MORE than 100 people headed to County Hall on Thursday for an assembly that encouraged organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors abut closer military integration.

Chairman of the Wiltshire Assembly, John Bush, OBE, opened the annual conference, which sees groups coming together to consider key topics such as health care, young people and transport, among other things.

Speakers included leader of Wiltshire Council, Baroness Jane Scott, the authority's corporate director, Alistair Cunningham, Bob Montgomery, chief executive of Longleat, and representatives from the Headquarters South West military civilian integration team.

Panel discussions considered the challenges and opportunities and how Wiltshire can live up to the Armed Forces Covenant - which commits Wiltshire Council, businesses and public and voluntary sector organisations to work with the military - to support the Armed Forces communities which was reaffirmed earlier this year.

"Quite simply the military is the beating heart of Wiltshire, they make the county unique and I am really proud that we are key to the military’s future plans," said Baroness Scott.

"We may have a lot to do to achieve totally integrated communities and delivery of the Armed Forces Covenant – but I know that with all of us working together, I am more confident than ever that we will get there."