Banbury Community Action Group

BCAG July 2023 Minutes

Chair:          Jim                       

Minutes:    Harriet

Present:      Jim S, Lynda S, Harriet J, Dale H, Naseem


1. Agenda item I   Welcome and apologies                                                                            Jim

A warm welcome to everyone, especially to Naseem. 

Apologies from Tila R, Chris M, Maria M, Zsofi B, Colin S, Lynne C.

2. Agenda item II   a) Minutes of the last meeting, 06/06/23 b) Matters arising from May meeting, 06/06/23                                                                Jim

No comments were received on the minutes of the last meeting, 06/06.

There were no matters arising not covered under other items.

3.  Agenda item III   BCAG admin                                                                                            Jim                                                      

Total hours spent on BCAG business and projects for June 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 audit is not yet signed off.

The balance stands at £18K but we need to remember that this is mostly grant money allocated to specific projects. 

Thank you to Barracks Lane Garden for the £75 donation which is much appreciated.

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

Thanks to Maria M for all the work that goes in to producing the regular Newsletter and to Jim for keeping the socials flourishing.  Note there will be no Newsletter for July due to pressures of work and home life!

Stats for June:   

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

The Garden has continued to be very busy throughout June.

The trustees of Barracks Lane Garden, Oxford held their annual meeting under the gazebo – thank you for the kind donation to our funds. 

Our Great Green Week celebrations were held at the Garden with an event focused on the importance of water as part of the natural environment.  Thank you to the 40+ visitors for coming, and to Tila for arranging the day, to Liz Lake for leading the wonderful art activities, to Lynne, Rachel and Sofia for guiding the creation of the gorgeous floating gardens, and to the Banbury Water Quality testers for supervising the citizen science.  There was delicious food on offer thanks to Almas and Nasreen.

Groups visiting this month included: The Silver Pride group from Age Friendly UK; Aspire on a weekly basis.

Lovely outreach with Tila taking red-currants to The Hill for decorating cupcakes.

Expansion of the planting area at the Garden continues with creation of some additional hexagons.  Thanks to Nik for the help. 

BSCG with Banbury Trees were part of Oxfordshire’s Nature Recovery event 01/07, an inspiring day and wonderful networking opportunity, bringing together people from all round the county to discuss nature, community, well-being, community resilience.

The next main event is Banbury Pride Picnic, Sunday 9th July, to include a workshop with Every Body Dances.  Everyone welcome.

7.  Agenda item VII   Browning Road Orchard BRO                                                        Colin

Organisation of this year’s Picnic in the Orchard, 16/07, is well underway and the posters are up.

8. Agenda item VIII   Banbury Active Transport Supporters group                             Chris

A reminder that BATS are taking a pitch at the Town Mayor’s ‘fun day’, 09/07.

9. Agenda item IX     Banbury Environment Network                                                   Harriet

Thanks to CAG Ox for funds towards our “Thinking Water” GBGW event.  Thanks, too, to the water quality testing Water Vols who came along to explain the water quality project to visitors and helped them try their hand at using the chemical tests for checking water quality.

There was lots of interest in the testing project and a number of people expressed an interest in signing up to become testers.

10. Agenda item X     Climate Action                                                                                Jim

BCAG and Cropredy WI went along to the talk on river health at Adderbury Institute organized by Adderbury WI.  Several people from the audience were interested in joining the water quality testing in the Banbury area. 

Thanks, Sue, for setting up a second training session for water quality testing, 09/07. 

11. Agenda item XI     Give & Take                                                                                   Lynda

Autumn G&T provisionally back at The Haven, October date.

12. Agenda item XII     Food action                                                                               Jim/Harriet

Despite considerable efforts at recruitment, no suitable candidate for the Food Action lead has come forward.

BCAG does not have the capacity amongst its volunteers to take on the project management and administration.

Although extremely reluctant to do so, the meeting agreed unanimously to inform those providing grant for the project that BCAG would not be taking its food action forward.

Harriet to contact OCF and CDC.  We also need to return the private donation.

12. Agenda item XIII     Library of Things                                                                         (Melissa)

No update this month.


Wantage CAG has been working with the County, CAG Ox and LCH and leading an initiative known as Draughtbusters, providing guidance on home draught-proofing.  Watch out for training opportunities and for possibilities of offering this service within Banbury.  Jim is already familiar with the process and is liaising with the Banbury Shed.  Thanks Dale, for the update.

Dale drew attention to the forecast of extreme heat for later in the month, reminding that there is a need for awareness within the community for those who might be vulnerable at such times.  Jim to put out alerts on BCAG socials.

Energy demands for summer cooling is a rapidly increasing contributor to the climate emergency and a possible topic for an upcoming BCAG newsletter item. 

Harriet to check whether the Longford Park orchard has yet been handed over to the District and, if so, what are the plans for managing the site going forward.  Jim suggested that if appropriate, BCAG could help encourage the local community to become involved, perhaps through a leaflet drop and Apple Day event on site this autumn.

BCAG has continued to put pressure on Environmental Health to resolve the issue of sewage leaking from the manhole cover in the centre of town and the matter is finally being sorted.

Low Carbon Hub is changing its structure: the meeting agreed unanimously that it was happy with the new arrangements.

BCAG volunteers helped out as stewards at the well attended and enjoyable Cherwell Youth Theatre day.


Tuesday 01/08, 7.30pm, Zoom. 

A reminder that while online meetings are efficient and, in the main, best suit most core BCAG members, it was agreed that some form of face-to-face meeting would be welcome, particularly as this might be a way of encouraging more of the wider membership to step forward and take more active roles in the monthly running of the Group. 

It was agreed to consider an in-person meeting, possibly with pressing invitations sent to the sub groups – Garden, BATS, Orchard, BEN