South Kesteven's Armed Forces veterans will be recognised in the 2021 census
Armed Forces veterans across South Kesteven have their first ever chance to have their service recognised in this month’s national census.
The 2021 census form includes tick boxes to confirm military service for ex-regulars and former reservists to define the true number of veterans in the community.
Findings from the Office of National Statistics survey will help South Kesteven District Council to better engage with the district’s armed forces community, estimated to be in excess of 11,000 people.
Councillor Annie Mason (Con), SKDC cabinet member for communities, said: “Our military community is significant, much valued and important to us. We want to support and work with all its different aspects, and so we are urging people to tick the box confirming their previous military service.
“If we know more about actual veteran numbers in particular, we can do more to help.
“Census helps the authority to gather vital information to help us plan all our services. The additional information we gather on veterans will ensure that we, along with charities and other service providers, can deliver the best service possible for them when and where it is needed most.”
SKDC has signed the Armed Forces Covenant, a promise by the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces and their families are treated fairly, with useful information on the council’s website southkesteven.gov.uk/lincscommunitycovenant
SKDC also holds a Silver Award in the national Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.
The military question in this year’s Census follows lobbying by the Royal British Legion and other service charities concerned that veterans are poorly represented on funding and service provision.
Veterans are defined as anyone who has served in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces as either a regular or reserve, including those who only partially completed training. Also included in the definition are merchant mariners who have seen duty on legally defined military operations.
Letters with individual 16-digit codes to complete the census online will be delivered to households by Census Day - March 21 - explaining what to do, where to get help and how to get a paper copy.
For more information on the census go to https://census.gov.uk/ or call Freephone 0800 141 2021.