Derby Armed Forces Community Covenant signed

The community covenant aims to ensure people leaving the armed forces can access help and support with education, housing and health provision. It's part of a national £30m Ministry of Defence fund for projects linking local military bases with communities. The Royal British Legion said it was immensely important and would make a real difference in Derby.

The covenant is a local version of the government's National Armed Forces Covenant, produced in May 2011. Councillor Ranjit Banwait, the council's deputy leader, said: "Our servicemen and women, having served their country, should be given as much assistance and support as possible to help them and their families settle into life outside of the Armed Forces."

He said the proposals would see the council working with Derby Homes to ensure that those leaving military service were not barred from waiting lists, on the grounds that they did not have a local connection.

Major Paul Mullingani, from The Royal British Legion, said: "What I hope it's going to do is to get our councils to advocate their services through us and our services through them. When service personnel come out of service, one of the first things they need is a home. It means they've got some security coming home to their community, for what they've fought for."