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.