THERE are fears that the work the Armed Forces are undertaking in Afghanistan is not being appreciated by people back home, according to a Worcestershire MEP.
Nikki Sinclaire is also calling on local councils and others in the public sector to do more to support soldiers when they are at home.
Ms Sinclaire, who recently flew to Afghanistan to be briefed on Britain’s role in the war-torn country, said British troops are helping to make Afghanistan a safer place and added that more children are getting access to education, which is helping to create social change.
The independent MEP for the West Midlands said: “Our servicemen and women are proud of their achievements, but I understand their anxiety that those achievements, paid for in blood and treasure, could be wasted rather than consolidated.
“There is a widespread feeling that, despite public support for the Armed Forces, their role and their quiet but hugely significant contributions are not being fully understood by the British public.”
Ms Sinclaire said servicemen and women from the West Midlands took the opportunity to voice their frustration at the lack of co-operation they and their families receive from public authorities and public services back home.
Schooling for their children, dental and doctor registration can all be problematic, while issues surrounding council tax and the quality of housing were also raised.
Worcester City Council recently agreed to terms in conjunction with the Military Covenant regarding housing. Looking to the future Ms Sinclaire said: “We all want our forces home quickly, but we must appreciate their role, their achievements and their professional pride. They are making a difference. They want it to be a lasting difference.”