Armed forces families should feel a greater sense of belonging to their community following the signing of
a special covenant by Central Bedfordshire Together.
The Armed Forces Covenant sets out how members of the Armed Forces and the settled community will work together to promote the inclusion and integration of the Armed Forces into the wider community.
The Covenant pledges support for the Armed Forces community working and living in Central Bedfordshire, and encourages remembrance and recognition for the sacrifices made by the armed forces, including both in-service and ex-service personnel and their families.
The covenant also encourages members of the Armed Forces to help their local community.
‘We’re committed to working together…’
Cllr Tricia Turner, chairman of Central Bedfordshire Together (CBT), said: “Central Bedfordshire Together is a partnership of leading representatives from public, private, voluntary and community sectors who are all committed to working together to support our Military Personnel and their families.
“As Chairman of CBT it gave me considerable satisfaction and pleasure on behalf of the Partnership to sign the Central Bedfordshire Community Covenant with our Armed Forces.
“This document recognises the need to address the Military’s special circumstances and the additional support that is required, and is a pledge of CBT’s commitment to work with the Armed Forces community. Their contribution is valued by us all.”
‘More visible military’
Councillor Mark Versallion, military covenant champion for Central Bedfordshire Council and an officer in the Royal Navy Reserves, said: “I am honoured to serve as the military covenant champion for Central Bedfordshire Council. I am impressed with the commitment shown to the covenant and the armed forces it aims to help, not just from the council but from all partners who signed this covenant.
“Initiatives, such as this covenant, are now rightly making the military more visible and I am proud to be a part of ensuring this council helps the military and also engaging with the military so that they can help us and our communities.”
Dignity and support
Brigadier Mark Hallas (Commandant DISC), said: “The Central Bedfordshire Armed Forces Covenant seeks to further reinforce the ties already existing between the Armed Forces and the council.
“We are naturally very proud to be involved. Bedfordshire has always supported their local military personnel, past and present, and their families. The Covenant will help cement that support at a local level, and ensure that our Armed Forces, veterans and their families have the support they need and are treated with the dignity they deserve in the future.”
Download a copy of the Central Bedfordshire Armed Forces Covenant here.
Did you know?
Bedfordshire is home to two military camps: RAF Henlow and DISC Chicksands, which together have some 290 military families split between the two sites.
It is also home to 9 other military units which includes all three cadet forces and Territorial Army units, one of the largest being 158 Transport Regiment, based in Bedford Road, Kempston.
Find out more about some of the good work already in place under the Community Covenant scheme in other areas on the MOD website
Central Bedfordshire Together is holding a joint workshop with the Third Sector Assembly on 26 January 2012.
It will be held in the Council Chamber, Priory House, Chicksands from 9.30am – 12.30pm.
The workshop will consider issues around localism, Open Public Services, and ‘encouraging communities to do more for themselves’.
As part of these discussions, it is important that we look at new ways of delivering services with local residents, and focus on how the capacity of the voluntary and community sector can be built and supported.
The objectives of the workshop are to explore how we can work together to meet the needs of local residents and communities. By the end of the workshop participants will have:
explored the opportunities for the voluntary and community sector to contribute to new ways of taking on the delivery of more services for local people;
identified the skills and capacity required to be put into place in order for this to happen; and
related and aligned these opportunities and requirements to the priorities and challenges facing Central Bedfordshire.
Facilitating the session will be Tim Whitworth, Senior Fellow, Capacity Building, at the Office for Public Management (OPM), an employee owned not-for-profit organisation working to improve social results.
He is the director of Empowering Leadership, the national flagship programme for local public sector leadership at Ashridge and of the Collaborative Leadership Programme in Cheshire and Warrington sub region.
Want to find out more?
For more information contact Peter Fraser, Head of Partnerships and Community Engagement, Central Bedfordshire Council on 0300 300 6740.
In the autumn of 2011 Central Bedfordshire Council asked residents what the council’s spending priorities and the level of council tax should be for 2012/13.
Having listened to residents’ feedback, the council has drawn up a draft budget for 2012/13 and is inviting residents and partners to comment on the proposals.
The draft budget and details about how to have your say is available online here or at your local library.
Whatever your views, we want to hear from you, so please take the opportunity to continue to shape the plans and make your money count!
The Central Bedfordshire Together Board endorsed a draft Volunteering Strategy for Central Bedfordshire on 15 December 2011.
The Strategy sets out a coherent partnership approach to promoting and sustaining volunteering, and improving the volunteering experience for everyone in the community.
Through the Volunteering Strategy, the partnership is promoting volunteering, social action and communities doing more for themselves.
It is responding to a number of national drivers, such as the Localism Act, the Government’s Big Society agenda and pressures on the delivery of local services.
Volunteering is a fantastic experience!
It identifies a number of challenges and barriers to volunteering and seeks to address them in order to make volunteering in Central Bedfordshire a good experience.
Through this Strategy we want to encourage all partners in the public, private, voluntary and community sectors in Central Bedfordshire to recognise the importance and the value of volunteering.
We want people to commit to working together so that everyone who wants to can become a volunteer, quickly and easily, and find their volunteering experience a rewarding and fulfilling one.
Vision and priorities
The Strategy sets out a vision and three priorities for volunteering:
Our vision: Central Bedfordshire is a place where people feel inspired to volunteer, have the opportunity to do so, and have excellent volunteering experiences.
To achieve this vision, the following priorities need to be in place:
- People are inspired to volunteer
- People have the opportunity to volunteer
- People have excellent volunteering experiences.
The Stronger Communities Thematic Partnership has identified the need to develop and implement a delivery plan for the Strategy in collaboration with the other statutory/thematic partnerships.
Partnerships are asked to consider the Strategy in the context of their own priorities and outcomes, and to contribute to the development and implementation of a delivery plan for the Strategy.
Want to find out more?
For more information contact John Gelder, Director, Voluntary and Community Action, Bossard House, West Street, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire LU7 1DA or call 01525 850559.
Central Bedfordshire Council are asking for your views on a new strategy for parking across Central Bedfordshire.
The draft Parking Strategy sets out Central Bedfordshire’s approach to managing car parking across the area.
How do I get involved?
Read the draft Parking Management Strategy, and then give the Council your views by completing the online questionnaire by 24 February 2012.
Click here to get started – click on ‘Have your say on the Parking Strategy for Central Bedfordshire’ on the dropdown menu down the left hand side of the page.
The consultation questionnaire and strategy document will also be available at all libraries, council offices and customer contact centres across Central Bedfordshire.
Want to find out more?
For more information please contact David Bowie, Head of Traffic Management, Central Bedfordshire Council on 0300 300 6206.