Interim Management Committee Meeting – 17th June at 2pm

The next Interim Management Committee (IMC) meeting will take place via teleconference, as part of the Council’s response to COVID-19, on the 17th June at 2pm. The agenda and papers will be available in the Interim Committee section of the website.

If anyone has any comments to make please email them to clerk@melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk by 12 noon on 17th June.

Members of the public are invited to listen to the meeting by phone:

  • Dial 0 33 33 66 11 11
  • Enter Conference Code 296983  followed by #
  • Enter the PIN: 2969 followed by #

If any member of the public wishes to make a comment during the meeting, in response to what is being discussed, please email finance@melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk

Melton Messenger – A Note from Alan – June 2020

Playpark Maintenance
As the playpark has been closed due to the restrictions, we have taken the opportunity to give some of the equipment a fresh coat of paint and it looks really great now.

Play park equipment

Painted play equipment

Transport Safety & Social Distancing
Suffolk County Council has received a few queries from Parish Councils and individuals about the possibility of increased provision of safe space for walking and cycling during the current Covid-19 crisis. As we return to a ‘new normal’, our transport strategy will support people to make journeys by foot, bike or public transport while continuing to observe social distancing.

The Government has very recently provided guidance in relation to funding for emergency walking and cycling measures. Following the success of the temporary road closure to vehicles along Ipswich Waterfront, Suffolk County Council is already making plans to change road layouts and put in measures to give more space to cyclists and pedestrians. This will include closing off sections of roads to motorised vehicles, widening existing footpaths and cycle lanes, providing temporary footpaths and cycle lanes and changing traffic signal timings to reduce waiting times for pedestrians and cyclists. I am yet sure how this will affect Melton but it will certainly affect us as we travel around Suffolk and eventually as we travel further afield.

Local History Recorders documenting the Covid-19 pandemic
Our Local History Recorders; Mary Burgess and Claire McBurney, have been asked to document information about their locality during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Melton old village is always very friendly but exchanges now often include offers of help and the wish that everyone should “stay safe”. Once the lockdown started, residents quickly began to reclaim the streets. Although families are sometimes seen cycling through Melton village, the children are usually confident, competent riders. Now younger, less experienced riders are out cycling with adults as the village streets are almost traffic free. There are a lot of people walking, sometimes with backpacks for shopping. The local footpaths are much busier than usual, mainly with walkers. At first, families tried cycling along the footpaths and taking children in pushchairs but this proved very difficult. There is a hopscotch court chalked on the pavement in The Street.

McColls put social distancing measures in place very quickly and remained open. There is often a short queue outside the shop but any boredom is alleviated by the opportunity to watch the sparrows that nest under the tiles flying back and forth with their beaks full of nesting materials and insects to feed the young. The swifts returned increasing the bird watching opportunities. Our other local businesses, such as the podiatrists and hairdressers have, sadly, needed to close for the time being. The Little Free Pantry closed temporarily but has recently reopened. Also the fish and chip shop has just reopened with a well-planned strategy (pre-ordering) and social distancing markings.

One very significant difference is the marked improvement in air quality. This is often the subject of brief, appropriately socially distanced exchanges in the streets. People are feeling better and enjoying the smell of blossom and spring flowers.

Many houses have “Rainbow” tributes to show appreciation of NHS and key workers. The Thursday clapping for everyone helping during the pandemic is enthusiastically observed. Quite a few musical instruments have been heard playing tunes like Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

Many residents have benefited from the work of the GNS volunteers. Let’s hope some of the positive bits of this crisis stays with us after it is over, this won’t happen on its own, we will have to work at it.

Meetings during the Pandemic
An Interim Management Committee has been meeting monthly by telephone conference call. This is a good method as you don’t suffer the issues with speech lost due to internet data packet buffering. We have tried Zoom meetings but not all of us have Broadband speeds that allow it to work. Our meeting on the 27th May will allow members of the public to listen in to the discussion. Full details are posted on the website. We have had no security problems but Woodbridge Town Council had an intrusion of a graphic of a sexual nature. This caused a deal of embarrassment, this is what can happen when you use remote access technology as a means of public participation.

Melton Trust helps out
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Melton Trust very much for their speedy response to an appeal for a grant for one of our parishioner’s referred to the Melton Good Neighbour Scheme. The resident was suddenly unemployed due to the Covid-19 lockdown and is having to wait 5 weeks for universal credit to be paid. The Melton Good Neighbours Scheme arranged for a food parcel to be delivered by the Salvation Army food bank and to provide a ready cooked meal.

The Melton Good Neighbours Scheme was able to help to fill out an application form for a grant to help through this period before the universal credit starts and within 24 hours had provided a grant for the individual to pay for essential bills and personal needs.

It goes to show that there is help from the Melton Trust, MPC, Melton Good Neighbour Scheme, ESC and Community Action Suffolk for our more needy folks in the Melton Community.

Gatherings in the park
I have been asked to remind people that large gatherings shouldn’t be taking place in the park, please not to have BBQs and clear up after afterwards etc. There seems to be a minority that don’t follow the social distancing rules no matter what we say. No doubt the offenders don’t read the Melton Messenger online so this is probably a waste of time ranting about it. Recently there was a lot rubbish left and spilt BBQ coals had burned the grass. It is such a shame. Despite this; our new green space contractor is doing a great job and the park looks better than ever this year.

Tennis courts
The tennis courts are open once more following the guidance from the government. Keys are disinfected by the Spar staff between uses. There is a possibility that a tennis trainer may block book the courts for a couple of hours on weekdays. I don’t think this will upset regular users who play later on in the day. Also the Spar will be closing at its regular time of 9pm so tennis can be played a bit longer in these lighter evenings.

MPC activities
The main focus of our recent meetings has been to ensure that our finances, budgets and documentation are all sorted ready for our annual audits. This is something that I am very proud of at MPC as we have improved our financial management by leaps and bounds over the years I have been a Councillor.

The main concern at the moment for us all is that if we drop our guard then the virus could peak once more. Stay safe!

Cllr Alan Porter
Chairman – Melton Parish Council

Extra support now available for small businesses

East Suffolk Council is now processing the discretionary business grants for local businesses provided by the Government in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

On 2nd May 2020, the Government announced that extra funding would be made available to local authorities to enable them to support small businesses outside the scope of the existing business grant fund scheme.

East Suffolk Council has been allocated £3,866,250 to fund the discretionary business support grants, and eligible businesses can now apply for grants of up to £10,000. Due to the limited funding available and the need to assist as many businesses as possible, the Council will not be paying grants above £10,000 initially, however, this may be reviewed as the scheme progresses.

The Council has identified six areas as priorities at this stage, aimed at businesses which were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, in line with the Government’s requirements. These are:

  • Businesses in shared spaces, such as within larger businesses units, office parks or incubation units, where their lettable space would have the equivalent of a rateable value of less than £15,000
  • Permanent market traders on a market in the East Suffolk area
  • Charities that were previously ineligible for support under the Small Business Grant Fund because they receive mandatory charity relief, rather than Small Business Rate Relief, and were not eligible for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Scheme, but have premises with a rateable value of less than £15,000
  • B&Bs which pay Council Tax instead of business rates
  • Businesses that have significant premises costs and which are crucial to the local and regional economy
  • Additional small and micro businesses with fixed costs

Eligible businesses must have less than 50 employees, have been trading on 11 March 2020, and be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop in income as a result of the COVID-19 restriction measures.

Cllr Craig Rivett, East Suffolk’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “We know it has been exceptionally tough for those businesses which have been ineligible for any grants or funding so far.

“While this money is very welcome, it is limited, and we know it will be a lifeline for many small businesses. Therefore, we have taken the decision to cap grants at £10,000 initially to ensure we are able to help as many businesses as possible. This may be reviewed as the scheme progresses, but right now our main priority is to get this much needed financial help to our small businesses as fast as possible.”

The online form and full details about how to apply with full eligibility criteria can be found at: https://www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/business/covid-19-business-grant-funding/

Further information on other support packages available can be found at East Suffolk Means Business

Best regards

Tennis Courts to re-open at Melton Playing Field

Following the latest Government advice, the tennis courts are available for hire from the 13th May 2020.

You can play tennis with members of your household, or one other person while staying 2 metres apart.

To book these tennis courts please go to the John Grose garage/Spar on Melton Road. Keys will be disinfected between bookings but other surfaces at the tennis courts will not be, including the gates. Please remember to wash your hands/use hand sanitiser frequently.

At all times, you should continue to observe social distancing guidelines when you are outside your home, including ensuring you are 2 metres away from anyone outside your household.

The play equipment/play park remain closed until further notice.

Green Bin Collections Restarting – collection day could be different

Message from East Suffolk Council:

Following the suspension of the Garden Waste Service, due to the impact of COVID-19, we are now pleased to confirm that the service will resume on Bank Holiday Monday 25 May.

All collections will then be made during the subsequent fortnight, including – where required – on a Saturday. We would like to apologise for the inconvenience which the suspension has caused. We hope you can understand that this has been a difficult time for us all with the safety of our customers, our crews and their families always being of paramount importance.

The garden waste web page is now available for renewals and new subscriptions. All existing subscriptions have been extended by four collections. This takes into account those collections which were missed because of the initial suspension on 27 March 2020.

Your collection day may now change and details of your new timetable, will be placed on the website shortly and should be finalised no later than 5pm on Tuesday 12 May: http://apps.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/pages/bins/collectiondays.aspx

Replacement stickers will not be required for your bin. The crews have been informed that all valid household subscriptions have been extended by four collections; they also have access to “in Cab” collection technology within the freighters. Renewal invitations will be sent as before and, if renewed, a new bin sticker will then be issued.

If you have received a renewal invite prior to the suspension of service and have not yet renewed your subscription then please use the link below: https://www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/waste/waste-collection-and-disposal/garden-waste/

For more information please read our frequently asked questions, using the link below: https://www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/assets/Waste/Green-waste/Garden-waste-FAQs.pdf

This will enable you to determine your new subscription renewal date, or you can go to our website at www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk.

Green Bin Collections Suspended

As of 27 March 2020, East Suffolk Council has temporarily suspended the collection of green bins, until further notice.  This is in response to the COVID-19 emergency and aims to protect crew safety and prioritise household waste and recycling collections.  The advice from East Suffolk Council is:

All current green bin subscriptions will be extended, once the service resumes, to reflect the period of time that collections were missed within your subscription period.

There is also concern about the risk of increased fly-tipping. If you see any, please report it: https://www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/waste/fly-tipping/how-to-report-fly-tipping/

Payment of grants for local businesses

East Suffolk Council is now processing the payment of grants for local businesses provided by the government in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Eligible businesses are being asked to complete a straightforward online form which will capture the data required by central government and allow the Council to make payment to each eligible business as soon as possible.  As part of this process, and to ensure as many businesses as possible are aware of the funding available to them, East Suffolk Council is also writing to over 7,000 businesses who may be eligible for the grants – the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund. The Council will also promote the scheme through the media and online channels.

The online form and full details about how to apply with full eligibility criteria can be found at: https://www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/covid-19-business-grant-funding.

The first fund offers a grant of £10,000, announced by the Government to support small businesses (which receive small business rate relief or rural rate relief). The second is a grant of either £10,000 or £25,000 depending on rateable value, for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

Once each business has completed the online form, they will receive an automated email to confirm receipt of the form. The Council will then undertake verification checks and make payment of the grant as soon as possible. Once payment has been submitted to the business an automated email will be sent to confirm payment has been made.

Cllr Craig Rivett, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Tourism, said: “We are in unprecedented times and this funding is a lifeline for many local businesses. We have a responsibility to ensure they can access it as quickly as possible and by setting up a clear and straightforward online form, the application process will be as smooth as possible. We hope to encourage everyone who is eligible to apply and get the funding they deserve.”

Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or over are not eligible for this scheme. Additionally, businesses which are not ratepayers in the business rates system are not included in this scheme.

Home, but not alone

A new Suffolk-focused community service has been set up to support people who need help during the COVID-19 pandemic. The telephone line is for those in need who can seek information on support with care needs, loneliness and to connect with community support. Please note it is not a general information line for COVID-19 queries.

Home, but not alone – 0800 876 6926

Melton Good Neighbour Scheme – Collecting Prescriptions

The Melton Good Neighbour Scheme is collecting prescriptions from the pharmacies in Woodbridge and delivering them to your door. Please think about using this service rather than collecting your own prescriptions. The queues are very long and by using this service you will reduce your risk of exposure and help the staff at the pharmacies.
You can email meltongns@gmail.com or call 0333 3355366. If there is no answer leave a message and one of the team will get back to you.