Melton Messenger – A Note from Carol – June 2024

What a busy few months we’ve had.  Full Council, the Annual Parish Meeting, and the Beresford Drive Play Park Opening were just some of the key events at a time which is also our financial year end.

Toad Crossing
A resident attended Full Council to discuss signage along Saddlemakers Lane, so drivers are aware of toads crossing here during the mating season, which is usually in February.  Residents go out and usher the toads across the road towards the ponds to reduce the number being injured or killed.  A great initiative for our wildlife and Melton Parish Council were pleased to give their full support to the scheme with funding being promised by District Councillor Smith-Lyte.

Annual Parish Meeting and the Neighbourhood Plan Refresh
At the Annual Parish Meeting, Cllr Nigel Brown gave a briefing on the upcoming Neighbourhood Plan refresh and the benefits of having a plan in the first place.  Any neighbourhood plan, whether new or as a refresh, creates a mountain of work and I am grateful to Nigel for taking this task on.  A consultant will be working closely with the Council, but as always, a lot of the work will be done by volunteers.  If you would like more information, or better still, want to help, please let us know through the office.  We particularly want to hear from anyone who has a background in planning, ecology or who has a local interest in protecting key assets of the village.

The Annual Award
I also presented the Annual Melton Award to Peter James. He does so much for the village, including the Melton Good Neighbour Scheme, delivering food parcels, litter picks, delivering the Melton Messenger, being the council’s Climate Advocate and getting involved in green initiatives. He really makes Melton a better place to live.

Beresford Drive Play Park
Opening Beresford Play Park on Saturday 4th May was a great honour.  Children from Melton Primary School who had helped us by giving their opinions on the designs, were invited to cut the ribbon and declare the park open, although it has been open for children to use for a few weeks now.  Given it was on the same day as the final Ipswich game of the season, the turn-out was strong.  We were joined by County Councillors Nicoll and Leach and District Councillor Molyneux who had all donated funds from their respective budgets to help pay for the park.  We are still fund raising, so please, please, please, if you go to Tesco, don’t forget to pick up the blue tokens and put them in the box for Melton!  The project with the most tokens receives £1500 and this will go some way towards offsetting the costs incurred.

We would also ask that if you are visiting the park, please walk or cycle if you can as parking is limited in this residential area.  But it was great to see so many people enjoying this new facility.

Cutting the cake at Beresford Drive Play Park Cutting the ribbon at Beresford Drive Play Park

 Children from Melton Primary School cutting the ribbon and cutting the cake. 

Thanks to Charmian Berry for donating her time to take the photographs and for donating them to Melton Parish Council for our use.

Phone System
If you call the office, you may notice we have introduced a new telephone system which helps direct your calls to the right Council. You have options for Suffolk County Council, East Suffolk District Council and East Suffolk Services as well as Melton Parish Council which will transfer you directly to the right Council.  We have taken this step as the part time office staff were receiving calls from a very wide area beyond Melton and Woodbridge, from people who need to contact other Councils and don’t know who to call.  We hope it will reduce the number of incorrect calls being received by the staff who have a very heavy workload, especially at this time of year.  We also hope that the introduction of this system will get you through to the right Council much more quickly.

Melton Fete – 22nd June
Final preparations are being made for the fete, so if you want to join us with a stall, you are going to have to be quick.  We have a fantastic line up this year with dog shows, archery, various food and drink offerings, two bands, Punch & Judy, various stalls and lots of activities.  Do come along and enjoy this whole family event whilst supporting our local charities. Fingers crossed it will be another great day.

D-Day Beacon Lighting
On the 6th June, at 9pm, we will be lighting the Beacon at the Recreation Ground to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings at Normandy.  My Dad was one of those men and women who went to France to liberate them from Occupation.  A fact I am hugely proud of.  The National Address will be read by Revd Paul Hambling and Pauline Cooke of the Woodbridge Excelsior Band will be playing the Last Post.  I hope you will come along and join us.

Finally, on a personal note, I would like to pass on my thanks to all those residents who have written in support of the work being done by Melton Parish Council recently.  The job for the staff and the Councillors is not an easy one.  There are often competing priorities and trying to meet them all is a challenge.  But we try really hard to meet most of them most of the time.

We still have a vacancy on the Parish Council and if anyone is interested, especially if you have a finance background, we would love to hear from you.

As my first year as Chair ends, I have met many, many residents, and found the year both interesting and a challenge.  I hope to meet many more residents in my next year which will, no doubt, be just as busy as we face what’s coming up from the refresh of the Neighbourhood Plan, improvements to the Recreation Ground, the work generated by having 9 energy projects in the area, managing village assets and responding to local issues.  As more and more gets pushed down the line for Parish Councils to do on the cheap using volunteers, we find we are having to become more and more expert in planning law, ecology, environment, public relations, transport matters, finance, project management, etc. etc.  The list goes on and on.

I thank you all for your support and commit to continue to do my best for at least another year.

Kind regards

Carol Gradwell, Chair of Melton Parish Council