Paul Davies AM, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Welsh Assembly, has called on the Welsh Labour Government to back plans to introduce a Commissioner for the Armed Forces and Veterans in Wales.
For many years the Welsh Conservatives have been calling for the introduction of a specific commissioner, who would be accountable to the Welsh Assembly and would champion the needs of the Armed Forces community and ensure that devolved powers are fully used to support current and former personnel.
Calls have grown after the UK Conservative Government created the Office of Veterans Affairs inside the UK Cabinet Office bringing in experts from Whitehall and the Minister of Defence to ensure a holistic approach to veterans affairs especially veterans’ welfare, mental and physical health, education and employment.
Paul Davies AM also called on the Welsh Labour Government to ensure that an extra £150,000 of funding is made available to our Welsh NHS, after a grant from Help for Heroes for three full-time psychological therapists, comes to end in October 2020.
Commenting on the proposal, after raising it in the Senedd, Paul Davies AM said:
“The Welsh Government are doing good work to support veterans in Wales. However, funding for psychological therapists working with veterans in our Welsh NHS is coming to an end and it will have a major impact on our veterans, especially as targets for assessment and treatment are currently being missed.
“We need an Armed Forces and Veterans Commissioner to make sure that our dedicated current and former personnel, and the wider armed forces community, who have sacrificed so much to defend our way of life, is put on a proper footing to ensure that they get the services they deserve.
“I hope the Welsh Labour Government will reconsider their position and I look forward to working with them on the creation of a Commissioner in the future.”
Joel Williams, Prospective Assembly Member for Cardiff North added;
"I echo the calls by my colleague Paul Davies to create the post of a Commissioner for the Armed Forces and Veterans in Wales. It is vital that our committed personnel, both current and past serving are supported by way of a Commissioner for the Armed Forces and Veterans in Wales. Thank you Paul and my colleagues in the Assembly for making the Welsh Labour Government aware of the need for this Commissioner."