Government “must not turn it’s back on “public safety risk” at weapons range

PUBLIC safty could be at risk after news broke yesterday that the Goverment were removing service personel from the bomb strewn site at Braid Fell, near Cairnryan.

Local MP and Shadow Defence Minister Russell Brown is calling for urgent clarification from the Ministry of Defence about the position of the former World War 2 air weapons range.

The MP has previously accused the Government of “walking away from a clear public safety risk” when they announced plans to withdraw service personal from the site last year. The date for the withdrawal has been pushed back twice but the four service personal from the RAF’s 5131 (Bomb Disposal) Squadron permanently based at the site are now due to leave at the end of March.

This is despite the fact that the MOD revealed in a letter to Russell Brown last year that over the previous 12 months 828 targets were removed from the Braid Fell site, including 110 unexploded weapons.

Russell Brown said:“I have serious concerns about the Government’s decision to withdraw service personal from this former weapons range. I had hoped they would use the delay to review and overturn this decision and it is deeply disappointing that they haven’t.

“The MOD revealed at the end of last year that over the previous 12 months they’ve found 828 targets, including 110 unexploded weapons. That means that on average, two unexploded devices are found each week on this open land, which is popular with walkers and cyclists. To me, this is a clear public safety risk and the Government must not turn its back on Braid Fell.

“I am seeking urgent clarification from the Ministry of Defence about what they intend to do with the site once permanent service personal are removed. I want clearer information about how they plan to keep public off the land and how they will deal with any emergencies.”