Banbury Community Action Group

BCAG June 2022 Minutes

Chair:          Jim                       

Minutes:    Harriet

Present:      Jim S, Lynda S, Harriet J, Chris M, Maria M, Colin S, Lynne C, Zsofi B (8pm), Nik (for aob)


1. Agenda item I   Welcome, introductions and apologies                                                  Jim

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

2. Agenda item II   Matters arising from May meeting, 03/05                                          Jim

Longford Park community orchard: agreed to revisit possible involvement of BCAG here, at a later date should a suitable opportunity arise.

PAT testing: Orinoco is funding the training of a volunteer for PAT testing.  This will help with testing at Repair Cafés.

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 March were recorded – thanks to everyone for putting in time.

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

4.  Agenda item IV   Treasurer’s report                                                                                Lynda

The accounts have been audited and approved.  The current balance stands at almost £13K with most of this being grant money earmarked for projects.  The biggest regular spend continues to be on compost.

It was agreed that Tila should make sure her record keeping is available for access and therefore Lynda will ask her to store spreadsheets on the Google Drive.    

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

STATS:  Mailchimp:  201 Newsletter subscribers; Facebook: BCAG 1026 followers (77% women, 62% from Banbury), BSCG 509 followers (81% women, 70% from Banbury)

Leaflet update: there are only a few of the existing leaflet remaining.  Maria is preparing a draft for a revised version to be circulated to core members.

Lynda will attend the Town Mayor’s event at People’s Park, 10/07.

6. Agenda item VI   Bridge Street Community Garden  BSCG                                Tila/Lynda

Jim gave a summary of Tila’s report.

10 events / workshops have been held since the May meeting.  These included sessions with the following groups: Sunrise Multicultural, HomeStart with Muddy Feet, The Hill, Restore.  There was a lovely Eid party on 14th May, and a very successful half term Play-Full event on 2nd June.

Thank you to all the volunteers who have helped with work parties.

Tila did an outreach session at Harrier’s Academy on 24th May.

Tila and Mark have built the four recycled plastic ‘wildlife’ hexagons ready for planting.

Tila, Lynda and Harriet agreed that the Garden policy should be for the hexagon planters to be used by community groups and that beds ‘owned’ by individuals should be phased out as the opportunity arises.

Lynda will follow up the possibility of getting a blue bin for Garden recycling.  Rubbish is a growing problem in the Garden as more passers-by are using the space.  Currently, Tila empties the bins, but this is not rubbish generated by BCAG Garden activities.  Lynda to discuss this in the first instance with the CDC.

Lynda will be hosting a seed sowing session at the Garden Sunday, 12th June.

7.  Agenda item VII   Browning Road Orchard BRO                                                        Colin

The Ocado Bicester fund is not available to BCAG since we do not fall within the categories eligible for grant aid.   Harriet has nudged Julia for a response on the BRO proposals, asking that she provide comments on the scheme rather than any commitment of funds or action.

Colin will take the lead on arranging a ‘Wild’ Orchard Picnic, 17th July; Harriet will organise some wildlife-related activities for the day.

8. Agenda item VIII   Banbury Active Transport Supporters group                             Zsofi

The LCWIP is finally out for consultation but there are concerns about the process: the time frame is very short and the quality of the information provided is poor.  BATS members are looking in detail at the route maps provided.

For Banbury to be better represented when it comes to resources committed to active travel improvements, we need more regular engagement from our elected representatives at County level.  This is something that the BATS might be able to influence.

All are welcome to the BATS cycling social, 12th June.

9. Agenda item IX     Biodiversity                                                                                    Harriet

Harriet is working with Colin to arrange a July event in the Orchard.

Harriet has put in a bid to Thames Water for funding towards a new liner for the ‘dry pond’ in Spiceball Park.  If this is not successful it would be good to start to look for other possible grants for this project.

The GroWet scheme (Freshwater Habitats Trust) plants are due to arrive in the Garden early this month.

Harriet is in discussion with the Thames Rivers Trust about possible involvement of BCAG in their Legacy Project following on from their Obstaceels initiative.

Cherwell Swifts Conservation Project would like to hold an event this year again, similar to the very successful talk and walk held last year.  Harriet to liaise with Chris Mason.

10. Agenda item X     Climate Action COP26                                                                          Jill

The meeting reaffirmed that it would be good to hold an event as part of the Climate Coalition’s Big Green Week, 24/9 – 2/10.  Jill suggests this could be themed round ‘insects’.

11. Agenda item XI     Summer Give & Take                                                                          Lynda

Lynda has booked The Haven for 16th July for the Summer Give and Take, 10am set up for 11am – 1pm event, out of hall by 2pm.  Jim to put a call out for volunteer helpers particularly for helping clear away at the end of the event.

The RVS have offered the Cornhill Centre free of charge for an early summer event.  Harriet to check if this offer could apply to our summer Give and Take.

12. Agenda item XII     Food waste                                                                                  Lynne

The project for healthy, economic cooking is progressing, with Lynne setting up some training; in the first instance it will be focusing on HomeStart families.

Lynda will continue to network to determine what interest and support there is for taking the idea forward.  One link made by Lynda is with Thomas Franks Ltd, Hook Norton.


It was agreed that the next meeting again be online, but that we decide then whether to have the August meeting in person.

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


Tuesday 5th July, 7pm, 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.