Nick Smith MP Labour MP for Blaenau Gwent
Blaenau Gwent MP Nick Smith MP has welcomed the Government’s announcement that the 2021 Census will now include a question on whether someone has served in the Armed Forces.
The Royal British Legion led campaign will provide public bodies, local authorities, and military charities with valuable information to ensure they can best meet the needs of serving personnel, veterans and their families.
It has been estimated that there are 2.4 million veterans currently living in Great Britain, but little is currently known about their exact numbers, location and needs.
Nick Smith MP said: “I welcome this historic change to the 2021 Census. Gaining a better understanding of the profile and needs of veterans will play a key part in making sure that public services are tailored for our armed forces community because far too often they’ve been shortchanged.
“Well done to the Royal British Legion for their hard work on this campaign.”
Charles Byrne, Director-General of The Royal British Legion, said: “This is an extremely proud moment for the Legion. After leading a successful campaign, the fact that a military question will be in the 2021 Census will significantly improve our understanding of the Armed Forces community which up until now has been very limited. It will ensure that we, along with other charities and service providers, can deliver the best service possible to them when and where it is needed most.
“This is something we have been striving towards for many years, it will have a huge impact on service personnel, veterans and their families well into the future, as the outcome will allow us to provide more effective care and support to those who are in need. We are delighted and are extremely grateful to everyone who has supported the campaign and helped us to achieve this historical success”
You can find out more about the campaign by visiting the campaign website www.rbl.org.uk/campaigns