MARK PARISH COUNCIL
A Meeting of Mark Parish Council was held via Zoom on Tuesday, 4th May 2021 at 7.00 p.m.
Election of Chairman and Vice Chairman
It was unanimously agreed that Councillor S. Emary be elected Chairman and that Councillor Francis be elected Vice-Chairman for 2021/22. The Chairman would sign a declaration of acceptance of office.
A number of documents associated with the Councils yearly requirements and 2020/21 accounts were formally approved:
The Financial Statement for 2020/21
Annual Governance Statement
2020/21 Accounting Statement required by the External Auditors
Review of Insurance Cover
Balance of Accounts
Authorisation for a number of individual payments
It was agreed to confirm recommendations of permission in respect of the following applications:-
20/023 Change of use of land to domestic and erection of replacement garage, 6 The City, Mark – I. Jones.
004 Change of use of agricultural buildings to three dwellings and associated works, Totney Farm, Blackford Road, Mark – A. Comer.
Minor maintenance work had taken place to the benches and paint on the slide and a new notice had been fixed to the play area gate. Complaints had been received regarding dogs in the play area and this would be monitored.
Public Rights of Way
Councillor Sellers reported upon possible clearance work by the County Council to AX23/15 and Councillor Human reported upon negotiations with National Grid to allow access along a bridleway across the haul road when work was not taking place. Mr Bickers had adjusted the mechanism on the gate on the footpath to the south of Littlemoor Road to ensure that it closed more efficiently.
Information concerning PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY
The Parish of Mark is criss-crossed with several Public Rights of Way usually prefixed by the letters AX. In brief, a public right of way is not, strictly speaking, a path, but a right possessed by the public to pass along linear routes over land at all times along signed route. The Public Rights of Way in the Parish of Mark are listed on a definitive map issued by Somerset County. Examples are:
Bridleways: on which there is a right of way on foot, on horseback and leading a horse. Cyclists may use bridleways provided that they give way to other users. In some cases, as in Mark, droves double as public rights of way. We are very fortunate that farmers keep most droves maintained.
Footpaths: on which there is a right of way on foot.
Roads Used as Public Paths: highways mainly used by the public for the purposes that footpaths or bridleways are used.
Restricted Byways: highways used as footpaths and bridleways on which there is a right of way for all traffic.
Cycle Tracks: paths with a right of way for all types of pedal cycles, but not mopeds, including electrically-assisted cycles, with or without a right of access on foot. Cycle ways are not shown on a definitive map.
Vehicles may be used by farmers accessing fields and property adjacent to droves, which are also Public Rights of Way.
Village Hall /Football Pitch Area
Councillor Human reported that he had been approached by a parishioner regarding an issue caused by model aircraft being flown on the football pitch area. This area fell within the remit of the Mark Community Association and Councillor Human would attend their next Meeting when the issue would be raised.
Councillor Human agreed to contact National Grid to ascertain their intentions for this property which was falling into disrepair.
Councillor Mrs Weekes reported upon statistics relating to visits to the web-site during April. The Council always welcomes practical advice and suggestions to ensure that our website is vibrant, informative and current.
Update from Somerset Waste Partnership April 2021
• The majority of Garden Waste Service subscribers will have a change of collection day next month due to a rerouting of rounds to make them more efficient. The changes take effect from 10 May and those affected will be written to.
• Recycle More is scheduled to launch South Somerset at the end of June and engagement with the public will start in earnest from next week.
• Recycling sites continue to be busy. Current on-site safety measures will continue at least until the next stage in the lifting of Covid restrictions.
Garden Waste – collect day
Due to a rerouting of collection routes, the majority of subscribers to SWP’s garden waste service will see a change of collection day next month.
This follows a review of all the collection routes to make them more efficient, reducing mileage wherever possible and thereby limiting impaction the environment. It also aims to improve the service quality and reduce levels of garden waste missed collections.
There are around 54,000 subscribers to the service, and in the region of 45,000 will see a change in their collection day from 10 May.
All those having a change, whether renewing a subscription from last year or starting with the service for the first time, will be written to.
Due to the Covid disruption of the garden waste collections last year, existing subscriptions were extended. Renewed and new subscriptions will run for 12 months from 10 May this year.
The service is going sticker-less for the first time thanks to new technology. Stickers will no longer be issued for bin lids, with the crews instead using in-cab tech and real-time information to know who has subscribed and needs a collection.
The expanded recycling collections continue to perform well in Mendip and attention is now focussed on the introduction of the new service in South Somerset. This is scheduled to happen at the end of June.
As well as reducing waste and helping protect the environment, the new service will cost all partners less. You can find details of the new service and how it is being introduced in phases here www.someretwaste.gov.uk/recycle-more
Key points include:
• Extra items added to weekly recycling collections – notably plastic pots, tubs and trays (as well as cartons, small electrical items and small household batteries)
• All residents issued with a new recycling container – a Bright Blue Bag – to help hold some of the extra material
• Rubbish bins collected every three weeks instead of two – more recycling means less rubbish
Engagement with elected members and wider stakeholders in South Somerset is underway. Public awareness raising and engagement will start in earnest in the coming weeks. This will see increased interest in the change and we will be encouraging South Somerset residents to get ready for the new service, for example by making sure they have the full range of recycling containers.
All residents will be written to twice before anything changes and extra advice and support will be provided to help the change go smoothly. Recycle More is scheduled to be rolled-out in the Taunton Deane area in the autumn and Sedgemoor and West Somerset early next year. Further updates will be provided as progress continues.
All 16 sites continue to operate with additional safety measures and remain busy. These measures will continue at least until the next stage of the easing of lockdown restrictions in mid-May, as will our ‘essential journeys only’ message.
The Reuse Shop has reopened at the Priorswood site, with facemasks required and limits on the number of people in the shop at any time.
Next Meeting of Mark Parish Council
The next Meeting be held in the Church Hall, socially distanced of course, on 6th July 2021 starting at 7.00 p.m.