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Armed Forces: Leisure Services

Defence written question – answered on 12th December 2011.

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Photo of Ian Austin Ian Austin Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence

(1) what estimate he has made of the number of local authorities in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland which offer discounts for local authority-owned leisure services for (i) serving members and (ii) veterans of the armed forces;

(2) what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues in the Department for Communities and Local Government on local authorities offering discounted leisure services to (a) serving servicemen and women and (b) veterans of the armed forces.

Photo of Andrew Robathan Andrew Robathan The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

holding answer 8 December 2011

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) welcomes all initiatives to offer discounts to serving personnel or veterans. While no estimate or formal discussions have taken place, the MOD held an armed forces community covenant conference with the Local Government Association for local authorities in England on 1 November 2011. In the discussions and workshops that took place, the issue of offering discounts to members of the armed forces community was discussed, with some local authorities providing examples of what discounts they offered. Ultimately decisions on these matters must be for the local authorities themselves.

In addition, the MOD provides, through an agreement with a contractor, a Defence discount scheme which is open to all those who are serving, have served, their families, MOD civil servants, cadets, reservists and NATO personnel serving in the UK. The scheme has partnered with over 1,200 businesses offering thousands of discounts across the UK. The scheme has an active membership of over 190,000 members; is free to join; and is easily accessed through the website:

www.forcesdiscounts-mod.co.uk

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