Mark Williams, Member of Parliament for Ceredigion, has commended Ceredigion County Council for its support for the Royal British Legion ‘Count Them In’ campaign, which calls for questions on the Armed Forces community to be included in the next UK Census, and reiterated his support during a Parliamentary event on Tuesday 13th September.
It is estimated that there are currently between 6.5 million and 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 the exact numbers, location and needs of this significant group. Including new questions on the census would provide public bodies, local authorities, and charities with valuable information to ensure they are able to deliver the best services they can for our Armed Forces community.
Mark met with representatives of The Royal British Legion and veteran David, who services with the Queen’s Dragoon Guards and who is now a veteran’s peer mentor for one of the Legion’s partner charities Change Step, to discuss the campaign in Parliament.
Mark 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 about the progress of their Count Them In campaign.
“I am very disappointed that we currently know so little about the numbers of our Armed Forces community. It cannot be right that our servicemen and women, veterans and their families are effectively hidden from official statistics, and that is why I continue to back the call for new questions to be added to the next UK Census.
“I am extremely glad to see that Ceredigion County Council has already backed the campaign, and that through the Council’s Armed Forces Champion, Cllr Paul Hinge, are continuing to provide support and raise the needs of the Armed Forces community in our County.”