A Meeting of Mark Parish Council was held in the Church Hall, Vicarage Road, Mark on Tuesday, 2nd July 2019 at 7.00 p.m. Apologies were received from Councillor Jan Horn.




County Councillor David Huxtable thanked members of the Parish Council for their practical help and assistance regarding highway safety issues in the vicinity of Mark School at school drop off/pick up times during the temporary closures of Harp Road and Kingsway. He was still pursuing the installation of flashing warning lights in the vicinity of the School. The County Council had now made the Traffic Order to extend the 30 mph speed limit at Blackford Road and the new signage was awaited.  Reference was made to difficulty in contacting highway officers and it was emphasised that arrangements should be in place at an early stage to alleviate highway issues in the event of road closures for pylon construction work.  A briefing paper on the current work of the County Council would be circulated to members.




Balance of Accounts


 The financial balance of the Mark PC accounts is healthy. An Audit had been carried out on the 2018/19 accounts prior to submission to the external auditor and it was noted that the Internal Auditor had no issues to raise with PC members.




The following planning applications were considered

-008 & 012LB Replacement of self-contained annexe with a purpose-built annexe attached to Southwick House, Southwick Road, Mark – Mr & Mrs C. Larkin – recommend permission.

-011 Erection of extension, porch and two-storey building to include link to main dwelling and integral garage, Moor View Farm, Yarrow Road, Mark – Mr & Mrs Hann – recommend permission.


It was noted that the District Council had served an Enforcement Notice in respect of unauthorised activities at Waggon Nursery. It took effect on 3rd June with a three-month compliance period expiring on 3rd September




Highway Matters.


It was noted that all recent highway defects and fly-tipping deposits had been reported to appropriate authorities. N.A. Haggett (Builders) Ltd of Chilton Trinity had completed the enhancement work to the lay-by at Jubilee Green and it was agreed to consider replacing the one remaining old seat at Jubilee Green next year. Councillor Francis gave an update on the refurbishment of historic finger post signs.


Vehicle speed along Mark Causeway is a major concern of members. Consideration is being actively pursued in partnership with Burnham Without and East Huntspill Parish Councils to purchase and trial an Auto Speed watch camera device to operate in conjunction with a SID (Speed Indication Device) which will record speeding vehicles details.  This device together with the erection of additional warning notices, advertising auto number plate recording, we hope will help reduce vehicle speeds. We will be closely monitoring results from a trial, which should commence shortly.


Members undertook to carry out minor work to straighten various signs and nameplates and it was agreed to request Mr Bickers to strim around the millennium stones at Watchfield and Blackford Road.


Early in June Parish Council members met with Anna Yates, the Mark School Head Mistress, and measures were discussed and agreed to try and reduce the impact on road safety by the many heavier and extra vehicles using Mark Causeway, due to the closure of Harp Road and then Kingsway.  The work on the Harp Road M5 Bridge has now been completed ahead of the estimated time that the work was to be finished, which has resulted in a reduction of vehicles, especially heavy lorries, using Mark Causeway.  However Kingsway is due to be closed again for three days from the 19th August 2019.


We thank all drivers for their co-operation in reducing traffic difficulties at School drop off and pick up times.


Closure of Pilcorn Street, Wedmore


We have been advised that Pilcorn Street in Wedmore will be closed to all traffic from the junction with Lascott Hill and Church Street from 29th July 2019 and is expected to last for 15 days.  


National Grid New T-Pylons


National Grid have begun their work to create a haul road for the building of the new T-Pylons. Anyone interested in this process should go to the National Grid/Hinkley Point C web site where they will be able to read the plan for the construction of the line.


Play Area 


It was noted that the 2019 Somerset Playing Fields’ Association Field of the Year Presentation Evening would be held at Woolavington Village Hall on 6th September 2019.


Public Rights of Way


It was noted that clarification had been received of the responsibility for maintaining the banks of the Pilrow Wall rhyne. The west bank was alongside Pilrow Wall (AX23/13). It was agreed to thank the Environment Agency for recently removing a fallen tree from the rhyne.


Village Hall /Football Pitch Area


 It was noted that the defibrillator at the Village Hall would need to be replaced in the autumn following advice by the South West Ambulance Service.  The proprietor of Coombes Cider Farm at Mark Causeway had installed a defibrillator at his site and a further defibrillator had been installed at Rich’s Cider premises at Watchfield.  Griffin Toilet Hire have a defibrillator and first aid kit at their office on the Causeway between the School and Dutch Road and most of their team are First Aid qualified as well.  Hopefully no one will ever need to use them it but should there ever been an issue Mark is well served with defibrillator support when needed.  Reference to the availability of these devices will be included on the village web site.


Extension of the 30mph limit, Blackford Road


 The Parish Council will continue to pursue with Somerset County Council the work to extend the speed limit on the Blackford Road to cover the Perry Road junction.




Councillor Mrs Weekes reported upon statistics relating to visits to the web site during June. There had been a significant large increase in the number users of the web site.




Councillor Mrs Weekes thanked the Parish Council for nominating her to receive a Chairman of the County Council’s Award for Service to the Community, especially for running the village website and being Booking Secretary for the Village Hall for over 20 years.


Next Parish Council Meeting

Please Note - The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday 3rd September 2019 at the Church Hall starting at 7.00pm.


Simon Emary


Mark Parish Council



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