Mark and Wedmore Ward

Polly Costello – 01934 713564

Will Human – 01278 641795


Both Polly and Will attended the Axe Brue Internal Drainage Board meeting this month to consider the current and upcoming programme of works and budgets. The drainage boards provide a wealth of activity and expertise in keeping the fields around the levels from flooding. The board itself consists of elected representatives primarily from the farming community and appointed members such as Sedgemoor District Council Councillors.


As you will already have read, Will also helped clear a local ryhnne of rubbish along Harp Road and then took the rubbish off to the tip.


Will has been helping Mark Moor Bowling Club seek funding. The club has plans to improve the club house in Vole Road but need to raise around £70,000. The applications to various funding sources such as from Viridor and Sedgemoor District Council are in the process of being submitted. The club is a warm and friendly group who are always looking to increase their membership (especially from the local Mark community) and would welcome anyone interested in taking a look at this pastime to call in and say hello. It recently held a Schools competition. 




A Meeting of Mark Parish Council was held in the Village Hall, Mark on Tuesday, 5th July 2016 at 7.30pm.  Discussions and actions taken since are summarised below.


County Council Report. Councillor David Huxtable reported that the need for savings has forced the local authorities in Devon and Somerset to examine a federated devolution scheme to identify public costs that could be shared.  A final decision is likely in November 2016 but it will not mean the disappearance of the County of Somerset. There was another discussion on HGV movements through the Parish and the damage being caused to our roads.  


Mark Moor Bowling Club. The Council agreed a £2,500 grant as its contribution to the proposed £80,000 upgrade that the Club is planning. 


The Balance of Accounts are in a healthy state. £1,058.41 which lead to the financing of a seat to commemorate the 90th Birthday of HM the Queen. The seat has been placed on Jubilee Green, by Amesbury & Puddy, the Council would like to thank Paul and his team for undertaking this task once again on behalf of the Parish Council the seat was suitably annotated with a plaque.


Public Areas Portfolio


Highways  It is noted that highway defects, by no means all, had recently been marked for attention. It was agreed to monitor highway repair work in the Parish.


Wessex Water re-opened Mark Causeway on 8 July.  Residents affected by the necessity are thanked for their patience during the work. While the road has generally been traffic-free, except for the increasingly longer parked cars in ‘school rush hour’, the area around the work has been noisy and inconvenient. But, work on the road is not yet finished. Here is a message from Somerset County Council:


Now Wessex Water has completed its works on Mark Causeway, Somerset County Council needs to carry out major resurfacing works to improve the deteriorating road surface.


These works are planned to start on Monday 1 August and are expected to take four weeks to complete. By timing this work to take place during the school holidays it is hoped to minimise disruption as much as possible.


The extent of these works will be from the junction of Pillmore Lane to the junction of Yarrow Road.


The resurfacing will be carried out under a road closure, but this will be phased in order to minimise the impact on local traffic. Local access to businesses and properties will be maintained wherever possible, and it is hoped the road will be open to traffic at the weekends


In due course, Burnham Moor Rd is likely to be closed in August for M5 bridge repairs.


Councillors Francis and Human are thanked for removing rubbish from the rhynes at Harp Road. The use of Community Payback offenders are to be used to clear litter and other work in the village.


A Council Landscape Officer is being asked to inspect an unwell tree at Jubilee Green. It was noted that a chestnut tree on the Green had been damaged by recent commemorations to a road accident victim which had been nailed into it.


SpeedWatch. The Police have provided a pocket speed monitoring device for Mark Community Speedwatch. The Parish Council has applied to the Police Road Safety fund towards the cost of a second device. One driver has been clocked driving at 74mph inside a 30mph zone.


Public Rights of Way. Councillor Geoff Francis undertook a survey of signs on the public rights of way.


Fly-Tipping. Councillors Geoff Francis and Will Human with assistance from another person removed rubbish from the ditch between Harp Road and Coombes caravan site. Most originated from the site with some possibly thrown from road users and blown from the recycling lorry. The proprietor was shown holes in the site perimeter, which, if closed, would help to reduce the overflow of rubbish and waste into the public space. Clearance of rubbish in the ditch bordering the Harp Road Z-bend suggests that it was packets of fruit and other food, possibly discarded by a delivery driver. A similar find was made on Butt Lake Rd (heading south from the Harp Road crossroads) several weeks ago.


Councillor Human has confirmed with Sedgemoor District Council that keeping ditches clear is the responsibility of the landowner, regardless of who dumps it. The exception is rubbish blocking or contaminate water channels in which the Drainage Board becomes involved, which can issue a directive for the affected area to be cleared.


Defibrillator. Outside the Village Hall is a Defibrillator (defib) for use as first aid in a medical emergency. Best to follow the advice in the cabinet by making a 999 call as soon as possible and giving the call handler the ‘defib box’ postcode location, which is inside the box, so that an ambulance can be directed to the incident. The caller will also be given a code number to unlock the device.  Only those who have been given ‘defib’ awareness training by South West Ambulance should use the device. Awareness sessions are held annually to give members of the public some confidence in the use of the ‘defib’.


Planning Portfolio:

The following planning applications were considered:-

  • 009. Installation of electronic telecommunications apparatus, Kingsway. BT Openreach. Permitted Development.
  • 014. Demolition of Ingleside, The Causeway and erection of two dwellings. Recommended.
  • 015. Certificate of Lawfulness for the existing use of building as a self-contained dwelling, Cottage 1, Willow Tree Farm, Vole Road. No Observations. 
  • 016 & 017LB. Erection of extension and alterations, Orchard Cottage, The Causeway. Permission recommended.
  • 021. Change of use of agricultural building to dwelling, Green Drove. Refusal recommended.


Website Portfolio/Superfast Broadband. Councillor Mrs Weekes suggested that the web-site needed refreshing and it was agreed to contact web designers for suggestions/quotations, unless a volunteer steps forward.


Police and Crime Plan. The Police and Crime Commissioner is seeking the views of the Public to help shape the Plan for Avon and Somerset. Vulnerability and strengthening and improving local policing teams are just some of the areas that the Commissioner believes should be part of the Plan. To give your views:




The next Parish Council Meeting will be held at the Village Hall beginning at 7.30pm on Tuesday 6th September 2016. Members of the public are invited.


Nick van der Bijl

Mark Parish Council

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