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The BIG Drive Home

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The BIG Drive Home

2:00 pm 6:00 pm

20.07.23 – SCC Defence Employer Recognition Gold Award, SOT Community Strategy Safety Consultation

Written by on 20 July 2023

Staffordshire County Council has been awarded the prestigious Defence Employer Recognition (DERS) Gold Award for its work supporting the county’s armed forces communities.

The gold award marks the authority’s ongoing work to support the employment of its Armed Forces community, recognising the valuable skills and experience they can bring to Staffordshire and helping them enjoy full and rewarding careers.

To achieve the award, organisations must pledge, demonstrate, and advocate support to its Armed Forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant.

The authority is one of 50 organisations in the West Midlands region, including Stoke on Trent City Council to receive the gold award. It is now encouraging other organisations and employers to follow suit by explaining the benefits the Armed Forces community brings to businesses. Leader of Staffordshire County Council, Alan White said he was delighted to receive the award.  Alan said: “As a former serving soldier and long-standing supporter of the services, I’m delighted that the council has achieved this recognition.

“Supporting all our armed forces communities, whether serving, former members, or reservists and their families, and recognising the valuable skills they bring to Staffordshire is incredibly important.  The county council works with many partners to ensure we recognise, promote, and support the entire armed forces community, given the unique role they play and some of the challenges they face.

“We first signed the Armed Forces Covenant back in 2012, re-signing it in February 2023. Since then, we’ve been working hard to make sure that our armed forces get the support and access to services they need.  We remain committed to further developing the support we provide and to promote to other Staffordshire organisations, the benefits our Armed Forces community can bring to them.”

Philip Sinclair, Regional Employer Engagement Director for West Midlands Reserves Forces & Cadets Association said:

“I am delighted that we have had so many fantastic organisations recognised for their demonstrable support to, and advocacy for, the Armed Forces Covenant and the community that it supports.

“It is clear that Staffordshire County Council have been completely invested in supporting that community, both as an employer, and as a local authority.  It has been a pleasure to be able to guide, advise, and support them in their bid for the ERS gold award, and the recognition that they have received from the Ministry of Defence, for being an exemplar organisation, is well deserved.  I look forward to continuing to work alongside this new member of Defence’s Gold Award Association.”

Staffordshire has a strong connection with the armed forces, with large bases in Stafford and Lichfield, along with many veterans, reservists, cadets, and armed forces families across the county.

More than 170 organisations in Staffordshire have already signed the Armed Forces Covenant.  Further details on becoming a Forces friendly employer are available at The Armed Forces Covenant – Staffordshire County Council



Residents are being urged to have their say on how to reduce crime in Stoke-on-Trent.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has launched a consultation on the Community Safety Strategy which aims to outline how the council and partners will work together over the next three years to reduce crime, violent crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour and to tackle substance misuse in the city.

The consultation will run for four weeks from today (17 July) to Friday 11 August.

Residents are also being invited to open drop-in events being held at:

  • Potteries Shopping Centre- Thursday 27 July, 10am-12pm
  • Longton Market- Friday 28 July, 10am-12pm
  • Stoke Reads Events Tails in the Park at Tunstall Park- Tuesday 1 August, 1pm-3pm
  • Longton Park- Friday 4 August, 11am-1pm

The new strategy will be led by the Community Safety Partnership, which is a local partnership made up of agencies including the council, the police and fire services, probation services and health and voluntary sectors.

Cllr David Williams, cabinet member for communities, education and safety said: “”We already have a lot of data which indicates those issues which most affect people in the city. However, we want to make sure that what we have found to make sure that our plans really do represent the views and needs of everyone living in our city. We want to encourage as many residents to speak to us as possible so we get it right for you.

“By working together, we can reduce crime, prevent it happening in the first place, and support the most vulnerable people in our city who are victims of crime, or at risk of becoming a victim.”

Residents can have their say on the consultation at