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Melton Messenger – A Note from Alan – December 2021

Melton Parish Council – A Note from the Chair – Alan Porter

Vacancies for Parish Councillors
Despite previous pleas we still have one vacancy on the parish council. If you’d like to find out more information please get in touch with me or contact the office.

The Pavilion
We had hoped they would start the demolition in November, but that was dependent on UK Power Networks moving the power to the new temporary building and they can’t do this until early December. Therefore demolition should now begin in early December.

Meanwhile the store of items we need for the future has been moved to a safe location away from the recreation ground. We also had a good supply of bric-a-brac which was donated to the Village Produce Association (VPA) any unsold items will then pass on to St Mary’s church so hopefully somebody can make use of these items and raise some money.

The Village Produce Association (VPA)
The VPA has been a part of Melton life for many years but is suffering from a shortage of volunteers to help run it.  If you would like to join the committee and help keep the VPA going then please contact Colin Birkbeck on colin@birkbeck.me.uk

Volunteering in local organisations
The Burness Parish Rooms are a very important resource in Melton and Colin Birkbeck told me they needed help on their committee.  I have experience of being a treasurer as I was in that role at Farlingaye High School when my children were there.  I also do bookkeeping for another local voluntary organisation.  When I was advised that they needed a treasurer I said if you can’t find anybody else, then I would do it.  No great queue of people lined up so I now find I have another voluntary role.  I don’t think it will be too onerous as I can am quite good at using Excel spreadsheets.

So why am I telling you all this?  Well some people think they would like to help but are afraid to get involved for some reason.  However it’s very satisfying when small organisations can provide facilities for local people but that requires people to manage them.  It’s not quite like being at work as you don’t get paid but there are lots of people who are retired & live in Melton who could offer local organisations the benefit of their skills accumulated over years at work.

I have modified a famous quote of President John F. Kennedy

 My fellow people of Melton, ask not what your village can do for you, ask what you can do for your village.

If more people gave up some of their time and skills to local clubs & organisations the world would be a nicer place.  If you want to get a job done then give it to a busy person say some folk.  Maybe that is true.

Certainly one committee I know of runs a great Melton organisation and that is the Melton WI which now has a waiting list for new members. Meanwhile some other WIs have shut down due to a lack of committee members.

So keep your eyes & ears open for volunteering opportunities – the more local the better as that helps reduce your carbon footprint.  Don’t wait for a New Year resolution!

AONB Scrub Clearance – 7th December
The Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB organises several volunteer sessions. They have one planned in Melton for the 7th December clearing access to the reed bed that is owned by MPC, in order to eventually create a more diverse habitat. The session runs from 9.30am to 3pm. To find out more information and to sign up visit:

https://www.suffolkcoastandheaths.org/volunteering/volunteer-opportunities/work-parties/ or contact neil.lister@suffolk.gov.uk.

Melton Fete
We are still working on plans for the fete which will be held on June 4th next year.  I really hope to get the new pavilion built by then.  I reckon it needs a name, any suggestions?

Tree Policy
Since taking on the land from ESC, the office has received a lot of enquiries from residents regarding trees, mainly to remove them. After discussion the Recreation Committee agreed that a Tree Policy/Statement should be formulated and circulated for discussion and approval at the next meeting. It will also be raised at next week’s Full Council meeting. The Council is reluctant to remove trees unless absolutely necessary i.e. if they are diseased, dangerous or damaged.

Burkes Wood Pond
Suppressive matting was laid around the pond to help contain the invasive crassuli. The contractor advised that silver birch and oak trees should be planted around the pond to increase shading. Although this could impact the biodiversity, shading will help slow the spread of the crassuli. If left uncontrolled the pond will be covered completely by the crassuli. It was agreed to ask the Tree Crew to plant trees in this area.

Hall Farm Road Sports Ground
The Recreation Committee discussed the findings of the report and the SWT report on the wetland area. It was agreed to progress with the following enhancements and take to Full Council for final approval.

  1. Remove existing football goal and replace with 1 x 9 a side goal facing the other way to the existing goal
  2. Basketball hoop with a quiet surface
  3. One bench to be placed near the fruit trees & move the bin nearer the bench
  4. Add bird/bat boxes
  5. Create a wilder area around the wetland area to encourage wildlife and biodiversity and add more trees by the fruit trees.
  6. From the report from SWT it was agreed to get a quote for coppicing the trees.

It is hoped that costs will be covered through grants and Community Infrastructure Levy.

Grit Bins and Noticeboards
Two new noticeboards have been installed, one in St Andrew’s Place and the other on Melton Hill. A memorial plaque to the late Cllr Jan Hosking should be arranged for the Melton Hill noticeboard.

Beresford Drive Play Area
The Recreation Committee reviewed the plan of remedial action as a result of the Annual Play Inspection of the Beresford Drive Play Area. It has been agreed that the work highlighted would be carried out, including replacing the wooden edging strips.  This play area, that we have had divested from ESC, had not been maintained to the standards that MPC aspires to.

The Deben Monitoring PostPicture of Melton Monitoring Post
The Deben Monitoring post has finally been installed on the riverbank next to the bench on the land MPC owns.  It is part of a collaborative monitoring and public engagement enterprise involving AONB Suffolk Coasts and Heaths, the Deben Estuary Partnership and coastal scientist Helen Burningham of UCL. There are instructions on the post inviting people to take photos and submit them to the Facebook site:  The idea is so that we can see how the river changes over time both in seasons and over the years.  So get the most from your post! https://www.facebook.com/MeltonPhotoPost

https://sites.google.com/view/debenphotoposts

William Grosvenor’s last day
At the end of December William will be leaving Melton Parish Council as our clerk and Pip will take over in the New Year.  William initially only intended to stay a short while but ended up staying over seven years.  Since that time Melton Parish Council has changed what we do out of all recognition.  We were a small council renting office space in the Lindos Centre and basically doing what we could with the limited resources available.  I am very aware that having a Neighbourhood Plan, which enables us to get a larger share of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), has been a real boon along with the income from developments such as Woods Lane & Melton Meadows.   We now have an office of our own in Riduna Park and a happy tenant renting the upstairs office.  We have done so much in that time and it would not have been possible without William to steer us through the miasma of legislation and keep a steely grip on our finances.  We now have a council with a real can-do culture and are the envy of many other authorities big & small.

We owe much of our success to William and for that we on the council and all the people of Melton thank him greatly and wish him well in whatever he does next as complete retirement does not seem an option for this busy person.  Good luck William and thanks again!

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Alan Porter
Chair – Melton Parish Council