Macclesfield MP, David Rutley, has declared his support for The Royal British Legion and Poppyscotland’s ‘Count Them In’ campaign, which calls for questions on the Armed Forces community to be included in the next UK Census.
David met with representatives of The Royal British Legion and veterans to discuss the ‘Count Them In’ campaign in Parliament on Tuesday 13th September.
The ‘Count Them In’ campaign highlights that, while there are between 6.5 million and 6.7 million members of the Armed Forces community living in the UK, little is known about their exact numbers, location and needs following the 2011 Census. As a result, this campaign seeks to take advantage of a once in a generation opportunity to add new questions to the 2021 census, so that this community can be included in official statistics. This ensures that politicians, charities and service providers fully understand and meet the needs of serving personnel, veterans and their families.
Following the meeting, Charles Byrne, 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 David for adding his support to our campaign: together I’m confident that we can make the next census count for our Armed Forces community”
Regarding the meeting David said: “It was a pleasure to meet with members of the Armed Forces community who, along with their families, make huge sacrifices in the service of our country. I also enjoyed meeting with staff from The Royal British Legion and hearing more about the ‘Count Them In’ campaign. I was disappointed to learn that we currently know so little about our Armed Forces. It cannot be right that our Servicemen and women, veterans and their families are effectively hidden from official statistics, and that’s why I’m backing the call for new questions to be added to the next UK Census. We count on them – let’s count them in.”