Banbury Community Action Group

BCAG  August 2022 Meeting Minutes

Chair:          Jim                       

Minutes:    Harriet

Present:      Jim S, Harriet J, Zsofi B, Chris M, Robin, Colleen


1. Agenda item I   Welcome, introductions and apologies                                                  Jim

A warm welcome to everyone.  Apologies from Maria M, Tila R, Colin S, Lynda S 

2. Agenda item II   Matters arising from July meeting, 05/07                                            Jim

All matters arising are covered under agenda items.

3.  Agenda item III   BCAG admin                                                                                               Jim

Total hours spent on BCAG business and projects for July were recorded – thanks to everyone for putting in time.

Harriet to ask any core members not at the monthly meeting, for their hours.

4.  Agenda item IV   Treasurer’s report                                                                                Lynda

There was no treasurer’s report this month.

5. Agenda item V   Social media, Newsletter, publicity                                                     Jim

STATS:  Mailchimp:  206 Newsletter subscribers.   Facebook: BCAG 1034 followers, BSCG 543 followers.  All up again on last month. 

Leaflet update, ongoing: Maria is preparing a draft for a revised version to be circulated to core members.

6. Agenda item VI   Bridge Street Community Garden  BSCG                                          Tila

Jim gave a summary of Tila’s report.

The following groups visited during July:  Sunrise Multicultural Project, 6th Form students from Banbury Aspirations, LGBTQ+, Restore, Turning Point, Home-Start.

Other activities included: printmaking workshop with Liz Lake, stand at CDC People’s Park Playday, attendance at opening of CDC community pop-up space in Castle Quay, East St Early Years’ end of year party.

Well done Tila, for doing an interview for BBC Radio Oxford.

Thank you Tila for all this amazing activity.

7.  Agenda item VII   Browning Road Orchard BRO                                                        Colin

The BRO picnic 17/07 was well attended by the local community with some 60 people coming along despite the heat.  Well done Colin, for organizing such a popular event.  Thank you to those who helped with the refreshments, and to the team who prepared the site, then set up/ took down the gazebos, etc.

Particular thanks to Julia, BTC for changing the mowing programme and ensuring we had short grass for the event area, and long grass all around for the wildlife activities!

This year’s Apple Day in the Orchard is fixed for 25th September.  There will be a late Autumn work party, Saturday 19th November, for pruning, mulching and re-staking.  Colin will again take the lead on organizing.  Harriet to find someone to lead the pruning work.

Thanks to Vaughan for thinning the apples: there was a very good set this year, which hopefully will lead to a good crop!  Thanks to Winnie and Vaughan for so successfully bringing the two raised beds by the children’s play area, back into cultivation.  Robin and Colleen both offered to help with future orchard events: much appreciated.

8. Agenda item VIII   Banbury Active Transport Supporters group                             Chris

The silence from CDC continues…. The Group has received nothing back regarding their complaint about the consultation phase for the LCWIP, which raised issues about both the quality of documentation, and the format of the process.  The Group will now complain about the handling of the complaint with the response time falling well outside the published target times.

The BATS group have plenty of ideas in the pipeline to push forward the active travel agenda.  It is clear that public transport is a vital part of the overall picture for active travel, so the group will expand their activities to include this also.

Harriet suggested that the link be made with Age Friendly Banbury who are currently looking to see how older users can be encouraged back on the buses, with numbers of users in this category still well down on pre-covid levels.  Harriet will contact Bee at AFB.

9. Agenda item IX     Biodiversity                                                                                    Harriet

The joint event with Cherwell Swifts Conservation Project held at the People’s Park community events space, 14/07 was fully booked (group limited to 25).  Thank you to Chris Mason for sharing his great knowledge about swifts, to CWCP for paying for the venue, to everyone who attended, and to Harriet for organizing, baking, and supplying the refreshments!

The sweep-nets activity at the BRO picnic event 17/07 was very successful with children (and the adults, too) enjoying the ‘hunting’.  There was a good range of insects and spiders caught in the nets reflecting the importance of leaving grass uncut through the growing season, to increase biodiversity.

With invaluable support from Wild Banbury volunteers, the Playday activity went extremely well.  Some 380 creeping caterpillars were made (ingenious creations of tissues and paper straws…) and the team worked without a moment’s break for the whole of the event!  Great to engage with so many of Banbury’s children, and to just time to have a word with each about the importance of making space for nature.

10. Agenda item X     Climate Action COP26                                                                          Jill

The Great Big Green Week, is organized to help and encourage people and organisations to act to help tackle the climate crisis, and to protect and improve our environment.

For this year’s Week, which runs 24/9 – 2/10, the theme is ‘energy’.

The meeting agreed that BCAG should mark the week in some way; the BATS group has already registered on the website.   Harriet, Zsofi, Chris to discuss to come up with some suggestions; Harriet to arrange.  BCAG could book the Castle Quay community pop-up space to help promote the event / as part of the Big Green Week.

We look forward to receiving an update on the OCC retrofit of buildings scheme, idc.

11. Agenda item XI     Summer Give & Take                                                                          Lynda

The Summer Give and Take, 16/07 at The Haven, went very well. 

There was a reasonable quantity of donations, but the main success was in the widened reach for the ‘Take’ part.  The event was well attended by passers-by who were most appreciative of the ‘gifts’.   Having items displayed outside on the pavement helped encourage people to then come inside to look.   The Repair café was also much appreciated, and the Orinoco sew-in brought considerable additional interest.

The meeting agreed that it would be desirable to hold another similar event, possibly in the.

This G&T started ‘primed’ with a substantial display of items.  While this has never been an issue in the past, for a future event we would need to consider how to ensure we have sufficient donations.   Jim offered Warwick Road as a drop off and short-term storage in the week leading up to the event.

Well done Lynda, for doing all the organizing, and thanks to everyone who supported her especially to those who helped out on the day (Charlotte, Robin, Lynne), either with the refreshments, or in the main g&t zone.  Also many thanks to The Haven for letting us use the venue, and Fiona for being ‘on duty’ but also joining in.

12. Agenda item XII     Food waste                                                                                  Lynne

Anaïs at Replenish is holding Love Food Hate Waste cooking workshops elsewhere in the county and is hoping to provide support and help to others; she has some funding to put towards this. 

The meeting agreed that it would be great to move forward with this, aiming at a late autumn / winter target date.

Harriet to discuss with Lynda, then contact Anaïs.  Robin, Jim and Lynne also to be involved.


To note: XR will be using the shed at BSCG for a climate talk on Saturday 20/8.  All are welcome.

It was agreed that the next meeting again be online

Our thoughts continue to be with all those caught up in the war in Ukraine.


Tuesday 6th September, 7.30pm, Zoom.

Those present agreed that online meetings work well, there being plenty of opportunities now outside of the monthly meetings, to meet up at the Garden.  This decision will be reviewed on a month by month basis.