Flag-raising in build up to Armed Forces Day
Oxfordshire County Council paid host to representatives of the county’s armed forces today (Monday June 25) in the annual flag-raising ceremony at Oxford Castle.
This year marks an important year in the military calendar as we commemorate the centenary of both the RAF and the signing of the armistice in the First World War and the ceremony was the first in a series events leading up to Armed Forces Day on Saturday (June 30).
County Council Chairman, Councillor Gill Sanders said: “This ceremony has a particular resonance in this anniversary year. The military presence in Oxfordshire is both strong and welcome.
“We are also taking the opportunity to re-sign a refreshed Armed Forces Covenant, and renew our commitment to the armed forces community within Oxfordshire. We were the first local authority to sign up to the community covenant in 2011.”
The county has two RAF bases at Benson and Brize Norton and all together is home to 8,500 service men and women along with 5000 family members.
The covenant calls on signatories to:
Promote their status as armed forces-friendly organisations
Support the employment of services’ spouses and partners
Endeavour to offer a degree of flexibility in granting leave for service spouses and partners before, during and after a partner’s deployment,
Support employees who are part of the reserve forces, accommodating their training and deployment where possible.
As well as Cllr Sanders, those signing the new covenant included representatives from Oxford City Council, Vale of the White Horse Council and West and South Oxfordshire Councils, Aspire Oxford, Skanska and the town mayors of Wallingford, Thame, Faringdon and Carterton.