Midlothian Council receives award for supporting the Armed Forces community

Midlothian Provost and Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Peter Smaill
Midlothian Provost and Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Peter Smaill

Midlothian Council has received a top award from the Ministry of Defence for its support of the Armed Forces community.

The council is one of a small number of employers in Scotland to be awarded this year’s Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award in recognition of the work it undertakes to promote the Armed Forces Covenant, and to support current and former service personnel and their families.

Midlothian Provost and Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Peter Smaill said: “This award is a great honour for Midlothian and tribute to all those involved in supporting the Armed Forces Community at a local and national level.

“We are extremely proud of the contribution made by our Armed Forces and in return we help provide support on a range of issues to serving personnel, veterans, reservists and their families within our community and our workforce.”

As part of Armed Forces Week in June 2019, the council set up a new Armed Forces Network for employees. It has also introduced an e-learning package which provides an overview of the unique challenges of service life and sets out how council employees can support the serving community at a local level.

“The Armed Forces Covenant is recognised in Midlothian Council’s Service Plans and in the Single Midlothian Plan – the strategic partnership plan for Midlothian,” added Councillor Smaill.

“There is strong support from elected members for the AFC across the three parties represented on the council, and there is particular recognition of the covenant within the housing, education, health and employability services.”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “These awards recognise the outstanding support for our armed forces from employers across Britain and I would like to thank and congratulate each and everyone.”

Other 2019 gold award recipients include the City of Edinburgh Council, Rangers Football Club and Glasgow building contractor, City Building LLP.