Melton Messenger – A note from Carol – July 2023

Wow my first month as Chair of the Parish Council is already over and what a busy month it’s been getting about in the community and meeting so many residents.

Last month, I introduced myself and noted some of my priorities for Melton. Over the next few months, I will introduce you to the other MPC Councillors. It’s important you know who we are and feel comfortable approaching us with your concerns and ideas for Melton. This month our Deputy Chairs, Jim Crawford and Chas Taylor, are introducing themselves.

‘I moved to Melton 15 years ago with my wife and daughters who attended both Melton and Farlingaye schools. Having lived around the UK we enjoyed Melton so much that we decided to settle here even after I retired. I now have the time to give something back to this community which has given me and my family so much. Being a member of the Parish Council seemed the best opportunity to maintain and improve our environment.’ Cllr Jim Crawford

‘My family (my wife, three daughters and my mother) and I arrived in Melton in 1979. I was employed at the BT Research Centre at Martlesham Heath until my retirement in 2005 but carried on as a contractor to train new employees from India until 2011. It was then that I joined Melton Parish Council in order to give something back to the community and I have been a Councillor ever since. I am one of two Deputy Chairs supporting Carol and I am also the Chair of the Recreation Working Group.’ Cllr Chas Taylor

Parish Councillors met residents at the play park in Beresford Drive. We asked what local users would like to see in the area given the equipment in there is very dated and some has had to be taken out of use. A common request was the replacement of the swings for older children plus more seating in the area. The consultation runs until the end of June and we’ll be keeping you informed about the results and next steps in the coming months.

I was pleased to see that the local library bus stops in Melton on Wednesdays. The Suffolk Libraries are looking for volunteers to help support the Summer Reading Challenge. If you are interested, there is an on-line application form on the Suffolk Libraries Website.

Melton Good Neighbour Scheme had their regular coffee morning on the 2nd June. We had quizzes plus a game of bingo. It was lovely to see community spirit in Melton is alive and well. Attendees said how much they enjoyed meeting neighbours in an informal setting and making new friends. If you’re interested in popping along, the event takes place on the first Friday of each month in the Burness Parish Rooms.

We’ve just had a defibrillator fitted on the Pavilion at the Recreation Ground. It was kindly funded partly through a bequest from a former resident, Inez Woollard nee Skoulding, and a grant from District Councillor Rachel Smith-Lyte. We hope that it doesn’t get used but feel it’s really important to have one where so many activities take place.

You may have read in the East Anglian that we have had some vandalism at the public toilet at the new Pavilion on the Recreation Ground. The baby changing table was damaged and the council took the decision to remove the table temporarily. We regret the loss of this facility but can’t risk it being damaged again which could result in an accident when used. The incident was reported to the Police and if you have any information, you can make a report by phoning 101 or going online and quoting crime reference number 37/24416/23.

We also had trouble when some youths decided to try and block the toilet by stuffing it up with toilet paper. Fortunately, our cleaners noticed the problem and unblocked the loo before it had had a chance to block up the underground pipes. The youths were captured on CCTV and this incident has also been reported to the Police. Please, please impress on teenagers and other children that actions like these are unpleasant and unhelpful and there is a risk the opening times will be reduced or the toilet closed permanently if trouble persists. I understand kids can do stupid things when they are bored and we are looking at trying to establish some additional facilities for our local youths, but it takes time.

Please report any anti-social behaviour in the parish to the Police. If they are not receiving any reports, they assume there are no problems. The more we tell them about, the more likely they will dedicate officers in our direction.

We’ve been in touch with NORSE about the bins not being emptied as expected. They are currently transitioning services to a new company and have staff shortages. Staff have also been diverted onto street cleaning on the A12 and verges are being litter picked prior to being cut to prevent litter being spread further. We regularly chase for a better service. However, if you see a litter bin or dog poo bin overflowing, please do take your own litter home rather than leaving it on the ground. We are hopeful that once the new service is in place, things will improve.

Finally, on a brighter note, we met with the Love Woodbridge & Melton Team for an update on the grants they’ve won to improve walking and cycling schemes in the area. They are now working out what can be delivered with the money available and will be at the Melton Village Fete to talk to local residents. Do come along and have your say. We have a great line up planned for the fete on the 8th July and look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on the day.

Carol, Chair Melton Parish Council