Preseli MP Stephen Crabb has welcomed the news that the 2021 Census will now include a question allowing people to say that they are a veteran of HM Armed Forces.
For the first time in the history of the Census, there will be a question on service in the Armed Forces following a campaign led by The Royal British Legion and supported by Stephen Crabb.
The decision to include the question on the 2021 census will provide the British Legion, as well as public bodies, local authorities, and other military charities such as Pembrokeshire’s VC Gallery 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, who make up part of a wider ex-Service community which includes their spouses, partners, dependent children and widow(er)s. However, little is currently known about the exact numbers, location and needs of this significant group.
Stephen Crabb commented: “Not only does Pembrokeshire have a proud military history, but it also has a strong veteran community who will now for the first time be able to identify as a veteran on the Cenus.
“Having a better understanding of the profile and needs of veterans is a key part of making sure our public services are tailored for our armed forces community. I welcome this historic change to the 2021 Census to include a question on the Armed Forces.”
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”