On 14 October 2013 councillors voted to support the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association's (BNTVA) campaign for national recognition of the country's nuclear test veterans. The hope is they will be joined by many other local authorities across the country, beginning with
Telford and Wrekin Borough Council, who will be considering the campaign at their meeting in November.
Nigel Heaps, Chair of the BNTVA said: "This is a fantastic landmark occasion for the BNTVA Recognition Campaign. A good number of local authorities have responded favourably to our request for resolutions of support but praise must go to Rochdale for standing up and being the first council to act.
"They have given hope and recognition, not just to atomic veterans in the Rochdale area, but also to those across the whole of the UK."
Around 20,000 servicemen from all three services took part in the British Nuclear Test programme during the 1950s and 1960s, of which approx 3,000 survive today. The BNTVA has been campaigning for years for the nation to recognise the contribution that our test veterans made. Many veterans have faced various health issues since their time at the tests and many suffer mental anguish over their possible exposure to radiation.
The BNTVA have written to all local authorities across England urging them to support the national campaign for recognition. This is part of a wider campaign, which includes a petition calling on the Prime Minister to officially recognise the veterans' unique contribution, an art exhibition 'Shadow of the Bomb' and growing cross-party support from MPs in Westminster.