Council backs campaign to help servicemen

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Efforts to recognise thousands of servicemen poisoned by radiation fallout after being ordered to take part in nuclear testing has received local support.

Councillors at North Tyneside Council agreed a motion supporting the British Nuclear Test Veterans’ Association demands that the government recognises the sacrifices of the men who watched the explosions during the 1950s and ’60s.

We should be in absolutely no doubt that their selfless contribution helped to equip the United Kingdom with the nuclear deterrent it needs.

Coun Gary Bell

Thousands later suffered severe ill health and recent research found the children of British veterans have ten times the usual rate of birth defects.

The council’s Armed Forces Champion, Coun Gary Bell, said: “We should be in absolutely no doubt that their selfless contribution helped to equip the United Kingdom with the nuclear deterrent it needs.

“The majority of National Service men, some only young teenagers, had no say in their posting and undertook great risks by witnessing these events. They were left physically and mentally scarred by their time in service.

“This council fully supports their campaign and wants to see their contribution to our national safety fully acknowledged.”

“At the very least they deserve a medal and official thanks from the Government.

“We also agree that they, and their families, should benefit from a £25m benevolent fund to provide them with healthcare or compensation for suffering they have endured.”