Local politicians have lent their voices to a census campaign aimed at identifying how many armed forces personnel are living in communities.

Helensburgh's MSP Jackie Baillie and Burgh resident Maurice Corry, who represents constituents in the West Scotland region, attended an event at the Scottish Parliament last week to support the ‘Count Them In’ campaign.

The initiative seeks to accurately record where current and former members of the armed forces live in Scotland, and the issues they face, in order to tailor local services to their needs.

The campaign was set up by Poppyscotland, an armed forces support organisation, in collaboration with the Royal British Legion.

Mr Corry, who served as Argyll and Bute's 'armed forces champion' while a Conservative councillor for Lomond North, said: “More and more local authorities are now seeking to incorporate information on those in the armed forces and veterans community in order to accurately deliver the services that they require, having served their country.”

It is estimated that there are more than half a million people in the armed forces community in Scotland, but at present there is no definitive data to corroborate this population estimate.

Ms Baillie added: “Our country’s servicemen and women have done so much for us, so it is incredibly important that they are counted in official statistics.

“If we really want to be able to provide the help and support that the community needs then we should know where they live and what their needs may be.”

Mr Corry and Ms Baillie were joined by supporters from all parties at the event in the Parliament's garden lobby.