Banbury Community Action Group

BCAG May 2023 Minutes

Chair:          Jim                       

Minutes:    Harriet

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


1. Agenda item I   Welcome and apologies                                                                            Jim

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

2. Agenda item II   a) Minutes of the last meeting, 04/04/23 b) Matters arising from April meeting, 04/04/23                                                           Jim

No comments were received on the minutes of the last meeting, 04/04.

Carried forward to June meeting:  the merits or otherwise of seeking charitable status or becoming a CIC

3.  Agenda item III   BCAG admin                                                                                           Jim                                                      

Total volunteer hours given by core members, as recorded during monthly meetings, for 2022: 1,164hrs.  This represents a magnificent amount of work: well done and thank you, everyone for contributing to the community in this way.

Total hours spent on BCAG business and projects for April were recorded – thanks to everyone for putting in time.  Harriet to ask any core members not at the monthly meeting, for their hours.  Thanks to Lynda for completing the data spreadsheet for CAG Ox.  It was agreed that the current system of recording volunteer hours remains fit for purpose and will continue through 2023. 

4.  Agenda item IV   Treasurer’s report                                                                                Lynda

Lynda kindly offered to continue in the role of treasurer until a new person steps in to the role.

BCAG funds not already earmarked for projects: c.£1,400.  We need to be aware that our reserve is slowly but steadily decreasing.

  The sum of £388 taken from the account by an unknown party has been refunded by TSB.

Thanks to Abi for help and auditing the accounts. 

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

All stats once again show an increase on last month. 

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)

A delay in funding coming through meant that Tila was not paid for her hours for several weeks.  Deep thanks to Tila for continuing to be active in the Garden over that time, giving her time as a volunteer.  The delayed funding has now come in.

A water harvesting system for the pergola roof, using repurposed barrels, has been installed by a crew from Keller.  The Keller team also helped with other gardening tasks such as dismantling old beds.

Three employees from international publishing company, Wiley, came to help paint the pergola and big shed.

Four new hexagon beds have been constructed.

The Easter scavenger hunt was successful.

The seed and seedling swap went well with lots of gardening jobs also being accomplished as part of the event.

The group from Aspire comes most Mondays to help in the Garden.

Tila has been reaching out to various multicultural groups to ensure the Garden connects with a wide range of people.  To help with this, flyers for Garden events have been translated into multiple languages by volunteers.

Thanks to Jim for a regular morning check of the Garden, and to Lynda for ongoing support.

Upcoming events include an Eid ul Fitr celebration 13/05, and sessions held in partnership with Sunrise Multicultural Project on 08/05 and 29/05.

7.  Agenda item VII   Browning Road Orchard BRO                                                        Colin

Thanks to the Wild Banbury volunteers for their work checking the tree stakes and guards, and trimming round the orchard trees.  The cleared ditch is currently home to thousands of tadpoles; the newly planted native trees are all coming into leaf.

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

BATS are taking a pitch at the Town Mayor’s ‘fun day’, 09/07, and have asked for volunteers to help man the stand.  The cost is £24 for charities; Lynda pointed out that in the past cost had been waived for BCAG: she will look into this.  Agreed to spend to buy a BATS banner.  The stand can also be used as an opportunity to advertise BCAG and our other projects.

9. Agenda item IX     Banbury Environment Network                                                   Harriet

The water quality testing volunteers are underway, with data for April complete and entered on the FreshWater Watch platform.  The project forms part of the Citizen Science work overseen by the Cherwell & Ray Catchment Partnership, co-hosted by Thames 21 and BBOWT.  Banbury Guardian are interested in publishing a piece about the water quality action. (see also under ‘Climate Action’).

BCAG BEN is hosting a Riverfly Training workshop on 10/05.  Training is being given by the Cotswold Rivers Trust and The Riverfly Partnership and is being funded by Thames 21.

Wild Banbury volunteers carried out a much-needed litter pick at the Thames Water site, Spital Lake.  The litter here builds up quickly and it would be good if BCAG could work with WBV to instigate a more regular clean-up of the site.

10. Agenda item X     Climate Action                                                                                Jim

Tila and Harriet are organising a water-themed event for the second weekend of Great Big Green Week, 17/06.

11. Agenda item XI     Summer Give & Take                                                                    Lynda

The Hill Community Centre are interested in working with BCAG to hold a G&T event.  Lynda and Harriet are in contact with Lorraine about this.

Next G&T provisionally to be 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

Jim to redraft then readvertise the project officer job description.

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

12. Agenda item XIII     Library of Things                                                                         (Melissa)

No update this month.


Cherwell Theatre Company have asked if BCAG could help find volunteers to steward their upcoming summer event.  It was agreed that this is something that BCAG would like to support – Jim will send out a request to our members.

The highly successful XR-coordinated Walk in London, 21st-24th April was attended by a number of BCAG members.

Lynda attended the wonderful ‘Tree celebration’, 1st May, Quaker Meeting House


Tuesday 06/06, 7.30pm, Zoom. 

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. 

The most popular option is for a monthly meeting held in person followed by a social event.  Meeting in a pub has the advantage of needing no additional arrangements but there is an awareness that not everyone is comfortable with a pub setting.

It was agreed to hold the June meeting online but to consider an in-person meeting for July, possibly with pressing invitations sent to the sub groups – Garden, BATS, Orchard, BEN.