Reporting Anti-Social Behaviour

East Suffolk Council and police work together with other services to stop anti-social behaviour in your area. If anti-social behaviour is affecting your quality of life – REPORT IT!

You can report anti-social behaviour online https://www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us/report-something

https://www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/community/anti-social-behaviour/

Or calling Suffolk Police on 101 or in an emergency 999

www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/crime-prevention-z

Melton Messenger – A Note from Alan – April 2021

Sizewell C (SZC)

The Examining Authority’s (ExA) Preliminary Meeting for its “examination in public” of EDF’s planning application for SZC is scheduled for 23 March 2021.  A second Preliminary Meeting, if required, is scheduled for 14 April 2021.

The purpose of the Preliminary Meeting is to enable views to be put to the ExA about the way in which the application is to be examined.  The Preliminary Meeting is not an opportunity for Interested Parties to put forward their views about what they like or don’t like about the application. The merits or concerns about the application will only be considered once the Examination starts, which is after the Preliminary Meeting has closed.

The ExA is under a duty to complete the Examination of the application by the end of the period of 6 months beginning with the day after the close of the Preliminary Meeting (Thursday 14 October 2021).

A recommendation by the ExA to the Secretary of State will be issued within 3 months of the examination closing. The Secretary of State then has a further 3 months to issue a decision on the proposal.

Up-to-date information about the project and the Examination can be obtained from the project page on the National Infrastructure Planning website (NI website) from which copies of all Examination Documents can be accessed by the public:

https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/eastern/the-sizewell[1]c-project/?ipcsection=overview

Parish Council Website
We will be updating the website in the next few months. The new layout will improve accessibility and functionality. Hopefully it will be easy to navigate and find the information you need.

Support for Local Food Project
The Finance Committee (FERM) agreed financial support up to a maximum of £350 towards the costs of printing leaflets for distribution in Melton.

Signage for divested parcels of land
FERM agreed to:

  • Place signs on the more significant areas of land only e.g. the woodland adjacent to Burkes Wood, Hall Farm Road etc.
  • Ask the Council’s arboriculturalist for advice as to where signs might most usefully be placed
  • Put a map of all the Council’s land holdings on the website

Speed Indicator Device (SID)
The SID is currently located on Woods Lane and is working well and, from personal observation, it does encourage drivers to obey the 30mph speed limit on that road.  However due to traffic volumes we have decided to purchase a second SID with a solar panel which will be sited at Woods Lane and use the existing one for the other five sites we have in Melton.

Tennis Court Fencing
The tennis court fencing was replaced at the end of March. As a result, we had to temporarily close the car park from the 23rd to 30th March.

We have been wanting to do this for a long time as it has become quite tatty and numerous holes have been cut in it by various nefarious individuals.  The new fencing is much tougher and will look great.  The tennis courts have been very popular over the last year and it’s great to reinvest in this well used facility.

Burness Parish Rooms
Thanks to Colin Birkbeck, the Burness Parish Rooms have been made Covid-19 compliant with the necessary hand sanitizers and a one way system in place for entering and leaving. It has also had a new boiler installed and with the adjustments made to make it Covid-19 compliant, it is looking forward to greeting its usual customers once again when the rules allowed.

Playing Field Car Park
The car park is well used but the surface is in poor condition, it has been in need of resurfacing for many years.  We are taking the opportunity to square off the corners to get a few extra spaces without losing play space.  There will be a disabled designated parking space and the spaces will be properly marked out.  We are hoping the work can start soon.

Oak tree protected with rope ring

The Old Oak Tree
Our tree warden, Martin Wilks, and his band of volunteers were at the playing field in Burkes Wood recently. They placed a protective ring around the old oak tree at the entrance to the woods (from the playing field). I think it looks very good and makes the tree look even grander. We’ve had good feedback already.

Community Events
We have two dates for your diary. Firstly on Monday 5th July 2021 it is the NHS Thank You Day and various events are planned in Melton.  Watch this space for more details.

We are also planning on holding the Melton Village fete on Saturday 4th June 2022 which will coincide with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee long weekend – so save the date.

Annual Parish Meeting
This is usually a lovely event where I give a summary of the year and future plans are revealed.  We normally have some guest speakers and a few refreshments.  Of course, this year it will be a Zoom meeting but it will still go ahead on Wednesday 28th April.  The winner of the annual Melton Award will be announced.  Spoiler alert – this year there is more than one winner!

Land Divestment
After months of patiently waiting for the legalities to progress, I am pleased to say that the land divestment has now completed for all 21 pieces of land from East Suffolk Council.  The fact that one piece of land was actually on the land registry as two complicated matters further.  In order to ensure that we know what we have to manage, we have had a tree survey done for all of the land that we now own including existing assets.   We will be producing a schedule of maintenance to ensure public safety and the health of the trees.

 

 

 

Easter weekend holiday health care advice

Please be prepared and know what to do if you or a family member feels unwell over the Easter holiday weekend

– If you use repeat prescription medicine please check you’ll have enough to last over the holiday weekend

– Be prepared by keeping the medicine cabinet essentials at home e.g. paracetamol and sticking plasters

– GP practices will be closed on Good Friday (April 2) and Easter Monday (April 5)

– Some pharmacies will be open over the holiday weekend. See the list of locations and opening times on the NHS website

– If you feel unwell visit the NHS 111 Online symptom checker or call NHS 111 for help and advice, open 24/7

– If you need mental health support contact First Response anytime on 0808 196 3494

And please remember that if you have the symptoms of coronavirus – a high temperature and new continuous cough – you should remain at home and not go to the pharmacy, GP practice or hospital and follow the advice on NHS 111 Online.

Woodbridge Library – March news

Woodbridge Library is open for the return of items and the collection of reserved items on Tuesday-Saturday 10am-4pm. Items can be returned to Woodbridge Library outside opening hours via the book drop box. To contact the library, phone 01394 330855 or send an email to woodbridge.library@suffolklibraries.co.uk

At the time of writing, all overdue charges remain suspended and loan periods have been extended to 6 weeks. You will still receive reminder emails when loans are due to be returned. You can always get the latest information at https://www.suffolklibraries.co.uk/coronavirus

Libraries are open for picking up and returning titles only. You can use two services to get titles:

  • Select & collect
    Simply fill in a form telling us what sort of titles you’re interested in and we will make a bundle of books for you to collect:
    https://www.suffolklibraries.co.uk/select-and-collect
  • Traditional reservation service
    Visit the catalogue to find titles and reserve them for collection. We’ll send an email when your titles are ready to collect.

Libraries will be reopened for browsing, PC access and events as soon as possible. Mobile libraries should be up and running again on 12th April and the home library service will resume on 15th March.

Suffolk Libraries eLibrary (https://www.suffolklibraries.co.uk/elibrary) can be used at any time, and you can also join in with online events (https://www.suffolklibraries.co.uk/live)

Please contact the customer service team if you have any queries. They are available Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, closed bank holidays. Leave a message out of these hours.
help@suffolklibraries.co.uk
01473 351249

ESC Greenprint Forum Event – Nature First

The Greenprint Forum has a vision for an East Suffolk where Nature’s value is recognised, visitors are attracted because of it and everyone actively cares for it.

Join our online Forum to hear about some of the regional and local initiatives to restore and preserve habitats and promote connectivity and how communities can get involved, and share knowledge and inspire others to take grass roots action.

Monday 22 March 2021 from 2-4pm on Zoom

Guest speakers to include:

Michael Strand—Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Alex Moore da Luz—Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB

Dr Adrian Cooper—Felixstowe Community Nature Reserve

Cllr James Mallinder—East Suffolk Council

Register by emailing greenissues@eastsuffolk.gov.uk  – early registration is encouraged.

Melton Messenger – A Note from Alan – March 2021

England Coast Path
Melton Parish Council has submitted a response to the consultation on the Felixstowe to Bawdsey stretch of the England Coast Path, which runs through Melton along the river wall.
Whilst Melton PC supports the improved coastal access represented by this plan, Councillors are concerned about the increasingly heavy use of the coastal path through Melton and the impact on sensitive, designated sites.

Deben Monitoring Post
We have agreed with the Deben Estuary Partnership to site a monitoring post on the river here in Melton. We will take photographs regularly and they will be uploaded to the D.E.P. Facebook page. The team will be able to keep a close eye on how the coastline is changing and whether there is any need for more interventions to protect the saltmarsh, an important habitat.

Quiet Lanes Consultation
You may have noticed the green Quiet Lanes signs on some roads in other local parishes and now Melton has nominated two roads for this scheme. Once a route has been designated as a Quiet Lane, it means that walkers, cyclists and equestrian users take priority over motorised vehicles. The two roads we have selected as suitable are Lodge Farm Lane and St Audrys Lane. Both have been well used by walkers during the recent Lockdowns. Taken together they form an arc between Yarmouth Road and Saddlemakers Lane and connect to several footpaths, making a circular route round the village. The cost of the new signs will be covered by grants available to councils supporting the scheme. All residents are invited to give their feedback by emailing the parish council office by 30th April. We will be delivering leaflets to surrounding houses soon.

Traffic levels in Melton
We have been raising concerns to Suffolk County Council about the volume of traffic in Melton. Despite the pandemic, traffic volumes remain similar to previous years which infers that once the pandemic is over traffic volumes will be even higher. It is a difficult situation compounded by HGV traffic to and from the Bentwaters, the state of the ‘kinked’ level crossing and the addition of the container site near Riduna Park. It appears that the traffic volume around Bentwaters is nearing its maximum permitted capacity. A group of parish councils has got together and is lobbying Suffolk County Council to take some action.

Last year Suffolk County Council instigated a review of lorry routing in Suffolk. This review comprises two parts; the first is a technical review looking at changes to the network for example the capacity of bridges, the location of new residential and business development and a review of all existing weight restrictions in the county; the second part is a community consultation which will commence in June this year. The community review will provide parish and town councils the opportunity to provide evidence of concerns about HGV movements and routing in their area. The team will then consider this alongside the technical review and propose recommendations for changes to the lorry route network and identify any other changes that might be needed to address issues. This county-wide approach is essential, as there is a need to consider the impact of implementing a change in one area/community on those communities that would then take the HGV traffic, to avoid just moving the problem. This will be a very difficult task however, and it is important that the local issues are understood. They say they understand and empathise with the concerns we have relating to HGV traffic in Melton Parish, but it is important that these are considered across a wide area. In advance of the community review they would like to offer a meeting with us to discuss our concerns. So let’s see what happens.

Grants
We advertised as far as we could for applications for small grants.
Two applications were received by the due date and both have been paid
• Melton primary School (contribution of £500 towards the cost of Covid-19 related expenditure of c£5k)
• Patients Participation Group at Framfield House Surgery (contribution of £158.99 to cover 100% cost of a portable ECG machine).

Tennis Court Fencing
The tennis courts are a well-used facility in Melton, but the fencing has been deteriorating over the years and this has been made worse by some miscreants cutting holes in the fencing. We have continually been patching it up but now consider total replacement is the way to go.

Recreation Committee, at its meeting on 6 January 2021, considered quotes for replacing the existing tennis court chain link fencing. Three companies were originally approached to quote for replacing the existing chain link with more robust, vandal resistant panel fencing. Funding is being sought from the PlayPot, which is held by East Suffolk Council.

Recreation Committee considered the quotes and felt that the level of detail and the specification contained in one quote made it the preferred option. The decision has been agreed by East Suffolk Council and will be funded by the PlayPot. The PlayPot funds were put in place before Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) was introduced. So no cost for this project comes from our own funds. This project should be taking place in March and hopefully will be finished in time for when restrictions are lifted and tennis is allowed again.

Melton Road Crossings Consultation
Melton Parish Council has carried out several consultations with Melton residents on how money received from Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) should be spent. The request for road crossings along Melton Road, to enable safer passage across the road and to help reduce speeding, has received much public support. We hope to have two crossing points installed.

Three areas were identified as being natural crossing points: Melton Playing Fields/Melton Produce, The Spar/John Grose Garage and New Quay Lane/Turnpike Lane.

Working closely with Highways, two locations have been suggested that combine a useful crossing point with the least loss of parking spaces along Melton Road. The crossings will be island refuges in the middle of the road. Full details can also be seen here: www.melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk/melton-road-crossings/

If you have any questions or feedback about these proposed crossings please contact the Parish office before the 15th March 2021. Leaflets have been distributed to residences along Melton Road/Melton Hill and adjoining roads.

Pavilion Replacement Project
Following the recent consultation period, here is a summary of the main concerns raised and the answers given.

  • Footprint – the new building will be no bigger than the current footprint.
  • Parish Room – It is not a new Parish room or village hall. It is emphatically not designed for meetings but for informal events linked to and used as an adjunct to outside space.
  • Loss of facilities – The only ‘facility’ that will be lost is changing rooms. However the current ones are not used and nor are they needed. The new Pavilion will bring additional facilities – a public WC that is fully accessible, flexible community space, better storage, better shelter for users of the park and playing fields and the ability to have a pop-up café.
  • Loss of green space – the path will be slightly widened, and the car park squared off which will result in a very small loss of green space.
  • Risk of vandalism – brick and HardiePlank are as vandal resistant as possible but no building is entirely resistant. Roller shutters and CCTV will be installed. We will work with the police to design out crime as far as possible. The externally accessible toilet will be open at set times.
  • Environmental considerations – solar panels, water reuse are being considered.

A big thankyou to all those Melton residents who took the time and trouble to give their feedback. At the Full Council meeting on the 17th February it was decided that the colour scheme for the pavilion will be a mix of grey and red.

Snowy Weather
The bad weather came as a bit of a blow on top of all the other problems we all face, having said that here’s a photo to gladden the heart. Thanks also to the Melton Good Neighbour Scheme who helped clear ice and snow for some residents.

Burkes Wood in the snow

A lovely shot of Burkes Wood

Melton Road Crossings Consultation

Melton Parish Council has carried out several consultations with Melton residents on how money received from Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) should be spent. The request for road crossings along Melton Road, to enable safer passage across the road and to help reduce speeding, has received much public support. We hope to have two crossing points installed.

Details of the two proposed crossings can be found at www.melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk/melton-road-crossings/ 

If you have any questions or feedback about these proposed crossings please contact the Parish office before the 15th March 2021

Have your say and help shape the future of open spaces in East Suffolk

East Suffolk Council is currently carrying out research to help shape the future of open spaces and sports facilities in the District. This includes parks, play areas, allotments, cemeteries, playing pitches (such as football, rugby, cricket, bowls and tennis) and indoor facilities (such as sports halls and swimming pools).

The aim of the consultation is to identify priorities and allocate resources across council-owned and managed open spaces in the future, while at the same time conserving and enhancing them to maximise community benefit.

Find out more at: www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/news/have-your-say-on-open-spaces-in-east-suffolk/

To have your say, complete the survey by Friday 12 February.

Melton Messenger – a Note from Alan – February 2021

Firstly a Happy New Year to all my readers. Clearly, I am reaching a larger audience than just writing in the Melton Messenger now that a slightly shorter version appears in the In Touch with Melton, Rendlesham & Woodbridge magazine. I have received some good feedback from readers and quite a few emails that I have been following up. Thank you for your support and interest. Our most recent Full Council meeting on 13th January was a lively event where many decisions were made and action to implement them will start straight away. We have a reputation for action rather than just a talking shop. Indeed Melton is a great place to live.

Hedge cutting & path clearance
The verge along Melton Road was cleared at the end of November 2020. The footpath had become very narrow as the vegetation from our land was creeping across the pavement making it only usable in single file. The contractors removed the vegetation to the edge of the pavement and I think they did a great job.

The annual hedge cutting at the beginning of December was done by our regular green space contractor. We always wait until long after bird nesting season. They were only able to do the roadside initially as the ground was too wet to take heavy vehicles onto the playing field. The remaining hedge cuts were carried out in January.

New Shield on the Beacon
A new shield has been fitted to the Beacon at the playing field and along with the other roundels looks really splendid.

Recreation Ground Car Park
The resurfacing of the car park and extension of the path to the Pavilion is an adjunct of the Pavilion Project later this year. We intend to mark out the spaces properly. Currently the car park is an odd shape and visitors seem to park in a random manner and the resurfacing is long overdue. I remember it being mentioned when I first became a councillor ten years ago, so now at last we are doing something about it. The car park will become more oblong in shape and will hold 23 cars instead of 18. It will include a disabled parking space and hopefully a bike rack.

CCTV
The CCTV has shown some quite disturbing anti-social behaviour even to the extent where there were shenanigans on Christmas night just before midnight. You would think people would have better places to be. However since we put CCTV in the level of anti-social behaviour is less than it was.

Quiet Lanes Suffolk
This scheme was started as a pilot in 2014/15 with support from Suffolk Highways. A previous Melton Councillor did some work on it and suitable candidates were considered but not pursued. Now there is a new push to build a network of Quiet Lanes, following the successful implementation. There is money going into the scheme and SCC want as many parishes as possible to achieve economies of scale. The idea behind the Quiet Lanes is to designate some of our rural roads as safe routes for pedestrian, cyclist and equestrian usage with signs indicating that these users take priority over motorised vehicles. There would be no change to speed limits, although in the future there may be strategic discussions about lowering the National Speed Limits along all these routes. There are two lanes nominated for this project and they have been accepted by SCC. They are Lodge Farm Lane & St Audry’s Lane, both are popular with local walkers and cyclists, and taken together they form an arc between Yarmouth Road and Saddlemakers Lane. The Footpaths project that the Assistant Clerk is working on links with this project as the proposed route leads to several public footpaths/ bridleways, potentially forming a circular route. There would be 4 signs required along the route. Our East Suffolk District Councillor for Melton, Rachel Smith-Lyte, has offered a grant towards the cost of the signage. There is a mandatory consultation required with local residents and we will arrange this.

The New Pavilion
The new pavilion is in the final phase of public consultation and even appeared in the EADT. We have had mainly positive comments so far so that is good. At last we can move ahead and get something done as the current building is in a very poor state now. This has been made worse by the fact that half of the roof felt blew off last year during a very windy night of stormy weather.

Tennis Court Netting
We are seeking funding from the East Suffolk Council PlayPot to replace the current fencing. It is in a poor state of repair and many patches have been applied where vandals have cut the wire to gain entry. The replacement will be fit for purpose and reflect the importance that we give to this popular facility. We will try and get this done quickly whilst the courts are not able to be used because of the restrictions. PlayPot funds are added to by builders and have now been replaced by the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). We have to use our funds as soon as we can.

Repaired dog poo bin

Doggy bin repair

The doggy bin near Saxon Way had lost its lid so our maintenance officer made up a new lid from scrap parts. Make do and mend is still alive and well in Melton.

Land Transfer from ESC
The 21 parcels of land that are to be divested from East Suffolk Council (ESC) have been mentioned before in previous writings. The process has been delayed due to Covid-19 and the fact that one parcel of land was actually registered as two. The plan was to transfer the land in two phases but it has taken so long that they will be transferred in one fell swoop to quote Shakespeare.

We will be doing a highly detailed tree survey on all the land that we own to ensure public safety and highlight any work that is needed. We knew this had to be done and an increase in our precept will be made this year to help with the costs. Owning these pieces of land means that we can make take good care of them as they are in our back yard. The first major change is to improve the piece of land off The Street opposite McColls and make some car park spaces and some pleasant landscaping.

Speed Indicator Device

Speed Indicator Device (SID)
After spending a while in Yarmouth Road, the SID has been moved to Melton Road. There have been a few teething troubles but we now have two batteries so there is less of a delay in getting it going again when the battery needs to be charged. It does seem to have an effect. We have six locations in Melton where we can move it to.

Budget 2021/22
Our recent Council meeting also approved a budget for 2021/22. After making budget provision for inflation and maintenance on the land transferred, the Council agreed an increase to the precept equivalent to 5 pence per week for an average property. Melton Parish Council’s precept is very low when compared with similar parish & town councils in East Suffolk.

The Melton Trust
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 much loved Burness Rooms.

Readers might remember that I have mentioned the Melton Trust in the past but, in this particularly difficult time, I want to remind everyone about it. The Trust was set up to make grants to residents of Melton “for the relief of need”. Anyone resident who can show they are in need, usually by being in receipt of state benefits, and has a particular need can apply for a grant. The trustees aim to respond quickly and are being as flexible as possible at the moment. Applications forms can found on the council’s website melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk/the-melton-trust-help-for-those-in-need/ or email meltontrust.suffolk@gmail.com

Sizewell C (SZC)
In December’s Melton Messenger, I said that Melton Parish Council would assess EDF’s latest consultation proposals for SZC. This we have now done. EDF’s key proposal was to reduce the transport of bulk material by road by moving it by freight train (at night) and by sea. EDF proposes to run freight trains overnight through Melton and Woodbridge for 11 years from 2023 to 2034, possibly 6 days per week. In the peak years, 2024 to 2028, EDF would run between 7 and 9 overnight train movements.

Even at the proposed speed limit of 10mph through Melton and Woodbridge, the train noise and ground vibration would be very disruptive to residents within sensory distance of the railway, as would the fanfare of barrier alarms as the trains pass the level crossings in both communities.

The Parish Council supports, in principle, the reduced movement of bulk materials by road but believes the movement of bulk material by train should only occur outside the hours of 23:00 to 07:00. Something which EDF has already agreed for Leiston. Our formal response to EDF’s consultation proposal can be viewed here: 201217-SZC-Consultation-Response-V-final.pdf.

The next stage of the SZC planning process, lasting up to 6 months, is the examination of EDF’s proposals by the Planning Inspectorate. The Examination stage will provide an opportunity for the Parish Council to submit further evidence in writing and orally (at virtual meetings). We wish, therefore, to compile evidence of local residents’ views on EDF’s plan to run freight trains at night through Melton and Woodbridge. Please email us at: cllr.banks@melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk

The Fete
One topic I must mention is the fate of the fete. With so much uncertainty, even with a vaccine, it seems highly unlikely we will be able to commit to going ahead with any plans for a fete this year. Apart from anything else, as things stand, the Pavilion would be out of commission and that has always been our focal point where we gather with friends old and new. Sadly, that just does not seem at all likely to happen this summer and it’s best to let people know now. The good news is that there are plans afoot for a four-day Bank Holiday weekend in early June 2022 and we could start planning now for the next Fete to be held in 2022. The reason for the celebration is the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and this is a golden opportunity for Melton because the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 is where it all started with the first Fete. The icing on the cake would be to plan the Grand Opening of the new Pavilion! Of course, it is not just up to Melton Parish Council to help run the fete so we will be looking for other helpers in the local community.

See, there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Cllr Alan Porter
Chairman – Melton Parish Council