A Meeting of Mark Parish Council was held in the Village Hall, Mark on Tuesday, 7th January 2014 at 7.00 p.m.


Present:- Councillor N. van der Bijl (Chairman), Councillors Mrs D. Bayliss, Mrs E. 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.


57. Disclosures of Interest


Councillors Mrs E. Corkish and Mrs J. Weekes disclosed personal interests in matters relating to Mark Village Hall and Councillor Francis disclosed a personal interest in issues relating to National Grid as a shareholder.


58. Minutes


The Minutes of the Meetings of the Council held on 5th November 2013 were confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.


59. Report of the Police


PC Wills had submitted a written report on an overview of significant crimes in the area and details of incidents specifically in Mark during December 2013.


60. Play Area


Councillor Schollar reported upon an estimate obtained for new dog proof fencing. Possible sources of grant aid in addition to RLT2 funding would be explored and further estimates would be sought in due course. It was noted that the annual inspection would take place in the near future.


61. Finance

a) Balance of Accounts

It was reported that the balance of accounts at 1st January were as follows:- Current £285.21, Reserve £15,677.19.


b) Authorisation for Payment

It was agreed that the following payments be made:-

000770 G. Bickers                        grass cutting                            £662.50

000771 MCA                                grant                                     £2,000.00


c) Budget for 2014/15

The Council considered the draft budget for 2014/15. It was agreed that the budget, as amended, be approved and a precept of £15,500 be levied less any Council Tax Support Scheme grant and the Clerk’s salary be fixed at £3,025.


d) Grass cutting 2014 Season

The Council considered two quotations received for grass cutting during the 2014 season. It was agreed to accept a quotation submitted by GWB Services of North Petherton. It was also agreed to invite a quotation from a local person for the 2015 season.


62. Highway Matters


 It was agreed to report numerous specified highway defects and a missing chevron. Councillor Schollar reported upon Community Speedwatch and it was noted that a strategic Speedwatch Meeting would take place in Bridgwater on 28th January 2014. A discussion ensued on road safety issues along Mark Causeway particularly at School times. It was agreed to request the Highways Authority to extend the School yellow hatching to The Croft. There were currently no issues regarding rights of way. It was agreed to consider refurbishing the former British Telecom kiosk at Laurel Farm with voluntary assistance and to appeal for voluntary assistance in refurbishing the historic finger post directional signs in the village through the Parish Magazine, such work to possibly be undertaken on Village Clean-up Day. The flood help and sandbag scheme was now in place at the Amesbury and Puddy premises.


63. Planning Matters


An update of planning applications received together with the recommendations of this Council and the decisions of the District Council was submitted. The following new planning applications were considered:-

048 – Variation of condition to remove reference to timber, The Chestnuts, Poplar Lane – Darcy Property Developments Ltd – recommend permission;

050 – Retention of Elliott classrooms and retention and continued use of Elliott building for nursery, Mark First School, Mark Causeway – Somerset County Council – recommend permission.


64. National Grid


Members received an update on issues relating to National Grid. It was noted that Doug Bamsey, Corporate Director, Sedgemoor District Council, had agreed to speak on the subject of mitigation/possible community benefit issues at the 2014 Annual Parish Meeting.


65. Village Hall /Football Pitch Area


No issues were raised regarding the Village Hall/Football Pitch Area.


66. Affordable Housing


Councillor Emary reported that the Housing Officer had indicated that there had been a low return of forms from people registered on the CBL system (the housing waiting list). He was therefore contacting people registered on this list whose preferred area was Mark to encourage them to fill out the survey form. The Housing Officer hoped to attend the next Meeting with a view to presenting the initial draft report.


67. First World War Centenary Commemoration 2014


It was agreed to consider purchasing a further replacement seat for Jubilee Green and dedicating it to “Fallen Heros” to commemorate the First World War Centenary..


68. Parish Council Web-site


A sum of £750 had been included in the 2014/15 Estimates to enable a Parish Council web-site to be built. It was agreed that possible assistance be sought from students at the Kings of Wessex School and a possibilities for a shared web-site with Burnham Without Parish Council be explored.


69. Next Meeting


It was agreed that the next Meeting be held in the Village Hall on 18th March 2014 immediately following the Annual Parish Meeting which would commence at 7.00 p.m.



The Meeting closed at 8.40 p.m.                                                             Chairman



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