Banbury Community Action Group

BCAG June Minutes

Chair:          Jim                       

Minutes:    Harriet

Present:      Jim S, Lynda S, Harriet J, Chris M, Lynne C, Anaïs B


1. Agenda item I   Welcome and apologies                                                                            Jim

A warm welcome to everyone, especially to Anaïs from CAG Oxfordshire. 

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

2. Agenda item II   a) Minutes of the last meeting, 02/05/23 b) Matters arising from May meeting, 02/05/23                                                                Jim

No comments were received on the minutes of the last meeting, 02/05.

3.  Agenda item III   BCAG admin                                                                                           Jim                                                      

Anaïs gave the meeting a clear and helpful explanation of the possible legal structures that might be suitable for BCAG if we wish to move in this direction.  She guided us through some useful exercises to clarify the benefits that the various possible structures might bring.  The lead possibilities came through as Community Benefit Society and Charitable Community Benefit Society.

The primary reason at the present time for BCAG to consider a move from being unincorporated to having a legal structure, is the question of personal liability for the officers and core members.  Having a legal structure can in some cases also open up more options for grant aid and facilitate trading.

Since BCAG has no long-term contracts or regular payments to make, does not own any assets so has no need for an asset lock, and does not have staff, the meeting concluded that on balance, there was currently no reason to change the status of BCAG.  If there are relevant changes to employment rights, such that any freelance project officer we bring in might acquire such rights, we would need to revisit this subject.  Experience suggests it would take around 6months to do the necessary paperwork should we decide we need to make the change.

Anaïs will double check on the current legislation.

Many thanks to Anaïs for sharing her knowledge and for leading us thorough this discussion.

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                                                                                Lynda

A new treasurer has yet to come forward, but discussions are ongoing with a couple of people who have shown an interest.

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

Stats for May:    

Thanks to Maria M for all the work that goes in to producing the regular Newsletter and to Jim for keeping the socials flourishing.

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

The Garden has had a very busy month.

45 children from Orchard Fields primary school visited to do some planting

Two very successful Connected Communities sessions were held in collaboration with Sunrise MCP with x45+ people attending the first, and x60+ the second.

26 children from Woodcraft Folk had an evening visit

50+ attended the Eid celebration

Sunrise MCP Women’s Group came for a gardening session with lunch

Patrissia Cuberos led a wonderful singing circle with 22 participants

Aspire have been continuing with their Monday sessions

The Hive (homeless Oxfordshire) have started Garden sessions on a fortnightly basis

The Hill Community Centre’s Youth Group visited

Veritie Turner, Wild Banbury project BBOWT, held an event in the garden looking at bugs and birds

Oxford University came to film at the Garden for a documentary about wildlife friendly projects

Upcoming events include the Great Big Green Week “Thinking Water” event, 17th June, 11am-1pm

Jim is in discussion with Tila about the issue of the paint added to the mural on the shed.

7.  Agenda item VII   Browning Road Orchard BRO                                                        Colin

No update this month, but a reminder that this year’s Picnic in the Orchard will be 16/07 and will include some form of wildlife-related activity.

8. Agenda item VIII   Banbury Active Transport Supporters group                             Chris

Chris reminded that BATS are taking a pitch at the Town Mayor’s ‘fun day’, 09/07.  The sub-group might not be able to cover the stand for the whole event but it was agreed that it would be good to have a presence for as much of the time as possible.  The cost is £24 for the stand.

9. Agenda item IX     Banbury Environment Network                                                   Harriet

The Riverfly Training Workshop 10/05 went well with thanks to Tony our tutor from the Riverfly Partnership, and to Thames 21 for funding the training.  The next step is for the trained volunteers to find a suitable site(s) for regular testing.

Good news that we have funding from CAG Ox for our “Thinking Water” GBGW event.  As well as fun Garden activities, the event will include opportunities for visitors to find out more about the water quality testing and about using the wildlife living within a river/stream to assess the health of the environment.

10. Agenda item X     Climate Action                                                                                Jim

As part of the Dirty Water campaign, in partnership with Cropredy WI, Jim and Sue S arranged a meeting 06/06, Banbury Town Hall, to meet representatives from Thames Water to discuss issues around sewage and water quality.  The meeting was a great opportunity to learn about the challenges of dealing with the sewage from the town and surrounding villages, air concerns about damage to the environment and under-investment, and discuss what role citizens can have in helping the system to function smoothly.

11. Agenda item XI     Summer Give & Take                                                                    Lynda

Unfortunately, it has been necessary to postpone the upcome Give & Take at The Hill Community Centre, due to illness of the key staff-member at The Hill.  We will look to reschedule the event for later in the summer.

Reminder of plans to hold a Seed, Plant, Produce and Garden Sundries swap at BSCG, 15/07, 12 – 2pm, to include some provision of food, overlapping with the Food Action.

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

12. Agenda item XII     Food action                                                                                   Lynne

As before, there was some interest in response to readvertisement of the project officer role, but no one has yet come forward wanting to apply for the work.  The feedback is that potential applicants are keen to lead on the cooking skills side, but do not wish to take on the project management and administration elements.  BCAG does not have the capacity amongst its volunteers to take this on as it would be a substantial time commitment.

Although we consider it would be best to have someone local as project officer, Jim will discuss the situation again with the candidate who has come forward, but who is based in Oxford.

Thanks to Anaïs for being part of this discussion.

Thanks to Lynda for continuing to attend the CDC FAWG meeting as BCAG representative.

12. Agenda item XIII     Library of Things                                                                         (Melissa)

No update this month.


There was no other business.


Tuesday 04/07, 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