APRIL 2016


Mark and Wedmore Ward

Polly Costello – polly.costello@sedgemoor.gov.uk 01934 713564

Will Human – will.human@sedgemoor.gov.uk 01278 641795


Will Human and Polly Costello attended several meetings during February and March. When Will asked Sue Mountstevens (the Police Commissioner for Avon and Somerset) at her talk to the Parish Council AGM if she thought that rural communities were getting value for money from the Police, bearing in mind the level of funding that villages such as Mark and Wedmore provide value, she initially said that we were. However, she later accepted on further questioning that maybe we are helping towards of the policing of areas, principally towns and Bristol City, in greater need, a contradiction to her original reply. He and Polly also pressed her on the issues of speeding through the villages.


Will continued with the speeding theme when he brought to the attention of the local constables when he attended the Cluster Group meeting held at Cheddar. The Cluster Group is a representation of Parish and Town Councils in Sedgemoor.


Will is also delighted to learn that his efforts to get a member of our community a permanent home after 2 years of being threatened with being moved out of the village by Housing has been successful. The resident concerned has been living in a home that was deemed too large and was awaiting a smaller property with the prospect of being rehomed in another village or town entirely.


Will also managed to secure a payment from SDC to cover a shortfall in the amount needed to obtain legal opinion on whether a Judicial Review with regard to the Pylons decision was a viable option to continue the fight. Sadly, the answer was that it unlikely to succeed.






The Mark Parish Council held its 2015/16 AGM on Tuesday 8 March 2016 with the keynote speaker, Sue Mountstevens, the Avon & Somerset Police & Crime Commissioner a useful insight into policing in the County.



Wessex Water. Wessex Water continues its working to improve the sewerage system sewerage and flood alleviation work at the Poplar Rd end of Mark Causeway. Their plans to extend the project along the Causeway was undermined on 26 February, literally days before the company was about to move onto the Causeway when County Highways assessed that there was insufficient space for the planned traffic-controlled by lights to pass to accommodate single lane traffic and the work area required by Wessex Water. The move also clashed with other road works in and around Mark. Schemes have affected Littlemoor and Southwick Roads and a contractor spent several days laying cables associated with broadband on the narrowest part of Church Street - without warning and without comment from Highways! Late on Friday 18 March, County Highways then informed Wessex Water that it could close Mark Causeway between Monday 4 April and Monday 8 August 2016 from outside “Pear Tree Farm” to “The Hollies”. So far as is possible, vehicle access to properties in the affected zone will be maintained, pedestrian and cycle access will be possible and arrangements will be made to give the morning and afternoon school buses access through the closure. Wessex Water have been good at keeping the Parish informed of progress and their notices/briefings are being posted on Parish notice boards. The Company will sending letters to residents. Businesses at financial risk of being affected by the closure should contact Wessex Water direct.      


Mark Cricket Club. After a five year struggle dedicated to establishing a permanent home for Mark Cricket Club near Mark School, no headway was made and as a consequence, the Club is abandoning the project. While Mark Parish Council fully supported and still does, the project, regrettably fell foul of County-level planning and legal restrictions. This is of considerable disappointment as the project would have relieved ‘school rush hour’ and would have brought a village facility to Mark Causeway. The Club is to be congratulated on the efforts it has made, but it met an immovable bureaucratic object. It hopes to acquire another field in the village.


SpeedWatch. Speedwatch is back online. Although Mike Schollar has since moved from the village, he has undertaken to continue managing the scheme for the foreseeable future. His experience and persistence is invaluable.


Clean Up Day.  The annual Parish Clean-up Day on 27th February 2016 was registered under the “Clean for the Queen” scheme. All roads in and around Mark were covered by 15 people taking to the roads with bin bags and rubbish bins on wheels to litter pick around the village. The Parish Council would like to thank all who came along to help. There are still parts of the Parish blighted by litter and fly-tipping. The disposal of rubbish thrown into several rhynes has been raised with the Drainage Board.



The following applications were considered:-

  • 001 & 002LB.  Conversion of two outbuildings to two, one bedroom holiday lets, Packhorse Farm, Church Street, Mark – Mr. and Mrs. B. Morley. REFUSAL.
  • 004. Erection of extension, Holcroft House, Southwick Road, Mark – Mrs. A. Puddy – Parish Council. RECOMMENDED. 6.


The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that large mobile phone masts will be given the go-ahead without requiring new planning permission. New regulations mean that masts of up to 25 metres will be allowed, with networks able to build new masts in areas such as national parks, and extend existing ones anywhere that is already used for telecommunications, without seeking further permission. 



National Grid.  There is no news from National Grid other than they do not intend to start work on the haul road this year.



Councillor Mrs Weekes is requesting news from local organisations for inclusion on the web-site and therefore Mark-based enterprises, clubs and organisations in the Parish are invited to promote their activities on the Mark Village website on www.markvillage.co.uk. Similarly, businesses and commercial enterprises are invited to promote their activities on the website.



The next Parish Council Meeting will be held at the Village Hall beginning at 7.30pm on Tuesday 3 May 2016. Members of the public are invited and are most welcome to attend.


Nick van der Bijl

Mark Parish Council

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