A Meeting of Mark Parish Council was held in the Village Hall, Mark on Tuesday, 2nd September 2014 at 7.00 p.m.

Present:- Councillor N. van  der Bijl (Chairman), Councillors Mrs D. Bayliss, S. Emary, G. Francis, Mrs C. Gibson, M. Schollar and Mrs J. Weekes with the Clerk and County Councillor D. Huxtable.

Apology for absence received from Councillor Mrs E. Corkish and District Councillor R. Burden.

The Chairman arrived at 7.20 p.m. prior to which Councillor Francis (Vice-Chairman) took the chair.


19. Declarations of Interest


Councillor Mrs J. Weekes declared a personal interest in matters relating to Mark Village Hall. Councillor Francis declared a personal interest in issues relating to National Grid as a shareholder.


20. Minutes


The Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 1st July 2014 were confirmed and signed by the Presiding Chairman as a correct record.


21. Report of the County Councillor


County Councillor Huxtable reported upon an increase in highway work taking place in the county, budgetary issues and Health and Wellbeing grants. He undertook to seek an update on the position regarding obtaining a SID for Mark and to support Mark Speedwatch in their quest to obtain regular feedback from the Police. It was agreed to support a suggestion from Councillor Huxtable that flashing lights for use at school times be sought in the vicinity of Mark First School and Councillor Francis undertook to speak to the School regarding the matter.


22. Play Area


Councillor Schollar reported that he had cleaned and re-fixed the old notice board and signs to the new fence at a cost of £18.76.


23. Finance


a) Balance of Accounts

It was reported that the balances at 1st August were as follows:- Current £3,636.88, Reserve £7,828.10.


b) Audit of 2013/14 Accounts

It was noted that the External Auditors had completed the audit for 2013/14 and had concluded on the basis of their review, in their opinion the information in the annual return was in accordance with proper practices and no matters had come to their attention giving cause for concern that relevant legislation and regulatory requirements had not been met. The internal auditor also had no issues to raise with Members.


c) Authorisation for Payment

It was noted that the following payment had been made since the last Meeting:-

000782 GB Sport & Leisure    replacement fence             £7,200.00

It was agreed that the following payments be made:-

000783 G. Bickers                        grass cutting                            £1,292.00

000784 Parish Clerk                     expenses                                     £206.57

000785 Grant Thornton UK LLP audit fee                                      £360.00


d) Bank Reconciliation


A bank reconciliation for the period 1st April to 30th June 2014 was checked with the original bank statements and signed by the Members who did not sign cheques as part of the Council’s financial controls.



24. Highway Matters


There were no new highway defects to report. Gary Bickers could repair the vehicle erosion damage at Jubilee Green but it was likely to occur again. It was agreed to see if bollards could be erected along the area concerned. Councillor Schollar reported upon problems regarding obtaining regular feedback from the Police and it was agreed to take the matter further at the next Meeting should no improvement be achieved. No further update had been received from County Highways regarding the extension to the School yellow hatching to The Croft at Mark Causeway and white edge of carriageway markings to deter parking on the bends at Littlemoor Road. The former British Telecom kiosk at Laurel Farm had been refurbished and a response was awaited from British Telecom regarding adopting it. Councillor Francis reported that work was underway regarding refurbishing the historic finger post directional signs in the village. No response had been received from County Highways regarding problems caused by overhanging trees in Dutch Road.


25. Planning Matters


An update of planning applications received together with the recommendations of this Council and the decisions of the District Council was submitted.

Mr A. Hockin addressed the Council regarding his application to fell an oak tree at Penross, Mark Causeway (33/14/029). The Parish Council had raised objection to his application and he was advised of the procedure which would be taken by the District Council in determining the application and steps which he could take in support of his case.

It was agreed to seek an update on Bramley Farm from the Planning Enforcement Officer and also request that steps be taken to remove the container at Highbury House, Mark Causeway following approval of application 33/14/030 by the Development Control Committee that day.


26. National Grid


It was noted that there was currently no new information to report.


27. Village Hall /Football Pitch Area


It was reported that work was nearing completion on the refurbishment of the bar area in the hall. Reference was made to the recent removal of a tree alongside the football pitch. The Chairman undertook to clarify the situation and the possible planting of a replacement tree would be investigated. The Chairman also undertook to approach the Bowls Club regarding coach parking issues.


28. Affordable Housing


Councillor Emary reported that he was seeking a date for a meeting with Duncan Harvey to discuss any potential sites which had been put forward.


29. Parish Council Web-site


Councillor Mrs Weekes submitted a report on the current position regarding the development of a web-site for Mark Parish Council. A considerable amount of text had been compiled for loading onto the web-site and it was hoped that a further meeting would shortly be held with Rob Faulkner of Future Dog I T Solutions to progress the matter.


30. Connecting Somerset and Devon – Superfast Broadband


It was agreed to seek clarification as to why part of Mark covered by the Mark Moor Exchange was currently shown as “out of the programme” and part was within the programme for 2015.


31. Vodaphone


It was agreed to see if assistance could be sought from Vodaphone to improve their signal in the Mark Area.


32. Next Meeting


It was agreed that the next Meeting be held in the Village Hall on 4th November 2014 at 7.00 p.m.


The Meeting closed at 8.20 p.m.                                                             Chairman

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