South Yorkshire MP backing Royal British Legion campaign

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Michael Dugher, MP for Barnsley East and a proud member of the Royal British Legion’s (RBL) Hoyland branch, has backed the ‘Count Them In’ campaign.

The ‘Count Them In’ campaign calls for an additional question on military service to be included in the next UK Census in 2021, so that local authorities can better serve the needs of veterans across the country.

It is estimated that there are currently between 6.5 million and 6.7 million members of the Armed Forces community living in the UK, representing about a tenth of the population. However, little is currently known about the exact numbers, location and needs of this significant group.

There are no official estimates of how many members of the Armed Forces live in Yorkshire or indeed in Barnsley – something that including an additional question on the 2021 census could change.

Mr Dugher met with representatives from the RBL in Parliament on Monday 13 June to hear about how the change would provide public bodies, local authorities, and charities with valuable information to ensure they are able to deliver the best services they can for our Armed Forces community.

Commenting, Mr Dugher said: “As a proud member of my local Royal British Legion branch in Hoyland, it was a pleasure to meet with members of the Armed Forces community in Parliament this week. Along with their families, members of the Armed Forces make huge sacrifices in the service of our country.

“It is shocking that we currently know so little about our veterans, including where they live or what needs their families might have. It cannot be right that our Servicemen and women, veterans and their families are effectively hidden from official statistics. We count on them – let’s count them in.”