The Parish Council has not been able to hold as any many meetings in the past year, but it has still been business as usual, communicating via email and phone and holding some virtual meetings via Zoom. Below is a “flavour” of what the Parish Council has been doing on your behalf.
Over the past year 5 local planning applications have been commented on and comments submitted on Babergh and Mid Suffolk’s Joint Local Plan, and the Government’s White Paper on planning reform. Concern was raised regarding both the Local Plan and White Paper, so it was heartening to hear that the Secretary of State had listened and had declared that the planning system must remain locally led, also recognising that new homes should not come at the expense of harming our precious green spaces, instead concentrating on building more homes in cities and urban areas to make the best use of existing infrastructure, such as schools, shops and medical facilities, as well as making the best use of brownfield land.
Suffolk County Council has continually been chased over speeding, overgrown hedges, potholes and flooding. As a result, data boxes have been installed to collect traffic speed information, and the drains in Skinners Lane outside the village hall have finally been cleaned out. The Parish Council is now waiting for the Suffolk Highways Drainage team to visit to establish a more permanent solution. The situation is being closely monitored and, during the flooding over the Christmas period, Peter Mortimer and his son Richard stepped in to clear 20,000 gallons of water from the end of Skinners Lane and prevent more serious flooding of properties. The Parish Council wishes to extend thanks to both the Mortimers, and to the many residents who took matters into their own hands by cleaning drains and ditches and clearing fallen trees as a result of Storm Bella.
Requests were made during the summer to cut back overgrown footpaths and there is still an outstanding order to replace/repair the many broken and missing footpath signs.
External funding has been secured to upgrade the village street lighting to LED lanterns, providing better and more environmentally friendly streetlights. The current lights are reaching end of life and must be replaced, so the Parish Council has sought several quotes and worked hard to achieve best value for money, as well as a good long-term environmental outcome. Work is expected to commence within the next month.
One of the playground gates is currently closed off due to damage – quotes for repair have been sought but a contractor has yet to be agreed. The Parish Council would be grateful if residents could avoid driving on the grass in St John’s Meadow.
As a result of all the past and present restrictions progress has been slower than in previous years, but the Parish Council will continue to do its best, regularly engaging with both Mid Suffolk District and Suffolk County Council on behalf of Metfield.
We are all in this together and the community spirit in Metfield has been fantastic – thanks to all those who have volunteered and/or are helping neighbours. Special thanks go to Sue Mead and her team at the Metfield Stores, who have continued to serve the village throughout.
Metfield Parish Council continues to operate via email and telephone during the current lockdown. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
If you have a query or concern, however trivial, please don’t hesitate to contact:
Peter Mortimer (Chair) on 01986 785396
Lindsey Duckett (Clerk) on 01379 586218, or by email MetfieldParishCouncil@outlook.com
Or any of the Parish Councillors: Jill Dowsett, Debbie Fowler, Terry Godbold, Chris Osborne, Cecilia Pryce, Peter Schwier, Paul Smith, Peter Twiss.