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Date issued: 23 August 2019
Colchester Borough Council has received a Gold award from the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS), for its work to support the Defence and Armed Forces community.
It is the first time the council has received the Gold Award, having previously received the Silver and Bronze accolade.
The MoD bestows the Gold Award to businesses and organisations which go the extra mile to demonstrate their commitment to aiding and employing members of the military community.
Colchester has a historic and established relationship with the Armed Forces, thanks to the centuries-old link between the town and its garrison. The council was also one of the first local authorities to sign up to the official Defence Discount Service, in 2017, offering military discounts and concessions at Leisure World and Colchester Castle, as well as on Colchester Events Company weddings.
Cllr Mike Lilley, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Communities, Wellbeing and Public Safety, said: “We are one of only 11 organisations in East Anglia to be awarded this prestigious Gold Award. It’s a tremendous endorsement of our promise to support the local Armed Forces community.
“As signatories to the Armed Forces Covenant, we are committed to supporting all members of the military community with fairness and respect, so they do not face disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services.
“We aim to maintain and develop this work going forward, providing our Servicemen and Women with the support they rightly deserve and create a Better Colchester for all.”
Cllr Lyn Barton, Armed Forces Champion, added: “I am delighted that Colchester Borough Council has received this outstanding award, which reflects our dedication to supporting current and former members of the military and their families.
“I would encourage other businesses and organisations in the area to look at the criteria for the award and ask if there is anything they can do to be more Armed Forces friendly.”
Lieutenant Colonel Steve Caldwell, Commander of Colchester Garrison, said: “The Garrison enjoys a close and productive working relationship with Colchester Borough Council. The council is aware of and responsive to the needs of the town’s military community. I congratulate the council on receiving the Gold Award in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.”
The council will receive its Gold award at a special ceremony being held on Tuesday 12 November at the National Army Museum.
More information about the Ministry of Defence’s Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards and the ERS can be found at:
For more information on the council's work with the Armed Forces, please visit colchester.gov.uk/armedforces.