The next UK Census should include questions on the Armed Forces community, Alex Cunningham has declared, as he gave his support for The Royal British Legion and Poppyscotland’s Count Them In campaign.
It is estimated that there are as many as 6.7 million members of the Armed Forces community living in the UK, representing about a tenth of the population. However, little is currently known about their exact numbers, let alone the location or needs of this significant group.
Stockton North’s MP has therefore voiced his support for including new questions on the next census to provide public bodies, local authorities, and charities with this valuable information to ensure they are able to deliver the best services they can for our Armed Forces community.
The Labour Member of Parliament recently took the opportunity to meet with representatives of The Royal British Legion and veterans to discuss the campaign in Parliament. Following the meeting, Alex said:
“It was a pleasure to meet with members of the Armed Forces community who, along with their families, make huge sacrifices in the service of our country. I also enjoyed meeting with staff from The Royal British Legion and hearing more about their Count Them In campaign.
“I was disappointed to learn that we currently know more about the UK’s Jedi community than we do about our Armed Forces. It cannot be right that our servicemen and women, veterans and their families, are effectively hidden from official statistics. And that’s why I’m backing the call for new questions to be added to the next UK Census. We count on them – so let’s count them in.”
Charles Byrne, Director-General of The Royal British Legion, said: “As a nation we promise to provide lifelong care and support for those who serve our country. By adding questions to the 2021 UK Census, we can help public bodies and charities deliver the best services they can for our Armed Forces community, when and where it is needed most. We thank Alex for adding his support to our campaign. Together, I’m confident that we can make the next census count for our Armed Forces community.”