MARK PARISH COUNCIL
A Meeting of Mark Parish Council was held in the Church Hall, Vicarage Lane, Mark on Tuesday, 7th September 2021 at 7.00 p.m.
Present: - Councillor S. Emary (Chairman) Councillors G. Francis, W. Human, D. Sellers, J. Spencer and Mrs J. Weekes with County Councillor D. Huxtable (until 7.25 p.m.) and the Clerk. Apology for absence received from Councillors D. Champion and Mrs E. Corkish.
Declarations of Interest
Councillor Mrs J. Weekes declared a personal interest in matters relating to the Village Hall.
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 6th July 2021 were confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
Report of the County Councillor
County Councillor Huxtable reported upon issues relating to unitary authorities, Covid and highways. It was subsequently agreed to accept his offer to arrange for a speed survey to be undertaken along Blackford Road and for rumble strips to be installed on the eastern approach to Mark.
a) Balance of Accounts
It was reported that the balance of accounts at 1st September were as follows - Current £5,892.10, Reserve £28,504.70.
b) Authorisation for Payment
It was agreed that the following payments be confirmed: -
000933 Somerlap benches £411.84
000934 NA Haggett (builders) Ltd work to Jubilee Green £1,440.00
DD SDC salary recharge £975.00
It was agreed that the following payments be authorised: -
000935 GWB Services grass cutting £1,002.00
000936 SALC affiliation fee £390.27
000937 PKF Littlejohn audit fee £240.00
000938 Parish Clerk expenses & sundry payments £119.61
c) Bank Reconciliation
A bank reconciliation as at 30th June 2021 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 2020/21 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.
It was agreed to confirm recommendations of permission made in respect of the following applications: -
019 Erection of side extension and detached garage and formation of new driveway, Linden, Dutch Road, Mark – Mr & Mrs G. Fisher.
020 & 021LB Erection of extension to side elevation, conversion of stables to home office and garden store, replacement car port and alterations to dwelling, Laurel Farm, The Causeway, Mark – Mr & Mrs J. Griffen.
025 Erection of agricultural building, Reed Farm, Southwick Road, Mark – CL, AE & RC Sweet
The following new application was considered: -
026 Formation of a landscape bund to the south of Blackford Road, Mark – O. Seymour – recommend permission.
Public Areas Portfolio
a) Highway Matters
As action was taking place in respect of a number of the long outstanding highway issues, it was agreed to defer obtaining press publicity at the current time in connection with the poor response of County Highways in dealing with matters raised by the Parish Council. Work was taking place on the provision of a 20-mph zone outside Mark First School and road makings were being refurbished throughout the village. County Highways had also undertaken to contact a property owner regarding a safety issue concerning the remains of railings at the edge of the highway at Vole Road. It was agreed to adjust a directional sign to the Bowls Club.
The layby at Jubilee Green had been refurbished and it was noted that the vegetation had been removed from the River Bridge near Burtle. Bus service 67 no longer operated on Saturdays and it was noted that Councillor Mrs Corkish would be taking part in a Zoom Meeting regarding bus services on 14th September.
Councillor Francis gave an update regarding the acquisition of more advanced SIDs for use in Mark, Burnham Without and East Huntspill. Two new poles for these SIDs had recently been installed in East Huntspill.
b) Play Area
Two picnic benches had been replaced in the play area. It was agreed to meet a representative of GB Sport & Leisure when undertaking this year’s inspection of the play equipment to discuss issues with the safety surfacing. Councillor Mrs Weekes would attend the Somerset Playing Fields’ Association Presentation Event at Woolavington on 10th September.
c) Public Rights of Way
Councillor Sellers reported upon a bridge off Perry Lane along AX27/57 and issues along AX23/15.
d) Village Hall /Football Pitch Area
Councillor Mrs Weekes reported that the Village Hall was being well used again and a junior football club would be using the football pitch this season.
Visitors to the website were recorded at 1448 in August 2021. Councillor Sellers would discuss the web-site with Councillor Mrs Weekes.
The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday 2nd November 2021 at the Church Hall starting at 7.00pm
National Grid Hinkley Connection Project update from National Grid.
Work is progressing well all along the route from Bridgwater to Avonmouth and we are expecting to achieve some major project milestones over the next few months.
Building T Pylons
his month we are starting to build the world’s first operational T-pylons.
We’ve completed all the driven piling for the section of the route between Bridgwater substation and the cable sealing end compound (CSC) at Loxton, where it will join to the underground cables we’re installing through the Mendip Hills.
We have just three further foundations to build using mini-piling techniques and we expect this work to be completed in the autumn. This schedule shows where we are piling and when.
The T-pylon is the first new design for pylons in this country for almost a century. It has a single pole and T-shaped cross arms which hold the wires in a diamond ‘earring’ shape. It is around 35 metres high; about a third shorter than traditional 400,000 volt steel lattice pylons. It also has a smaller footprint and will use less land.
We will publish updates on our website www.hinkleyconnection.co.uk over the coming weeks and in our next quarterly newsletter.
Later in the year, we will start to remove the smaller Western Power Distribution (WPD) pylons and we’ll be in touch with more information nearer the time.
Connecting Hinkley Point C power station
Meanwhile, another of our contractors, Babcock, has started work to enable construction of a 4.5 km overhead power line north of Wick, which will connect Hinkley Point C and Shurton substation to the National Grid network, and the removal of a 2.3 km overhead line that runs to the Hinkley B power station.
We’re currently building temporary traffic access points and haul roads which will allow construction vehicles to reach the new pylon locations.
We expect to start pylon construction towards the end of the year. We’ll provide more detailed information on the construction programme as the works progress and let people know if there will be any disruptions to residents and businesses.
Underground cables through the Mendip Hills
Further north, we’re making good progress with installing the underground electricity cables beneath the Mendip Hills, from the cable sealing end compound at Loxton to Sandford.
In sensitive areas, such as road crossings and waterways, we’re using horizontal directional drilling (HDD) to push the ducts through the ground. We have only one more drilling site to complete, under the Lox Yeo River.
If you have any questions or would like to talk through the work in your parish, please don’t hesitate to email me, Donna Burnell, Community Relations Team, at email@example.com or call me on 0800 377 7347
Information from Somerset Count Highways
- Reporting Potholes
If you are reporting this defect outside normal working hours – Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm – and you believe it is an urgent problem and a risk to public safety, please phone the police on 101.
When you report a pothole it is inspected within 3 working days and a repair will be planned in as set out in our Highway Safety Inspection Manual.
Please give us as much information as possible that will help our inspector find the pothole or road defect. The more information you give us, the easier it will be for us to find. Please tell us:
A pothole happens when the surface of a road or footpath has been worn away and a hollow forms.
As the road surface ages it becomes more porous, and rainwater gets in through cracks. In wet weather the pressure created by traffic passing over the area forces water further down into the road surface, weakening it. In winter, as the temperature changes between freezing and thawing, there is a faster deterioration of road surfaces, because the water filling cracks freezes and expands, loosening chunks of the surface material.
Once a pothole has formed it will quickly grow as traffic continually dislodges and removes weakened and broken pieces of the surface.
Our inspectors check roads, footways and cycleways for potholes regularly. Quieter routes are inspected less often, so we ask you to help us identify and report potholes. When you report a pothole, we log it and schedule a repair where required.
You can find out more about how often we carry out our inspections in our Highways Safety Inspection Manual.
How we repair potholes
A pothole repair involves ‘cutting out’ the weakened area. The hole is then cleaned out and painted with a coat of a liquid bitumen binder which acts like a glue when the hole is filled with a hot layer of road surface material, which is then compacted.
Paint marks on the road
We make paint marks on the road to help us identify the exact spot to carry out the work. The markings used (lines, dots or letters) have no particular meaning. If a member of the public adds additional marks, this will not result in additional work being done.
How long does it take to repair potholes and prioritising repairs
When you report a pothole, it is inspected within 3 working days and a repair will be planned if it meets the intervention levels set out in our Highway Safety Inspection Manual. In some cases, we may do a temporary repair and a permanent repair will be carried out within 28 days.
Pothole repairs are prioritised depending on their size and where they are. We also take into account the amount and speed of traffic using the road, and where the pothole is in the road.
As a general rule, potholes in the road that are 40mm deep will be repaired within 28 days, the same timeframe as for potholes on a footway or cycleway that are 20mm deep. These response times are reduced to 24 hours for busy A and B roads and town centres.