SEDGEMOOR DISTRICT COUNCIL
Mark and Wedmore Ward
Polly Costello – firstname.lastname@example.org 01934 713564
Will Human – email@example.com 01278 641795
Polly and Will attended meetings this month in their roles as District Councillors. Both attended the Special Full Council meeting at which future plans for the Northgate site in Bridgwater were discussed.
Polly attended the Development Committee meeting and spoke against the Northwick Road proposed development by South West Housing on the grounds of unsuitability of the lane, flooding into Vole Road and lack of consultation by the applicants with the Mark community. Her objections were over ruled by the committee with a unanimous decision in favour of the development.
MARK PARISH COUNCIL
Parish Council Meeting. The Council held a public meeting on 4 July. Here is a summary of matters discussed and conclusions made.
Road Works. The Council highlighted its concern to our County Councillor, David Huxtable, of the weak planning and co-ordination by County Highways on the resurfacing of Church St. Such lapses affect business continuity and planning and introduce uncertainty and thus it is time that County Highways develop robust and timely strategies with Mark Parish Council so that information can be shared. That said, all other reported highway defects had been rectified.
Pruning. Landowners and residents are expected to cut back hedges and trees encroaching onto and overhanging public spaces, for example pavements and road verges. Concern was expressed in respect of poor visibility at:
Residents and landowners are requested to review their properties bordering spaces and to note that the Parish Council has the option of organising such work and then invoicing residents and landowners. It would prefer not to do so.
Car Parking – Church St. Increased car parking on Church St near the Church St/Kingsway junction is raising traffic management concerns and therefore drivers are requested to park with due care and attention to highways and pedestrian safety and with regard to drivers using Kingsway T-junction.
Bus 67. Mark Parish Council has agreed to provide financial support to continue the Bus Service 67 between Burnham-on-Sea and Wells until 31 March 2018, with Somerset County Council is underwriting a small shortfall to balance the contributions made by the affected town and parish councils. A further meeting to discuss the 2018/19 service will be arranged for the autumn. .
Harp Rd Fingerpost. Our thanks to Amesbury and Puddy who have repaired and reinstated the damaged fingerpost sign at the Harp Rd X-roads. Somerset County Council once repaired and maintained such fingerposts until about two years ago when it withdrew its support – citing costs.
Applications. The following planning applications were considered:
Applicants are more than welcome to attend the meeting when their application is considered. Notifications are posted in Parish Council meeting agendas on the Parish noticeboards outside the Village Shop and near Laurel Farm on Mark Causeway.
Affordable Housing. On 4 July, Sedgemoor District Council Development Committee passed, unanimously, the South-Western Housing Society (SWHS) application to build 12 affordable homes on Northwick Road with priority for people local to Mark. ‘Local’ means applicants associated with the Parish of Mark, for instance a member of a family group. Sedgemoor District Council estimate that there are 15 households who could fall into the local bracket.
SWHS, a registered social landlord with charitable status, was founded in 1944 to provide houses for those whose had lost their houses in the bombing of Bristol. As a member of the National Housing Federation, its aim is to provide high quality affordable housing work as an aid to strengthen community cohesion in rural areas and market towns in the South-West. Its HQ is in Rooks Bridge – or is it Rooksbridge? .
The next step for SWHS is to acquire the land, finalise plans and start building, probably in September. Although the Council would have preferred Mark Community Land Trust (MCLT) to have led the project throughout, however this did not materialise and therefore three Parish Councillors will act in close liaison with SWHS. Had MCLT led, it would have owned the freehold and would have benefitted from an annual ground rent, which could have been used for other community projects at a time when matters once dealt with by local authorities are being transferred to parish councils, particularly rural ones.
The Parish Council would like to thank those in our Parish and MCLT who have supported this project.
PUBLIC SPACE PROTECTION
Public Space Protection Orders (2017) are replacing Anti-Social Behaviour Orders and Designated Public Places Orders, which were designed to prevent individuals, of all ages, from committing anti-social behaviour in public spaces. As before, the new order is designed to mitigate behaviour that is:
The Council has agreed that the Village Hall area and Church Hall car park have historically attracted sufficient attention that they should both be granted Public Space Protection Orders. Advisory signs will be erected in due course.
Councillor Mrs Weekes reported that new photographs of the Village Hall would be taken for inclusion on the web-site. Issues regarding the future of the Parish Magazine were also discussed.
NEXT PARISH MEETING
The next Parish Council Meeting will be held at the Village Hall beginning at 7.30pm on Tuesday 5th September 2017. Members of the public are invited.
Nick van der Bijl
Mark Parish Council