Christine Jardine, MP for Edinburgh West, is delighted that both the UK Parliament and the Scottish Parliament have announced that the next Census will now include a question to provide information on whether someone has served in 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 Poppyscotland and The Royal British Legion and supported by Christine Jardine MP.
The next Census is currently due to take place in 2021 in England and Wales and 2022 in Scotland.
Poppyscotland and the Legion, who led the campaign, are at the heart of a national network offering a range of support and services to the Armed Forces community. The decision to include the question on the next census will provide Poppyscotland and the Legion, as well as public bodies, local authorities, and other military charities with valuable information to ensure they can best meet the needs of serving personnel, veterans and their families.
It is estimated that there are 2.4 million veterans currently living in Great Britain, who make up part of a wider ex-Service community that 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
Christine Jardine, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Women and Equalities commented:
“This is a great step which will help us to have a better understanding of the profile and needs of veterans which is key to ensuring our public services are tailored for our Armed Forces community.
“Currently little is known about the exact numbers and needs of this extremely significant group so the inclusion of a question will provide us all- public bodies, charities and local authorities- with invaluable information to deliver the best services possible for our armed forces community.
“I welcome this historic change to the next Census to include a question on the Armed Forces.”