Banbury Community Action Group

BCAG December 2022 Minutes

Chair:          Jim                      

Minutes:    Harriet

Present:      Jane R, Lynda S, Zsofi B, Robin C, Patrissia C, Alex


1. Agenda item I   Welcome and apologies                                                                            Jim

A warm welcome to everyone.  Apologies from Tila R, Colin S, Lynne C, Chris M 

2. Agenda item II   Matters arising from November meeting, 01/11                                Jim

All matters arising are covered under agenda items.

3.  Agenda item III   BCAG admin                                                                                              Jim

Jim asked whether BCAG should consider becoming a charity.  Lynda will take the discussion forward by asking CAG Ox for their thoughts on this.

Total hours spent on BCAG business and projects for November 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

The balance stands at c.£3k.   The wooden signs for the Garden have been paid for.

BCAG insurance has been taken out this year through Naturesave with a premium of £396.09.

We need an auditor for the accounts.

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

Leaflet update: thanks to Maria who has prepared a draft for a revised version.  This is still with Harriet for initial comments; Lynda is happy with the draft.

Stats: Mailchimp: 224 Newsletter subscribers with 155 of these voting members; Facebook: BCAG 1088 followers, BSCG 610.

Thanks, as ever, to our wonderful Newsletter editor for the November News and Update.

6. Agenda item VI   Bridge Street Community Garden  BSCG                                          (Tila)

The Garden has continued to be used by rough sleepers.  Jim and Sue report the rough sleepers to Street Link every morning they see them in the Garden.

Tila is understandably finding the situation extremely distressing not least because it is making the Garden unsafe for gardening groups, particularly those with young families.  The Garden needs to be continuously checked for hazardous rubbish. 

A massive thanks to Mush for helping with this, and thanks, too, to Lynda for ongoing support.

The meeting agreed:

* to ask the Town Council about removal of the shrubs on the land they own adjacent to the Garden.  The bushes have limited aesthetic appeal and removal would help discourage use of the Garden for camping and as a toilet.  Harriet to contact Julia, Landscape Officer.

* Ben Dyche at CDC to be asked to clear up any human waste.

* Signs to be put up while the Garden has no rough sleepers, saying that the area is not suitable for camping and that items left in the Garden will be removed and disposed of.  Jim will arrange for removal of any items found; Jane will create signs.

* Robin recommended the National Food Service as a source of advice.

* in line with Tila’s suggestion, Jim offered to meet with the CDC Community Wardens and suggested Mush be invited to attend as he could provide detailed information about the problem.

Metal bars have been fitted to the sheds to supplement the locks.  Thanks Jim for getting this done.

The grants supporting the Garden come to an end shortly.  Tila will drop her hours to 8 paid hours per week for the winter period.  She will soon need support fundraising to cover her time.  Currently she is working many hours in addition, as a volunteer, in order to make up for time ‘lost’ in dealing with the rough sleepers issue.

The company ‘Bauer Keller joint venture’ came to help at the Garden and worked with Tila to get a whole list of tasks done.  These included, amongst others, disposing of accumulated unusable items; assembling shelves and installing solar-powered lighting in shed 1.  Thank you!

Johnny from Fat Rabbit installed a rain harvesting system on the new shed.  Thank you!

Events in the Garden continued with Restore and Aspire continuing their sessions, and a tree distribution scheme.

The meeting was unanimous in sending thanks to Tila for all the hard work she has put in to running the Garden this year, and for the tremendous impact this has had in making it a vibrant, community-focused growing space. 

7.  Agenda item VII   Browning Road Orchard BRO                                                        (Colin)

On the calendar: winter pruning workshop 22nd January, plus other winter work.

8. Agenda item VIII   Banbury Active Transport Supporters group                             Zsofi

Zsofi will be stepping back from her lead role in BATS, for the time being, due to work commitments.   Zsofi – you have done a fantastic job raising the profile of Active Travel in the town and promoting cycling and walking as a means of transport.

There is still no release of the LCWIP.  Paul and Neil will contact councillors to enlist their support.  There is to be a meeting about the Plan on 23/03/23 and the BATS team will contact the chair of this meeting in advance.

9. Agenda item IX     Biodiversity                                                                                       Harriet

BCAG Biodiversity has put in a joint bid with Wild Banbury volunteers, to Banbury Town Council, for some additional basic tools for use by the Friday morning habitat improvement team that works at sites across the town.

10. Agenda item X     Climate Action COP26                                                                        Jim

XR is convening a meeting bringing together all groups with an interest in climate action, to see how best they can work together.  Representatives from BCAG would be warmly welcome.  18/01/23.

11. Agenda item XI     Autumn Give & Take                                                                     Lynda

A spring Give & Take?  Discuss at the January meeting.

12. Agenda item XII     Food action                                                                                    Robin

The test event, 16/11, at The Haven went extremely well with a delicious and nutritious meal being cooked by the participants and eaten together.  There was plenty of learning, and useful discussion.  Thank you to those who attended representing other community groups, for your time, support and insights.

Thank you to Replenish for covering the costs of the venue and additional store cupboard ingredients.

The next event will take the form of an ‘open kitchen’ being offered, with our support, by Maria and the Sunrise Multicultural Project, to a group of refugees.  It will be held at their Britannia Road centre.

We are in discussion with Dan at the RVS about an event there in January.

We have applied for grants from CDC and OCC.


The meeting agreed that BCAG should underwrite the £70 cost of hiring Lock 29 to screen ‘Oil Machine’.   Zsofi will kindly take the lead in organizing the event; suggested date: Friday evening, January.  Jane and Jim will help.


Tuesday 3rd January, 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 or at other events.  This decision will be reviewed on a month by month basis.