MAY 2016


Mark and Wedmore Ward

Polly Costello – 01934 713564

Will Human – 01278 641795


April has been a relatively quiet month for Polly and Will with regards to Council meetings apart from their attendance at Parish meetings; only Polly had any committee duties on the Small Grants Committee and also as a panel member for the Licensing Committee. However, they have both been busy addressing some local issues and attempting to organise the resolution of various problems around the Wards of Mark and Wedmore such as the increasing amount of rubbish being dumped in the local rhynes, a number of planning applications and the continuing problems of traffic through the villages and the closure of Mark Causeway (these last issues probably being associated with each other). Will has also been part of the SpeedWatch groups work and is pleased that so many motorists who travel though Mark village are staying within the speeding limits. There are, however, a few who are not. He is also surprised at the reaction of some (local) residents who seem offended by the SpeedWatch team. “I consider the SpeedWatch team to be at the forefront of keeping the small country routes that we have through our village as safe as possible, is nothing but a good thing for the community as a whole. I fail to understand why anyone would object to its work” said Will. He went on to say, “I would happily discuss any contrary opinion as I am intrigued why anyone would not want offenders to be identified, especially if they are repeat offenders”.





POLICE MEETING. Following comments made by both members of the Parish Council and the public, at the AGM in which the Police Crime and Commissioner was the speaker, we asked if we could meet with members of our local Police. On 14 April, members of the Parish Council, Peter Higman from Neighbourhood Watch and Mike Schollar from Mark Community Speed Watch had a useful meeting with the police. Police Sergeant 2849 Kellie Millier now has responsibility for policing in Burnham and Highbridge, Coastal, Cheddar, Quantocks, Moors and Polden Hills Clusters. Our Community Beat Team is managed by PC Tracey Styles.


The principal points emerged:

  • The austerity is still affecting police organisations and forcing changes in methods of operation and will continue to do so for some time. For instance, police officers now work to set shift patterns and are therefore unable to work around them to meet the desires and needs of communities.
  • The 101 system of calling for police assistance is recognised to be inefficient. For reporting of non-999 incidents, two other systems are recommended:

In both instances, reports reach the police operations within about 24 hours.

  • A request to merge reports from Neighbourhood, Horse, Farm, Church and other Watches was sought. While the police state their operations are intelligence-led, community safety revolves around intelligence feeds from the police.
  • Police support to Mark Speed Watch and others seems to be in a permanent state of re-organisation, nevertheless ours will continue its hard work.


Public Areas Portfolio

Highway Matters. Part of Mark Causeway remains closed to enable Wessex Water to complete their work. Their liaison officer will continuing to provide weekly progress reports; these are posted on the Parish notice boards outside the Village Store and on Mark Causeway near Laurel Farm and on the website.  


Bearing in mind that by the time Wessex Water finishes in August, Mark Causeway will have been closed for nearly a year, any business and enterprise experiencing a financial downturn attributable to the work are encouraged to seek compensation from Wessex Water. It is understood that all negotiations are in strict confidence and that compensation is based on recent financial history.


A Councillor from Wedmore Parish Council represented Mark in a meeting with our County Councillor, David Huxtable, about the damage that the increase in HGVs using and damaging the B roads in the Parish. A HGV has damaged River Bridge and another one slid into a nearby rhyne. The Parish Council has asked County Highways to present a plan of repairing the damage to roads throughout the Parish. This is awaited with some interest, if at all! It will mean more disruption.   


Highways England have advised that M5 J22-23 Burnham Moor Lane Bridge is suffering from defects and that it will be closed on Tuesday 3 May 2016 for about five weeks. Pedestrian and presumably cycle access will be maintained throughout the closure. Signed diversions will be in place. For queries, phone the Highways England Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000


Public Rights of Way. The Council is concerned about the increased fly-tipping that is blighting Parish verges, droves and rhynes, most it domestic property, some a little larger, in particular tyres, car seats and deposits from building and DIY projects. Several land-owners, who have responsibility for their properties, are being requested to clear up such deposits.    


Pruning. Householders, residents and business owners throughout the Parish are reminded, in this season of bloom, to ensure that hedges and trees in their properties are pruned so ensure that they do not encroaching into the public space. The same principle applies to properties at crossroads and junctions.


Planning Portfolio.


001 & 002LB. Conversion of two outbuildings to two one bedroom holiday lets, Packhorse Farm, Church Street. RECOMMENDED REFUSAL, SDC GRANTED PERMISSION.

004. Erection of extension, Holcroft House, Southwick Road. RECOMMENDED.

005. Erection of conservatory to front elevation, Chelvey Batch, Yarrow Road. NO OBSERVATION.

006. Erection of single storey extension to rear elevation, The Granary, Mark Causeway. NO OBSERVATION.

007. Change of use of agricultural building to dwelling and associated operational development to the south of Littlemoor Road.  RECOMMENDED REFUSAL

008. Change of use of agricultural building to dwelling and associated operational development to the east of Green Drove.  RECOMMENDED REFUSAL.

009. OpenReach Installation of electronic telecommunications apparatus, Kingsway, Mark. PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT



The next Parish Council Meeting will be held at the Village Hall beginning at 7.30pm on Tuesday 3rd May 2016. Members of the public are invited.


Nick van der Bijl

Mark Parish Council

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