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DECEMBER 2017/JANUARY 2018

SEDGEMOOR DISTRICT COUNCIL

Mark and Wedmore Ward

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

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

 

District Business. At the recent Full District Council meeting, a busy agenda included discussion and agreement on budgeting, such as how to adopt the plans to award discretionary discounts on rates to small local businesses.  This is to help small businesses to continue trading in difficult times. There was also agreement on how to update the Councils IT system which has an existing license that expires in 2018.  The Council want to take the opportunity to revamp and streamline the communications system.  Also at this meeting was the latest round of questions to the portfolio holders of each department. Will also attended the Audit and Governance Committee meeting, which scrutinises the Council finances and considers reports from the Auditors. It also scrutinises any areas of business risk.

 

Mark Village Business. Will takes a supportive view on a number of local issues and Parish Council initiatives and comments as follows ‘‘Please consider and act upon the recommendation regarding fireworks as detailed by the chair of the Parish Council in his Parish Council report’ and ‘I would also urge anyone that has concerns about the speeding statistics to volunteer for Speed Watch. This is not an onerous activity and the more that volunteer, the better’.

 

MARK PARISH COUNCIL

www.markvillage.co.uk

 

BUS 67. Transporting Somerset have confirmed the Bus 67 service will continue until 31 March 2018, although Crossville has indicated that it can no longer provide the service at the current price. Nevertheless, a Transporting Somerset fleet supplier will take over with no change to the timetable until 31 March 2018.  In conclusion, the situation with Bus 67 remains fluid.   

 

TRAFFIC SPEEDS. Speed Indicator Devices activated in Mark between 19th October 2017 and the 1st November 2017 show that about 80% of drivers are speeding at 34mph against the posted limit of 30mph. Unfortunately, Mark no longer has a Community Speed Watch and therefore there is very little deterrent to persuade drivers to keep to 30mph. Visits by traffic police are infrequent. Volunteers are urgently required for Speed Watch.  If you are interested, please contact Geoff Francis on 01278 641388 or email Geoffreyfrancis@btinternet.com.

 

ROAD SAFETY FOR THE OLDER DRIVER. Changes in health, vehicles, driving conditions and the driving skills required can affect the capabilities of the older driver. Somerset Road Safety Route 60+ are offering free presentations to update such drivers; see www.somerestroadsafety.org   A session has been arranged for 9am Wednesday 6 December 2017 at the Village Hall. 

 

2016/17 AUDIT OF COUNCIL ACCOUNTS. The External Auditors have concluded that our accounts are being managed in accordance with proper practices and regulations.   Also, the Internal auditor had no matters to draw to the attention of members.  Our budget is in a healthy state.

 

THE PLAY AREA. The Play Area had received a Highly Commended certificate in the 2017 SPFA Field of the Year Awards.

 

PARISH FINGERPOSTS. The Council is investigating the possibility of refurbishing the ten fingerpost signs in the Parish. Although Somerset County Council value the fingerposts as part of our county heritage, they are not mandatory and are classed as 'nice to have'. If there are any businesses or individuals who would be interested in sponsoring a fingerpost, please contact a member of the Parish Council.

 

PLANNING

  • 33/17/30. Erection of extension and installation of raised platform, 20 Merryfield. Recommended.
  • 33/17/31. Erection of new dwelling and formation of access from Church Street to the rear of Ashdene, Churchlands. Recommended.
  • 33/17/33. Change of use of land to Class B8 and siting of 15 storage containers, Rookery Farm Creamery, Northwick Road. Recommended.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING. The South Western Housing Society (SWHS) affordable housing project at Northwick is now underway. The initial stages are focusing on preparing the site and creating a site entrance from the Causeway, including the construction of a haul road as opposed to site vehicles using Vole Rd and Northwick Rd.

 

In the event that parishioners wish to complain, express concern and compliment while the construction is underway, you are invited to contact SWHS or the site manager direct. Several issues have already been addressed. The SWHS point of contact is djohnson@swhs.org.uk, Tel 01934 750780.  The site manager is Stuart Durrans on 07725 243830.

 

The Parish Council has established the Northwick Rd Project Liaison team as a point of contact for the contractor and providing and receiving information about the project and sharing this with the community as appropriate. Its details are mpcwickprojectliaison@gmail. It would be helpful if correspondence to the contractor is copied to Project Liaison. This will enable them to track all concerns and questions raised and to assist in addressing them if necessary. SWHS and Project Liaison will be conducting regular meetings to ensure the Parish Council are aware of the status of the project, any issues or concerns that have been raised and proposed activities as the project progresses.

 

TRUESPEED. The IT Company, TrueSpeed, started its potential investment in the Parish by distributing postcardd about its proposals to households describing its Fibre-to the-Premises (FTTP) technology. 30% of the Parish signing up gives Truespeed the incentive to continue with presentations and a question-and-answer session. Several neighbouring villages have signed up. District Councillor Will Human comments, I fully back the move to encourage Truespeed to bring ‘to the door’ fibre optic connections. Having looked at the charges, it would seem highly competitive and far more effective than the current BT offering.’

 

NOTICES

  • Date for your Diary. Saturday 17 February 2018. Village Clean Up Day.
  • Member of Parliament Video Logs. James Heappey, MP (Wells Constituency) sends video logs (vlogs) describing his Parliamentary activities. If you wish to receive his vlog, email james.heappey.mp@parliament.uk
  • The Boundary Commission Consultation (17 October to 11 December 2017) is recommending that the Huntspill & Pawlett and Puriton & Woolavington wards are moved from the Bridgwater & West Somerset Constituency to the Wells Constituency.

NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS. Mark is a rural community that has livestock, stables and domestic animals. While some animals are trained to accept bangs and flashes, such as the horses of the King’s Troop horse artillery and some working dogs, most fear bangs and flashes. So when planning a New Year’s Party, or indeed any party that includes fireworks, here is some guidance:

  • Let nearby livestock and stable owners know that fireworks are planned.
  • Consider not launching fireworks near livestock and horses in fields and close to buildings that house livestock.
  • Consider using quieter types rather than those that explode.
  • Respect requests not to launch fireworks or to stop using them if it is causing a problem with nearby animals.

No-one likes applying the Law unless necessary, however, it is worth noting that the Animal Welfare Act 2006 places a duty of care on people to ensure reasonable steps are taken to meet the welfare of animals. This is enforceable by local councils, animal health officers and the police. Infringements carry a fine of £20,000 maximum and/or up to 6 months imprisonment. Good practice of animal welfare includes the Five Needs:

  • Suitable environment
  • Suitable diet
  • Able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns
  • Housed with, or apart, from other animals
  • Protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease. Fireworks could be included in this principle.

 

NEXT PARISH MEETING

The next Parish Council Meeting will be held at the Village Hall beginning at 7.30pm on Tuesday 2 January 2017.  Members of the public are invited.

 

Finally and with pleasure, Mark Parish Council wishes everyone in the Parish a Merry Christmas, Seasonal Greetings and a Prosperous 2018. 

 

Nick van der Bijl

Mark Parish Council

 

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