North Yorkshire County Council’s chair hosted a reception in honour of the county’s service personnel and their families to mark the end of Armed Forces Week.
County councillor Robert Windass welcomed armed forces representatives to the event at County Hall, Northallerton, on Monday 2 July.
Guests included representatives of Royal Navy North East Shore establishments; British Army Catterick Garrison; Royal Air Force stations in the county; the Army Foundation College, Harrogate; three members of county council staff who serve as reservists with the Army and RAF; family members of the armed forces community identified through the Naval, Army and RAF Families Federations; and children whose parents serve in the Army, RAF or Navy and who are members of the Military Kids Clubs in the county.
Cllr Windass said: “North Yorkshire and the County Council are proud of their military connections and the armed forces communities living in the county, including serving personnel, reservists, veterans and their families. The armed forces community has a substantial positive impact on the county, which can be underappreciated.”
In North Yorkshire, more than 12,000 people work directly for the Ministry of Defence. This is about four per cent of all jobs in the county. More than 3,000 school children in the county’s schools are from service families, about five per cent of all school children.
Cllr Windass added: “We want to encourage all communities in the county to have a greater understanding of the armed forces community, and for there to be real integration and mutual respect. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the men and women who are prepared to put their lives on the line in defence of our country, and to their families who support them.”
County councillor Carl Les, leader of the county council and armed forces community champion, added: “We work hard to ensure that county council services meet the needs of all local people, including all members of the armed forces community, those serving now and those who served in the past, and their families.
“We were one of the first areas in the UK to agree an armed forces community covenant, which encourages understanding and integration between local communities and armed forces communities. We want to ensure that all those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly and are not disadvantaged compared to other people when accessing public services.”