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Date issued: 29 November 2019
A special event was held on Thursday 28 November to celebrate the partnership between Colchester Borough Council and Colchester’s military community.
Representatives from the Armed Forces community, reservist and veteran members of staff from Colchester Borough Council, the Mayor of Colchester and other local dignitaries came together at Colchester Town Hall for the special event.
The event was hosted by Cllr Mark Cory, Leader of Colchester Borough Council, who said: “Achieving the Gold Award is a wonderful recognition for the council and the work we do with the Armed Forces community. As signatories to the Armed Forces Covenant, we are committed to supporting all members of the military community. We aim to maintain and develop this work going forward, providing our service personnel with the support they rightly deserve and create a Better Colchester for all.”
At the event, Colchester Borough Council was presented with its Gold Award from the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Deputy Lieutenant-Colonel (Retd) Peter Christian OBE DL, 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.
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 two organisations in Essex to be awarded this prestigious Gold Award. It’s a tremendous endorsement of our promise to support the local Armed Forces community.”
Cllr Lyn Barton, Armed Forces Champion, added: “I am delighted that Colchester Borough Council has received this outstanding award. 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 Jim McManus, 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.”
For more information on the Council's work with the Armed Forces, please visit colchester.gov.uk/armedforces