Banbury Community Action Group

BCAG January 2023 Minutes

Chair:          Jim                       

Minutes:    Jim

Present:      Jim S, Lynda S, Vaughan, Chris M, Colin S


1. Agenda item I   Welcome and apologies                                                                            Jim

A warm welcome to everyone.  Apologies from Harriet J, Tila R, Zsofi B, Lynne C, Barrie C 

2. Agenda item II   Matters arising from December meeting, 06/12/22                         Jim

To do: Lynda to ask CAG Ox for their thoughts on the merits or otherwise of seeking charitable status. 

Leaflet update: Harriet to send comments on the draft leaflet, to Maria.

All other matters arising are covered under agenda items.

3.  Agenda item III   BCAG admin                                                                                              Jim

Total hours spent on BCAG business and projects for December 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.£5k.   c.£2,800 is due for payment on BSCG projects.

We received a generous donation of £750 for the Food Action.  Thank you so much.

Good Food Oxford donated £25 as a seasonal ‘thank you’.

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

Stats: Mailchimp: 226 Newsletter subscribers with 158 of these voting members; Facebook: BCAG 1092 followers.

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

The Garden is working with Banbury Trees to plant wildlife hedges and small woodlands at two farms near Banbury.   Volunteers needed for this!  Info will be posted on the Banbury Trees Facebook group, or email Tila  The plantings are being funded by the International Tree Foundation with a grant awarded to Banbury Trees in partnership with BCAG.

Thanks to Jane for making the ‘no camping in the Garden’ signs; they will be secured with postcrete to discourage removal.  Julia from BTC came to the Garden to discuss the question of clearing the bushes on their land, by the wall and road.  She was reluctant to agree to their removal because of the positive effects they have on air quality.  Paul A, BTC was also subsequently involved.  BTC Park Rangers can be asked to move rough sleepers on from the Garden if needed.  Thank you also to Robin for providing very useful information for support on the issue of rough sleepers using the Garden.

An open invitation workshop was held on 13/12 to instal the wildlife friendly pond in the raised bed by the pergola.  There was a lovely festive winter atmosphere as the group worked with the snow falling! 

The singing workshop, 17/12, was well attended and very much enjoyed.  Thank you, Patrissia for leading such an uplifting session. 

December also saw gardening sessions with Restore and Aspire, and a two-day tree giveaway, funded by the International Tree Foundation.

Thanks to Jim and Mush for keeping an eye on the Garden during the holiday break.

The Garden will be hosting a fruit tree pruning workshop on Sunday, 22/01, with an outreach session at Browning Road Orchard in the morning, 10.30-12pm, and a second workshop in Bridge Street in the afternoon, 2.00-3.30pm.  The events, led by Andy from The Heritage Fruit Company, Adderbury, are open and free to all. 

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

Winter pruning workshop 22/01 to be led by Andy from the Heritage Fruit Tree Company.   Later in the season, there will be a session to check stakes and ties, and to mulch the trees.

Wild Banbury volunteers have been doing work in the wider Browning Road Park, opening out the ditch to help with drainage and improve habitat.

8. Agenda item VIII   Banbury Active Transport Supporters group                             

 No update this month.

9. Agenda item IX     Biodiversity                                                                                       Harriet

BCAG Biodiversity is looking into the possibility of water quality monitoring of the River Cherwell and its tributaries.  Link with item X below?!

A meeting has been arranged through the Cherwell and Ray Catchment Partnership, with representatives from the Environment Agency, Thames 21 (who now co-host the Partnership with BBOWT), and CDC, to discuss any input BCAG can have to support nature recovery at the Banbury Country Park.

10. Agenda item X     Climate Action COP26                                                                 Jim / Zsofi

Note the upcoming XR meeting bringing together all groups with an interest in climate action, 18/01/23, Friends Meeting House.

‘Dirty Water Campaign’.  On Saturday 28/01, there will be an unveiling of mock ‘Blue Plaques’ to recognize Victoria Prentis (and other MPs), who voted to continue the dumping of sewage in rivers, seas and waterways.  Contact Jim with offers of help on the day, or further details for attending.

Lock 29 has been booked for a screening of The Oil Machine, Friday 03/23, 7pm.  Thanks, Zsofi, for arranging this.

11. Agenda item XI     Spring Give & Take                                                                     Lynda

Suggesting March for the next G&T.  Discuss further at February meeting.

12. Agenda item XII     Food action                                                                          Lynne/Robin

The two Britannia Road centre ‘open kitchen’ events were extremely successful and much appreciated.  The sessions were offered, with our support, by Maria and the Sunrise Multicultural Project, to a group of refugees, currently housed in a hotel and thus without cooking facilities.  The refugee women cooked a range of delicious dishes out of the basic ingredients we were able to source from food surplus, plus a few extras.  SMCP have agreed to make the Britannia Road centre kitchen available 11-1.30, Mondays this half-term.  BCAG will continue to support with volunteers at the events, and with ingenuity for sourcing ingredients.

Thanks to Banbury Food for Charities, Banbury Community Fridge, and the Oxford Food Hub, for contributions to the ingredients.

For the next Cook Together, Eat Together event, we will be partnering with the RVS, Tuesday 10/01.  The event will be free, and open to all (but booking required through Dan at the RVS).




Tuesday, 7th February, 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.