LEVENMOUTH councillor Charles Haffey says he is proud and happy to have been appointed Fife Council’s Armed Forces Community Champion.
And the Royal Navy veteran, who was appointed to the role last week by the Council’s executive committee, has promised to support and be a voice for service personnel, both past and present.
His role is to ensure the interests of the armed forces community are properly considered by prioritised within the Council’s policies and strategies, to advocate on its behalf and to raise its profile.
Cllr Haffey said: “I am very happy and proud to have been put forward for this job. I’m really looking forward to the role and relishing the opportunity to strengthen ties between the armed forces community and local communities around Fife.
“I plan to start by making contact with organisations like the British Legion and the Black Watch Association to talk about the issues faced by the armed forces community today.
“It’s important to me that they understand I’m here for them – to represent their interests. I will work with other councillors, officers and communities to make sure Fife is always a supportive place for acting service personnel, veterans and their families.”
Cllr Haffey served in the Navy from 1978 to 1985 and, during the Falklands war, saw active duty aboard Rosyth-based HMS Yarmouth.
His appointment further strengthens Fife’s efforts to improve its relationship with the armed forces. Last year, the Council, together with other members of the Fife Partnership – including Fife Police, NHS Fife, and the charity and voluntary sectors – signed a Community Covenant to encourage organisations to support armed forces personnel in accessing help they might need. In return they were encouraged to do as much as they could to support the communities they live in and promote the integration of the service community into civilian life.
Cllr Haffey’s was nominated for the role by his Labour colleague, Councillor Pat Callaghan, and was supported by fellow Levenmouth councillor Andrew Rodger, who said: “Charles will be an excellent Armed Forces Champion and will be totally committed to the role.”
The Council’s deputy leader, Councillor David Ross, added: “Charles empathises with service people, and I don’t think he’ll be slow in coming forward if there are issues that need addressed.”