Herefordshire Council has declared its support for The Royal British Legion’s ‘Count Them In’ campaign, which calls for questions on the Armed Forces community to be included in the next UK Census.
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 next 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.
Councillor David Harlow, Cabinet member economy and environment, said:
“It is disappointing that we currently know more about the UK’s Jedi community than we do about those who have served their country. It cannot be right that our Servicemen and women, veterans and their families are effectively hidden from official statistics, and that’s why Herefordshire Council are only too happy to back the call for new questions to be added to the next UK Census. We count on them – let’s count them in.”
Chris Simpkins, 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 Herefordshire Council for adding their support to our campaign: together I’m confident that we can make the next census count for our Armed Forces community”
Councillor Mark McEvilly the chair of Herefordshire Civilian, Military Task Group, whose role is to oversee the delivery of the Herefordshire Armed Forces Community Covenant Action Plan, encouraged organisations and individuals to back the campaign saying:
"it's extremely important that we have more accurate information about the service community in the county so that we can endeavour to target resources more effectively"
Residents can find out more about the campaign by visiting the campaign website, www.britishlegion.org.uk/census, or by posting their own pledge of support on social media using the #CountThemIn hashtag.
Find out more about Herefordshire Councils commitment to the armed Forces personnel and families www.herefordshire.gov.uk/armed-forces-in-herefordshire
Pictured L-R Councillor David Harlow and Councillor Mark McEvilly