DECEMBER 2019/JANUARY 2020
MARK PARISH COUNCIL
A Meeting of Mark Parish Council was held in the Church Hall, Vicarage Road, Mark on Tuesday, 5th November 2019 at 7.00 p.m.
RLT 3 Grant Application
Members considered an application submitted to the District Council by Wedmore Playing Field Association for a grant of £54,548 comprising the total of the RLT 3 funding remaining available to Cheddar Valley Cluster Parishes. The money would be used to complete facilities in the upper storey of their pavilion. It was agreed to formally object to this application as the MCA had plans to submit an application for refurbishment of their football pitch in the near future and it was considered that as Wedmore Playing Field Association had already received a substantial sum from this scheme towards their pavilion project, no further RLT 3 funding should be made available to them. (Councillor Human voted against and Councillor Mrs Weekes abstained).
a) Balance of Accounts
It was reported that the balance of accounts at 1st October were as follows - Current £11,406.39, Reserve £35,003.38.
b) Authorisation for Payment
The following payments had been made since the last Meeting:
DD Sedgemoor DC dog bin servicing £167.23
000892 PKF Littlejohn audit fee £200.00
000893 SW Ambulance Service defibrillators £3,360.00
It was agreed that the following payments be made:
000894 GWB Services grass cutting £881.20
000895 Parish Clerk expenses & sundry payments £260.60
c) Audit of Accounts
The External Auditors had completed their work on the 2018/19 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. The Internal Auditor also had no issues to raise with Members.
d) Bank Reconciliation
A bank reconciliation as at 30th September 2019 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.
e) Public Clock and 2020/21 Draft Budget
It was agreed to include provision in the 2020/21 draft budget to enable the clock dials to be restored in situ and an application be made for a grant towards the cost involved. Members gave preliminary consideration to the draft budget and suggested various amendments thereto. The budget and precept would be finalised at the next meeting.
The following planning application was considered-
016 Replacement dwelling, The Homestead, Northwick Road, Mark – D, Waller – recommend permission.
Public Areas Portfolio
a) Highway Matters
It was agreed to report a defect and a tree requiring attention at Northwick Road. It was noted that all recent fly-tipping deposits had been reported to the District Council. It was understood that County Councillor Huxtable was still pursuing the installation of flashing warning lights in the vicinity of the School. It was agreed to seek a meeting with the Head Teacher to discuss on-going parking issues. Reference to danger caused by parked cars in the vicinity of the Kingsway junction would be made in the parish magazine. The County Council had made the Traffic Order to extend the 30 mph speed limit at Blackford Road but the new signage was still awaited. It was agreed to send a reminder and also to again report damaged warning signs at Blackford Road and Mark Causeway. It was also agreed to request Community Payback to carry out street/pavement cleaning in the Church Street/Littlemoor Road area.
Councillor Francis gave an update on the refurbishment of historic finger post signs He also reported upon the operation of the shared SID scheme and Mark Speed watch.
b) Play Area
It was noted that a report on the annual safety inspection was awaited.
c) Public Rights of Way
Councillor Francis reported that he had checked an issue on a specified footpath
d) Village Hall /Football Pitch Area
Councillor Mrs Horn reported that the new defibrillators were awaiting installation by an electrician. A poster detailing the location of defibrillators in the area would be placed on the notice boards to raise awareness. As part of a nationwide Woodland Trust initiative to provide free trees to communities, additional trees would be planted in the Village Hall grounds and at the southern end of Jubilee Green. The planting will be completed by a team from Wedmore Young Farmers during the weekend of 23rd/24th November.
Councillor Mrs Weekes reported upon statistics relating to visits to the web-site during October.
Somerset Prepared Resilience Day
The Chairman and Councillor Francis reported upon an event that they had recently attended. It was felt that a snow event or prolonged winter power outage would be the most serious emergency in Mark. Neighbourhood Watch would be best placed to identify and arrange assistance for vulnerable people and this matter would be progressed together with an update of the existing Mark Emergency Plan.
Please Note. The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday 17th December 2019 at the Church Hall starting at 6.30pm.
National Grid Hinkley Connection Project through Mark
The summer has been a busy one; we’ve made good progress with construction work and we’re gearing up to start further stages of work early next year – including getting ready to build the world’s first T-pylons here in Somerset.
Fencing installation and vegetation clearance starts along T-pylon route near Mark and across Mark Causeway.
Over the summer our contractor, Balfour Beatty, carried out ground investigation surveys between Bridgwater and Loxton. In the autumn we’re erecting stock fencing and carrying out early vegetation clearance along the route of the new overhead line. Construction of the innovative T-pylons is due to start in mid-2020. The pylon’s lower height and contemporary design is considered to have less of a visual impact on the landscape than traditional lattice pylons. More detailed information our project and all our current activities can also be found on our project website.
The Parish Council has no doubt that this project will have a detrimental affect on vehicle movement along Mark Causeway and along other roads around Mark and will be monitoring the situation as it progresses.
A complete copy of the National Grid Autumn update can be found on the Village Web Site.
Donate your Winter Fuel Payment so Somerset’s elderly
don’t have to choose between eating and heating
As we head into winter, many of us face an expensive – but essential - bill for heating our homes, while many of our neighbours face a stark decision between eating and heating: a shocking one in eight households in Somerset live in fuel poverty. Thanks to the bright idea of one generous pensioner, hundreds of older people in Somerset are being supported to stay warm, safe and well every winter through Somerset Community Foundation’s Surviving Winter campaign.
The campaign encourages people who don’t need their Winter Fuel Payment to donate some or all of it to help local older people who are unable to afford to heat their homes.
Last year, over 500 elderly people living in Somerset were helped through the cold winter months, thanks to generous local donors who donated over £100,000 to Surviving Winter.
Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) are also taking part in The Big Give, and online donations to the campaign that are made during the week-long Big Give Christmas Challenge - midday Tuesday 3 December to midday Tuesday 10 December - will be doubled! So, not only will your donation be worth twice as much, but even more older and isolated people across the county will feel warmer and better connected this winter.
If you would like to donate to Surviving Winter, visit www.somersetcf.org.uk/winter or call 01749 344949.