A Meeting of Mark Parish Council was held in the Village Hall, Mark on Tuesday, 4th November 2014 at 7.00 p.m.

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

Apology for absence received from District Councillor R. Burden and County Councillor D. Huxtable.

19. Declarations of Interest


Councillors Mrs E. Corkish and Mrs J. Weekes declared personal interests 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 2nd September 2014 were confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.


21. Report of the Police


PC Wills had submitted a written report on crime statistics for Mark during October 2014 together with speeding issues.


22. Play Area


Councillor Schollar reported that the play area had again been awarded the Wood Cup for best play area in the 2014 Somerset Playing Fields’ Association Field of the Year Competition together with £100 prize money. Councillor Schollar was congratulated upon this achievement. The trophy would be shared with the Mark Community Association in recognition of their work in connection with the MUGA project and it was suggested that consideration be given to a trophy cabinet in the hall. Councillor Schollar also reported that he wished to stand down from looking after the play area with effect from 31st March 2015 and it was agreed to discuss possible future management arrangements with the Mark Community Association. Councillor Schollar also clarified that the cost of cleaning and re-fixing the old notice board and signs had amounted to approximately £5 and that his expenses had also included the cost of bags of top soil.


23. Finance


a) Balance of Accounts

It was reported that the balances at 1st October were as follows:- Current £9,796.87, Reserve £7,829.20.


b) Authorisation for Payment

It was agreed that the following payments be made:-

DD        SDC                                dog waste bin emptying               £83.62

000786 G. Bickers                        grass cutting                               £591.00

000787 Parish Clerk                     expenses                                     £190.57


c) Bank Reconciliation


A bank reconciliation for the period 1st April to 30th September 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.


d) Other Issues


It was agreed to review the Cemetery fees for 2015 and also to apply to the Nuttall Trust for a grant towards the World War I commemorative seat and possibly towards the cost of the new fencing in the play area.


24. Highway Matters


It was agreed to seek information from County Highways on the possibility of surface dressing along Mark Causeway. A quotation would be sought for the installation of bollards to prevent vehicle erosion damage at Jubilee Green. Councillor Schollar reported upon problems regarding obtaining regular feedback from the Police and it was agreed to take the matter up with the Police and Crime Commissioner and also the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service through Councillor Huxtable. 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 or the overhanging trees in Dutch Road. The position regarding obtaining a SID for Mark had been complicated with health and safety issues by the County Council. It was agreed to inform Councillor Huxtable that the School were interested in flashing lights for use at school times subject to receipt of further information.

The former telephone kiosk at Laurel Farm had been refurbished and a response was still awaited from British Telecom regarding possible adoption. Councillor Francis reported that work was nearing completion regarding the refurbishment of the historic finger post directional signs in the village. It was noted that the Drainage Board had served notices on landowners to clear a rhyne in the Northwick Road area by 15th December, failing which they would undertake the work on a rechargeable basis.


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. With regard to application 33/14/044, (Extensions at Hart House, Mark Causeway),to which the Parish Council had raised objection, the District Council had now pointed out that this was a renewal of 33/11/042 which the Parish Council had supported. In the circumstances it was agreed to revise the comments in respect of 33/14/044 to “No Observations”.

Councillor Mrs Bayliss agreed to seek an update on Bramley Farm from the Planning Enforcement Officer and it was agreed to take no action regarding an issue at Northwick Road.

Members considered the possibility of a development boundary being reinstated for Mark Causeway as part of a review of the Core Strategy. It was felt that in the first instance the District Council should obtain the views of Wessex Water and the Environment Agency on the matter and Nick Tait, SDC, be invited to attend the next appropriate Meeting.


26. National Grid


Councillor Mrs Corkish outlined the current position and it was noted that a 1,500 word statement would be presented at a Special Meeting of the District Council in December 2014.


27. Village Hall /Football Pitch Area


The Chairman reported that he had approached the Bowls Club regarding coach parking issues. Councillor Schollar reported upon a need for fresh defibrillator training and, after discussion, it was agreed that a session be arranged in the hall to coincide with the March Flea Market.


28. Affordable Housing


Councillor Emary reported upon a Meeting to discuss affordable housing held on 29th October, confidential minutes of which are filed with the signed copy of these minutes. It was agreed to arrange a Meeting with Steve Watson, Wessex Community Land Trust Project in the near future to discuss a possible Community Land Trust approach for Mark.


29. Parish Council Web-site and Connecting Somerset and Devon – Superfast Broadband


Councillor Mrs Weekes reported that it was hoped that a further meeting would shortly be held with Rob Faulkner of Future Dog I T Solutions to progress the web-site. Councillor Mrs Weekes also undertook to forward an E-mail regarding projects designed to improve broadband provision in the area to all Members for information.


31. Mobile Library


Councillor Schollar referred to a County Council consultation regarding possible changes to the library service. It was agreed to raise objection to withdrawal of the mobile library service at West Close, Mark Causeway and to obtain greater awareness and use of this service and a further service at Churchlands via the Parish Magazine, notice boards, Friendship Club etc.


32. Next Meeting


It was agreed that the next Meeting be held in the Village Hall on 6th January 2015 at 7.00 p.m.


The Meeting closed at 8.45 p.m.                                                             Chairman

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