Mark and Wedmore Ward

Polly Costello – 01934 713564

Will Human – 01278 641795


Polly Costello and Will Human both attended the Axe Brue Drainage Board Annual General Meeting this month at which Jeff Fear, of Mark, was re-elected as Chairman. The meetings scrutinise the work of the drainage board, setting policies and directing works for approval.


Will also attended a training day held by South West Auditors Partnership at Sparkford Motor Museum. The day was to give the attendees more insight into their role on the Audit and Governance Committees around the South West Area. The Audit and Governance committee at Sedgemoor scrutinises the auditing of the District Council which is then presented to the whole District Council. “We were encouraged to question auditors both internal and external in order to safeguard the compliant operations of the District Council” said Will after the event. “On the whole, a very worthwhile day spent”.




A Meeting of Mark Parish Council was held in the Village Hall, Mark on Tuesday, 1st November 2016.


Balance of Accounts. In relation to the 2015/16 Audit of Accounts, the Internal Auditor had no comments. The External Auditors had one comment that the public had been given an extra working day to exercise their rights to inspect the accounts after a day had been lost for the public holiday that celebrated the Queen’s 90th Birthday!




Highway Matters. The number of HGVs using the Parish as a short cut to and from major routes to premises in the Westhay area had reduced.


Mark Community Speed Watch. In his last briefing to the Council as Speed Watch Co-ordinator, Mike Schollar submitted current statistics. Several drivers who ignored speed limits have been visited by the police. He was thanked for his valuable work in connection with the scheme and its contribution to Mark.

Mark Speed Watch has a significant reputation as an effective organisation that has helped to reduce speeding in the Parish. The Council is now seeking a person to take over from Mike.


Community Payback. The Chairman reported upon the use of Community Payback to work in the vicinity of Mark Village Hall of trimming hedges and work in the Play Area. It was agreed to apply for a further session timed for Clean-up Day in the spring 2017.


Play Area. The Play Area was awarded ‘Highly Commended’ in the 2016 Somerset Playing Fields’ Association’s Field of the Year Competition.  There are some maintenance issued to be addressed.


Dog Fouling. Recent national figures suggest that dog-walkers are cleaning up dog-fouling with 2,099 fines in 2016 against 4,451 in 2015. This improvement is, of course, in places where dog wardens patrol, i.e. urban areas. In Mark, residents are concerned at the increase in dog fouling on the football pitch area, along the Church St pavement and on public droves. Some dog walkers deposit plastic dog ‘poo bags’ alongside paths, presumably expecting that someone else will collect them. While the bottom line is that dog walkers have a social responsibility to clear up after animals have defecated, the Parish Council has asked Sedgemoor District Council Dog Warden to erect signs that warns dog walkers risk being fined if they do not clear up after their dogs. The Parish does not wish to impose Public Space Protection Orders that requires owners to clear up after their or impose banning orders in public spaces on recreation areas, but will do so if the problem persists. Complaints about horses and farm animal defecation is rare!



The following planning applications were considered:

028. Erection of replacement livestock building, Nut Tree Farm, Vole Road. Recommended.

029. Erection of agricultural machinery store, 4 The City. Recommended.

30.  Erection of Mark Community Land Trust 10 dwellings and 2 flats, formation of access and parking south of Northwick Road. Not recommended.


Mark Cricket Club  Mike Norris gave a presentation on possible revised arrangements spectators' vehicles accessing the proposed cricket field behind Mark School by using the access alongside The Croft from Mark Causeway and leaving via a culvert built over the rhyne that flows alongside Back Lane and exiting onto Harp Road. This scheme would give Mark School the opportunity to create a one-way traffic system and ease off-road parent/guardian parking along Mark Causeway. 




Withdrawal of Bus Services. Somerset County Council has announced that the Bus Service 67 from Burnham-on-Sea to Wells/Wookey Hole is due to expire on 26 November 2016. The service was retained through an emergency contract funded by Somerset County Council in May 2016 after WebberBus ceased trading intending to review the service before the expiry date on 31 December 2016. The County Council is holding a consultation to gather data on the demand which ‘may enable us to look at smaller and more sustainable solutions for some areas affected by this service withdrawal’. Bus services are important for rural communities and thus passengers, indeed anyone, can comment on impending withdrawal by emailing Tom Main on:

  • Text 07781 482 858.
  • Write to Somerset County Council, County Hall, Taunton. Somerset, TA1 4DY.  
  • Telephone 01823 358139.


Winter Service 2016/2017. This year, the Highways Department will only be filling salt/ grit bins on a reactive basis – because last year had mild weather! Let’s hope that this risk assessment is not a miscalculation. 

And in order to save revenue expenditure, Highways will not be printing our Winter Service leaflet, however it will be produced as electronic version shortly. The department will hold its Depot Open Day at Dunball on Saturday the 3 December 2016 to enable all Town/Parish Councils to collect, if they wish, 10 x 20kg salt bags in advance of the winter season. The Parish Council proposes to collect its allocation and then offer a bag each to areas of common public use, such as the Pack Horse, White Horse, Village Shop, Church, Amesbury & Puddy and the garage and the retain the remainder as spares and top ups.  


The next Parish Council Meeting will be a Special to be held at the Village Hall beginning at 7.30pm on Tuesday 5th December 2016 to deal planning issues and resolve several administrative matters. The next Regular meeting will be on 3rd January 2016. Members of the public are invited.


Finally, Mark Parish Council wishes a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year and thanks Parishioners for your support. 


Nick van der Bijl

Mark Parish Council

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