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.