Families in Lichfield affected by the Government’s decision to axe the 3rd Battalion Mercian Regiment will be supported, according to the leader of Staffordshire County Council.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond yesterday confirmed that the Battalion would be one of 17 units to go across the country.
The Mercians were formed in 2007 as part of a merger which consumed the Staffordshire Regiment, the Cheshire Regiment and the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment.
But despite the latest blow to the military community in the region, Cllr Philip Atkins has pledged to support those affected by the decision.
“I’m very concerned about the Ministry of Defence’s announcement about disbanding the former Staffords regiment and its effect on the wider county and our armed forces communities,” he said. “Staffordshire has a strong connection with our armed forces with large bases in Stafford and Lichfield and was due to be welcoming even more personnel and their families to the county over the next few years.
“This is bad news for the county but we will be working hard with our partners to help any families and communities affected by the changes. We have just signed our first Armed Forces Community Covenant back in May, strengthening the relationships between the armed forces and our civilian communities.
“We already work closely together and the covenant will further our understanding of the needs of the Armed Forces, in terms of jobs, housing, health and school services to name but a few. This work will be even more important in the light of this announcement.”
Lichfield’s MP Michael Fabricant also expressed his disappointment at the decision saying the move had “saddened” him.