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Rochdale centre stage as councils renew historic pledge

03 July 2017

• Councillor Alan McCarthy, council lead member for the Armed Forces.

Rochdale Borough Council will play host to an historic moment when political leaders from across Greater Manchester renew their commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant.

The important military document will be re-signed and refreshed at the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities meeting at the council’s Number One Riverside building on Friday, 30 June 2017.

Rochdale led the way when it signed the Armed Forces Community Covenant in 2012, encouraging communities to support services that promote and encourage activities that help military and ex-military personnel including dependants.

2 years later the Greater Manchester Combined Authority followed suit, signing what was believed to be the country’s first Armed Forces Community Covenant for a combined authority.

The covenant places troops and veterans at the centre of public services providing advice, support and help in key areas like regeneration, health and housing.

Friday’s signing will be poignantly marked by buglers, with representatives from the Ministry of Defence top brass and Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham also in attendance.

Councillor Alan McCarthy, the council’s Armed Forces lead member, said: “Rochdale was one of the first councils to sign the covenant and we have always led the way in providing help and support to members of the Armed Forces community.

'We are proud to be playing host to such an important event as councils from across Greater Manchester acknowledge the sacrifices our armed forces and their families have made. We never forget.'

Major Braddock, Battery Commander, 209 Bty, 103 regiment Royal Artillery said: “It’s a great honour for Rochdale to be hosting such a moving moment for our Armed Forces community. I am delighted that councils across Greater Manchester are reaffirming their commitment to such an important cause.”

The buglers will perform at approximately 12.30pm at the ground floor at Number One Riverside. The covenant signing will take place at the rise of the meeting.