Cornwall Council backs Royal British Legion’s ‘Making the Census Count’ campaign

Posted on: 20th July 2016

Cornwall Council backs Royal British Legion’s ‘Making the Census Count’ campaign.

Members of Cornwall Council are backing The Royal British Legion’s “Making the Census Count” campaign to include a new topic in the 2021 census to provide more accurate information about the number of serving and former members of the Armed Forces in the country

Councillor Andrew Wallis, a former member of the Armed Forces and the Council’s Lead Member of the Armed Forces Covenant, said that the lack of clear data about the size and location of the Armed Forces community , including regular and reserve personnel, veterans and their families, made it difficult for service providers to fully meet their needs.

“The British Legion estimates that the Armed Forces community makes up around one in ten of the general population, with around 2.8m veterans living in the UK, along with 2.1m dependent adults, 1m dependent children and up to 290,000 “hidden” members of the ex serving community who are living in care homes etc” said Andrew Wallis.

“Despite this large population however, the 2011 UK census only contained two questions related to the Armed Forces – one asking whether a member of the armed Forces usually lived at that address and the second whether the respondent usually lived at an Armed Forces base for over 30 days a yearThis failed to collect detailed information on veterans or their dependents, and only provided limited information about reservists and dependents of those serving.

“The Armed Forces Covenant, introduced by the Government, sets out how members of the Armed Forces and their families should be treated and yet we do not have the information to help achieve this”.

Members backed the Motion to support and promote The Royal British Legion’s call to include anew topic in the 2021 census that concerns military service and members of the Armed Forces community.

They also agreed to lobby UK Parliament, which has the responsibility for approving the final census questionnaire through legislation in 2019, to ensure that the 2021 census includes questions concerning the armed forces community.