A Meeting of Mark Parish Council was held in the Church Hall, Vicarage Road, Mark on Tuesday, 3rd September 2019 at 7.00pm.



Our financial balance of accounts and reserves continues to be healthy.


Planning Portfolio 33/19

The following planning applications were considered-

014 Change of use of agricultural building to dwelling, Wellfield Farm, Vole Road, Mark – Mrs L. Kent – recommend permission.

015 Coppice of hedgerow, east of Harp Road, Mark – M. Popham – recommend permission.

017 Erection of balcony to south elevation, Elmfield, Church Street, Mark – P. Moody – recommend permission.



Highway Matters

It was noted that all recent highway defects and fly-tipping deposits had been reported to appropriate authorities. It was understood that County Councillor Huxtable was still pursuing the installation of flashing warning lights in the vicinity of the School.


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 report damaged warning signs at Blackford Road and Mark Causeway. It was also agreed to seek additional street/pavement cleaning possibly after autumn leaf fall.


Councillor Francis gave an update on the refurbishment of historic finger post signs and it was agreed that he proceed to the completion of the project. An update on progress would be placed on the web-site. He also reported upon the operation of the shared SID scheme. The possible purchase of an Auto Speed watch device by the group of parishes was currently on hold.


 Mike Schollar had decided to retire as Co-ordinator of Mark Speed watch. It was agreed to thank him for his work in connection with Speed watch over a long period of time and to advertise for a new Co-ordinator via the parish magazine and web-site.


Play Area

The Chairman and Councillor Mrs Horn attended the 2019 Somerset Playing Fields’ Association Field of the Year Presentation Evening held at Woolavington Village Hall on 6th September 2019. Mark Parish Council and Mark Community Association received a commendation award for the Children's Play Area at Mark Village Hall


Public Rights of Way

No issues were raised.


Village Hall /Football Pitch Area

Councillor Mrs Horn reported that the defibrillator at the Village Hall would need to be replaced in the autumn following advice by the South West Ambulance Service. Details of a package available from South West Ambulance was outlined which would cost £1,800 on a four-year agreement for one defibrillator and an additional device could be added for a further £1,000. It was felt that there was need for a defibrillator in Church Street and Councillor Mrs Horn undertook to seek agreement from a property owner for an additional defibrillator to be located in that area and, subject thereto, it was agreed to enter into a support package with the South West Ambulance Service for two units at a cost of £2,800 plus fitting costs by an electrician.



Mark Community Association had clarified the position regarding the flying of drones or remote-controlled aircraft from the field or surrounding area.

Mark Community Association and The Parish Council urge residents to note that when flying any small unmanned aircraft or drones, it is the pilot’s responsibility to familiarise themselves with the legal requirements relating to their chosen activity and to ensure that they operate safely within them. Failure to do so could result in prosecution by the Civil Aviation Authority and a significant fine!


Be familiar with the legal requirements relating to your chosen activity.

Do not endanger person or property.

Ensure that the proposed flying location is appropriate and safe.

Maintain line of sight for the purposes of control at all times (see CAA

Exemption for specific details of FPV flight permissions).

Charging for flights renders the activity Aerial Work.

Do not constitute a nuisance.

Do not invade privacy.

Ensure that appropriate liability insurance cover is in place to protect you in the event of an incident leading to a claim against you.


Advice can be obtained on line from The British Model Flying Association. https://bmfa.org/Info/Know-the-law



Councillor Mrs Weekes reported upon statistics relating to visits to the web-site during August. Usage of the website continues to be high each month with 4037 visitors to the website in August 2019.



Councillor Mrs Corkish reported that a number of headstones were leaning due to ground settlement but were not unstable. It was noted that responsibility for any remedial work rested with the owners of the graves.




The Church of St Mark (also known as Holy Cross) in Mark,  dates from the 13th century, but is mainly a 14th and 15th century building with further restoration in 1864. It has been designated as a Grade I listed building.  There may have been a chapel in the village from the 12th century however the current church was dedicated by William, Bishop of Bath and Wells in April 1268 as The Church of the Holy Cross. The nave has a Barrel roof decorated with the heads of religious figures. In the Choir is a wooden sculpture of the Four Evangelists made by a Belgian sculptor named André in 1524 for St. Salvator's Cathedral in Bruges, which was moved in 1794.


The tower was built around 1407 It contains a peel of eight bells. The clock celebrates the jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887 and we are sure that the community are not only proud of the magnificent Church Building but also the Clock which has been ringing out the hours for over 130 years.


A few weeks ago whilst Smiths of Derby were carrying out the last annual service on the clock they discussed some restoration work and repairs of the clock dials.  They recommend to access the clock dial from rope access, remove the clock hands, dial and dial works.  The dial works pass through the fabric of the building and rarely receive full servicing attention, and it would be prudent therefore to carry out this work during the restoration operation. The driving tubes would be separated and all corrosion removed, the tubes re-polished and correctly lubricated. The gearing would also be serviced and adjusted as necessary for correct operation. The result of this would be that the clock would be under less strain and wear. Smiths would sympathetically abrade the dial down to a sound base and repair the fractures, followed by the application anti corrosion treatment and primers, undercoat and finally weatherproof gloss, for maximum protection. The dials would then be baked in an oven at 80°c to achieve a hard enamel like finish and for maximum longevity.


Any previously gilded areas would be sized, followed by the application of gold leaf, as specified above. This is particularly long lasting and attractive and is used in preference to ordinary gold paint. The latter soon loses its fresh appearance and deteriorates quickly, whereas gold leaf has an expected life span of 20 – 25 years (subject to local conditions). The hands would be similarly treated.


The Parish Council will be discussing working with others to finance the work which does not come cheap and would welcome offers of financial support  or any other ideas from the residents of Mark. We are sure that the community would like to see it carried out so the clock can continue ringing out the hours for another 100 years.




A reminder that walkers with dogs should take particular care when crossing fields where animals are being grazed.


Section 1 of the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 makes it an offence for a dog to be at large, ‘that is to say not on a lead or otherwise under close control’, in a field or enclosure containing sheep. It’s also an offence for dogs to attack or chase livestock and farmers are allowed to shoot dogs that are worrying, or are about to worry, farm animals. This is set out in section 9 of the Animals Act 1971, which also states that the farmer isn’t liable to compensate the dog’s owner in such circumstances.


Chasing by dogs can do serious damage to sheep, even if the dog doesn’t catch them. The stress of worrying by dogs can cause sheep to die and pregnant ewes to miscarry their lambs.


Sheep fleeing from dogs are often killed or seriously injured by their panicked attempts to escape, and dogs chasing ewes and lambs can cause mis-mothering issues, with lambs dying from starvation or hypothermia when they become separated from their mother and fail to find her again. Dog bites can cause death in sheep or necessitate them being put down at a later date. .


It is vital that you keep your dog on the lead around livestock, even if you can usually trust it to come to call.


Farmers appreciate lots of people like their dog to enjoy the countryside with them, but as much of the UK’s rural landscape is maintained by grazing sheep there is always a strong chance you will encounter some while out with your dog.


Next Parish Council Meeting

Please Note. The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday 5th November 2019 at the Church Hall starting at 7.00pm.



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