A county councillor has taken up the baton to champion the armed forces locally.
Debbie Kennard, Member for Shoreham, is West Sussex County Council’s new Military Champion.
She takes over the role from Nigel Peters, Member for Arundel and Wick, who became the county’s first Military Champion two years ago.
The County Council is proud of its work to champion the armed forces and is signed up to the Armed Forces Community Covenant, to ensure service personnel were fully integrated into the local community and promote understanding of issues affecting the armed forces.
Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council, said: “Nigel has been a fantastic military champion and, on behalf of the council, I would like to thank him for his sterling work in really embedding the Military Covenant here in West Sussex. I would also like to thank Debbie for taking up the baton to ensure that commitment continues. I am incredibly proud of the military covenant we have in West Sussex which is regarded as one of the best in the country.”
Debbie said: “I am immensely proud to take on the important role of Military Champion. We all owe a debt of gratitude to serving and former members of the armed forces. Nigel has done a fantastic job championing the military and I will work hard to raise the profile locally.”
Nigel said: “It has been an honour to have been the county’s first Military Champion. I have been encouraged and delighted by the tremendous support I have had from the council itself and all those people outside of the council with whom I have come into contact and who wish to fulfil the aim of the covenant.”
He said he was proud to have helped form the West Sussex Civilian Military Partnership Board. The board brings together representatives from the military, service charities, district and borough councils, the NHS and local businesses.
Nigel has also helped raise thousands of pounds for service charities over the past two years.
Last year the council joined the Royal British Legion’s new ‘Count Them In’ campaign calling for more questions to be included in the next census about the armed forces community. Each year the council supports Armed Forces Day and Reservists Day.
Photo caption: Debbie Kennard is the County Council's new Military Champion, taking over from Nigel Peters.