*LATEST UPDATE* August 2023 - Michael received a response from the Minister for Defence Procurement, which is attached below, confirming all works to support enhanced access to Ash Ranges are now complete, including the installation of the gate between the Range Access Road and Corridor. This gate will be open to allow access to the new ‘Phase 2’ track when the flags are lowered.
July 2023 – Michael has written again to the Minister for Defence Procurement, asking him to confirm that the installation of a further gate between the Range Access Road and Corridor has now been completed, and that his constituents now have safer access to the new Phase 2 track, when the flags are lowered. Michael is awaiting a response and an update will be posted in due course.
May 2023 – Michael received a response from the Minister for Defence Procurement, which is attached below, confirming the pedestrian gate will be opened when the flags are down and when there is no maintenance between now and the installation of a further new gate, which should be in place by the end of May.
April 2023 – Several constituents contacted Michael regarding a locked pedestrian gate that was preventing public access to the new Phase 2b area of Ash Ranges, and Michael wrote to the Minister for Defence Procurement to ask him to investigate and to ensure that the gate is opened whenever the range flags are lowered.
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.
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 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 2022 – Michael wrote again to Minister Quin to enquire about the progress of the works being undertaken to improve access.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
April 2020 – Michael wrote to the Minister of State for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin MP, and a copy of his reply is attached below.