Mark and Wedmore Ward

Polly Costello – 01934 713564

Will Human – 01278 641795


Will and Polly have attended a number of meetings this month including the Axe Brue Drainage Board meeting which will be the last one in its current format. The board is reducing the number of attendees that sit on it, especially the elected members. Traditionally, the board was comprised of local farmers who are elected onto the board, the thinking being that they had intimate local knowledge of the area and its drainage issues.  The remaining board members are appointed from local authorities such a Sedgemoor District Council (SDC).  In recent times, the feeling was that the numbers on the board needed to be reduced to increase efficiency of operation at meetings.


Will has successfully lobbied for a tree in Vole Road to be cut back as it has been threatening to interfere with overhead power lines.  The work will be carried out on the 16th July but the power will be shut off for the local residents during that time.  After extensive investigation by Homes in Sedgemoor (HIS), Will secured the change of a faulty and expensive heating unit and the installation of a bath for a Mark Council tenant.  The new bath is for a family of 6 children who have been asking for one since they moved into their Mark property in 2016.  If any other HIS tenants have similar issues please contact Will Human for help.


The South West Housing Society (SWHS) has agreed to ‘rebate’ rental charges levied on one of the tenants who has not been able to access his garage properly in Northwick Road for a period of some 12 weeks during the ‘Affordable Housing’ build.  It was mooted that the builders were to ask to refund the tenant but Will and Polly had concerns about this; they reasoned that it didn’t seem appropriate for the local authority to underwrite any additional liabilities for a private construction company other than their initial grant to help get the build started.  Both Will and Polly are delighted to learn that SWHA have accepted the responsibility instead.


Speedwatch is fully back in operation in the village in an effort to highlight the need to reduce speed on our roads.  Will has attended two sessions this month, he was due to take part in three but haymaking took over on one of the dates, he has to make hay while the sun shines.








The Mark Parish Council held its bi-monthly meeting in the Village Hall, Mark on Tuesday, 3 July 2018 at 7.30 p.m.  Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Will Human and County Councillor David Huxtable.





Balance of Accounts




2017/18 Internal Audit


The Internal Auditor had no issues to raise with Members.




Highway Matters


Several highway defects, blocked drains and fly-tipping deposits had been reported to appropriate authorities.  Councillor Francis gave an update on sponsorship options for the refurbishment of historic fingerpost signs in the Parish.  The Council agreed to purchase one third share of the SID for £1,000 and to pay for the training of an individual who will refurbishing the finger post will cover the installation of the SID and thereby save the cost of extra training)


Road Safety


Discussions are underway with Burnham Without and East Huntspill Parish Councils on sharing the costs of a Speed Indicator Device and the training of a person to erect it.  Four “Kill your Speed” signs have been purchased.  Proposals to improve road safety in the vicinity of Mark First School will be considered at a County Council Meeting.  There was no update on proposals to extend the 30-mph zone to near Blackford Road and other measures in the Church Street area. 


In spite of requests to Somerset County Council, HGVs are ignoring the County approved route from Westhay to the A39 and are taking a shortcut to the A38 via Harp Road and Butt Lake Road, as well as using Mark Causeway from Highbridge.  It was agreed to remind the County Council to take measures to enforce the approved route.  The alternative is damage to the roads and to cars and vans forced off the road.


Village Hall /Football Pitch Area


Work has commenced on the installation of fitness equipment.


The South Western Ambulance Service have advised that the defibrillator (in a blue box) at the Village Hall needs to be replaced later in the year. It was also agreed to explore an alternative location in the centre of the village and also seek a site for a second defibrillator somewhere on Mark Causeway.  


Interruption to Water Supply

Following a burst water main underneath the A38 near Rooksbridge on Tuesday 26 June, Bristol Water turned off the water supply to facilitate repairs.  This affected about 400 properties in the surrounding villages, including Mark.  By early next day, low pressure water supply was restored in Rooksbridge by diverting water.  Low water pressure or temporary loss of supply is normal in repair situations and consequently tankers carrying fresh water were despatched to several distribution points, including the White Horse Inn and Uplands in Mark.  By about 6.30pm, the water supply had been restored.  A letter of thanks was sent to Bristol Water.

Somerset Waste Partnership


At a recent cluster of neighbouring Parish Councils, Mickey Green, Managing Director of Somerset Waste Partnership, briefed: 

  • All sites (except 2) in Somerset will take plastic pots, trays, containers, coffee cups and water based paints to recycle. Will be part of kerbside collection in due course.
  • New transfer stations being built. It is envisaged that there will be no landfill from 2020 and waste will be either incinerated in Bristol or recycled.
  • As part of the new regime, there will be 3 weekly collections, small electrical goods collection along with enhanced kerbside collections. There will also be new vehicles and technology.
  • Free Refills scheme: national campaign but contact SWP to register locally.




Community Punishment


On Saturday 16 June, Community Punishment collected from Green Drove a total seven tyres, a bedstead and several bags of rubbish, including 150 empty beer cans and two black plastic bags containing only leaves.  On 30 June, Community Punishment tackled rubbish in the Village Hall and recovered two more tyres.  They also collected rubbish both sides of the Causeway from the School to near Locksbroad and trimmed hedgerow hindering the vision of drivers at the Harp Rd crossroads.


On 18 June, Sedgemoor DC Environmental Health dealt with the health hazard of a still born calf on Reed Drove (Right of Way AX23/9). Reported on 30 June was a health hazard deposit of fruit, vegetables and tinned food at the junction of Butt Lake Rd and Southwick Rd likely to have been discarded by a delivery driver.  A company has been contacted. This is not the first time that similar material has been found on our verges. 




Wedmore Playing Fields


A RLT3 Application received from Wedmore Playing Fields Management Committee to progress towards the third phase of their development project to construct their new sports pavilion. In such applications, neighbouring parishes are usually asked to comment. Recommended.


  • 009. Erection of garage and gym and stable building, Southwick House, Southwick Road, Mark. Permission recommended.
  • 012. Erection of extension, Stepping Stones, Fishers Lane, Mark. Permission recommended.
  • 014. Change of use of holiday let to residential dwelling, Magnolia House, The Causeway, Mark. Permission recommended.
  • 016. Erection of detached garage with first floor store/games room and formation of new access, Nut Tree Cottage, Harp Road, Mark. Permission recommended on condition of adherence to the application. 


Affordable Housing


The Affordable Housing is nearing completion. Significant dates are:

  • 16th July. Shortlisting of applications by SWHS and Homes in Sedgemoor. The Parish Council has no influence in this process.
  • 23rd July. SWHS visits of shortlisted applicants to verify applications.
  • 30th July. Successful applicants sign agreements.
  • 13th Sept. Official Opening of Tucker’s Close.
  • 17th Sept. First six homes tenants move in
  • 24th Sept. Second six homes tenants move in.




The next Parish Council Meeting will be held at the Village Hall starting beginning at 7.30pm on Tuesday 4th September 2018.


Nick van der Bijl

Mark Parish Council







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