Melton Messenger – A Note from Alan – October 2020

John Hargreaves receiving his award

John Hargreaves receiving his award

Melton Award
I was hoping to present the 2020 Melton Award at the Annual Parish meeting in April but of course the pandemic put paid to that.  This year the winner is John Hargreaves for all the work he does for Melton by helping out at the Burness Parish Rooms, the church, the fete and gardening around the village sign. I was hoping to give the award to John in person, but it seems that 6 months have passed and we are if anything further away from public meetings for large groups.  I popped over to give John his award in early September.

Visitors at Zoom Council meetings
I got a nice email from one local resident how said that it was really easy to join the Recreation Committee Zoom meeting on 9th September via the link on the MPC website, as a member of the public. She said “It was a real eye opener for me to see how the Council works and how much care is taken by the Councillors – thank you.  Provision of sports and play facilities are considered really carefully and environmental responsibilities taken very seriously. I didn’t realise that Woodbridge Youth Football Club use the playing field regularly but I also didn’t know that Melton has a thriving cricket club playing at St Audrys Club – this came from our District Councillor’s newsletter. Onwards and upwards Melton!”

Tree planting
Our tree warden is continuing to plant trees and will be putting some more in during the autumn months. Next year we intend to seek local volunteers to water them. We will be putting a list of the locations in a future Melton Messenger so watch this space.

Councillor resignations & vacancies
This month we have had 2 resignations from the Council.  Firstly Cllr Phil Groom has resigned for personal reasons.  Phil has been a very active Councillor and it was great to have someone from Longwood Fields (Woods Lane) on MPC.

Secondly Cllr Buffy Barrington has also resigned after 12 years on the Council.  Buffy was Chair of the Planning & Transport Committee for many years and she was the driving force behind the Neighbourhood Plan.  She has been beavering away working on the refresh to the plan which has to be done every couple of years.  Melton owes Buffy a great deal of gratitude for without her we would not have a Neighbourhood Plan.

Also Liz Ashford, who was a member of the public on the Recreation Committee, has also resigned due to personal commitments.

We are lucky that already I have a volunteer wishing to join. If you would like to join the Council then please contact me or the Clerk. We have a lot of projects on the go and despite the current restrictions we are still getting things done.

Village Sign 2012 Roundel
The 2012 commemorative roundel on the village sign is away for repair after the recent vandalism.  It is being made stronger in attempt to thwart future attacks.

Anti-social behaviour
We attend meetings of the local Safer Neighbourhood Team to represent Melton. We are fortunate that incidence is low but it’s not zero.

Reporting anti-social behaviour is important so that the Police can build up a picture of any problems in an area. You should dial 999 when life is threatened, or people are injured or there is a crime in progress and an immediate Police response is necessary.

Call 101, report online https://www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us/report-something  or contact your local Safer Neighbourhood Team if the offence has happened and the offender is no longer present.  You can email them at woodbridge.snt@suffolk.pnn.police.uk and find out more information at their website https://www.suffolk.police.uk/your-area/woodbridge

New Pavilion
We are in the process of drawing up plans to replace the Pavilion. A local architect has been appointed and once things are firming up the public will be consulted.  A central part of the project is the provision of toilet facilities.  The toilet will be accessible from the outside, probably only open during daylight hours, and there may be a charge for its use, potentially tap & pay with a phone or a card.  It is a critical balance between providing facilities but preventing anti-social behaviour and vandalism.

Neighbourhood Plan update
We are currently working on some minor revisions to the Neighbourhood Plan and we had some great feedback from our first Public Open Days at the beginning of February.  Despite setbacks due to Covid-19, we will do our next round of consultation with the local community on the proposed changes, drawn from the feedback we received.  You can see what that feedback is by looking at the 2020 Refresh page on the Melton NP website: https://www.meltonneighbourhoodplan.co.uk/

We obviously can’t have any more Open Days right now, but volunteers with the Melton Good Neighbour Scheme have kindly offered to deliver leaflets to every household in Melton.  When you receive this in the next month there will be opportunities for online responses to this via a survey, as well as sending your comments through on email or by letter.  In these social distancing times I think we are hoping for mainly online responses – but in whatever way you can, please look out for the leaflet and give your support by giving feedback as requested.

Well what with the Covid-19 restrictions it becomes increasingly difficult to come up with new things to write about in this column.  If you have anything you would like me to write about then please drop me an email.

The Melton Messenger will continue as an online publication for the foreseeable future so please let your friends know that they can read it online.

Premises Licence Application by HMS Vale

Name of Applicant:     Deben Bar Ltd 

Name of Premises:      HMS Vale

Postal Address of Premises:  Melton Boatyard, Dock Lane, Melton, Woodbridge IP12 1PE

During the current Covid-19 period while the council offices are closed to the public, the full application can be viewed by emailing: Licensing@eastsuffolk.gov.uk.

Proposed Licensable Activities:

Sale of alcohol (on and off-sales)

Sun to Thurs 11:00 to 23:00, Fri and Sat 11:00 to 00:00

Opening hours: Sun to Thurs 08:00 to 23:00, Fri and Sat 08:00 to 00:00

Dates between which representations may be made to the Licensing Authority:

Start Date:          28 August 2020

Closing Date:      24 September 2020

Representations must be made in writing to the Licensing Team, East Suffolk Council (as the Licensing Authority) or by e-mail to licensing@eastsuffolk.gov.uk

Licensing Team, East Suffolk Council, Riverside, 4 Canning Road, Lowestoft, NR33 0EQ

It is an offence knowingly or recklessly to make a false statement in connection with an application and the maximum fine for which a person is liable on summary conviction for the offence is £5000.

Parish Councillor Vacancy

Notice is hereby given that due to the resignation of Councillor Philip Groom, a vacancy has arisen in the Office of Councillor for the Parish Council.

1.A by-election to fill the vacancy will be held if ten electors for the parish give notice in writing claiming such an election to the Returning Officer not later than

1 October 2020

Where ten valid requests for a by-election are received then under the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 and The Local Government and Police and Crime Commissioner (Coronavirus) (Postponement of Elections and Referendums) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 the by-election will not currently take place, and the vacancy will be held open until the by-election takes place. The 2020 regulations provide for the by-election to take place on the date for the Ordinary Election of Councillors due to be held on Thursday 6 May 2021. However, this date may be brought forward or deferred by the Government depending upon the circumstances. Any Election that is in due course called will be duly publicised as required by law.

2.The Addresses of the Returning Officer are:

First Floor
2 Canning Road
Lowestoft
NR33 0EQ

Council Offices
East Suffolk House
Station Road
Melton
Woodbridge
IP12 1RT

3. If no such notice is given the Parish council will fill the vacancy by co-option.

If anyone is interested in joining the Parish Council please contact the Clerk by email or phoning the office on 01394 382 224.

The Melton Trust – help for those in need

The Melton Trust was created from bequests by Richard Cook in 1539, Richard Halifax in 1699 and a gentleman named Histed (date unknown). It was established as a charity in 1897 as the Poor’s Estate Charity and funding incorporated a bequest from James Alexander Burness who also funded the Burness Rooms. It was renamed The Melton Trust in May 1991.

The Trust’s funds provide an income to be used “in relieving persons resident in the Parish of Melton who are in conditions of need hardship or distress”. The Trust is classed as a charity for “relief in need” and try to be as flexible as possible.

The kind of requests that can be supported include:

• Payment of utility bills

• Travelling expenses

• Furniture and house decoration

• Specialist equipment for the disabled

• Respite care

Each case is taken on its own merits and the Trust may fund all or part of a request. There are some restrictions:

• You must be a resident of Melton

• It cannot replace state support – all available benefits must have been claimed

• It cannot commit to ongoing support

If you would like to apply for a grant please complete the Melton Trust Application Form and return it to The Melton Trust, c/o Melton Parish Council, 17 Riduna Park. Station Road, Melton, Woodbridge, IP12 1QT

TV Licence for over 75s

If you are over 75 years of age, you may have received a letter in the post recently about buying a TV Licence. After 31st July, TV licences will no longer be free for the over 75s. There is a helpful article available on the Eastern Daily Press website about the change, what to expect and how to obtain a free licence (only possible if you are able to claim Pension Credit).

This applies even if you don’t have a TV but watch things on BBC iPlayer from a computer, tablet or mobile phone.

More information is available on the official UK TV Licensing website www.tvlicensing.co.uk or by telephoning 0800 232 1382.

Please be cautious of the potential for scam calls and emails on the subject. Scammers will certainly see this as an opportunity to trick many over 75s, so do not respond to any telephone calls or emails on the subject. If seeking information, make sure you only use the details provided above. Any genuine letter you receive in the post will provide the same details.

Dog Thefts – Update from Suffolk Police

Suffolk Constabulary is conscious of dog owners naturally being concerned following four separate dog theft incidents. Owners should be reassured that enquiries are ongoing to locate the offenders. The loss of any pet can be devastating and we advise all owners to be vigilant and take extra care surrounding crime prevention measures. In particular, we would advise working dog owners and breeders to review security of any outdoor kennels.

It is also important you know the law and what to look out for when purchasing a pet and in particular a puppy. For more information please visit the RSPCA website.

These incidents are happening in daylight. If dog owners, breeders or kennel owners receive unexpected visitors that cause suspicion, officers would be grateful if descriptions, footage or images of the individuals and/or their vehicles could be reported.

Anyone with information, including on any previous incidents, is asked to contact police by calling 101 or by reporting online at https://www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us/report-something

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their online form: www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

Melton Messenger – A Note from Alan – July 2020

Tennis Court Vandalism
At the end of May we suffered a spate of vandalism on the tennis courts; the wire was cut in several places allowing people to gain access without a key. Maybe this was to play for free or to retrieve balls sent over from the other court. This has been a problem over the years but never at the current level. We have to buy rolls of wire netting and patch up the holes as best as we can.

Tennis court fence vandalism

Tennis court vandalism

In the future we are going to erect CCTV and therefore we may get some footage of any acts of vandalism. It is a shame we have to invest money in this way but we have to ensure the safety & integrity of the assets in the park. There has also been some anti-social behaviour in the evenings and reports of drug dealing which hopefully CCTV will deter.

Recreation Ground Gate
In recent weeks, we have been locking the recreation grounds car park gates at 8pm because we were having problems with people BBQing and having large social gatherings in the park and car park causing problems for local residents. We don’t want to be party poopers, but given the continuing need to social distance and the increased risk of fire because of the very dry grass at the moment, we felt it necessary. The side gates to the park remain open for walkers.

Woodbridge Swifts
To help with the decline in the population of swifts, Woodbridge Swifts are recording swift nests in Woodbridge, Melton and Bromeswell. If you have a swift nesting in a box or in your roof, they would like you to contact them at woodbridge.swifts@gmail.com. They also have nest boxes and CDs of swift callings for sale for those who might like to encourage the swifts to nest near you.

Planning Applications
At the moment we are confronted with three extensive planning applications which if they went ahead would have a very significant impact on Melton.

1. DC/20/1521/FUL
PROPOSAL: Care Village comprising an 80 bedroom care home together with 75 assisted care bungalows, cafe/club house, Bowling Green, car parking, open space provision with associated infrastructure and access. This is just off Yarmouth Road Melton IP12 1QH. MPC’s contention is that the access available for pedestrians etc. between the proposed site of the Care Village and amenities/transport links in Melton are inadequate, and made even more so by requirements for social distancing. We are opposing this application. SCC Highways are also in opposition.

2. DC/20/1831/OUT
Outline Application with Some Matters Reserved – Residential development of up to 55 dwellings, with access off St Andrew’s Place. This is the part of the land that forms a central part of our Neighbourhood Plan but does not cover the land owned by the Carter family. Not having direct access to Wilford Bridge Road would be a major problem. St Andrew’s Place is already highly congested and unsuitable for access. We at MPC are opposing the application with its proposed access via St Andrew’s.

3. DC/20/1636/OUT
Outline Application for up to 27 Self Build and Custom dwellings. Land West of Prow 21 Woods Lane Melton. This would just add more traffic pressure to an already very busy Woods Lane. There is already a lack of doctors, dentists and school places etc. We are opposing this application.

We just seem to becoming a bit of a target at the moment but rest assured that MPC are trying to represent the interests of current as well as future residents.

Melton Primary School during the lockdown
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Melton Primary School has remained open for vulnerable children and those whose parents are key workers. The Senior Leadership Team (SLT) put in a huge amount of planning to allow Reception and Years 1 and 6 to return as safely as possible in early June. This involved ensuring that the children could spend their time in bubbles of less than ten children, each with their own equipment. Each bubble has its own class room and outside space. You may have noticed that the playing field has been divided up with green fencing. At the moment, there are 6 bubbles; one each for Reception and Year 1 and two each for Year 6 and the vulnerable and key workers’ children. Currently, there are about forty children attending the school and all of the staff are working except those that are shielding. Days are very regulated with start times staggered and the three entrances carefully allocated and there are routines for hand-washing throughout the day. Plans are in place for frequent cleaning and there are procedures if anyone becomes sick. Other year groups and those children who have not returned to school continue to receive home learning guidance. The SLT and governors now have to put their minds to what might happen in September. In the meantime, we all hope that the children and staff stay safe and well and send everyone at the school our best wishes and thanks for their hard work for our community.

Full list of 148 priority cycle schemes unveiled for Suffolk
An article in the EADT stated that nearly 150 routes across Suffolk have been eyed as priorities for cycle improvements over the next five years, costing well in excess of £80 million. It came from work undertaken by a cross-party task force at Suffolk County Council on improving cycling routes, with a full list of 148 priority routes for the next five years. There is only one that would affect us in Melton and that is rather annoyingly under a Woodbridge heading. This is the route along the River Deben Path from Melton Station to Kyson point.

The riverside route has already caused a bit of friction between walkers & cyclists and a few altercations have been reported recently. Cyclists and walkers should get on with each other, after all they are often the same people. During the lockdown I have seen both joggers and cyclists who think they have the right of way and would stop for nothing, they seem to think they are exempt from social distancing.

I do worry about the research into these sort of ideas, why end it at Kyson point? Surely extending it so it emerges into the Martlesham end of Sandy Lane would be the thing to do. That way we would have a route that avoids the Sandy Lane hill which is quite a steep ride after a day at work and I speak from experience. We will see what happens if the past is an indicator then probably nothing will happen for a long time.
The full article is at https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/suffolk-five-year-cycling-plan-unveiled-1-6692734

Pardon the weeds
Suffolk Norse are responsible for maintaining the grassy areas owned by East Suffolk Council. Since lockdown, they have only cut areas that presented a health and safety issue, making sure that road junctions were cut to ensure visibility and access to residents’ properties. Now that restrictions have started to ease and with some significant growth of grass, they have taken the opportunity to manage some areas of open space differently with a focus on biodiversity. This is particularly the case in those areas where longer grass is beneficial to wildlife; they have seen some areas that have become havens for invertebrates and pollinators, and would like to preserve these where possible.

They have identified 41 ‘conservation areas’, where they will aim to manage the land differently, and not cut until the end of the season. These include the verges in the area from the A12 down Woods Lane/Bredfield Road and at Bury Hill. These areas have been chosen on the basis that this change is likely to be uncontroversial for local residents, that it presents no safety issues, and that the space is at a scale that will provide an environmental benefit to wildlife.

The trial of managing grass more sustainably in certain churchyards has also been well received and they will move to do this permanently.

They are asking if we, the community, could monitor these areas, removing litter and making sure invasive plant species do not dominate the grasslands.

Some of the land that is being transferred from East Suffolk Council to Melton Parish Council could be treated in the same way.

They are providing the logo below which will help identify the areas and let people know why the grass is being allowed to grow, so look out for it.

Pardon the weeds logo

Pardon the weeds logo

MPC Councillor Vacancy
Following the resignation of one of our councillors we now have a vacancy for a councillor at MPC. Please consider joining us and let us know by emailing myself or the clerk – clerk@melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk. We are now able to co-opt a volunteer as from 16th June.

St Audrys Social Club
The club has now been declared an asset of community value. Good news, let’s hope for a good outcome.

So I shall sign off with the words as predicted in the video clip of Michael McIntyre sees a fortune teller in June 2019. A fellow councillor said “The video cheered me up no end!” It could cheer you up too.

Stay Safe!

Alan Porter

Chairman – Melton Parish Council

Foul Odour at the Knacker’s Yard, Valley Farm Road

It has been brought to the Parish Council’s attention that a number of Melton residents have recently had reason to complaint to East Suffolk Council about an increase in foul smells from the Knackers Yard on Valley Farm Road. If you are affected by foul odour please report it to East Suffolk Council so that the Environmental Protection team can investigate. If they do not receive complaints they will be unaware of the problem and will not take any action. You can contact the Environmental Protection team by telephoning: 0333 016 2000 or email: ep@eastsuffolk.gov.uk

Reporting Anti-Social Behaviour

Suffolk Constabulary have commenced the Summer Operation to tackle Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) and criminality in parks and open spaces in your area.

Operation Lolworth is a local Policing initiative whereby Officers patrol “hot spot” areas that are most affected by ASB and crime. These patrols will prevent, detect and deter crime and anti-social behaviour, secure and preserve evidence and bring offenders to justice.

Officers will be actively engaging with members of the public to reassure residents and reduce the fear of crime and ASB.

You can assist your local Policing Team by reporting non-urgent incidents to Police via phone on Tel 101 or online via https://www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us/report-something. In an emergency always dial 999.

It is important to report incidents to Police via the above channels as each call is risk assessed and given the appropriate response. Please call Police before reporting incidents on public forums on social media.

You can report anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111

Melton Playing Field Play Park and Play Equipment

The play park and play equipment at Melton Playing Fields will be open by Friday 17th July 2020.

PLEASE NOTE THE EQUIPMENT IS NOT REGULARLY CLEANED, AND ACCESS IS NOT MANAGED IN ANY WAY

Scientific advice suggests that the COVID-19 virus can survive for up to several days on some hard surfaces. The risks are reduced when outdoors, where surfaces may be subject to UV light and/or rain. Whilst all possible practical measures have been put in place the user of this equipment does so at their own choice and risk. Users of this equipment are expected to exercise care and comply with the official Government guidance for protecting themselves and others from COVID-19 at all times.

Therefore, we strongly recommend all users follow these guidelines to help protect everyone from Covid-19:

  • Encourage everyone in your group to sanitise their hands at frequent intervals and, as a minimum, before and after using the playground. Wash your hands when you get home. Encourage children not to touch their face.
  • Please maintain social distancing from other users – 2 metres where possible
  • If you or any member of your household has coronavirus symptoms, or have been advised to self-isolate, go home and do not use this equipment
  • This equipment is checked regularly for damage, wear and tear, but will not be cleaned regularly. You may wish to sanitise the equipment before your child uses it.
  • The maximum number of persons in the fenced off play area is 20 at a time
  • Only 1 adult to accompany their children in the play area
  • Please adhere to number of users per piece of play equipment
  • Do not consume food or drink within the play area
  • Please use bins provided or take litter home

As Government guidance changes, or if there is a renewal of restrictions, then the Council will amend these instructions as appropriate.