Mark and Wedmore Ward

Polly Costello – 01934 713564

Will Human – 01278 641795


During October Will and Polly attended the Full Council and an Axe Brue Drainage Board meeting.


The full Council heard and noted reports from each of the committee chairs and portfolio holders. A debate was also conducted about fracking. The Labour group submitted a proposal to reject the Government decision to place the planning arrangements with a national unit and to instead, call for the District to control planning authority. However, they overlooked two crucial points; that it would be a County Council decision and that by making the central unit as the decision maker, district would be able to reclaim funds required to be able to investigate and challenge such a decision. The proposal was rejected.


The new look Axe Brue drainage board held its first full meeting and considered a number of policy proposals. Will (having been appointed by the Finance Committee), reconciled the boards banking and receipts.





The Parish Council would like to congratulate Mrs Karen Moncrieff (Church Warden) and Mrs Heather Popham (Deputy Church Warden) for organising an impressive and imaginative display in the Church to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. Of particular note, was the cascade of knitted poppies from the Church Tower to astride the entrance, the narratives of the casualties of the First and Second World Wars supplied by Mark British Legion and Jerry Lock and the interesting memorabilia loaned by parishioners.



A Meeting of Mark Parish Council was held in the Church Hall, Mark, on Tuesday, 6th November 2018.


Some concern was raised about the apology received, for the fourth time, from County Councillor David Huxtable.


Finance. The balance of accounts was reported to be healthy.



Community Land Trust. Now that Mark Community Land Trust (MCLT) has folded, it leaves room for a community-orientated organisation to be formed for the good and benefit of the Parish of Mark. The first Community Land Trust (CLT) played a major role in the development of Tucker’s Close. It also had other plans under consideration. With Somerset County Council planning significant cuts and there being talk of creating a mega Unitary body formed from existing local authorities, the time is probably about right to consider a CLT.


Truespeed. Samantha Hill, Growth Manager for Truespeed, updated the Parish Council on the installation of their network in the area. Infrastructure is due to be completed by the end of November with the system being activated in December. It was agreed to support the Church Hall application for a free connection.


Play Area.  Councillor Human reported that the Play Area had been awarded a Highly Commended Certificate in the 2018 SPFA Field of the Year Competition.  This is an excellent result and a credit to those who keep the Area as a safe and recreational area.



Speed Limit. Somerset County Council has advised that the Police support a recommended extension of the 30mph limit on the Blackford Road.  A safety scheme in the vicinity of Mark First School is awaiting financial approval.


Fingerposts. Councillor Francis reported that the refurbished historic fingerpost signs are in place at Harp Road crossroads, Perry Road and Butt Lake crossroads. The Parish Council discussed enhancement of public footpath and bridleway signage. The first measure would be a survey of public footpaths.


HGVs. The Parish Council continues to note that HGVs are still taking shortcuts along roads to and from Mark, instead of using approved freight routes.


Somerset Highways Gritting. The principle for gritting is when road temperatures are predicted to drop below one degree centigrade. This winter, as part of Somerset County Council budget restraints, County Highways has reduced precautionary gritting to 720 miles or about 17% of the total road network of 4,164 miles. This a reduction of 900 miles. The following criteria defines ‘grittable’ roads:

  • Connection between major communities.
  • Links to the strategic highway network.
  • Appropriate connections across local authority boundaries.
  • Links to transport interchanges.
  • Emergency services access - Fire and Rescue, Police, Ambulance Services and hospitals.
  • Links to critical infrastructure.
  • Principal public transport routes, access to rail and bus stations, and to bus garages and other depots;
  • Other locally important facilities.

At present, the B3139 through the Parish is listed for precautionary gritting.


Roads removed from the precautionary network will be treated in the secondary network. In the event of prolonged periods of ice and snow, the plan is to deploy snowploughs to clear the primary network as quickly as possible. Arrangements to employ farmers and snowplough operators are not affected by these changes.  


Provision of roadside grit/salt. County Highways will continue to provide our two roadside grit bins in Mark centre, Little Moor Road and near Southwick Farm.


Fly Tipping. Fly-tipping is defined as the ‘illegal deposit of any waste onto land that does not have a licence to accept it’. Mark suffers badly, with one persistent offender depositing food waste. Irresponsible builders are also top of the offender list. Fly-tipping is an offence, principally under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA 1990), Sections 33, 34 and 59, however unearthing and prosecuting offenders is laborious. Sedgemoor District Council spends a significant amount of time and energy of collecting deposits. Locally, we need to work towards Mark becoming a Tip Free Zone.  

  • Report fly tips to Sedgemoor District Council or the Parish Council, ideally by e-mail or a written note.
  • Look for evidence, such as invoices and delivery notes. This might mean sifting through the fly-tip.
  • Take photos of the fly tip, in particular documentation, bags and boxes with names of companies/organisations and suppliers.  Such evidence is sufficient to approach (not accuse) the suppliers, who then might be able to give a name.
  • When you are considering work that may involve the disposal of rubbish, visibly check that the contractor has a Waste Carrier Licence.   




  • 00024/CAN. Certificate of Lawfulness for the existing works carried out to separate two attached houses to form 2 detached houses. 4 and 6, The City, Green Drove, Mark – Recommend permission.
  • 33/18/00025/CAN. Certificate of Lawfulness for the existing use of land for 15 caravan pitches and open storage of caravans – Recommend permission.

Sedgemoor District Council are investigating planning issues at Waggon Nursery.


Defibrillator.  South Western Ambulance Service has advised that the Village Hall defibrillator needs to be replaced in the near future. A site for an additional defibrillator somewhere along Mark Causeway is being sought.


Finally and with pleasure, Mark Parish Council wishes everyone in the Parish a Merry Christmas, Seasonal Greetings and a Prosperous 2019. 



The next Parish Council Meeting will be held at the Church Hall beginning at 6.30pm on Tuesday 8th January 2019. .



Nick van der Bijl

Mark Parish Council


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