Banbury Community Action Group

BCAG  June ’24 catch-up meeting

Chair:          Jim                       

Minutes:    Harriet

Present:      Jim S, Lynda S, Naseem H, Harriet J, Paul B, Chris M


1. Agenda item I   Welcome and apologies                                                                            Jim

Apologies from Tila R, Maria M, Dan P, James N.

2. Agenda item II   a) Minutes of the last meeting, 07/05/24 b) Matters arising from the last meeting, 07/05/24                                                           Jim

No comments were received on the minutes of the last meeting.

All matters arising are covered under items in the minutes.

3.  Agenda item III   BCAG admin                                                                                             Jim                                                      

Total hours spent on BCAG business and projects for May 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                                                                             Naseem

The balance stands at around £20K – the great majority of this is grant money for specific projects. 

Many thanks to OxCAG for the generous contribution of £318 towards our insurance premium.  Thanks to Lynda for applying for this.

Naseem, Harriet, Tila and Lynda to meet to double check the spend on all our various projects so Naseem can start from a clear position.  Naseem to suggest some dates.

Abi has the accounts ready to audit this month.

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

Stats: main Facebook 1,252 followers; Bridge Street CG FB 844 followers; BATS FB 62 followers.  BCAG mailing list 280 for Newsletter, 212 voting members.   [Shed 384 FB followers.]

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

Many congratulations to Tila on the publication of the Garden Playbook.  This is a fantastic account of how the Garden has been set up and how it runs and engages with the local community.  All beautifully presented and illustrated of course!

May was a very busy month in the Garden.  Aspire continue to visit and help with a wide range of tasks, planting, watering, weeding, cleaning.

Home-Start attended a nature connection workshop on 07/05 and there was another session with Home-Start families on 10/05.

The bike rack planters have been installed.  Banbury Woodcraft Folk children and BCAG BATS came to the Garden on 16/05 to add decorations and plant them as herb gardens.  Ox Active Travel roundtable funding lead praised this project in their summary this month.

Thank you to Power Cup Café for helping clean the Garden 18/05.

Helen Edwards ran a great art and ecology workshop on 19/05 which was followed by a drumming circle run by Jo Badger.

43 children and 4 teachers from Orchard Fields Primary School visited the Garden 20/05 to plant acorns and enjoy a scavenger hunt.

28/05 the Garden donated 27 bags of chard and mint to the Banbury Larder.

Tim Cherry-Jones led a puppet-making workshop 31/05 which was very popular with over 50 participants.

Thank you to Thomas and Natalie at the Bridge Street corner site for keeping an eye on the BSCG.

7.  Agenda item VII   Food Action                                                                                       Dan                                                     

The May event 08/05 – a vegetarian cooking demonstration – was a great success, with strong positive feedback from attendees.

The follow-up event will be held 12/06 as part of the GBGW events.  Two groups will prepare the recipes demonstrated by our chef at the May event.  Numbers will be restricted as this will be a trial event to test the logistics and practicalities of having a number of people cooking simultaneously.  The aim is to reinstate larger CT,ET events at which there are sufficient cooking facilities for everyone to participate.

8.  Agenda item VIII   Browning Road Orchard BRO                                                        Harriet

No update this month.

9. Agenda item IX   Banbury Active Travel Supporters group                                        Paul

The bike rack planters have now been installed at BSCG and are a great addition, not only providing much needed safe parking for cycles, but also looking great and functional as herb-themed gardens.

Cherwell DC have contributed some additional funding so the proposed bike racks at Woodgreen Leisure Centre can be bigger and better!  The racks are on order.

Additional volunteers would be welcome for the stand at the Town Show, 15/06. 

The meeting arranged by Oxford Liveable Streets is booked for 17/07 at the Quaker Meeting House.  The meeting will provide information to the people of Banbury about the traffic filters being introduced in Oxford, which will restrict driving in the City.  The group feel it would be useful for commuters to Oxford to have accurate advance information about the scheme.

Chris will lead on the Cycling Together event, provisional date 15/09, if enough volunteers come forward to help.  The event would be a cycle ride around Banbury to celebrate all the benefits cycling brings.  Those at the meeting with contacts who might be interested in being part of this, to send contact details to Chris.

10. Agenda item X     Banbury Environment Network                                                     Harriet

The Community Riverfly morning with the Riverfly Partnership, 10/05, carried out a survey of water invertebrates in the brook at Hanwell Brook Wetland.  The range and number of pollution intolerant creatures found was greater than expected which was very positive news.  The site can now be registered as part of the wider Riverfly Partnership survey.  Thank you to Tony for leading the session, run under the RWCD grant.

Jim, Chris and Harriet attended the Oxfordshire Clean Rivers Festival, Longbridges Nature Park, Oxford, 25/05.  This was a great opportunity for the various groups concerned with water quality to link up but was less well attended by the wider public.

Claire from Thames 21 is now coordinating the citizen science water quality testing and sends out an excellent newsletter which includes an update on the ongoing monitoring by the ‘water vols’.  The recent pollution incident that affected Banbury STW (cause and impact still unknown) highlighted the importance of having a local dataset and network of knowledgeable local citizens.

Harriet to add sites to the draft OCC Local Nature Recovery Strategy map which as it stands identifies NO sites in or around Banbury which are of value for nature recovery.  Deadline 09/06.

11. Agenda item XI     Climate Action                                                                                    Lynda

For GBGW we will have:

The BATS-led stand at the Town Show 15/06.  Additional volunteers welcome.

Crafts skills swap at The Mill, 13/06 – Lynda taking the lead.

Open Garden, 12/06.  James N will attend with the CDC recycling team.

CT,ET cooking event, 12/06.

The next G&T will be put back to August / September to spread events due to the ‘Nothing but Footprints’ event scheduled for 27/07.  Tila to be asked to suggest possible dates.

Lynda is discussing options for BCAG to be present at Canal Day, 05-06/10.


Lynda will be representing BCAG at the Volunteering event, 07/06.

Jim reminded the meeting of the upcoming ‘Restore Nature Now’ march, London, 22/06.

Dan from ‘Nothing but Footprints’ is organizing an environment-focused event 27/07 in Lock 29.  He would welcome help with children’s activities.


The July monthly meeting will be held on Tuesday 2nd, 7.30pm, online.