Parish Council upate January 2021

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.

Metfield United Charities – Vacancies for a Clerk and a Trustee

Position of Clerk
Applications are invited for the position of Clerk to Metfield United Charities. The post is part-time and an honorarium of £600.00 per year is offered.

The Trustees meet at two-monthly intervals. The Clerk attends and produces the Agendas and Minutes and deals with the administration of the Charities, including correspondence and maintaining records.

Initial training will be given.

If you are interested in this appointment please contact the Chairman of the Trustees, Mr Nicholas Rudge – (email nicholas.rudge368@btinternet.com) with a short paragraph describing your clerical and administrative experience and any IT skills you may have.

The closing date for applications is Friday 26 February 2021.

The successful applicant will be notified by the Chairman of the Trustees within one week of the closing date.

You do not have to be a resident of Metfield to apply for the role of CLERK but do have to be a resident to be considered for the joint role of CLERK and TRUSTEE.  If you wish to be considered for both roles, please also make this clear in your application for the vacancy of TRUSTEE (see Trustee Vacancy Notice below).

For more information about Metfield United Charities, please email metfieldunitedcharities@gmail.com.


METFIELD PARISH COUNCIL

Chairman: Mr P. Mortimer, Fir Tree Farm, Metfield, Harleston, IP20 0LP Tel. 01986 785396
Clerk: Mrs. L Duckett, Hunters Lane Cottage, Hunters Lane, Metfield, Harleston, IP20 0LU Tel 01379 586218
Email: MetfieldParishCouncil@outlook.com

Vacancy for a Parish Council Representative on the Metfield United Charities Board of Trustees

Are you interested in helping the people of Metfield?

There is now a vacancy for a Parish Council representative on the Metfield United Charities Board of Trustees. Metfield residents benefit from two Registered Charitable Funds administered by six volunteer Trustees under a Charity Commission Order of 1917.  They originate from gifts by local benefactors in the 16th century to support people of the parish.

One fund owns the Christmas Lane allotments and some agricultural lands which are managed and leased by the Trustees. They also contribute financially when help is needed by parishioners in cases of sickness, long-term illness or hospitalisation, as well as with travelling costs to hospitals and the supply of fuel, clothing and other necessities.

The other fund is an Educational Foundation providing grants to university students, apprentices and people in further education. Contributions are also made for school outings and residential courses for Metfield children at local schools.

The role of a Trustee is to assist with the administration and distribution of these funds to villagers and is totally voluntary. You do not have to be a member of the Parish Council to apply.

You must be a resident of Metfield to apply. The successful candidate will be co-opted onto the Trustees at the next meeting. If you would like to join the Trustees, please contact the Parish Clerk (details above) with a short paragraph describing what you could bring to the role.

The closing date for applications is Friday 26 February 2021.

For more information about Metfield United Charities, please email metfieldunitedcharities@gmail.com.

Metfield United Charities – help with laptops for students

METFIELD STUDENTS
Due to the continued lockdown and the need for home schooling the Trustees of Metfield United Charities are keen to ensure that students resident in Metfield are given every opportunity to continue with their home studies.

If anyone in the village is in need of a laptop or similar to assist with their education, please either e-mail metfieldunitedcharities@gmail.com or phone Nicholas Rudge on 01379 588287 in the first instance.

All enquires will be treated in strict confidence.

OLD LAPTOPS
We have been advised by the Headmaster of Fressingfield School that 1-2-1 Computing in Diss are taking in old laptops, wiping them clean and then reallocating them to local schools. We are happy to assist and deliver them so that they can be given out to students who need them for home schooling.

Please either email metfieldunitedcharities@gmail.com

 or phone Nicholas Rudge on 01379 588287.

Covid virtual community event

NHS Suffolk are hosting a virtual community event about COVID – so that your community can put their questions about the COVID-19 pandemic to a panel of experts from local health and care services and community leaders.

They will also have the opportunity to hear local updates on the pandemic and how the vaccination process is being rolled out in the region.

The event will be hosted on Microsoft Teams on 21 January at 6.00–7.30pm

You do not need to book a place in advance and can join by clicking the following link: https://sneevaccine.org.uk/event/

The expert panel will include:

Executive Lead Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System, Dr Ed Garratt
Director of Public Health, Suffolk County Council, Stuart Keeble
Ipswich GP, Dr Juno Jesuthasan
local community leader Gulshan Kayembe
Business and Operations Director at Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality, Phanuel Mutumburi
CEO Healthwatch Suffolk, Andy Yacoub
and Chair, North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Hasan Chowhan.

Metfield Stores – New opening hours

Following the latest Covid restrictions, Metfield Stores has had to reduce its opening hours. However, manager Sue is working hard to keep the shop well stocked and open for your needs. Please continue to give your support and stay safe and well!

Monday to Friday 8am–3pm
Saturday 8am–2pm   
Sunday 9am–12.30pm

New Covid vaccine scam!

WARNING!

Fraudsters are sending out fake texts offering a Covid vaccine in an attempt to steal personal and financial information, police have warned.

Derbyshire Constabulary says that the text offers a link to an “extremely convincing” fake NHS website where people are asked to input their bank details to register for a vaccine.

They also say cold callers are asking people to pay for the vaccine over the phone.

There is no charge for the vaccine.

Full details here.

Please tell as many people as you can. We are all vulnerable at this time, whatever our age.

Carols for the Villages

Revd Canon Susan Loxton says, ‘There is a lot of sadness about. We are hearing that the Covid-19 cases are still increasing and we wanted to organise something that people could attend safely together to celebrate Christmas. We are just wanting to bring a little light, hope and joy into local people’s lives at this difficult time.’
There will be carols, songs, readings and poems during the 40-minute event. You are advised to dress warmly, bring a chair and blanket, a torch and maybe a hot drink too. There will be plenty of room to socially distance but please stay in your family bubbles. Voluntary donations to MIND would be welcomed.

Lovely winter walks at Wakelyns until the end of 2020!

David and Amanda (from the Wolfe family) invite people from the Fressingfield and Metfield areas to take their ‘lockdown exercise’ up to the end of 2020 walking around the fields at Wakelyns, at the end of Metfield Lane, between Fressingfield and Metfield, or through Mill Mount from the footpath off Hunters Lane. You can download the map below.

This is on a ‘permissive path’ basis as sketched out more fully in the permissive paths leaflet. You are welcome to walk on the headland which goes around each of our two agroforestry areas. This is a tester for a longer term permissive path arrangement.

Please respect our farm and our neighbours!

DOGS WELCOME BUT KEEP THEM ON LEADS PLEASE

Key: Red routes are Wakelyns paths and yellow routes are Public Rights of Way.

There’s a whole lot happening at Wakelyns these days and you can read all about it by going to their website HERE.

You can also find us on Twitter and Instagram as @wakelyns.

Note: If you receive this blog via email, you will need to go to the Metfield Village website at metfieldsuffolk.com in order to click on the links.

METFIELD Tales from a Suffolk Village 1928–2017

Remember Christine’s book? If you haven’t seen it yet or got your own copy, now’s your chance. Metfield Stores is selling them at £4.99. Full of photos and fascinating anecdotes, this book has been a huge success and much praised by readers.

It would make the perfect Christmas present or stocking filler at this amazing price (formerly £10/copy) but stocks will not last forever!

And, since Christine has donated the books to the shop, the proceeds from the sale of every copy you buy from the shop will go to the shop. So, why not buy a copy or two and support your village shop at the same time?

Christine Brennan book launch 2017. Photo © Jonathan Brinton.

Keeping Suffolk Safe: latest advice on Covid restrictions

Your help is needed to share key messages about Covid-19 with family, friends, colleagues, community groups and any other networks that you have.  We need to reach as many people as possible to ensure they have the most up-to-date information available and to help avoid the confusion some people are feeling.

The web page that will host the Message Cascader information (with versions in 11 other languages) is due to go live next week on the Covid-19 information page: https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/ . Look for the Message Cascader link next week!

Anyone can be a Message Cascader, if you would like to go on the distribution list to receive new infographics as soon as they become available, please email message.cascaders@suffolk.gov.uk.

Alternatively, you can share the blog updates from this website – by social media, email, or printing out as posters.

The more people we reach the more we can help keep our communities safe – these messages will help remind everyone how to do that.

Be a Message Cascader and help us to Keep Suffolk Safe.

Info below issued 21 Oct 2020.

Has Covid-19 left you struggling?

Guy McGregor of Suffolk County Council has asked us to pass on information about the help that SCC is able to provide to those experiencing considerable difficulties as a result of Covid-19 in Suffolk.

You can view or download a file that tells you all about the help they can offer and how to apply for it by going to the website and clicking on the link in the margin.

Please tell anyone you know who lives in Suffolk if you think they might need help.

Feet giving you problems?

Do you have happy feet? Or do you suffer from corns, bunions, athlete’s foot, cracked skin, ingrowing toenails, etc.? Maybe you just can’t reach your toenails to cut them anymore?

Help is at hand in the form of Waveney Valley Foot Health. Local resident Bev Hague finished training as a Foot Health practitioner earlier this year and is keen to start offering her services in and around Metfield.

She will treat you in the comfort of your own home or a residential care home and follows strict Covid-19 safety recommendations.

See below for full details of the services Bev offers. The best way to look after your feet is to treat them with regular attention by a professional.

Some potential clients may not have access to the internet and, because of Covid, Bev is unable to distribute leaflets or flyers at the moment. So she would be very grateful if you could download and print out the flyer below and give it to anyone you think might be interested. Thank you!

Latest news from Metfield website

D R I F T W O O D
Watch TONIGHT! Wednesday 30 Sept at 7.30pm. 

Many will remember Margaret Orbell (1910–2006), who reigned over the campsite in Walberswick. This fascinating character is brought to a wider audience in The Cut Facebook premiere of the film DRIFTWOOD.


Live in Metfield and run a local business?
We can promote you on the village website with just a few words in the margin of every page – free of charge, for a short period.

Our usual charge is £10/year for a full-size advertising slot but, because of Covid-19 and its impact on small businesses, we have waived this year’s charge. Email metfieldweb@gmail.com if you are interested.

Delicious beetroot slaw

If you’ve grown too many beetroot and run out of things to make with it, here is a simple recipe that will surely please – both the eyes and the tastebuds. And beetroot is so good for you.

It’s basically a coleslaw made with raw beetroot plus any other ingredients you fancy – grated apple, carrot, thinly sliced red cabbage. The recipe I use is roughly as below, quantities are not precise but it keeps quite well in the fridge for a week or more if you find you’ve made a bit too much.

Ingredients
2 or 3 medium uncooked beetroot
1 medium carrot optional
1/8 to 1/4 red cabbage, finely sliced
2 small apples optional
good handful of sunflower seeds
a good sprinkle of cumin seeds, toasted in a dry frying pan

Method

  • Using a processor, coarsely grate the beetroot and whatever else you have chosen to put in
  • Transfer to a large bowl, add sliced cabbage and mix with two large forks
  • Add sunflower seeds and toasted cumin seeds
  • Mix thoroughly

Now make the dressing

  • sunflower oil
  • cider vinegar
  • generous shakes of dark soy sauce
  • a couple of tablespoons of orange juice
  • a few good squirts of runny honey

Quantities of the above are really to personal taste. You need a few good glugs of oil and about 1/3 to 1/2 of that quantity of cider vinegar. The other ingredients you can experiment with. I pour them into a cereal bowl and use a small whisk to mix. The dressing is slightly thick. Taste before pouring onto the slaw and thoroughly mixing in. The slaw looks glossy and colourful and tastes delicious!


Solar and PV panel checks – scam alert

I thought I would alert website followers to a scam that I almost fell for!

A week or so ago, I received a call from a company (I think they called themselves the Energy Hub) claiming to have taken over the ‘contract’ for our PV panels when the previous company went out of business. They said that they needed to carry out a ‘health check’ on our panels and arranged to come at an agreed time/date and give us a report. I agreed that they would phone me the day before to confirm the appointment.

Luckily, my husband was very suspicious, so I consulted Google and this is one of the many articles that I found. Needless to say I told them they couldn’t come near our panels and cancelled the proposed visit! I hope this info proves helpful.

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Solar Panel Scam Reports 

Please avoid scam callers regarding your solar panels

Green Energy Electrical have received several reports from customers who have received cold calls warning them about potential hazards with their solar panels.

In some cases, the customers have been told that their panels are a potential fire risk and that an urgent risk assessment is needed to determine whether protective measures are required. These are false claims, being used to put pressure on the customer to agree to a visit. Once in the customer’s home, they are told that their solar panel systems require solar isolator devices. Claims are made that without them, the fire service will not attend a fire caused by the solar panels and that home insurance is invalidated. Again, these are false claims and customers have been quoted up to £3000 to have these isolators installed.

In other cases, cold callers have told customers that a health check or maintenance is required on their solar panel system. During these health check or maintenance visits, customers are then falsely told that their system is in need of upgrade. It might be that the inverter is no longer functioning properly or that the system would be made more productive by adding different components. On some occasions, these cold callers claim to be connected to the MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) or even the original installation company. These people are not to be trusted.

The MCS reported in August 2016 that they were aware of the issue and have advised that system owners should not feel pressured into agreeing to any kind of home visit or making any purchases.

If you receive any phone calls or even have someone knock on your door about your solar panels, please proceed with caution and do not agree to a home visit or feel pressured into paying for something. In the event that somebody does contact you and you are unsure of their legitimacy, please contact us straight away on 01277 523220.

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Recycling news

From Waste Advisor William, Suffolk Recycles

Vans, cars with trailers and trade waste can now book a slot.
Vans, cars with trailers and trade waste will now be able to use Recycling Centres with a pre-booked slot at 9 of the 11 Recycling Centres (apart from Haverhill and Leiston).
Some restrictions apply. Head to our website for more information and full list of Terms and Conditions: www.suffolk.gov.uk/recyclingcentres.

Booking a Recycling Centre time slot

Find out how to book a time slot online for a Recycling Centre in Suffolk as part of a phased re-opening. 

Phased re-opening of Recycling Centres

Recycling Centres have re-opened following closure due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

You need to book a time slot online to visit your local Recycling Centre as part of this phased re-opening.

Using a booking system will:

  • reduce the waiting times of visitors to each Recycling Centre
  • help manage traffic to avoid a dangerous build-up of cars on the roads

Please do not come to a Recycling Centre without a booking. 

You must not visit a Recycling Centre if you or anyone in your household: 

  • has tested positive for COVID-19
  • has COVID-19 symptoms
  • are shielding or at higher risk of coronavirus

Harleston one-way system – confused? You’re not the only one!

If you are thinking of popping into Harleston to do a bit of shopping, don’t be put off by the hoo-hah about the new pedestrianised one-way system. All is explained in the documents below.

Try it for yourself first and then tell South Norfolk District Council what you think – good and bad. We need to support our local towns and local businesses and they need feedback.

Metfield Stores – Extended opening hours

Despite the lockdown – or more likely because of it – our village shop is going from strength to strength. Staffed by a dedicated team of volunteers and the cheerful and hardworking manager, Sue Mead, Metfield Stores continues to offer a wide range of goodies as well as the basics – and all at reasonable prices. 

We are grateful to all the new volunteers who came forward to fill the gaps when several of the regulars became vulnerable, as well as to those who felt able to continue. This has allowed the shop to serve you throughout the pandemic.

As from today, Monday 15 June, we are able again to extend our opening hours (see below). We value our customers and volunteers and encourage you to continue to shop in Metfield even though some Covid-19 restrictions are easing. 

NEW – extended opening hours for your convenience!
Monday to Friday: 8.30am to 4pm
Saturday: 8.30am to 2pm  Sunday: 10am to 12.30pm
Also available: deliveries for vulnerable folk, Phone & Collect 
Social distancing inside shop – 2 customers at a time only
Tel: 01379 586204

NEW! Regular fruit & veg deliveries. 
You can pre-order by email or come along and see what’s available before ordering.
Good quality and reasonably priced

Citizens Advice Mid Suffolk

Citizens Advice Mid Suffolk can give advice on problems at work, help people struggling to pay their bills and work out whether people are getting all the financial help they are entitled to.

They are a local charity and their advice is free.  

Open
Monday to Thursday 9.30am–3.30pm
Friday 9.30am–12.30pm  

You can call them on
01449 676060

or contact them via their website at https://www.midsuffolkcab.org.uk/contact-us/

Keep fit with fresh fruit and veg!

Keeping fit and well during the Covid-19 lockdown is a must. We all know about the importance of daily exercise, but eating a healthy and balanced diet is just as crucial.


And the good news is that Metfield Stores is now getting regular deliveries of fresh fruit and veg to help you stay healthy. Excellent quality and reasonably priced. A price list will soon be available to download. WATCH THIS SPACE!

Come along to the Stores and see what’s available or place an order by phone (01379 586204) or, if you can, click here to send us an email.

Three cheers for Manager and Volunteers at Metfield Stores

We are open during the Covid-19 lockdown period
Monday to Friday: 8.30am to 3pm
Saturday: 8.30 to 2pm Sunday: 10am to 12.30pm

It goes without saying that our wonderful village shop is ‘doing its bit’ in the time of Covid-19. Sue and the volunteers are doing a sterling job keeping Metfield Stores open and supplying as many different items as possible.

The opening hours are reduced, of course, as many of the volunteers are vulnerable because of age or health. But a core team keeps on going and for that they deserve huge thanks from the community.

We need, though, to be mindful of their safety as well as our own. Only two customers at a time, please, and do observe social distancing of 2 metres at all times.

In addition, they are offering deliveries for vulnerable folk and a ‘phone & collect’ service. Call 01379 586204 to place an order.

What’s wrong with a growing and baking frenzy?

sourdough    garlic    potatoes

There’s nothing wrong with trying things we haven’t done before. Of course, it was a bit frustrating for regular bread bakers when buying flour became almost impossible for a while. And there have been many derisory remarks in the press about the nation suddenly baking sourdough loaves. So frightfully middle class, don’t you know!

And what about all those people rushing to buy up all the seeds (many of which may never get sown, they say). But suppliers across the country have been working hard to get orders out as quickly as they can in difficult circumstances. For most, they’ve had to change working practices to protect their staff and comply with Covid-19 guidelines.

One such is our local supplier of all you need to ‘grow your own’ – Middleton Farm Nurseries – now offering a collect-only or limited delivery service. Details HERE.

Really, we shouldn’t complain. If we’re gardening and baking, we’ve likely got homes to live in and gardens or allotments to grow in. We are lucky. There are all sorts of kindly acts that can make a difference to those less fortunate and folk are pretty inventive when it comes to helping their friends and neighbours. Like Margaret and her team, compiling a weekly list of orders for plants etc from Metfield residents. Details HERE.

Making bread and growing veg and fruit are both activities that are beneficial to our mental and physical health. Both are imbued with hope and positivity. And we need plenty of that at the moment!

Happy baking and happy gardening to all!

Middleton Farm Nurseries

Good news for gardeners!

Middleton Farm Nurseries is accepting orders for tray veg, herbs, tomato plants, bedding plants etc. – by telephone (01379 852294) or by email.

Remember to include in your email your full name, phone number and when you would like to collect. See link below for current availability and prices. This list is updated weekly.

Download the latest PRICE LIST & AVAILABILITY HERE
Updated Monday 6 May 2020

Help is at hand for Metfield residents 
Margaret Preston is kindly collating a Metfield residents’ order list for those who need help with placing an order or are unable to collect purchases from Weybread themselves.

Please check the website using the link above before you phone Margaret (01379 588226) with your order as it is updated each week. She will explain what to do next.

A big THANK YOU to Margaret and her helpers for doing this! 

Social distancing is something we can ALL do to help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Every day we are bombarded with more advice and information on TV and websites. It’s no wonder we can find it a bit confusing. Below is an extract from the GOV.UK website. Go to the link to read more. Published 16 March 2020.
__________________________

Guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK and protecting older people and vulnerable adults

Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

They are:

  1. Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
  2. Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible
  3. Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information
  4. Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs
  5. Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
  6. Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services

Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is pragmatic.

We strongly advise you to follow the above measures as much as you can and to significantly limit your face-to-face interaction with friends and family if possible, particularly if you:

  • are over 70
  • have an underlying health condition
  • are pregnant

This advice is likely to be in place for some weeks.