Banbury Community Action Group

BCAG August ’21 catch-up

3rd August, 2021

Chair:          Jim                       

Minutes:    Harriet

Present:      Jim S, Lynda S, Harriet J, Lynne, Mike P, Tila R


1. Agenda item I   Welcome, introductions and apologies                                                  Jim

Apologies for absence received from Zsofi B and Jill O.  Welcome back to Lynne.

2. Agenda item II   Matters arising from July meeting, 06/07                                            Jim

All covered under agenda items.

3.  Agenda item III   BCAG admin                                                                                               Jim

Totals of hours spent on BCAG business and projects for June were recorded; total hours are submitted annually to Oxfordshire CAG.

4.  Agenda item IV   Treasurer’s report                                                                                Lynda

Thanks to Lynda, Cherwell DC have awarded us £1K to fund a project officer for 10 weeks.  Paraphrasing Jon W at CDC “when Lynda explained what the situation was, it was just obvious that we had to find the money to support”.  Thank you so much, Cherwell, and fantastic work, Lynda! 

Tila R as PO will bring back the programme of regular events at the Garden, and will try to find funding streams to pay longer-term for a part-time Garden manager who can maximise community use of the Garden space.

5. Agenda item V   Social media, Newsletter, publicity                               Harriet/Jim/Zsofi

July was holiday month for Update and News; the next edition will go out shortly after the meeting.

6. Agenda item VI   Bridge Street Community Garden  BSCG                                        Lynda

Warm welcome to Tila who, with funding from CDC Wellbeing Team, will be our BSCG project officer for 10 weeks over the summer.  Tila explained her food forest gardening ideas for the Garden which involved building a set of ‘honeycomb’ beds to eventually replace the present beds which are nearing end of life, complemented by some smaller beds and plant towers from recycled juice barrels.   Each completed and filled bed will cost c.£400-£500 (the cost mainly being in the growing medium) and Tila will look for ways to fund them through sponsorship or through interested groups raising money to have their own to use.  Those present supported the idea but stressed how important it is to listen to and respect the wishes of those already gardening at Bridge Street.

Tila is looking in to the possibilities of using the Garden for social prescribing opportunities.  The first summer event is a ‘seed bomb making workshop’ being run in partnership with Banbury Trees, Banbury Woodcraft Folk, XR families, and Wild Banbury, 11th August.

As a result of discussions with Tila, Maria from the Sunrise Multicultural group has asked if they could hold a community gathering event at the Garden, 11st September, along the lines of the Friendship Festival.  Agreed at the meeting that this was a great use of the Garden and that BCAG would wish to be involved.

Following delivery of the compost from Harvest@Home, Lynda has been doing  Saturday morning at the Garden to provide a point of contact for existing volunteers, and to engage with other visitors and passers-by.  Lynda also represented the Community Garden at the Longford Park festival day.

BCAG is included as an ‘engagement hub’ as part of Harwest@Home’s forward planning.  They would like us to be further involved as a ‘development hub’.  Lynda will liaise on this.

ü  Tila to work with Lynda to organize a work party for repairing beds and clearing shed.

7.  Agenda item VII   Browning Road Orchard BRO                                                        Colin

The Wild Banbury volunteer team checked the orchard trees, pruning off suckers and adding stakes and guards.  There are still around 40 trees without guards – Wild Banbury are willing to complete this task when the Town Council can supply guards.  Guards are vital as some of the trees have already been damaged by strimming.  Most of the new trees are doing well.

7. Agenda item VII  Banbury Active Transport Supporters group (BCAG-led project)  Zsofi

There is no news yet on the consultation phase of the LCWIP.

Tim Bearder, as new Highways cabinet member for Oxfordshire County Council, is positive about active travel, but has no additional funding for it.

9. Agenda item IX    Biodiversity Project                                                                       Harriet

The BCAG / Cherwell Swifts Conservation Project talk and walk, swifts event was a very successful evening and fully booked (places limited to 20 at request of Town Council).  Chris Mason, local expert on swifts, gave the talk and led the walk: fortunately there was plenty of swift watching on offer.  Thanks to the BCAG helpers on the evening and to Jemima S for the delicious baking and to Banbury Town Council for free use of the events space in People’s Park.

The Banbury Playday, 28th July,  organised by CDC Wellbeing team was extremely successful – very well attended and an excellent upbeat community and family atmosphere.  Harriet, Jemima, Lynda and Zsofi looked after the BCAG gazebo and were busy throughout the event.  Lynda was there talking about seeds, composting and the BSCG; the others hosted swift and spider-themed children’s craft activities.  Marie at Warriner Farm also provided support and we shared our stand with Chris M from the Swifts Project.

10. Agenda item X     Climate Action COP26                                                                      Jill

Jill continues to focus on ideas for the FoE Big Green Week, 18th-26th Sept designed to engage with the public in the run up to COP26.  There will be an event 18/9 Broad Street, Oxford; 22/9 is to be a No Car day; the Quakers are running a Climate Café; XR are holding an extinct species animal mask march 18/9. 

It was suggested that BCAG could arrange/support a cycling/walking event as part of the Week, to key in with the BATS work.

ü  Jill to continue to take the lead on this; ideas from everyone welcome.

ü Dale is also involved with the Big Green Week and will share thoughts and resources with BCAG.


The date for the BSCG outdoor Give & Take and Repair Café event was agreed: 14th August, 11am-1pm.  The Chinese Restaurant have previously kindly allowed us to use their power.

ü  Tila will check about power for the Garden.

Jim has had a useful introductory meeting with Victoria Prentis MP.

Lynne suggested a clothes swap would make a popular future event to key in with ‘stopping fast fashion’.

Tila offered to set up an Instagram account for BSCG: offer accepted!


Tuesday 7th September, 7pm, Zoom.