Liverpool signs armed forces covenant

Parachute regiment soldiers in Liverpool
Image caption Members of 4 Para marched received the Freedom of Liverpool recently

Liverpool has become the latest UK city to draw up a Community Covenant to support ex-servicemen and women returning from war.

The council is pledging to support forces personnel once they leave military service.

Brigadier Nick Fitzgerald, Commander of 42 (North West) Brigade signed the covenant at Liverpool City Hall.

The ceremony was attended by council and military figures and ex Armed Forces Minister Peter Kilfoyle.

Merseyside is a major recruitment area for the armed forces and it is hoped the covenant will help with jobs and houses for demobbed staff as well as supporting serving personnel.

Brigadier Fitzgerald said: "It is an opportunity for the local community to find means and methods to help armed forces staff reintegrate back into society."

He said the covenant should also help provide opportunities for personnel to make contacts with local charities and service providers.

"Reintegrating back into your city and back into your community can be alienating, especially if you have spent 15 years serving overseas and local authorities, local charities and local communities can help with that transition," he added.

He said the armed forces have received good support from the people of Liverpool.

"You only have to see the support in Liverpool - I've attend welcome home parades for regiments serving overseas, HMS Liverpool returning from Libya - to see the empathy for their servicemen and women," he added.

The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Frank Prendergast, said: "Liverpool has a proud tradition of supporting our armed forces, and I welcome the signing of this agreement."

He added: "It is vitally important we do all we can to show we value their important contribution to keeping us safe, and support them when they return home to the community."

Last weekend the Fourth Battalion of The Parachute Regiment received the freedom of the city.

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