Parish Councillor Vacancy

Notice is hereby given that due to the resignation of Councillor Philip Groom, a vacancy has arisen in the Office of Councillor for the Parish Council.

1.A by-election to fill the vacancy will be held if ten electors for the parish give notice in writing claiming such an election to the Returning Officer not later than

1 October 2020

Where ten valid requests for a by-election are received then under the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 and The Local Government and Police and Crime Commissioner (Coronavirus) (Postponement of Elections and Referendums) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 the by-election will not currently take place, and the vacancy will be held open until the by-election takes place. The 2020 regulations provide for the by-election to take place on the date for the Ordinary Election of Councillors due to be held on Thursday 6 May 2021. However, this date may be brought forward or deferred by the Government depending upon the circumstances. Any Election that is in due course called will be duly publicised as required by law.

2.The Addresses of the Returning Officer are:

First Floor
2 Canning Road
Lowestoft
NR33 0EQ

Council Offices
East Suffolk House
Station Road
Melton
Woodbridge
IP12 1RT

3. If no such notice is given the Parish council will fill the vacancy by co-option.

If anyone is interested in joining the Parish Council please contact the Clerk by email or phoning the office on 01394 382 224.

Melton Messenger – A Note from Alan – September 2020

As you know if you are reading this then you are probably reading it via the St Andrews website or off our own Melton Parish Council pages.  I don’t think many people are bothering to look online so I think a lot of the effort is a bit in vain.  It takes a lot of work to put it together and my bit is just a small part.  Let’s hope that the physical delivered version of the Melton Messenger comes back soon.

Play Park reopens
We were pleased to be able to open the play park in July. We had to remove 3 swings, closed off one piece of equipment and placed lots of signs around the park reminding users to adhere to government guidance, maintain social distancing and to wash/sanitise their hands frequently. It appears as popular as ever.

The playground had its annual safety inspection with only a few minor points being highlighted and most have been fixed.  One issue raised was damage to the zip wire seat. By all accounts this damage was caused by a dog, with the owner actively encouraging it, and was witnessed by a local resident.  Very disheartening indeed.

Despite warnings on signs and in the media, I don’t think that all users are taking heed of social distancing as perhaps they should be.  This led to other councils being afraid to open their playgrounds but in the end they seem to have capitulated and opened them up despite the risks due to public pressure.

Melton Road Footpath
Over the years the vegetation has crept out from the hedge bordering the park and it has made the path very narrow.  We are looking into getting the footpath cleared back so it is wider for pushchairs and passing.  The vegetation has crept out my about two feet so this will make a big improvement to the path.

CCTV
A while ago I reported that we were considering having an electric gate to stop vehicles getting in after dark. To that end we laid cable along with draw strings from the pavilion to the main gate.  In the end an electric gate would have been very expensive, problematic and perhaps not resolved the issues.  However with the duct & cable installed we decided to install CCTV instead.  It seems that level of anti-social behaviour has reduced but we don’t know if CCTV is the reason.  It gives very good quality images and would help us and the Police to identify any perpetrators who cause trouble in the recreation ground.

Pavilion
We had a meeting of 8 councillors and a local architect early in August to continue the process of replacing the pavilion which has come to the end of its survivable life.  We are looking for a robust building with a similar footprint to the old building.  We have come up with some basic requirements such as low maintenance, vandal resistant and with a toilet accessible from the outside which is a major request from our community.  Once we get some draft plans we shall share them with the community.

Meetings
We put together an Interim Management Committee to oversee the council’s affairs during the Covid19 lockdown.  We have had conference calls and Zoom meetings.  The last of these meetings was on August 12th. We are resuming our normal schedule of meetings in what I guess people are now calling the ‘new normal’ situation. The meetings for the foreseeable future will be via Zoom with details on how to join on our website.

Date Meeting
Wednesday September 9th Recreation
Wednesday September 16th Full Council
Wednesday September 23rd Planning & Transport
Wednesday October 14th Finance, Employment and Risk Management (FERM)
Damaged roundel on village sign

Photo by Cindy Price

Village sign
We were disappointed to see the damage done to the village sign opposite McColl’s. The roundel commemorating the 2012 Torch Relay had been vandalised. We took it down and will get it restored with the help of local company SBD who did the original design for us. Hopefully we will get it back up again soon. Sadly, there has been too much petty vandalism lately.

Why anyone would think it is appropriate to deliberately damage public property, especially something that marks what was a great day in the village is beyond me.  Mindless comes to my mind.

On the positive side, it did bring back memories of 2012. The attached photo shows the crowds of local people who came out to watch the Olympic Torch pass through Melton.  It was a great day and kicked off many village events such as the Fete which we had to cancel this year – hopefully it will be back up and running again next year. It may have to be on a smaller scale in these uncertain times but we intend to get everyone together even if it is just for a big picnic!

Olympic torch in Melton in 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sizewell C
The Sizewell C (SZC) planning process has progressed to the Pre-Examination stage, which will run from 8 July to 30 September 2020. This is not a consultation.  It is an opportunity for consultees and the public to read the planning application and register on the PINS website (using the Planning Inspectorate’s Registration & Relevant Representation Form) to become an “Interested Party” by providing a written summary of their views on the application.  A registered “Interested Party” will then be kept informed of progress and have the opportunity to put their case forward at the next stage: the all-important Examination stage.

The Parish Council will be submitting a summary of its views on the planning application and registering as an “Interested Party”.

All of the latest SZC planning application documentation can be viewed at https://sizewellcdco.co.uk.  EDF is forecasting that a Government decision on the SZC planning application will be made in summer 2021.

Neighbourhood Plan
Our Neighbourhood Plan (NP) is over 2 years old and in order for it to be 100% effective it needs to be updated.  We are working on this but we have been a bit thwarted by the application to build on just half of the Carter & Warburg site and also the fact that the District Plan is still not formally issued.  We are trying to plough on despite these issues.

SID Stalks
Who is Sid Stalks I hear you cry, well for those of us in MPC he is a very familiar ongoing issue. SID stands for Speed Indictor Device and ages ago I said we were going to purchase a Speed Indicator and move it to different locations around Melton, rather than having it stuck in one place.  6 sites were identified and Suffolk County Council were charged with the job of fitting stalks at the 6 locations so we can mount our Speed Indictor Device.  Well at last, all 6 have now been fitted so we are ordering the device now.  Besides showing the speed and a happy/grumpy face, the device collects traffic date in terms of speeds and volumes so we will have data to back up any issues we raise with SCC highways.

Football pitch markings
Our green space contractor used satellite technology to mark out the white lines of the football pitches and they have done a great job.  It looks very good and the football club will just have to refresh the markings now and again.

Knacker’s Yard – Valley Farm Road – update

East Suffolk Council have issued the following statement regarding the foul odour:

We have recently visited Mr Clarke to discuss the changes that he has recently made in response to my request.  As you may recall, one of the main sources of the odour is when the fully loaded lorry is externally weighed prior to departure from the site, which usually occurs late afternoon.  This process takes approximately 20 mins or so, during which time the lorry is outside of the building and therefore not subject to odour control.  Mr Clarke has consulted with Defra and has been given permission to forgo the weighing of the lorries prior to departure, during the hot summer season.  This effectively means that the lorry will be loaded and covered inside the building before the doors are opened, the lorry will immediately leave the site to travel to the rendering plant and therefore reduce expose time.

Secondly, the containers used to take the waste off site have been increased in volume thereby allowing more waste be transported per load. This has reduced the number of lorries that leave site daily back down to 1 per day thereby reducing the number of road trips.

Both these measures were introduced on Monday 17th August so we are hopeful that the changes will have a significant impact on the odour.  Please contact the Environmental Protection Team if you notice any changes over the next few weeks.

You can contact the East Suffolk Environmental Protection team by telephoning: 0333 016 2000 or email: ep@eastsuffolk.gov.uk

Recreation Meeting – 9th September 2020

The next meeting of the Recreation Committee will be held via Zoom on Wednesday 9th September commencing at 7pm.

This meeting is held in public and all residents of Melton are very welcome.

The full agenda and papers will be available to view on the Recreation section of the website at least 3 clear days before the meeting.

To join online: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88623233479?pwd=QU5xMDkxSXZUV21ham1GOFJoY1Azdz09

To join by phone: 0203 051 2874

Meeting ID: 886 2323 3479
Passcode: 880047

 

The Melton Trust – help for those in need

The Melton Trust was created from bequests by Richard Cook in 1539, Richard Halifax in 1699 and a gentleman named Histed (date unknown). It was established as a charity in 1897 as the Poor’s Estate Charity and funding incorporated a bequest from James Alexander Burness who also funded the Burness Rooms. It was renamed The Melton Trust in May 1991.

The Trust’s funds provide an income to be used “in relieving persons resident in the Parish of Melton who are in conditions of need hardship or distress”. The Trust is classed as a charity for “relief in need” and try to be as flexible as possible.

The kind of requests that can be supported include:

• Payment of utility bills

• Travelling expenses

• Furniture and house decoration

• Specialist equipment for the disabled

• Respite care

Each case is taken on its own merits and the Trust may fund all or part of a request. There are some restrictions:

• You must be a resident of Melton

• It cannot replace state support – all available benefits must have been claimed

• It cannot commit to ongoing support

If you would like to apply for a grant please complete the Melton Trust Application Form and return it to The Melton Trust, c/o Melton Parish Council, 17 Riduna Park. Station Road, Melton, Woodbridge, IP12 1QT

TV Licence for over 75s

If you are over 75 years of age, you may have received a letter in the post recently about buying a TV Licence. After 31st July, TV licences will no longer be free for the over 75s. There is a helpful article available on the Eastern Daily Press website about the change, what to expect and how to obtain a free licence (only possible if you are able to claim Pension Credit).

This applies even if you don’t have a TV but watch things on BBC iPlayer from a computer, tablet or mobile phone.

More information is available on the official UK TV Licensing website www.tvlicensing.co.uk or by telephoning 0800 232 1382.

Please be cautious of the potential for scam calls and emails on the subject. Scammers will certainly see this as an opportunity to trick many over 75s, so do not respond to any telephone calls or emails on the subject. If seeking information, make sure you only use the details provided above. Any genuine letter you receive in the post will provide the same details.

Dog Thefts – Update from Suffolk Police

Suffolk Constabulary is conscious of dog owners naturally being concerned following four separate dog theft incidents. Owners should be reassured that enquiries are ongoing to locate the offenders. The loss of any pet can be devastating and we advise all owners to be vigilant and take extra care surrounding crime prevention measures. In particular, we would advise working dog owners and breeders to review security of any outdoor kennels.

It is also important you know the law and what to look out for when purchasing a pet and in particular a puppy. For more information please visit the RSPCA website.

These incidents are happening in daylight. If dog owners, breeders or kennel owners receive unexpected visitors that cause suspicion, officers would be grateful if descriptions, footage or images of the individuals and/or their vehicles could be reported.

Anyone with information, including on any previous incidents, is asked to contact police by calling 101 or by reporting online at https://www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us/report-something

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their online form: www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

IMC Meeting – 12th August at 2pm

The next Interim Management Committee (IMC) meeting will take place via Zoom on Wednesday 12th August at 2pm. The agenda and papers will be available in the Interim Committee section of the website.

If anyone has any comments to make please email them to clerk@melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk by 12 noon on 12th August.

Members of the public are invited to join the meeting via video call or dialling in by phone.

Web: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89958498582?pwd=OWFKdGtDbkg5S1dZTEZvRTFUcXlmQT09

Phone: 0203 481 5240

 

Meeting ID: 899 5849 8582
Passcode: 711224

 

Melton Messenger – A Note from Alan – July 2020

Tennis Court Vandalism
At the end of May we suffered a spate of vandalism on the tennis courts; the wire was cut in several places allowing people to gain access without a key. Maybe this was to play for free or to retrieve balls sent over from the other court. This has been a problem over the years but never at the current level. We have to buy rolls of wire netting and patch up the holes as best as we can.

Tennis court fence vandalism

Tennis court vandalism

In the future we are going to erect CCTV and therefore we may get some footage of any acts of vandalism. It is a shame we have to invest money in this way but we have to ensure the safety & integrity of the assets in the park. There has also been some anti-social behaviour in the evenings and reports of drug dealing which hopefully CCTV will deter.

Recreation Ground Gate
In recent weeks, we have been locking the recreation grounds car park gates at 8pm because we were having problems with people BBQing and having large social gatherings in the park and car park causing problems for local residents. We don’t want to be party poopers, but given the continuing need to social distance and the increased risk of fire because of the very dry grass at the moment, we felt it necessary. The side gates to the park remain open for walkers.

Woodbridge Swifts
To help with the decline in the population of swifts, Woodbridge Swifts are recording swift nests in Woodbridge, Melton and Bromeswell. If you have a swift nesting in a box or in your roof, they would like you to contact them at woodbridge.swifts@gmail.com. They also have nest boxes and CDs of swift callings for sale for those who might like to encourage the swifts to nest near you.

Planning Applications
At the moment we are confronted with three extensive planning applications which if they went ahead would have a very significant impact on Melton.

1. DC/20/1521/FUL
PROPOSAL: Care Village comprising an 80 bedroom care home together with 75 assisted care bungalows, cafe/club house, Bowling Green, car parking, open space provision with associated infrastructure and access. This is just off Yarmouth Road Melton IP12 1QH. MPC’s contention is that the access available for pedestrians etc. between the proposed site of the Care Village and amenities/transport links in Melton are inadequate, and made even more so by requirements for social distancing. We are opposing this application. SCC Highways are also in opposition.

2. DC/20/1831/OUT
Outline Application with Some Matters Reserved – Residential development of up to 55 dwellings, with access off St Andrew’s Place. This is the part of the land that forms a central part of our Neighbourhood Plan but does not cover the land owned by the Carter family. Not having direct access to Wilford Bridge Road would be a major problem. St Andrew’s Place is already highly congested and unsuitable for access. We at MPC are opposing the application with its proposed access via St Andrew’s.

3. DC/20/1636/OUT
Outline Application for up to 27 Self Build and Custom dwellings. Land West of Prow 21 Woods Lane Melton. This would just add more traffic pressure to an already very busy Woods Lane. There is already a lack of doctors, dentists and school places etc. We are opposing this application.

We just seem to becoming a bit of a target at the moment but rest assured that MPC are trying to represent the interests of current as well as future residents.

Melton Primary School during the lockdown
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Melton Primary School has remained open for vulnerable children and those whose parents are key workers. The Senior Leadership Team (SLT) put in a huge amount of planning to allow Reception and Years 1 and 6 to return as safely as possible in early June. This involved ensuring that the children could spend their time in bubbles of less than ten children, each with their own equipment. Each bubble has its own class room and outside space. You may have noticed that the playing field has been divided up with green fencing. At the moment, there are 6 bubbles; one each for Reception and Year 1 and two each for Year 6 and the vulnerable and key workers’ children. Currently, there are about forty children attending the school and all of the staff are working except those that are shielding. Days are very regulated with start times staggered and the three entrances carefully allocated and there are routines for hand-washing throughout the day. Plans are in place for frequent cleaning and there are procedures if anyone becomes sick. Other year groups and those children who have not returned to school continue to receive home learning guidance. The SLT and governors now have to put their minds to what might happen in September. In the meantime, we all hope that the children and staff stay safe and well and send everyone at the school our best wishes and thanks for their hard work for our community.

Full list of 148 priority cycle schemes unveiled for Suffolk
An article in the EADT stated that nearly 150 routes across Suffolk have been eyed as priorities for cycle improvements over the next five years, costing well in excess of £80 million. It came from work undertaken by a cross-party task force at Suffolk County Council on improving cycling routes, with a full list of 148 priority routes for the next five years. There is only one that would affect us in Melton and that is rather annoyingly under a Woodbridge heading. This is the route along the River Deben Path from Melton Station to Kyson point.

The riverside route has already caused a bit of friction between walkers & cyclists and a few altercations have been reported recently. Cyclists and walkers should get on with each other, after all they are often the same people. During the lockdown I have seen both joggers and cyclists who think they have the right of way and would stop for nothing, they seem to think they are exempt from social distancing.

I do worry about the research into these sort of ideas, why end it at Kyson point? Surely extending it so it emerges into the Martlesham end of Sandy Lane would be the thing to do. That way we would have a route that avoids the Sandy Lane hill which is quite a steep ride after a day at work and I speak from experience. We will see what happens if the past is an indicator then probably nothing will happen for a long time.
The full article is at https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/suffolk-five-year-cycling-plan-unveiled-1-6692734

Pardon the weeds
Suffolk Norse are responsible for maintaining the grassy areas owned by East Suffolk Council. Since lockdown, they have only cut areas that presented a health and safety issue, making sure that road junctions were cut to ensure visibility and access to residents’ properties. Now that restrictions have started to ease and with some significant growth of grass, they have taken the opportunity to manage some areas of open space differently with a focus on biodiversity. This is particularly the case in those areas where longer grass is beneficial to wildlife; they have seen some areas that have become havens for invertebrates and pollinators, and would like to preserve these where possible.

They have identified 41 ‘conservation areas’, where they will aim to manage the land differently, and not cut until the end of the season. These include the verges in the area from the A12 down Woods Lane/Bredfield Road and at Bury Hill. These areas have been chosen on the basis that this change is likely to be uncontroversial for local residents, that it presents no safety issues, and that the space is at a scale that will provide an environmental benefit to wildlife.

The trial of managing grass more sustainably in certain churchyards has also been well received and they will move to do this permanently.

They are asking if we, the community, could monitor these areas, removing litter and making sure invasive plant species do not dominate the grasslands.

Some of the land that is being transferred from East Suffolk Council to Melton Parish Council could be treated in the same way.

They are providing the logo below which will help identify the areas and let people know why the grass is being allowed to grow, so look out for it.

Pardon the weeds logo

Pardon the weeds logo

MPC Councillor Vacancy
Following the resignation of one of our councillors we now have a vacancy for a councillor at MPC. Please consider joining us and let us know by emailing myself or the clerk – clerk@melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk. We are now able to co-opt a volunteer as from 16th June.

St Audrys Social Club
The club has now been declared an asset of community value. Good news, let’s hope for a good outcome.

So I shall sign off with the words as predicted in the video clip of Michael McIntyre sees a fortune teller in June 2019. A fellow councillor said “The video cheered me up no end!” It could cheer you up too.

Stay Safe!

Alan Porter

Chairman – Melton Parish Council

Foul Odour at the Knacker’s Yard, Valley Farm Road

It has been brought to the Parish Council’s attention that a number of Melton residents have recently had reason to complaint to East Suffolk Council about an increase in foul smells from the Knackers Yard on Valley Farm Road. If you are affected by foul odour please report it to East Suffolk Council so that the Environmental Protection team can investigate. If they do not receive complaints they will be unaware of the problem and will not take any action. You can contact the Environmental Protection team by telephoning: 0333 016 2000 or email: ep@eastsuffolk.gov.uk