Open Letter to the Leader of Ash Parish Council

One of our supporters, Barry, has had several emails to and from Nigel Manning, Chair of Ash Parish Council. As a result of getting increasingly frustrated with a lack of answers to his questions, he asked me if he could post his letter on the webpage in the hope that he might get some meaningful answers.

Dear Councillor Manning,

On 11 March this year you posted a notice on the Ash Parish Council website supporting the MOD’s decision to close the firing plates, and blamed your residents for the closure. On 24 August you told me – not your residents at large – “we continue to fight for the opening up of the RDA to gain more direct access to the ranges, especially for those who are less mobile.”


1.         Why did you change your position on this matter?

2.         If you are fighting our cause why don’t you keep us informed of what you are doing? Why are you so reluctant to communicate with us? Why the secrecy? You of all people should know that to keep people on board you need to keep them regularly informed.

3.         Why not respond to this letter on this facebook site and follow up with regular progress reports? For example, why didn’t you record the important meeting, subsequently cancelled, that had been arranged with the MOD on activities etc. on this and the APC website?

4.         Will you confirm you will be joining the Open Meeting on 16 September?

5.         In your email to me you said you would be fighting for “…more direct access to the ranges, especially for those who are less mobile.” What does this mean? Does it mean fenced off corridors directly to the cattle growing area and meaning we will not be able to roam over the firing plates?  If so, I suggest residents will not find it acceptable.

6.         Why don’t you understand all we want is to be able to walk again through the avenues of beech and sweet chestnut trees grown in Queen Victoria’s reign for us as well as the military – and we are prepared to push hard for this?