The Melton Messenger editorial team were mortified that they had failed to spot the words “oops late again” that had been printed at the top of my article last month. It certainly was not typed by me and nor was I late. I don’t know how they got there, in fact when my MM arrived I never even spotted the words. I am sure it referred to something else. The Melton Messenger is put together by volunteers who work really hard to make the content interesting and varied. It is another jewel in the crown of Melton, long may it continue. If you see an appeal for volunteers in the future then please consider getting involved.

Melton Parish Council has been in contact with the Suffolk County Council Passenger Transport Team and revised timetables have been procured and have been installed in the various bus timetable cases on bus stops and on the Parish notice boards as well. There will be a link to the timetables on our new Melton Parish Council website which is now in service. We are doing all we can to help local bus users to access bus information despite the fact it is not really our job. We have even put laminated timetables on the bus stops that don’t even have a timetable case.
Woodbridge Town Council is trying to rally support from the other parish councils to try to get some improvements in the bus service that has been cut so dramatically since September 1st with more cuts to follow on 2nd November. At least it’s a great effort to get parishes working together and is something that has not been tried for a long time. I went to the meeting today (15/10/19) and there is a great spirit of co-operation not seen before. We will meet again on the 29th October when First Bus managers will also be there.

I was too late for a stop press with the October edition to say that at the last minute the planning application for the St Audry’s bowls green was withdrawn. This now makes three controversial planning applications that have been withdrawn: the bowls green, the Carter site near St Andrew’s and the former SCDC offices site (cheese wedges). I suppose some or all may well be resurrected so we will have to keep a lookout for them. On the 22nd October the former SCDC site planning application came up again at East Suffolk Council. The officers recommended approval and indeed it was by all of the committee with only one vote against despite all the objections. Those people at the meeting are askance at the decision despite so many well-reasoned arguments by many eloquent objectors. I wonder what will happen next, I am sure this saga has more twists to deliver.

One of our potential bigger projects is the Pavilion at the playing field. It’s not good enough to repair and something must be done about it. We want to replace it with a nice modern building that will be durable, vandal resistant and low maintenance. If you have any thoughts or ideas on what facilities you would like to see incorporated in any new building on the site contact the Parish Council by emailing finance@melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk.

Melton Parish Council were invited along to Melton Primary School to meet the Puffins and Parrots classes which is years 1 & 2. They are finding out a lot of things about ‘My Melton’ and our visit was a part of that learning experience. For such a young group they were very attentive, well behaved and full of interesting questions which Councillor Katy Martin and I did our best to answer. Miss Charlotte Jones, one of their teachers, took some photos in the hope they would get published in the Melton Messenger. How could I refuse! The children are a real credit to the school which has improved greatly during the years I have been involved with the council. If these youngsters are the future of Melton then I think we are in safe hands. They really are a delightful bunch to be with and I came away very impressed with their level of interest on what could have been a dry subject.

There was a good turnout at the Melton Local History Society October meeting. A talk was given by Robert Blake about the history of St Audry’s. One of our councillors who lives there spoke about what it is like now- timely in view of the threat of development, as I have mentioned elsewhere in my article. What a pity the Local History Society is closing down after 3 active years. Their programmes were well supported and the committee have done a great job, but nobody has come forward to take it on for the next three years! Come on Melton, surely there is someone interested in continuing the work of the Society. Save our History Society!

The book Behind the Name: Melton in the Great War has been researched over the last five years, by three members of the Melton WW1 Heritage Group and is now at the printers. It does not just remember the men on the War Memorial but also those men that returned and the women who volunteered as nurses. It is quite a large book at 420 pages of print, photos and drawings by a Melton artist of some of the houses as they are now.

It has been decided that there will be a limited number of copies of the book printed, so it will be available on a first come first served basis. The book is to be launched over the 9th and 10th November at St Andrew’s Church, Melton. Quite a few people have already pre-ordered their copies and they can be collected either on the Saturday between 10:00 to 16:00 or on Sunday after the Remembrance Day service from the church. Anyone wishing to obtain a copy will be able to by donating £15 towards the printing costs. If anyone is unable to attend and wants to reserve a copy they should e-mail meltonww1@gmail.com.

Last month I mentioned the Deben Café on HMS Vale, I incorrectly said that the café would only be open at weekends once late autumn comes In fact it will be open for long weekends; Friday to Monday.

The first volunteering drop-in session took place at the beginning of October and we had a number of people express an interest in getting involved with volunteering at the school and the Good Neighbour Scheme. The second session was planned for the end of October and hopefully that will also have been a success. If you couldn’t make it to one of the sessions but are interested in getting involved please email Pip Alder at finance@melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk

As usual, I will attend the Remembrance Sunday service at St Andrew’s Church on November 10th and I will lay a wreath on behalf of MPC.

We have decided to move the notice board on Melton Road to just inside the gate by the car park in the playing field. We believe the new location will attract a wider audience.

Every year we receive applications for small grants. This year we received applications from the Burness Parish Rooms, The Village Produce Association (VPA) and the WW1 Heritage Group for funds towards the book “Behind the Name”. The finance committee are recommending a share of the £1000budget to all three organisations and this will be ratified at the next Full Council meeting.

One of our councillors resigned recently due to international work commitments, already I have a new volunteer wishing to join us & that should happen at the Full Council meeting in November. It is most gratifying that people see we are making a difference and wish to join in.

Cllr Alan Porter
Chairman – Melton Parish Council