Leeds City Council granted prestigious Armed Forces Covenant Award: AFC ERS Gold SM V2

12 Jul 2023

Leeds City Council granted prestigious Armed Forces Covenant Award

Armed Forces/Remembrance

Leeds City Council has been recognised with a prestigious award by the Ministry of Defence for its support of the armed forces.

The Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) 2023 Gold Award has been granted to the council in recognition of its support for the armed forces community and for its alignment with the values of the Armed Forces Covenant.

To achieve gold award standards, nominees must have signed the Armed Forces Covenant and proactively demonstrated forces-friendly credentials in their recruiting and selection processes. They also actively ensure their workforce is aware of their positive policies towards issues relating to those in the forces and are advocates in support of those issues to partner organisations, suppliers, and customers.

Gold award employers also actively encourage a positive environment for reservists and demonstrate support for such staff to carry out activities required in the role, with at least 10 days’ additional fully paid leave for training.

Leeds City Council was assessed for the Gold Award by a board which included a senior military officer and is one of only 193 new recipients for 2023. The council is the only local authority in the Yorkshire & Humber region to be granted the Gold Award.

Speaking after the announcement of the award, the Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor James Lewis said: “As a city, we are extremely honoured to have a long and distinguished military history, and we are proud of the support we offer members of the armed forces, veterans, and cadets not only within the council but across the city. 

“As a council, we have many competing priorities, especially with the challenges presented by the cost-of-living crisis. However, this award shows how well we as a city have risen to the challenge of meeting our commitments to the Armed Forces Covenant in these difficult times, and I would like to congratulate everyone involved.”

Chair of the Armed Forces Covenant Committee, Councillor Caroline Gruen, added: “I speak for Councillor Almass, Councillor Dowson, and myself when I say working as Leeds City Council’s armed forces champions is highly rewarding in its own right.

“We work closely across the city with organisations and businesses to ensure our community of veterans, cadets, reservists, and serving forces personnel have the support they and their families need. However, receiving the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme 2023 Gold Award is a fantastic achievement and is a testament to the hard work of all those across Leeds City Council who go above and beyond to meet our Armed Forces Covenant commitments.”

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Leeds City Council Communications team