Banbury Community Action Group


Chair:Jim S  
Minutes:Harriet J  
Attendees:Lynne C, Harriet J, Jim S, Lynda S, Naseem H, Paul B, Derek B, Emma T


Welcome from Jim.  Apologies were received from Chris M, Tila R, Maria M, Dan P, James N

1. Chairman’s report                                                                                                             Jim

Jim gave the Chairman’s report on BCAG activities 2023-24:

CAG continued to flourish with strong growth in our membership across all our projects.  We continued with online monthly meetings via Zoom.

At Bridge Street Garden, further grant funding was secured by our project officer.  Tila’s tireless enthusiasm for the project of engaging with many local community groups has resulted in more garden volunteers than ever before and several community groups have adopted a raised bed and are growing food in it.  Several plant and seed swaps have been held throughout the year to engage with a wider group of growers.

At Browning Road Orchard, owned by Banbury Town Council and looked after by BCAG, we held several events during the year including the Summer Party and ever-popular Apple Day.  In partnership with Wild Banbury volunteers and local residents, the wildlife areas in the wider Park were further expanded.

Our Banbury Active Travel subgroup brought in many new members interested in promoting walking and cycling in Banbury.  Finally, after delays of more than 2 years the LCWIP was passed by Oxfordshire County Council.  Members also continued pushing the local town councillors to promote a reduction in speed limits across the town as part of the 20s plenty campaign, although this decision was deferred.

Two popular Give & Take and Repair Cafes were held during the year with substantial volumes of goods diverted from landfill.  There are plans to hold more of these in the coming year.

Cook Together Eat Together (CTET) recruited a Project Officer.  We secured both grant funding and private donations for the project.  Initial sessions have been successfully run with more planned this year.

BCAG worked alongside Extinction Rebellion Banbury, and the local WI on the Dirty Water project, and promoted concern for the natural world through several wildlife-focused events.

Thanks to Maria, quality Newsletters have been published regularly throughout the year, connecting us with Banbury CAG membership.

We now have 278 (+14%) mailing subscribers (210 (+19%) of these are voting members).  The CAG Facebook page has 1,200 (+5%) followers and the Bridge Street Garden page has 799 (+34%) followers.

Banbury CAG is part of the wider Oxfordshire CAG network and would like to take this opportunity to thank them for the support and financial assistance we have received throughout the year.

Both Banbury Town Council and Cherwell District Council have supported us this year both financially and through support from officers, for which we are extremely grateful.

Finally, I want to thank all the volunteers and CAG officers and core members who have made our success possible this year – without their volunteer hours we would simply cease to exist and Banbury would be all the poorer for that.  Special thanks to Lynda who is stepping down as Treasurer after 5 years in the post.

2. Final accounts and treasurer’s report                                                                        Lynda

Lynda, as treasurer, presented the BCAG Financial Report for April 2023 – March 2024.

TSB Opening Balance 01/04/24                                      £5,462.15


(See Spreadsheets at the end of these Minutes for details of transactions.)

    Grants and Donations brought in                                  £44,423.85

    Expenditure                                                                           £23,803.06

End of Year Balance 31/03/24.                                        £26,082.94

Most of this balance is allocated to specific ongoing projects

Not allocated to projects.                                                 £2,233.94

The accounts are being audited; Abi will be signing off the accounts for the financial year soon.

The number of Projects Banbury CAG is running/supporting has increased, with 19 projects currently running.

The Bank Balance is healthier than predicted thanks to the Viridor grant of £945 towards costs of event hire, insurance, equipment etc. associated with our Give & Take events.

CAG Central Budget spending 1st April 2023 – 31st March 2024        £1,128.91                                                                                                                     

Costs towards hire charges, equipment        £466.91

Insurance.                                                           £423.52

Go Cardless software licence.                         £60

Miscellaneous -admin, post, refreshments. £14.39

We now have online banking with TSB and have added Naseem as a signatory.

3. Voting in the new committee                                                                                                                                  

The new committee was voted in as follows:

CHAIR:             Jim Smith        

TREASURER:   Naseem Hussain        

SECRETARY:    Harriet Jordan

The meeting thanked the three BCAG named officers for their time in coordinating the Group over the last year.


On behalf of Tila, Bridge Street Community Garden officer, Jim read out the Annual Report for the Garden (see below). 

There was no other business raised. 

💚🌿 Bridge Street Garden Annual Report 2023/2024

This past year, Bridge Street Garden has thrived thanks to collaborative efforts with various practitioners who delivered popular events in our community space and the proactive overall approach to managing the space taken by the Garden Officer:

  • Patrissia Cuberos led singing circles
  • Hayley Stevenson conducted an art workshop
  • Jo Milton hosted a fermentation workshop
  • Anne-Marie Cadman guided a session on creating sculptures from repurposed materials
  • Jo Badger brought rhythmic energy to the Garden with a drumming and meditation workshop
  • Lizzie Every (Freshwater Habitat Trust) and Harriet Jordan, facilitated a pond-making workshop
  • Elly Crowther conducted dance workshops 
  • Rhiannon Evans led creative and planting workshops

These events had between 8 to 70+ participants each.

As part of our continuous efforts to enhance the Garden, we undertook a significant project this year, replacing the very old little shed with a new wooden gazebo.  This has provided a more spacious area for our community members and visitors to enjoy.

This year, we collaborated with groups that grew food and flowers in the Garden:

  • Aspire
  • Woodcraft Folk
  • Home-Start
  • Sunrise Multicultural Project
  • Restore
  • Age UK 
  • Senior residents from nearby Chamberlaine Court
  • Chinese residents from Tim Tim Restaurant 
  • SEN students from Activate Learning 

Furthermore, Tila collaborated with OXCAG and Oxfordshire County Council to create the Bridge Street Garden Playbook, a comprehensive 51-page guide covering topics such as community engagement, gardening, fundraising, and wildlife conservation.

The online Playbook will be finalised in the next few days and shared for free!! 

A big thank you to everyone who contributed to making the Garden an excellent place for everyone this year!

We want to give a special shoutout to Jim Smith, who regularly visits the garden to ensure that everything is in order, and to Lynda Smith, who has provided us with a lot of moral and practical support! We also want to express our gratitude towards Jon Wild from CDC for his invaluable support in raising funds for our ongoing projects.