Essex County Council has today been awarded Gold accreditation in the Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.
The authority, previously a silver accreditation, has received this ultimate accolade for its action to support currently serving troops, service families, veterans and cadets.
ECC works with partners and military representatives to identify and tackle issues, challenges and disadvantages affecting the lives of armed forces personnel, veterans and their families.
Essex County Council has also been a strong advocate for county companies and organisations to sign the Armed Forces Covenant, a pledge to treat the armed forces community fairly.
Cllr Derrick Louis, Essex County Council's Armed Forces Champion, served in the British Army for over 30 years.
Cllr Louis said: “This is a great achievement and honour, the result of hard work by ECC staff at all levels who have stepped up to the challenge of moving the authority from Silver to Gold.
“I thank all organisations who have already signed the Armed Forces Covenant and I repeat our call for organisations to sign the Covenant and take part in the Employer Recognition Scheme.
"I am proud of the work we do in this area as I know how much of a difference it can make to individuals and families. Gold accreditation demonstrates ECC takes its responsibilities toward the armed forces community very seriously and has put in place appropriate measures to ensure that the community is not disadvantaged in any way.”
More information on the Essex Armed Forces Community Covenant can be found here.