MARK PARISH COUNCIL
A Meeting of Mark Parish Council was held in the Church Hall, Vicarage Road, Mark on Tuesday, 1st November 2022 at 7.00 p.m.
Present:- Councillors D. Kehoe (Chairman), D. Champion, S. Emary, G. Francis, Mrs L. Kybert, C. Taylor and Mrs J. Weekes with County Councillor H. Munt and the Clerk.
Apology for absence received from Councillor W. Human
35. Declarations of Interest
Councillor Mrs J. Weekes declared a personal interest in matters relating to Mark Village Hall.
The Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 6th September 2022 were confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
37. Report of the County Councillor
County Councillor Munt reported upon the current position regarding the work to form a Unitary Council for Somerset. A report on the recent Local Community Network consultation would be considered by the Executive. Various new initiatives were outlined and it was noted that the forthcoming budgetary process would be challenging.
a) Balance of Accounts
It was reported that the balance of accounts at 30th September were as follows - Current £14,615.69, Reserve £30,411.46.
b) Authorisation for Payment
It was agreed that the following payments be made
DD Sedgemoor DC payroll £999.99
000964 GWB Services grass cutting £1,076.88
000965 PKF Littlejohn audit fee £240.00
000966 Parish Clerk expenses & sundry payment reimbursement £418.26
c) Bank Reconciliation
A bank reconciliation as at 30th September 2022 was checked with the original bank statements and signed by the Members who did not sign cheques as part of the Council’s financial controls.
d) Audit of Accounts
The External Auditors had completed their work on the 2021/22 accounts and had reported that on the basis of their review of Sections 1 and 2 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR), in their opinion the information in Sections 1 and 2 of the AGAR was in accordance with proper practices and no other matters had come to their attention giving cause for concern that relevant legislation and regulatory requirements had not been met.
39. Planning Portfolio
The following application was considered – 035 Change of use of agricultural land to small holding for personal use including the erection of a barn/office building and polytunnel, Vole Road – Mr & Mrs P. Sportel – recommend refusal. It was also agreed to confirm comments made since the last Meeting in respect of 031 (barn Springfield Gate, Yarrow) – no observations and 033 (self-build dwelling, Southwick Road) recommend permission.
40. Public Areas Portfolio
a) Highway Matters
A number of highway defects and defective signs had recently been reported to County Highways and appropriate action had been taken. It was agreed to seek a directional sign to the church hall at the Church Street/Vicarage Lane junction.
b) Play Area
It was noted that the annual safety inspection would take place in the near future.
c) Public Rights of Way
Work had taken place at The Wall (AX23/15) to clear the vegetation through to Pill Road. It was noted that some debris had fallen into the river and would need to be removed by the appropriate authority.
d) Village Hall
Councillor Mrs Weekes reported that CCTV had been installed on the Village Hall. It was also reported that there was an issue of dog fouling on the football pitch and notices would be erected by the MCA.
41. Parish Website
Councillor Mrs Weekes reported that there was still an issue in securing pages for new material on the web-site. Some old material had been deleted but space for new items was not always freed up. It was agreed that the Chairman and Mrs Weekes meet with a parishioner who had offered IT assistance with the web-site and report back to the next Meeting on the best way forward.
42. Royal British Legion (Mark)
The Area Highway Engineer had advised that the site of the bench at the bus stop on the B3139 opposite the Southwick Road junction was highway land. There was no objection to the existing bench being replaced but the proposed three-sided wall was not supported. It was agreed to maintain this area in future years as requested by the Royal British Legion (Mark).
43. 2023/24 Budget
Members gave initial consideration to the 2023/24 Budget and agreed at this stage to include provision of £2,000 for an appropriate commemoration of the Coronation in May 2023 and £500 for rights of way maintenance. It was noted that an increase in the precept was likely, the first increase for five years.
44. Next Meeting
It was agreed that the next Meeting be held on 20th December 2022 starting at 7.00 p.m.
The Meeting closed at 7.55 p.m.