Catterick Garrison Commander hands over plaque to mark launch of new authority

From left, North Yorkshire Council’s leader, Cllr Carl Les, Catterick Garrison Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Jim Turner, and the council’s chief executive, Richard Flinton, with the plaque to mark the launch of the new authority.

The Catterick Garrison Commander has handed over a plaque to mark the launch of North Yorkshire Council with a pledge to foster a close working partnership with the new authority.

Lieutenant Colonel Jim Turne, was greeted at County Hall in Northallerton by North Yorkshire Council’s leader, Cllr Carl Les, and chief executive, Richard Flinton.

North Yorkshire has a long history associated with the Armed Forces which dates back more than a century, and there are 10,770 military personnel in the county – one of the largest numbers nationally.

Catterick Garrison is one of the biggest military establishments in the UK, and has associated barracks at Dishforth, Ripon and Topcliffe. Other military sites in North Yorkshire also includes the Army Foundation College at Harrogate, while the Royal Air Force has stations at Leeming, Fylingdales, Staxton Wold and Menwith Hill.

Lt Col Turner handed over the plaque which was made at Veterans Woodcraft in Richmond. He said: “Catterick Garrison really appreciates the great support we receive from the community and local government. Our relationship with the council is very important to us and so it was appropriate to mark the beginning of the new authority with this presentation.”

In February, North Yorkshire County Council adopted the new Armed Forces Covenant policy for the incoming North Yorkshire Council. It is enshrined in law to ensure military personnel and veterans have access to services across both the private and public sector.

Cllr Les said: “We are proud of our strong connections with the county’s Armed Forces community.

“We serve an area with several military bases and employ staff who are veterans and thousands of children are also pupils at the county’s schools.

“We first signed the covenant in 2011 and our support will only get stronger with the launch of the new council.”

The county has among the highest numbers of veterans in the country, with 29,831 former members of the Armed Forces living in North Yorkshire, according to data from the 2021 Census.

There are also 3,707 pupils from military families attending schools in North Yorkshire, with half of that number being educated in Richmondshire. A further 20 per cent of children attend schools in Hambleton, and a similar number are educated in Harrogate.