Wales manifesto 2016

The Royal British Legion has launched its Wales Manifesto ahead of the National Assembly for Wales election in May. The manifesto outlines key actions to improve the welfare of the Armed Forces community in Wales.

The manifesto contains seven key recommendations for the next Welsh Government. The recommendations are the result of the biggest consultation the Legion has held in Wales: incorporating Service personnel, veterans, members of The Royal British Legion and partner organisations.

The proposals include ensuring that veterans are able to access evidence-based mental health treatment within waiting time targets set by the Welsh Government. Currently the waiting times can vary greatly from one Local Health Board in Wales to another creating a ‘postcode lottery’.

In addition to this the Legion also believes that the next Welsh Government should:

  • Introduce standardised questioning for public bodies in order to improve identification of members of the Armed Forces Community and, in turn, improve knowledge and awareness
  • Ensure that veteran amputees have access to the best levels of care that meets their clinical need, via the NHS in Wales
  • Produce an Armed Forces Housing Pathway, outlining what members of the Armed Forces Community are entitled to on a local and national level
  • Take practical steps to ensure that Armed Forces families in Wales are given the support they are entitled to under the Armed Forces Covenant

Chris Simpkins, Director General of The Royal British Legion, said:

“Since the Legion successfully campaigned for the principles of the Armed Forced Covenant  ‘no disadvantage due to Service and special treatment for those who have given the most' to be written into law we have seen good progress at national, devolved and local government levels.

The recommendations in this manifesto are the result of listening to the Armed Forces Community in Wales and understanding what still needs to be done to make the Covenant a reality for them."

Our seven policy recommendations

  • Provide a full disregard of military compensation payments when means testing to determine how much an individual has to pay towards their care costs
  • Ensure that veterans are able to access evidence-based mental health treatment within waiting time targets set by the Welsh Government
  • Ensure that veteran amputees have access to the best levels of care that meets their clinical need, via the NHS in Wales
  • Introduce a standardised question for public bodies to ask in order to improve identification of members of the Armed Forces community and, in turn, improve knowledge and awareness
  • Take practical steps to ensure that Armed Forces families in Wales are given the support they are entitled to under the Armed Forces Covenant
  • Produce an Armed Forces Housing Pathway, outlining what members of the Armed Forces community are entitled to on a local and national level
  • Implement a Welsh Service Pupil Premium to ensure Service children in Wales have access to the support they need

Housing Pathway Launched

Since launching in November, the Armed Forces Housing Pathway has helped to ensure that the Armed Forces community in Wales can access accurate housing advice and support when they need it.

In addition to providing information to Service personnel who are about to transition out of the Armed Forces, as well as veterans and their families, the pathway also provides a valuable resource for frontline staff in local authorities and housing providers.

The Housing Pathway process also helped to establish a question in the Annual Rough Sleeper Count in Wales about whether the person has ever served in the Armed Forces. This aims to help provide reliable statistics on the number of homeless veterans in Wales.

Download the manifesto