Blackpool MP's call to include forces in census

A Blackpool MP has backed a campaign to gather information to help support forces members and veterans.

Thursday, 30th June 2016, 10:30 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 7:41 pm

The Royal British Legion is asking for new questions to be added to forms in time for the 2021 UK Census.

They say too little is known about the services community and without information the country cannot cater for their needs.

The campaign aims to build on the obligations that the Armed Forces Covenant places on the government and the nation to those who are serving or have served as well as to their families.

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Blackpool North MP Paul Maynard said: “We owe our serving personnel and veterans a deep debt of gratitude, and this change to the census would be a small but meaningful step in ensuring that we treat them and their families with the respect and dignity they deserve.

“No one should underestimate the importance of the job that the armed forces do and it is vital that we increase the available information about the armed forces community in order that we can best cater for their needs.

“It is vital that this historical anomaly in our census data is corrected in future censuses, and that we ensure it is not the case that we know more about the UK’s Jedi population than we do about the armed forces community going forward.”

Chris Simpkins, director-general of The Royal British Legion said: “By adding questions to the Census, we can help public bodies and charities deliver the best services they can for our forces community where needed.”