Mark and Wedmore Ward


Polly Costello – 01934 713564


Will Human – 01278 641795


Polly Costello and Will Human attended a Full Council meeting this month. The main item of business debated was the proposed new Devolution plans offered by central Government to areas. Effectively this would mean devolving some of the powers and responsibilities that are currently held by Central Government down to a new body comprised of representatives from all of the Local Government bodies currently in the South West including Sedgemoor DC and Somerset County Council. The new body would be allocated the relevant budget that related to the powers devolved and thus have the power to target monies rather than a blanket decision being taken by Whitehall.


Although agreeing to continue with discussions in order to remain ‘at the table’, Sedgemoor councillors took the view that they would consider any such proposals very carefully before making any final commitment to join such an organisation being proposed as ‘Heart of the South West’. The mood of the council was somewhat sceptical as to whether the plan was going to make better use of resources or not. We will keep our Parishes updated with any further information on this issue as and when it becomes relevant.


You may have read in the newspapers that West Somerset and Taunton Deane have invited Sedgemoor to amalgamate with them. This was a very last minute invitation and without any prior consultation. The Council are to respond that although we would welcome any proposals to form partnerships, these would have to be considered in detail before any decision was taken. This would take some period of time which does not sit with the two other councils plans to proceed to a decision during September, therefore, unlikely to be practical at this stage. Having said that, Sedgemoor would not stand by and watch a neighbour authority suffer fiscal difficulties if it could help in any way. Lines of communication therefore, remain open.









New traffic and travel website. Somerset County Council has launched a new traffic and travel website – It runs alongside the @TravelSomerset Twitter account, which provides live updates from the Council traffic control team. The new site is designed to improve the information flow of events on roads in Somerset, including planned roadworks, public events, unplanned incidents, accidents and congestion. The website provides updates 24/7 and has a searchable map showing current and future roadworks. You can sign up for travel alerts or subscribe for emails about roadworks in an area of your choice. The website also has information about public transport, cycling and walking and will be developed and improved over time. More information is available at You are invited to include a link to on your websites.


Queries should be referred to Peter Elliott, SCC Communications Officer, Press Office on 01823 355020/ 07976 696865 and Email:

Travel Somerset – for live traffic and travel information.

Twitter @TravelSomerset  Online 24/7 at


Road Closure. From 5 September 2016 and for the next twelve days, a short stretch of the road between Mark and Burtle in Burtle Parish will be closed to enable earthworks to be carried out. Diversions will be signposted. See Parish noticeboards for further information.


The Siege of the Causeway is nearly over with resurfacing of the B3139, after nearly 16 years of asking County Highways to do so. During the work, a cyclist decided to ride his bicycle across the hot, sizzling tar!


Somerset County Council Environmental Maintenance Schedule. During the growing season, the County Council carries out environmental maintenance works to help keep all road users safe.  


Grass cutting. Highway verges are cut to a minimum of one metre in width from the road side to provide a safe area for pedestrians, preserve visibility and help the flow of surface water along road channels. Sight lines are also cut at road junctions and bends to ensure better visibility for road users and pedestrians. Each highway verge, including junction visibilities, will be cut once during this season, except for A and B road junction visibilities which are cut twice. 


Grass Cutting. Verge grass cutting in rural areas normally starts in May, but is dependent on seasonal growing conditions. The busiest routes are cut first because of the higher volumes of traffic using them with:

  • A and B roads – mid-May to mid-June. 
  • C and unclassified roads - mid-June to early August 
  • Environmentally protected sites – at the end of the growing season. 

Where there are no verges and where roads are immediately bordered by a bank or hedge, a minimum of a single vertical swathe of seasonal growth will be cut.

Boundary Maintenance. Landowners and property occupiers are responsible for the maintenance of their boundary. Except during the bird nesting season between 1 March and 31 July, they are expected to ensure that their hedges, trees or shrubs do not obstruct roads, pavements and lines of sight at junctions. In Mark, this applies particularly to pavements, Harp Rd X-roads and junctions along B3139.   


Weed spraying. Under the Noxious Weeds Act 1959, certain noxious weeds, including ragwort, must be removed where they are reported to be causing a nuisance to highway users or adjoining landowners.  Other invasive species treated and controlled by the County Council are Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed. If you spot any noxious or invasive weeds growing on the highway network, please contact Somerset Direct and it will be dealt with in the appropriate manner. 


Conservation. All environmental works will seek to protect wildlife on roadside verges, while maintaining road safety, consistent with the Somerset Highways Biodiversity Manual.  

Further Information. Phone information 0300 123 2224 or use the Somerset County Council website


Mark Parish Council finances the maintenance of the cemetery, Jubilee Green, Locksbroad Triangle and the football pitch and play area at the Village Hall.




The next Parish Council Meeting will be held at the Village Hall beginning at 7.30pm on Tuesday 6 September 2016. Members of the public are invited.


Nick van der Bijl

Mark Parish Council

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