1.“Please advise whether Devon County Council has an elected Armed Forces Covenant Champion, and if so, how long they have been in the role.
The elected Armed Forces Champion for Devon County Council is Councillor Roger Croad, who also holds Cabinet responsibilities for Community, Public Health, Transportation and Environmental Services. Councillor Croad has been the Armed Forces Covenant (AFC) Champion since 2012.
2. Furthermore, in reference to the 2016 ‘Our Community ‘ Our Covenant; Improving the delivery of local Covenant pledges’ report, (https://www.fim-trust.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Our-Community-Our-Covenant-Report-30.08.16.pdf) which states:
‘Around half of councils report that they have an action plan, but only 20 per cent say that the plan is active’. I would like to know whether Devon County Council has an action plan. If yes, I would like to know the details of the plan, whether it is active, and if it is monitored and reviewed.
Devon County Council services a multi-agency partnership (forum) including statutory, voluntary and military representatives across Devon which has actively been addressing an action plan, originally drawn from a Joint Strategic Needs assessment. The Partnership meets twice a year to review progress and identify priorities moving forward. An annual conference with wider stakeholder engagement helps to inform these priorities.
3. Has Devon council established an armed covenant forum (which includes military representatives, charities and council members)?
The Council allocate dedicated officer resource to support the delivery of their Armed Forces Covenant responsibilities. In 2018 the Council also signed the Armed Forces Covenant as an employer and is currently undertaking work to identify what staff who have connections to the Armed Forces, are veterans or reservists want from us as employers and also to identify the opportunities for best utilising the many skill sets and experiences that this staff group have as well as raising awareness of their contributions and the opportunities for civilian staff who may want to consider becoming reservists.
4. I would also like to know whether Devon council has any schemes specifically aimed at the veteran community (e.g employment, healthcare & housing schemes).
The Council are partners in a South West consortium of Councils, sharing resources and best practice around the Armed Forces Covenant agenda.