JUNE 2016


Mark and Wedmore Ward

Polly Costello – polly.costello@sedgemoor.gov.uk 01934 713564

Will Human – will.human@sedgemoor.gov.uk 01278 641795


Will Human and Polly Costello have attended a number of meetings this month and attended the Full Council meeting on Wednesday 18 May followed by the Annual General Meeting at Sedgemoor District Council. Items on the agenda are the future of the Northgate plan and the re-election of members onto various committees. Polly and Will are expected to be unopposed in their positions on the following committees: Development & Planning, Audit & Governance, Axe Brue Drainage Board, Licensing, Ashton Windmill Management and Small Grants.


Both councillors have been particularly busy with various planning applications and have also been active in opposing the proposed change of location for the Wedmore Post Office.


Will has been trying to establish the reasons and length of time that the Back Lane bridleway was to be closed to horses. There now seems to be a limited access but it is still not fully open. The Bridleways Officer, Chris East, was unaware of the closure as he had not been informed. Bridleways are a County responsibility and any issues with bridleways can be reported direct to him or to either Polly or Will who will pass on the information.





The 2016 Annual Meeting of Mark Parish Council was held in the Village Hall, Mark on Tuesday 3rd May 2016 at 7.30pm.



Chairman:                     Nick van der Bijl

Vice-Chairman:             Geoff Francis


Report from County Council..

County Councillor Huxtable reported on financial and highway issues relating specifically to Mark, including the School parking, HGV movements in the area and damage to Harp Road and other roads being used as diversions and alternative routes during the closure of Mark Causeway. Councillor Huxtable will investigate the request to extend the 30 mph speed limit from Mark College to near Perry Road and the subsidence on the path opposite The White Horse pub.  



The Balance of Accounts remains healthy. The 2015/16 Annual Governance Statement was approved, as was the 2015/16 Accounting Statement. The Council deemed that no changes to the annual insurance were necessary.


The Parish was pleased to sponsor Mark Neighbourhood Watch for £100.




Highway Matters

It was agreed to continue to report promptly highway defects to County Highways. Wessex Water are continuing to carry out work at Mark Causeway with a road closure until August. A site meeting had been held with a Highways officer to discuss school parking issues. The yellow hatching would be reduced in length when the road was resurfaced. Solar powered ‘wig wag’ signs would cost approximately £3,000. Councillor Steve George of Wedmore Parish Council had provided an update concerning the issue regarding HGVs taking a short cut through local villages.


In a discussion on the cleanliness of Mark, there was disappointment with the amount of fly-tipping and depositing of rubbish along verges and into rhynes and ditches. Regrettably, like many rural communities, Mark does not receive the same support from Sedgemoor Clean as Burnham and Bridgwater and therefore we need to look after ourselves with self-help. Land and property owners are asked to keep the boundaries of their properties rubbish-free. Councillor Francis is endeavouring to remove the rubbish from the rhyne at the Harp Road bends. The landowner of the Cider Farm caravan park has been requested to ensure that where the property borders Harp Road this is kept litter free. Another measure currently being negotiated is for those sentenced to Community Penalties by the Courts to spend the day cleaning up Mark – supervised by the Probation Service. 


Public Rights of Way


Councillor Champion reported upon the temporary closure of Back Lane for work to a water pipe and Councillor Francis undertook to investigate issues related to footpath AX23/3.




Members of the public are also advised that Planning decisions are discussed at Parish Council meetings. Councillors will usually visit application sites where it is felt that one would be worthwhile. Specific Planning meetings are held as an exception with agendas posted on Parish Notice Boards.


The following applications were discussed:

003. Piping and infilling of ditch. The Willows, Poplar Lane. Recommended.

007. Change of use of agricultural building to dwelling. Littlemoor Road, Mark. Refused.

008. Change of use of agricultural building to dwelling, Green Drove. Refused

010. Erection of extension to form annexe, Plum Tree Farm, Harp Road. Recommended.

011. Erection of dwelling and formation of access, The Croft, Littlemoor Road. Recommended.

013. Erection of single storey extension, 16 Queensway Close. Recommended.



The next Parish Council Meeting will be held at the Village Hall beginning at 7.30pm on Tuesday 5th July 2016. Members of the public are invited.


Nick van der Bijl

Mark Parish Council





Farm Watch report that ‘two arrested from a farm for theft on 14 May in the Mendips’ and in Berrow on the 17th, farmer disturbed by his dogs barking found that a  vehicle in the yard had been entered and set of keys stolen. In Mark, our Community Speed Watch and the Bristol Enforcement Unit clocked a driver overtaking a car and a coach at 57mph along the Causeway. Straight to Court.  


Phone Scams. Accounts continue to emerge of victims of phone frauds. A popular method is a caller pretending to be a bank official claiming that your account has been raided and the police need some details. The temptation is to phone the bank immediately, however either wait for at least five minutes to clear the line or use another phone to call the bank. This is because the trickster has kept the line open. If you cannot access another telephone, ask someone you know to check if your line is free, then call the bank. Victims do not realise that fraudster has kept the line open and the ‘police officer’ sympathetically asking questions about your account is actually a fraudster. Do not become involved in conversations, otherwise you may be drawn into the fraud. Above all, Remember banks and the police will never ask for 4 digit PIN or your online banking password, or ask for you to transfer money to a new account for ‘fraud reasons’. They are also unlikely to discuss details of accounts over the phone, except when they are contacted by a customer. But be aware that:    

  • Fraudsters do their homework and most probably have your name, address and account details - such is the insecurity of the internet and the risks to internet purchasing.
  • If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud, immediately inform your bank. Financial Fraud Action has really good information. The real police should also be informed – best use ‘Reporting a Crime’ on the police website.



Peter Higman, Mark Co-ordinator

01278 641479

Community Beat Team

PC Tracey Styles, PCSOs Michael Shaw, Matt Hawker, Joshua Sturdy.

via 101

Crime/Incident Reporting


Police crime prevention advice

01823 363210

Senior Siren

Google/Senior Siren

Police website



0800 555111

Mail Preference Service

08457 034599

Telephone Preference Service

08450 700707

Fax Preference Service

08450 700702

Trading Standards/Consumer Direct 

08454 040506 


Vehicle Security Advice

0891 884481

Block Premium Rate ‘phone calls

BT on 0800 800150

Bristol Water & Wessex Water

0800 373501 & 0845 605600

Transco Gas & British Gas

0845 6056677 & 0800 300100

Meter Readers – Accuread & Inserve

0800  393499 & 0800 0688562


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