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Armed Forces Day: 1,000 service personnel to march in Cardiff

Armed Forces Day flag
An Armed Forces Day flag Credit: PA

Around 1,000 servicemen and women will march through Cardiff later to mark Armed Forces Day. The day celebrates the work of all military personnel past and present.

The March through the Welsh capital will coincide with the 70th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Atlantic. It was the longest continuous military campaign of the second world war.

Soldiers' feet
A Royal Navy Guard of Honour Credit: PA

After the march, Coopers Field in Bute Park, Cardiff, will play host to various events such as musical performances by the Commando Training Centre Band of the Royal Marines supported by the South Wales Police Band.

There will also be displays by the Royal Signals motorcycle display team, the "RAF Falcons" Parachute Display Team and a fly-past by an RAF Sea King helicopter.

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University gives education pledge to military

Soldiers, sailors and airmen will benefit from an agreement with the University of South Wales on education opportunities. Credit: MoD

Wales's first Armed Forces Covenant between the military and a university has been signed at Cardiff Castle.

Under the agreement, the University of South Wales will support service personnel with a Forces Champion.

They'll be given advice and guidance on their educational futures when they leave the forces.

Military covenant signing at Cardiff Castle

The signing will take place at Cardiff Castle later this morning Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

An Armed Forces Covenant will be signed this morning between the Armed Forces and the new University of South Wales.

It's understood to be the first time a covenant has been signed between the forces and a university in Wales.

Under the covenant agreement, the university will provide service personnel with educational advice when they leave the forces, and continue to support staff who serve in the reserve forces.

MPs call for more housing and healthcare support for veterans

Welsh service personnel may risk and sometimes even lose their lives in service of their country. But a new report tonight warns that they are still not getting the support they need when they return to civilian life.

MPs on the Welsh Affairs Committee say more needs to be done for them in the key areas of housing and health.

Our correspondent Joanna Simpson has tonight's top story.

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MPs urge more housing and healthcare support for veterans

Public bodies need to do more to support armed forces veterans in Wales, according to a group of MPs.

The Welsh Affairs Committee report says housing and healthcare are key areas where there are problems.

"I had no actual record of injuries and any other ongoing things that were wrong with me" says Northern Ireland veteran Paul Harding.

"So, from that point of view there was no help whatsoever."

"When it came to housing I went to the council and they said we realise you're a veteran but that doesn't mean anything to us. You'll get a house when you get a house"

David Davies: 'more councils should sign military covenant'

"I think there are problems, and I think they've come about through rather inadvertent policies" says David Davies MP, who chairs the Welsh Affairs select committee.

"I think local authorities have quite rightly said we need to have people with a local connection before we allocate social housing.

"But those rules have had the unintended consequence of affecting members of the armed forces who may have been born and brought up in an area, but spent the last ten years serving their country".

"A lot of a local authorities have signed up to the armed forces covenant, which means people working within those authorities are aware of those issues".

Housing group: number of homeless veterans "unacceptable"

We welcome this report, but don’t think it goes far enough. Wales accounts for 5% of the UK population yet it provides 8% of UK military personnel.

It is unacceptable that a significant number of our veterans face homelessness. Waiting list for social housing in Wales are continuing to grow and we need to build more affordable homes in order to address this.

One of the barriers is availability of land and we are today calling on the Ministry of Defence to engage with the sector to draw up a memorandum of understanding, so that where suitable sites become available, we can develop social housing to help alleviate the problem.

– Nick Bennett, Community Housing Cymru

'One-stop shops' for veterans could help

One of the key recommendations from the report is the establishment of 'one-stop-shops' that would help provide veterans with information and support when they return to civilian life.

We should not be making it harder for people who have served their country in the ultimate way - putting their lives on the line - to access the services and support they need and deserve. For the same reasons, we must ensure that all services, no matter who is providing them, are provided efficiently and to the highest standard.

– David Davies MP, Chair of the Committee

The Welsh Government says it welcomes the report.

The Welsh Government is already making progress in delivering real improvements on the issues raised in the report. It is important that this continues and that those who have served their country do not suffer any disadvantage when they access public services.

– Welsh Government spokesperson
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