A councillor whose son was wounded while serving in Afghanistan is chairing a committee to help servicemen.

Coun Doug Hayes will be leading a working group to ensure the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant are carried in the borough.

Members of Hyndburn Council agreed to sign the national covenant which aims to strengthen the ties between local servicemen and the civilian community.

Coun Hayes was asked to chair the working group because of his personal ties with the Army.

Last year his son Kevin suffered damage to his chest, a lung and ribs, and lost his spleen while on duty in Afghanistan.

After spending several weeks in hospital recuperating, he moved back to his home in Preston with his wife and two daughters.

Coun Hayes said his son is doing well but like many soldiers struggles from-time-to-time with the transition back into civilian life.

The Oswaldtwistle councillor said: “When a solider serves in the Army for a long time like Kevin, it is a huge adjustment when they leave or go on leave.
 
“The strict Army routine that they have lived by is completely different to a civilian life and that isn't always easy to get used to.

“The sites they deal with while out there is something that those of us who haven’t served can’t really understand.”

Coun Hayes said promoting better understanding of the issues facing servicemen is one way to improve cohesion.

He said: “We as a community can do a lot to help with their transition by providing support and services for soldiers and their families.

“We want to use the expertise of various organisations such as the health trust, the Royal British Legion and the council to help the servicemen live a high standard of life in Hyndburn.”

Members of the council’s cabinet were due to approve the signing of the covenant earlier this month.

At a recent meeting of the full council, council leader Miles Parkinson said: “It’s extremely poignant that it’s come to us so close to the anniversary of the Accrington Pals.  I have spoken to Coun Doug Hayes and I am delighted he will be chair of the group.

“This covenant is something we as a council, regardless of political parties, can support.”