Melton Messenger – A Note from Carol – April 2024

Beresford Drive Play Park
After months of planning, you may have noticed that the Beresford Drive Play Park has been redeveloped.  The Parish Council has been working hard raising funds through grants, donations and contributions from many sources including businesses, Local Councillors and Community Groups.  It is also part of the Tesco blue token scheme so please vote for the play park. Voting will commence in the stores in Ipswich (Tavern Street), Felixstowe (Hamilton Road), Kesgrave and Martlesham from the first week in April until the end of June. As money is still coming in I won’t list all those who have contributed so far for fear of leaving someone out.  But we will be putting up signage thanking all of those involved as part of the opening ceremony to be held on Saturday 4th May 2024 at 3pm. We are hoping to have ‘a bit of a do’ to celebrate another great achievement, so put the date in your diary and watch out for more information.

Beresford Drive Play Park

Active Travel Woodbridge
Melton Parish Council has reviewed and commented on the recent proposals put forward by Suffolk County Council for Active Travel Woodbridge.  We have asked that the proposal to introduce 20mph speed limits is extended to include Beresford Drive and Pytches Road, given two schools are near to these roads.  We hope that by so doing, the cost of implementing such a change would be minimal and reduce the risks associated with an increase in traffic expected because of Sizewell C.

Road Safety
You will have seen that we have successfully campaigned for the Wilford Bridge Road to be made 30mph up to the Sutton Hoo roundabout.  MPC was able to show that there had been a number of incidents along that stretch of road and that a 30mph speed limit was needed to protect all road users including pedestrians and cyclists.  The cost, £20,000, is high, but includes doing all the work associated with completing the necessary surveys, consulting with all parties including the Police and other agencies, consulting with residents and implementing the required legislation.  The changing of the road signage is the last step in a long process.

Pedestrian signs have also been installed on Yarmouth Road near the footpaths at Ufford Park to make drivers aware after reports of near misses between pedestrians and vehicles.

We continue to raise concerns about the state of our roads and ask that remedial work is done to fix potholes, defects and pavements. Since my plea last month for people to let me know if they have tripped on the Melton Road outside the Spar, I have had 5 people contact me.  We already knew that one resident, like me, had fallen full face onto the tarmac.  Another resident fell and broke a finger in 3 places. One resident, although not badly hurt, had recently had two knee replacements, so her confidence was badly knocked.  It is only by reporting these problems will we get them on the radar to be fixed.  So, I continue to ask, please report problems to Highways on the reporting tool at

In the meantime, with the relative success of the refuge crossings already installed, Melton Parish Council has taken the decision to investigate building another crossing point near to the Spar to help everyone cross Melton Road more safely.  It’s early days, but we will keep you posted.

Precept 2024/25
We have had some enquiries about why the Precept for 2024/25 is higher than the current rate of inflation. Major budget items, such as pay, are outside of the Council’s control as they are set nationally and last year were above the rate of inflation.

Historically Melton Parish Council has run on a deficit budget, deferring payments or using CIL and Reserves. This was not a sustainable position in the long term and does not allow for any major emergency expenditure (eg repairs to property) or loss of income.  When the budget is prepared, decisions are made using all available information at the time, knowing that some information will not be available until after the Precept has been requested in January, but also taking into account that taxpayers may also be struggling financially. Melton also has a decreasing tax base* due to an increase in exemptions and discounts applied against the chargeable dwellings which gives the total tax base to be used.

Melton’s Precept is the second lowest compared to comparable Towns and Parishes in East Suffolk.  As a result, we don’t have the ability to absorb these costs and these have therefore been reflected in this year’s Precept increase.

Precept (£) Tax Base* Precept (£) per Band D Property
Leiston £357,000.00 1,987.29 179.64
Rendlesham £156,084.00 955.48 163.36
Lowestoft £2,090,222.00 13,032.78 160.38
Saxmundham £254,050.00 1,607.64 158.03
Woodbridge £494,522.00 3,378.86 146.36
Kessingland £174,958.00 1,449.86 120.67
Aldeburgh £225,000.00 1,902.89 118.24
Framlingham £186,146.00 1,643.45 113.27
Bungay £188,842.00 1,684.00 112.14
Southwold £118,551.17 1,081.77 109.59
Wickham Market £79,015.00 842.92 93.74
Halesworth £167,400.00 1,850.61 90.46
Kesgrave £423,700.00 4,843.74 87.47
Oulton Broad £274,620.00 3,316.03 82.82
Felixstowe £664,727.00 8,887.28 74.80
Martlesham £150,000.00 2,151.28 69.73
Beccles £237,320.00 3,417.47 69.44
Melton £123,687.00 1,928.05 64.15
Rushmere St Andrew £126,300.00 2,617.95 48.24

*Tax base – This is the number of Band D equivalent dwellings in a local authority area. To calculate the tax base for an area, the number of dwellings in each council tax band is adjusted to take account of any discounts, premiums and exemptions. The resulting figure for each band is then multiplied by its proportion relative to Band D (from 6/9 for Band A to 18/9 for Band H) and the total across all eight bands is calculated.




Fruit Tree Planting
Six fruit trees have been planted on the playing field near the entrance to Burkes Wood.  A team of volunteers will be watering and nurturing these trees as they settle in.  We hope, in time, they will produce fruit for all to enjoy.  Our thanks to Transition Woodbridge who planted the trees.

Annual Parish Meeting
The Annual Parish Meeting on the 24th April will be different this year.  We are hoping to get along various groups who have a relationship with Melton, to give you an opportunity to find out more about what they do and ask questions if you like.  The Sizewell C EDF team will be attending.  We are hoping to get other groups like the Good Neighbour scheme, the Melton Trust and the local Police.   We will also be showing residents what we have done, and what we plan to do next year. Do come along to the Burness Parish Rooms on Wednesday 24th April at 7.30pm.

Footpath Clearance
A working party (Alde Valley Ramblers, residents and the footpath advocate) worked on Footpath 22 (which runs between the Happy Horse Saddlery on Valley Farm Road and Saddlemaker’s Lane) last month, cutting back brambles and making a clear route.  We continue to work with Suffolk County Council PROW team about improving the infrastructure at the Valley Farm Road end.

footpath 22 clearance crew

Recreation Ground Hedge
The work on laying the hedge at the Recreation Ground has now been completed and I think you’ll agree it’s looking fantastic. Our thanks to the Suffolk Wildlife Trust and volunteers Glyn and David who undertook the work.

picture of laid hedge at recreation ground

Finally, I was so pleased to be sent a photo of a recent addition to one of our post boxes in Bredfield Road.  I don’t know who did it, but whoever you are, thank you.  It’s so nice to know that residents want to do things to make our village look lovely.

yarn bombed post box

Dates for your diary – here are some events coming up to note:

Wednesday 24th April – Annual Parish Meeting – 7.30pm – Burness Parish Rooms

Saturday 4th May – Beresford Drive Play Park Official Opening – 3pm

Thursday 6th June – DD Day Beacon Lighting – Melton Recreation Ground

Saturday 22nd June – Melton Fete – Melton Recreation Ground

Carol Gradwell, Chair of Melton Parish Council