Melton Parish Council – A Note from the Chair – Alan Porter
Precept increase for 2022
Regular readers of my column will know that MPC has an active programme for investing in Melton’s amenities. At the Recreation Ground, we have built a new, larger car park and improved the tennis courts. We are also installing crossing points on Melton Road and are enhancing both the Hall Farm Road Sports Ground and the Beresford Drive Play Area. The transfer of land from East Suffolk Council to MPC brought us additional costs in dealing with a backlog of woodland maintenance and new investments in tree planting and footpath improvement. When we consulted people on the replacement pavilion at the Recreation Ground one of the strongest responses was that it should include a WC for use by the public. This and other developments, plus inflationary pressures, will increase our running costs. At our January Full Council meeting to set the budget for 2022/23, an increase in the council tax precept was agreed of 9 pence per week for a Band D property. It remains the case that Melton has the third lowest council tax charge out of the 19 medium-to-large Parish and Town Councils in East Suffolk. For example, MPC’s council tax charge is less than half that of Woodbridge Town Council.
Here’s just a selection of the projects and events we have completed and have planned:
- Melton Road Playing Fields
- Tennis Court fencing replaced
- Car park resurfaced and enlarged
- Installation of bike racks in the recreation ground
- Tree planting including memorial trees
- Hedge planting and hazel fencing
- Demolition of the Pavilion
- Maintenance and improvements to play park equipment
- Hall Farm Road Sports Ground
Consultation carried out and programme of works planned including tree planting and bench installation this year
- Installation of two new grit bins (St Andrew’s and Beresford Drive), dog poo bin and rubbish bin at Longwood Fields and other dog poo bins around the village
- Purchase of Speed Indicator Devices – one on Woods Lane and a portable device that is moved to several sites around the Parish
- Improvements and maintenance to play equipment at Beresford Drive
- Replaced the steps on the footpath behind Saxon Way
- Tree planting at various sites within the village, over 100 in January alone
Projects for 2022/23
- Rebuilding the Pavilion at the playing field including the provision of a WC and a flexible community space for hire
- Pedestrian island crossings on Melton Hill and Melton Road
- Further enhancements to Hall Farm Road Sports Ground including tree planting, football goal and basketball hoop
- Improving the parking provision on The Street by Winifred Fison House opposite McColls
- Suffolk Wildlife Trust events in the Easter, May and Summer holidays – building bird and bat boxes and habitat hotels
- Working with Highways to implement parking restrictions by junctions on Melton Road/Hill
- Fete – 4th June 2022 – to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee
Fete 2022 – Saturday June 4th
We recently held our first fete working party meeting. Planning such a major event is quite a feat but luckily we have some excellent councillors willing to put in the hours. Without them this event would not be possible. There are quite a number of things booked but a few more stalls would always be appreciated. Amongst the attractions will be a Wind Ensemble from the Ipswich Hospital Band playing music and Paws of Parham will be running a fun dog show and demonstrations of dog agility with the opportunity for you to run your dog. Amongst the many attractions is the Deben Community Farm and the Framlingham Bowmen. A team of stalwart councillors will be running a barbecue with great quality sausages and burgers including veggie burgers. These proved to be very popular at the last fete. We use top class products from local suppliers, not cheap fatty ones that shrink and swim in fat. Please make a note of the date. This is the Saturday of the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday. There will be a show of classic cars and this year there will be military vehicles too. Chris the Clown is coming as are the belly dancers amongst other attractions.
Jan Hosking passed away last year. Jan was a much loved Councillor for several years and was always very keen & supportive. We have put a memorial plaque in the notice board near to where she lived in Old Maltings Approach near the junction with Melton Road.
The feedback I get from Melton folk suggests most would prefer Melton Parish to remain undivided with its own distinct identity represented by its own Parish Councillors. I and the other Parish councillors feel we do a good job in representing the views and needs of Melton to the District and County Councils. We also act wisely and prudently to ensure that the local Community Infrastructure Levy (taxes on housing development in Melton) are spent in Melton for the benefit of Melton people and that our Council Tax Precept is kept at a level commensurate with the services MPC provides.
We have been notified of an impending Community Governance Review (CGR) by East Suffolk Council. A CGR involves asking the public and other interested parties about the most suitable ways of representing local communities. The outcome of such a review could be changes in parish boundaries or the abolition or renaming of Parishes and/or changes in electoral arrangements e.g. the numbers of Councillors for each parish.
These reviews have to be done periodically by law and such a review may well decide against significant changes. Nonetheless given what happened in the recent County electoral boundaries review when Melton was in effect split in two for future County Council elections, Melton Parish Council will be doing some work to ensure that its views and those of Melton people get suitable input into the CGR.
During the course of our work in preparation for the CGR we may need to survey your views so that we can make sure we are reflecting what you feel.
If you are asked for your opinions on this matter please do participate. If you tell us and the District Council what you want the future to look like you are more likely to get it. If you don’t then somebody else’s ideas maybe imposed on us.
Chair – Melton Parish Council