Ash Ranges protest closure of Ash Ranges firing complex
Residents have protested against the closure of Ash Ranges. Tensions have risen as the ‘Save Ash Ranges’ group protests outside the main gate to the Ash Ranges. The event was attended by local residents and those from the surrounding areas to show their support for the campaign to regain access to the now-closed area. In a statement, earlier this year by Cllr Nigel Manning confirmed “Ash Parish Council continued to argue the case for a central corridor through the firing complex” and continues to work with all parties. Many residents support the peaceful protest closure of Ash Ranges.
Both Councillor Nigel Manning, Chairman of Ash Parish Council and Councillor Jo Randall have confirmed to Ash Parish News that this still remains the case. They also advised they
“will continue to press MOD and DIO to open up a central corridor through the technical firing area to allow those who cannot circumvent the perimeter path, such as those with mobility issues, to have access to a flat area of the ranges, for their physical and mental health.”
Although the local Ministry of Defence (MOD) team seem to be very sympathetic to the plight of Ash residents and the arguments put forward by Ash Parish Council, the issue is now fully controlled by the MOD in Whitehall and as such all protests or representations need to be directed to the appropriate Parliamentary representatives. Indeed Cllr Manning, in his capacity as Chairman of Ash Parish Council, has made a direct freedom of information (FOI) request to the MOD via Michael Gove MP for the underlying information in justification of the Department’s decision to close the area. A response to Cllr Manning is awaited.