Mark and Wedmore Ward

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

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



During May, BT finally connected the telephone exchange outside the Pack Horse to the Superfast Broadband network. To enjoy substantially faster Broadband speeds, residents need to contact their Internet Provider and ask to be connected. This will cost more in most cases. However, the connection does not, sadly, serve the entire village. Roughly speaking, anyone living west of the White Horse along the Causeway and surrounding areas ae not served by this exchange or may be too far away to benefit.


This is clearly frustrating and why I went to a Broadband fair with Nick Van Der Bijl a few days ago held in Draycott (organised by James Heappey MP), to see if and when the rest of the village may be connected by BT or to look at alternatives.


The remainder of the village is on a list of unconnected dwellings that BT are going to look at from 2017 onwards. There is another round of tenders for connection being invited in early 2017 and Mark Part 2 may be on that round. However, this may mean waiting until the end of 2017 at the very earliest for connection. There are alternatives and I listened very carefully to all of the offerings available.


Firstly, it would seem that ‘group’ schemes are probably a non-starter, purely from the numbers required to make them feasible with the companies offering ‘group’ solutions. However, there are very good individual schemes. These basically come down to either using satellite technology or receivers that pick up 4G signals from a box located on your house and then aimed at Mendip telephone mast. Both have their plusses and minuses but if a signal is available, the 4G version sounds to me like the least intrusive and able to deliver the fastest speeds.


In a nutshell, the companies use the 4G signal to deliver a Superfast Broadband signal into your home and then via a special router, give you a WI-FI to your various devices. My current speed is around 2.8 Mbps but the 4G solution can obtain speeds up to 30Mbps. The hardware is not free but you are entitled to a £500 voucher from Connecting Devon and Somerset if your speed now is low enough. Go to the site www.connectingdevonandsomerset.co.uk for more details. There is a lot of useful information here including the application for the voucher. Having spoken to the team at Connecting Devon and Somerset, they are keen to try and have all voucher applications in by the 1st of November. The voucher can then be ‘spent’ on one of the schemes on offer that deliver the higher broadband speeds. You will, of course, have to pay a monthly subscription. Costs depend on how much data you will use per month but prices vary from around £25 to £40 per month.


Will Human,

Sedgemoor District Council member

for Mark and Wedmore










County Report.


County Councillor Huxtable reported on road safety issues in

the vicinity of the Perry Road T-Junction where a growing

number children using school transport are exposed to the

60mph speed limit and the the brow of a hill. He felt that an

extension of the 30mph speed limit limit from outside 

Mark College was unlikely to satisfy official criteria and

would be objected to by the police as unenforceable, nevertheless, Somerset Highways would review the site and

make recommendations.


Issues relating to the resurfacing of the Causeway were

also discussed together with remedial work to other roads, in particular Harp Rd and Butt Lake Rd (to Burtle).




The balance of accounts at 1 August is healthy.


Highway Matters


The resurfacing of Mark Causeway is near complete, including the reduction of the yellow hatching in the vicinity of Mark School. It was noted that while Wessex Water had supplied weekly briefings to the Parish, no such information was supplied by County Highways.


No update was available for HGV movements in the area.


The District Council Landscape Officer had inspected a horse chestnut tree at Jubilee Green and found that it contained the early signs of bleeding canker. This tree had been used to post commemorations nailed to the tree following a fatal crash in 2015 and since. 


Play Area


The Parish Council was represented at the Somerset Playing Fields’ Association’s Presentation Evening held at Woolavington on 13 September.


Village Hall /Football Pitch Area


Arrangements are being made for free NHS Health checks to take place in the Village Hall during the morning of Tuesday 4 October 2016 together with appropriate publicity.


Reference was made to an increase in dog fouling on the football pitch area and increased litter of mainly discarded sweet wrappers around the Village Hall and the MUGA.


Web-site Portfolio/Superfast Broadband.


Councillor Mrs Weekes is arranging to refresh the village web-site. The Community Land Trust are using the site to post information.


Will Human reported that he had attended a Faster Broadband Fair held at Draycott Village Hall on 1 September 2016. The holding of a ‘Getting up to Speed’ IT training domestic event in Mark Village Hall is to be explored.

Community Payback


Community Payback is a sentence in which offenders do unpaid work supervised by a community rehabilitation company (formerly Probation) in the community of between 40 to 300 hours that benefits the community. Work is arranged outside working hours, for instance during evenings or weekends. The Council has arranged for Community Payback to undertake work in Mark, such as trimming hedgerows and undergrowth in the Village Hall car park and collecting fly-tip dumped on droves

National Grid


Mark Parish Council had endorsed a letter from Badgworth Parish Council to James Heappey MP seeking community benefit in connection with the pylons associated with the Hinckley C Connection Scheme. Throughout its negotiations, National Grid refused to discuss the issue, however other precedents have been set. Otherwise, the pylon issue remains quiet.




Mark Community Association is delighted to announce it has achieved Hallmark 3 Quality Standard for Mark Village Hall. This is in addition to successfully renewing Hallmarks 1 and 2. Hallmark 3 focuses on the committee interaction with the community to demonstrate an awareness of community needs and to balance those needs across all groups. It also evaluates environmental consciousness, effective building management, fundraising, forward planning and that appropriate policies are in place to achieve its goals.




The next Parish Council Meeting will be held at the Village Hall beginning at 7.30pm on Tuesday 1 November 2016. Members of the public are invited.


Nick van der Bijl

Mark Parish Council




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