Royal British Legion launch network for councillors
Author: Luke Lancaster, public affairs and campaigns officer for the Royal British Legion
The Royal British Legion (RBL) recently launched Councillor Network. The aim is to enhance the support we provide to those who serve in local government. We welcome all elected representatives from every level of local government – including from local (town and parish) councils – to join.
Members of the Network will receive regular communication about how local government can support the Armed Forces community, and about the wider work of RBL, ranging from Remembrance, to Fundraising, to Membership. If you would like to be in touch with a member of the Campaigns, Policy and Research team to learn more about the RBL Councillor Network, please email .
Following a campaign led by RBL, the Armed Forces Covenant was enshrined into legislation in 2011, and since then, every principal local authority in Great Britain has signed the Covenant, with many Town and Parish Councils also being signatories.
The Covenant contains two key principles:
- Those who serve in the Armed Forces, whether Regular or Reserve, those who have served in the past, and their families should face no disadvantage compared to other citizens in providing public and commercial services.
- Special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given the most, such as the injured and bereaved.
Alongside working with national and devolved governments, the RBL Campaigns, Policy and Research team engages with local government to fulfil the promise of the Armed Forces Covenant and to advocate for serving and ex-serving personnel and their families. From adult social care, to housing allocations, to school admissions, the local government delivers many services which affect the Armed Forces community.
More recently, the Armed Forces Act 2021 introduced a new statutory duty to pay due regard to the Covenant, and so local authorities now more than ever have a greater responsibility to meet the needs of our community better.
To that effect, the Campaigns, Policy, and Research team often attend Council Covenant meetings, substantively contributing to policy discussions and improving local outcomes. Additionally, we regularly respond to public consultations in a wide variety of areas.
We also identify issues affecting our community and address these in our campaigning activities. Currently, we are promoting our Credit Their Service campaign asks. Credit Their Service calls on local authorities to ensure that military compensation is never treated as income for all locally administered benefits and urges the Government to ensure that local authorities have the financial provision to exercise those exemptions. Owing to many existing local policies, the poorest members of our Armed Forces community are losing their compensation when accessing benefits, whilst comparable civilian compensation awarded by the courts is not counted as income.
RBL Public Affairs and Campaigns representatives, based across the country, are dedicated to assisting local government, and joining our Network is the best way of staying informed about issues facing the Armed Forces community.
If you do not serve in local government but would like to support our work, please join our Campaigner Community.
The following blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered professional or legal advice. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Association of Local Councils. Any links to external sources included in this blog post are provided for convenience and do not constitute endorsement or approval of those websites' content, products, services, or policies. Therefore, readers should use discretion and judgment when applying the information to their circumstances. Finally, this blog post may be updated or revised without notice.