February 2020 – Michael spoke to Councillors about the proposed changes to the byelaws affecting MoD land, and had an online meeting Cllr Paul Deach and local activist Attieh Fard to discuss how various areas of MoD land, such as the Ash Ranges, have been fenced off by the MoD, preventing the public gaining access.
April 2020 – Michael wrote to the Minister of State for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin MP, and a copy of his reply is attached below.
May 2020 – Michael held a meeting with the Minister to raise residents considerable concerns regarding the loss of access, and posted an update on Facebook, which you can find here.
Michael continued to regularly discuss this issue with Minister Quin to ensure he remained aware of local residents’ concerns, sharing their correspondence which underlined the acute impact of the closures on their lives.
June 2021 – Michael wrote to the Minister for Defence Procurement with his colleagues Jeremy Hunt, MP for South West Surrey, and Jonathan Lord, MP for Woking, to ask him to do all he can to ensure the restrictions were lifted. A copy of this correspondence is below.
July 2021 – Michael followed up his above joint letter with a meeting with his fellow MPs, in which Minister Quin pledged to respond to the issues Michael raised on behalf of his constituents.
August 2021 – Minister Quin sent the below response outlining the costs to the MoD attributed to vandalism – which remained the principal reason for maintaining restrictions. Minister Quin also promised to reflect on the broader issues that were raised about access overall in more depth, and agreed to a further meeting with Michael and local Councillors at the Ranges.
October 2021 – Michael met Minister Quin at the Ranges with Councillors Paul Deach and Stuart Black. During the meeting Michael once more pressed for the restrictions to be lifted, and discussed what options might be available to improve access. You can read his Facebook update following this meeting here. He received a further response shortly after, copied below, in which the MoD outlined its proposals to improve access.
February 2022 – Michael wrote again to Minister Quin to enquire about the progress of the works being undertaken to improve access.
March 2022 – Michael received another response, which you can find below. As you will read, works had been arranged to improve access overall, with an expected completion date of March 2023.
February 2023 – As the proposed date for the conclusion of works to improve access was fast approaching, Michael wrote again to the Defence Procurement Minister to request an update.
March 2023 – Michael was delighted to receive a response from the Minister for Defence Procurement, which you can read below, outlining that the works were indeed on course to be completed on time.