible outcomes.




this Council reaffirms its commitment to ensure that members of the armed forces community should not face any disadvantages in accessing public services and worse outcomes than those who have not served. To achieve this purpose council believes that Redditch Borough council should aim to:


·                Support the employment of veterans young and old and working with the Career Transition Partnership in order to establish a tailored employment pathway for Service Leavers by sending through details of all vacancies and Career Tasters that are available and through a Guaranteed Interview Scheme for Veterans;

·                Support the employment of Service spouses and partners;

·                Endeavour to offer a degree of flexibility in granting leave for Service spouses and partners before, during and after a partner’s deployment through a publicly accessible flexible working policy;

·                Support Council employees who choose to be members of the Reserve forces, including by accommodating their training and deployment where possible through a publicly accessible Reservists Policy;

·                Offer support to local cadet units, either in our local community or in local schools, where possible;

·                Participate actively in Armed Forces Day by flying the flag from the Town Hall during the preceding week and publicising it to staff and partners.

·                Gain at least a bronze award from the defence employer recognition scheme with ambitions to achieve gold.

·                Encourage local businesses to join the defence employer recognition scheme.

·                Consider how through procurement the council can encourage suppliers to support the armed forces community.



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