MARCH 2017


Mark and Wedmore Ward

Polly Costello – 01934 713564

Will Human – 01278 641795


This month saw Polly and Will attend both Full Council meetings at Sedgemoor and the AGM of the Area Drainage Board.


At Sedgemoor, although a very full agenda, most items were dealt with swiftly and with little controversy. Before the meeting an update seminar was presented by the team that is trying to help local businesses be selected for contract work at Hinkley Point. The team are called Hinkley Supply Chain. They can be found via searching on the Internet where there is a registration process for those that would like to offer their labour and services. There will be an ongoing process of recruitment and so even if you are not immediately successful, you may be contacted further down the construction road. The major contracts have been issued but even these companies will need local help to supply the services they are covering as and when it is needed.


Will accompanied the Chairman of the Parish Council, Nick van der Bijl, to the most recent meeting of the 67 Bus route. It would seem that there is hope to be able to maintain the route through Mark beyond March but residents need to be aware of the new timetable that is soon to start. Currently, there are no plans for a weekend service.




RESIGNATION. Councillor David Champion has resigned from the Parish Council for work and personal reasons. With considerable parish and political experience, he was our principal contact with the farming community and thus there is no doubt that he will be missed. In thanking David for his commitment to Mark, on behalf of the Parish, we wish well him for the future.


The Council is therefore now seeking a replacement for him. The official statutory notice of the casual vacancy will be issued Tuesday 21 February 2017 under Section 87(2) of the Local Government Act 1972. Ten electors can request an election to fill the vacancy within 14 days. If no request is received by the Returning Officer at Sedgemoor District Council, the Parish Council can co-opt an interested person to fill the vacancy. The criteria for applying is to:

  • Be a British citizen, or a citizen of the Commonwealth or the European Union, and.
  • Be 18 years or older on the day you become nominated for election.
  • Available for the whole of the 12 months prior to nomination.  
  • Live in the Parish of Mark.

THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECT. The Parish Council invited James Heappey MP to mediate between the Mark Community Land Trust (MCLT) and residents who have concerns about the planning application of the housing in Northwick. He will circulate a summary in due course.   

 An anonymous letter published in the February Parish Magazine has led to criticism of Mark Parish Council, in particular that the MCLT has ‘chosen to ignore all objections received including those of the Parish Council......’ The Parish Council fully supports the principle of affordable housing. It accepts the rejection of its Not Recommended decision by Sedgemoor District Council in December 2016 as a democratic decision.    

BUS 67. Parish Council members have attended several meetings with County Council officials relating to the future of Bus 67 in which town and parishes between Burnham-on-Sea and Wookey will be expected to finance the service.  The option of using school transport has been largely rejected because the coaches do not have low floor accessible vehicles that are required by law on local bus services. In addition, the restricted nature of the school day means services would end at about 3.30pm.  At one stage, the debate centred on buses serving only Wedmore, Wookey and Wells until our representative mentioned this idea was not worth negotiating!  The most recent option is three services Monday to Friday operation by Mendip Community Transport and a larger bus between Bridgwater College journeys.  


The key date is 4 March when the new schedule will come in force and will last until 21 July after which Somerset County Council will withdraw financial support. It really is a case of ‘Use It or Lose It’.  Once the schedule is agreed, it will be posted on Parish notice boards and the village website.


MARK PARISH CLEAN UP. Our annual Clean-Up has been set for 25th March 2017. If you can, please help to clean our Parish.  We are expecting some support from those serving Community Punishment.



The next Parish Council meeting will be the Annual Parish Meeting on 14 March 2017 at 7.30 pm at the Village Hall.  Matthew Wall and Nick Stevens of the Axe Brue Drainage Board have accepted our invitation to be guest speakers.  Members of the public are invited to attend.


Nick van der Bijl

Mark Parish Council

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