An Alton councillor will continue his role as armed forces champion and lead the armed forces agenda in Hampshire.

Councillor Andrew Joy will advocate for civilian-military relationships and will also be the chair of the Civilian Military Partnership Board (CMPB).

The decision was made public by the leader of the council Rob Humby at Hampshire County Council’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday (June 13).

Among some of the responsibilities, Cllr Joy will have to liaise with the council's armed forces programme manager as their first point of contact for all matters relating to the armed forces community in the county.

As well as keep abreast of national developments concerning the armed forces; maintain and develop strong working partnerships with senior staff from all three armed forces and other key military bases in Hampshire, including training establishments.

He will also be expected to work with the South East Reserve Forces and Cadets Association (SERFCA) to engage with key local businesses to promote the Armed Forces Covenant, the Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, the employment of Reservists and the appointment of Cadet Force Adult Volunteers.

Hampshire has one of the largest armed forces communities in the UK, with 72,000 households having one or more persons who have previously served in the UK armed forces.

At a meeting held on June 13, cabinet members agreed on the recommendation to sign the renewed Armed Forces Covenant, which has been updated to comply with the Covenant Duty – a new legal obligation under the Armed Forces Act 2021, implemented in November 2022.

External grants, such as the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, are available to support Hampshire’s armed forces community.

Armed forces personnel and their families can find other sources of support through the county council’s armed forces webpages and connect to Support Hampshire.