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Armed Forces Covenant

Working together to support the armed forces community.

The Armed Forces Covenant, first signed by Oxfordshire County Council in 2011 and renewed with civilian and military partners in 2018, was a voluntary ‘promise from the nation’ that those who serve or have served in the armed forces (and their families) should be treated fairly and not disadvantaged in their day-to-day lives.

The aim of the Covenant is to encourage charities, local authorities, businesses, communities and individuals to work together with the military to offer support to service personnel and their families as well as reservists and veterans.

The Armed Forces Act 2021 strengthened the Covenant with a new legal duty for public bodies to consider the needs of armed forces personnel, their families and veterans when planning and delivering our services.

Oxfordshire County Council is proud to have long been an enthusiastic supporter of the armed forces community. The duty is viewed by the council as a chance to reflect on what is working well and what could be done even better.

All public bodies, including Oxfordshire County Council, are now required to consider how its services recognise the three principles of the Armed Forces Covenant:

  • the unique obligations of, and sacrifices made by, the armed forces;
  • the principle that it is desirable to remove disadvantages arising for service people from membership, or former membership, of the armed forces; and
  • the principle that special provision for service people may be justified by the effects on such people of membership, or former membership, of the armed forces.

The duty specifically applies to how we exercise certain functions in healthcare, education and housing. As a keen supporter of the armed forces community, the council has committed to extending the duty to apply to its wider services as well. 

The Community Covenant was originally signed in 2011. In 2014 a Corporate Covenant was signed, encouraging Oxfordshire businesses to also sign up. In 2018 Oxfordshire public bodies and businesses were invited to either sign up or refresh their pledges, alongside representatives of Oxfordshire’s armed forces community, under the renewed Oxfordshire Armed Forces Covenant.

If you would like to pledge your support to the Oxfordshire Armed Forces Community Covenant then please let us know. Send your name, address, organisation and what you are going to do in support of this, to armedforces@oxfordshire.gov.uk . Your pledge will be added to our records of Covenant  support.

The Armed Forces Covenant website provides more information about the Covenant and the new legal duty The Government has additionally published statutory guidance to help bodies understand how best to uphold the legal duty and support the Covenant’s promise.

Oxfordshire Civilian Military Partnership

The Civilian Military Partnership (CMP) is made up of representatives of the armed forces in Oxfordshire, councillors and officers from Oxfordshire’s local authorities, and representatives of other key Oxfordshire bodies. Together, CMP partners help to uphold the Armed Forces Covenant in Oxfordshire.

The CMP has always been a helpful means of sharing information between civilian and military communities in Oxfordshire. The CMP also enables partners to identify challenges experienced by the armed forces community and to take action to provide solutions.