Banbury Community Action Group

BCAG May 2022 Minutes

Chair:          Jim                       

Minutes:    Harriet

Present:      Jim S, Lynda S, Harriet J, Chris M, Maria M, Colin S, Lynne C, Zsofi B, Philippa D, Charlotte R, Vaughan


1. Agenda item I   Welcome, introductions and apologies                                                  Jim

A warm welcome to everyone.  Apologies from Tila R. 

2. Agenda item II   Matters arising from April meeting, 05/04                                          Jim

Longford Park community orchard: we are still waiting for a confirmation of ownership.

PAT testing: Orinoco could fund training for this if sufficient volunteers come forward to make it worthwhile.  Puritan FM radio would be willing to promote.  Lynda / Jim to progress.

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.

Chris read out the guidance he has put together to help BCAG make decisions concerning the acceptance of grant money.  The meeting was unanimously in favour of adopting the guidelines: these will now be put on the website.  Thank you, Chris for taking the lead on this and for your work in drafting the document.

4.  Agenda item IV   Treasurer’s report                                                                                Lynda

The current balance stands at c.£12K. 

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

STATS:  Mailchimp:  192 subscribers / 117 voting members; Facebook: BCAG 1019 followers BSCG 472 followers.

Thank you, Maria for the excellent April News.   

Leaflet update: Maria offered to prepare a draft to be circulated to core members.

The meeting discussed whether BCAG should have a presence at the BTC Town Mayor’s Sunday event, People’s Park, 10/07.  Charlotte, Maria and Chris would be happy to attend.  Chris to contact the Town Clerk and investigate the possibility further.

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

Jim gave a summary of Tila’s report.

The original arrangement with Tila, when she started work at the Garden in august 2021, was for 9 months.  Since August, she has achieved a truly impressive amount in terms of both the physical growing side at the Garden, and in terms of community engagement.

We are delighted that Tila is happy to continue as freelance Garden Officer for the next 6 months and thank her for all the work she has done in this role, both paid and – in equal measures – as a volunteer.

CDC have been provided with an up-to-date copy of the Bridge Street Garden site showing all the current beds and structures.

Our Good Food Oxfordshire project has been completed.  The Together for Our Planet, and the Co-op projects are underway. 

The group of BSCG core volunteers continue to help with the running of the Garden as and when required.

Few attended the Seniors’ Gardening Club sessions.  We will discuss this with Age Friendly Banbury before deciding if it is worth continuing with them.

The recycled plastic boards from British Recycled plastics, for the TOE-funded wildlife hexagons, have finally been redelivered.  Delivery to BSCG of course continues to be problematic due to the very restricted access.

Tila has met with Keller to discuss their offer of materials and various projects to be carried out for the Garden.

Anais from CAG Oxfordshire gave an excellent composting workshop at the Garden 23rd/24th April as part of a Late Spring Seed Swap.

A couple of individuals have asked if they could use the Garden as a base for workshops.  The meeting discussed whether, in such cases, the individuals should be asked to give a donation to the Garden in return for using it as a venue.  The meeting agreed that this would be appropriate.

It continues to be clear that it would be very useful to have a sub-group of core BCAG members to discuss ongoing Garden-related matters to help guide the future direction of the Garden.  Lynda and Harriet will meet with Tila 17/05 to discuss allocation of beds and planters.

7.  Agenda item VII   Browning Road Orchard BRO                                                        Colin

Julia at BTC has still to respond about the Browning Road Park and Orchard improvement proposals so it has not been possible to put in a bid to the Ocado Bicester fund.  There has been no progress either, by BTC on fixing the raised beds.

Harriet to phone Julia.

8. Agenda item VIII   Banbury Active Transport Supporters group                             Zsofi

Paul B sent emails round to candidates prior to the election asking them on their position on the 20’s Plenty campaign and active travel issues.

All are welcome to the BATS social evening, Friday 13th May.

9. Agenda item IX     Biodiversity                                                                                    Harriet

Tila and her neighbour, Mark will be putting together the four new ‘wildlife’ hexagons.  These will then be planted and cared for by a range of groups to give as many people as possible the chance to engage with this ‘wildlife gardening’ project.

Harriet suggested that BCAG expand the range of wildlife activities in the annual programme of events for BRO, linking in to some of the national citizen science projects.

10. Agenda item X     Climate Action COP26                                                                      Chris

The meeting agreed that it would be good to hold an event as part of the Climate Coalition’s Big Green Week, 24/9 – 2/10.

11. Agenda item XI     Spring Give & Take                                                                          Lynda

Lynda has booked The Haven for 16/07 for the Summer Give and Take.

12. Agenda item XII     Food waste                                                                                  Lynne

Lynne will concentrate on moving this initiative forward in the first instance with the HomeStart families.  Julie B is interested in setting up a similar initiative in her workplace.

Lynda will continue to network to determine what interest and support there is for taking the idea forward.


Lynda and Harriet attended the launch of RVS “Cheers for Volunteers” event at the Cornhill centre.  Molly, area community development officer for Eden Project Communities is keen to keep in contact and can offer information and ideas around the Big Lunch concept.

Lynda will attend the WISH June celebrations in Kidlington.

The meeting fully supported Harriet taking a place on the leadership group for Age Friendly Banbury and warmly welcomed this closer link with AFB.

CDC have offered us this year’s bedding bulbs for community use.

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


Tuesday 7rd June, 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.