Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Councillor Hart MOVED and Councillor McInnes SECONDED that the Cabinet’s advice be accepted and that Notice of Motion be welcomed and the following actions be approved.
(a) notes the work to date of Officers and the Council’s Armed Forces Covenant (AFC) Lead Member in terms of their involvement in and contribution to the Consultation about the forthcoming legislation to enshrine the Armed Forces Covenant in Law and that Officers and the Council’s AFC lead Member continue to work with “Forces Connect South West” (consortium of SW Councils) on matters concerning AFC including Commonwealth Veterans;
(b) welcomes this impending legislation and will act upon its requirements as soon as has become enshrined in law;
(c) recognises the situation regarding Commonwealth Veterans and therefore asks the Leader to write to Kevin Foster MP (Minister for Immigration) and Johnny Mercer MP (Minister of State for Veteran Affairs) asking that Commonwealth members of the Armed Forces be given adequate guidance on the steps required to obtain legal immigration status in Britain ahead of leaving their Service, in particular,
(i) that a longer period for application for leave to stay (12 - 18 months rather than currently the case where this must happen before or immediately upon leaving service);
(ii) during this period, they have the same rights that they had when in Service, e.g. register with GP, find work, apply for assistance from Local Authorities. (i.e. Housing); and
(iii) that the process of immigration in these cases is sped up with fair and affordable administrative charges.
(d) continues to implement and apply policies that support former Armed Forces personnel and reservists as well as understanding the issues that veterans, reservist and their family members face and continue to work towards ‘Gold’ status in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, with improving the provisions of career based and personal support even more; and
(e) ask the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee to consider the issues in more depth, building on its previous task group work relating to the Armed Forces Covenant
The amendment in the name of Councillor Hart was then put to the vote and declared CARRIED and subsequently thereafter also CARRIED as the substantive motion.
Publication date: 25/02/2021
Date of decision: 18/02/2021
Decided at meeting: 18/02/2021 - Council