COUNTY veterans deserve their "fair share" of £33 million in funding support for veterans according to a concerned councillor

In the government’s Spring 2023 budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced he was providing an additional £33m over the next three years to increase the service provided to veterans.

Worcestershire was not allocated any of the first £10,000,000 that has been released, and Cllr Lynn Denham, Worcestershire County Councillor for Rainbow Hill division, asked what is being done to ensure that veterans will get to benefit from the funding. 

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Cllr Marcus Hart, the cabinet member with responsibility for communities, said: "I must have missed Cllr Denham's welcoming of the £33 million that the government is investing and funding to support our veterans.

"Whilst it is absolutely right to say that the first branch of £10,000,000 did not make its way to Worcestershire, I will say that we have a very active armed forces covenant partnership which is ably chaired by Cllr Richard Morris.

"It involves a number of organisations and indeed all of the district councils across this county, and we work very positively and collaboratively with organisations such as Stepway for example, and other veterans charities.

"Whilst it was disappointing not to get any actual funding from the first branch, we are committed to supporting the veterans across this county."

Cllr Denham felt her question was not answered by Cllr Hart, and responded to his comment about not welcoming the government announcement.

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She said: "I would like an answer to the actual question that I asked. I appreciate there is an ongoing Worcestershire Armed Forces Covenant, but it is a little difficult to welcome the funding when not a single penny of it is coming to those in need in our county.

"What is the process of how to get a share of any of that government funding for our residents in the forthcoming financial year."

Cllr Hart responded: "Sorry if I did not make it abundantly clear. I was outlining all of the work that we do with our partners and we will continue to work particularly with Stepway and other charities and organisations to make bids that find favour. I do not think I can put it any more clearly than that."