Banbury Community Action Group

BCAG  May ’24 catch-up meeting

Chair:          Jim                       

Minutes:    Harriet

Present:      Jim S, Lynda S, Naseem H, Harriet J, Paul B, Lynne C, Derek B,

Emma T


1. Agenda item I   Welcome and apologies                                                                            Jim

Following on from our AGM, Jim, as reappointed chair, offered a warm welcome to everyone present.  Apologies from Tila R, Maria M, Dan P, Chris M, James N.

2. Agenda item II   a) Minutes of the last meeting, 02/04/24 b) Matters arising from the last meeting, 02/04/24                                                           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 April 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 very warm welcome to Naseem as our new treasurer.  The balance stands at around £26K – the great majority of this is grant money for specific projects.  Jim, Naseem, Harriet and Tila to meet to double check the spend on all our various projects so Naseem can start from a clear position.

Lynda registered thanks for the regular donation we have been receiving over the last few years from an anonymous player of the Cherwell Lottery.

Abi has kindly agreed to audit the accounts again this year.

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

Stats: main Facebook 1,243 followers; Bridge Street CG FB 799 followers; BATS FB 62 followers.  BCAG mailing list 278 for Newsletter, 210 voting members.

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

Events this month included the “Celebrate Wetlands” event 03/04 held with Lizzie from the Freshwater Habitats Trust, and the Spring Fest at The Hill, 04/04.

There were plenty of workdays throughout April with, in particular, summer bulbs planted on 08/04, lots done on 15/04, and a big seed sow on 29/04. 

The Community Drumming and Meditation event led by Jo Badger 20/04 was very successful and the Garden enjoyed wonderful Earth Day celebrations on 22/04.

7.  Agenda item VII   Food Action                                                                                       Dan                                                     

Dan is continuing to progress the BCAG Food Action Project on the two main fronts of events and community organizing (in particular the establishment of a Banbury food hub).

The next event will be a vegetarian cooking demonstration 08/05 at the Cornhill Centre.  This will lay the groundwork for the next CT,ET session where participants will have a go at cooking for themselves, the dishes shown. 

Alongside the monthly cooking events, discussions are underway with a new volunteer chef for a series of cooking education events.

Lynne passed on the excellent news that the Banbury Larder at Marlborough Road Methodist Church enjoyed a successful launch and is now open.  Note that The Larder offers more than just the weekly shop element, with a community café and meeting place, and support and information on hand.

8.  Agenda item VIII   Browning Road Orchard BRO                                                        Harriet

Harriet met with Vaughan and Winnie (local residents), Mike S (Wild Banbury volunteer and local resident) and Julia (Banbury Town Council) to discuss future plans for the Orchard.  Julia is keen for BTC to be involved with events in the Orchard as support and extension for their Urban Orchard planted across the town last growing season.  It was agreed that we will hold the annual Apple Day again this late September/October, and a Blossom Day plant swap event May 2025. 

Meanwhile, the Wild Banbury volunteers group will continue with habitat improvements in the wider Browning Road Park and will support maintenance of the orchard trees.

Thanks to Banbury Shed for mending the broken press.

9. Agenda item IX   Banbury Active Travel Supporters group                                        Paul

The cycle parking project gets ever closer to completion.

The stand for the Town Show, 15/06, is booked at a cost of £30. 

Following on from the LCWIP, BATS attended a meeting about the ‘Eastern Corridor’ report which has detailed recommendations for making the route safe for cyclists.  There is as yet no funding, but it is encouraging that a sound detailed plan has been produced.

A meeting is being arranged by Oxford Liveable Streets, to provide information to the people of Banbury about the Oxford traffic filters which restrict driving in the City.  They feel it would be useful for commuters in to Oxford to have accurate information about the scheme. 

10. Agenda item X     Banbury Environment Network                                                     Harriet

The Easter family pond dipping, 03/04, held with Lizzie from the Freshwater Habitats Trust as part of the Community Garden Wetlands event was very well attended.  And very muddy.  Visitors studied pond creatures at close quarters, then had a go at pond dipping in the pond at Spiceball Park.  Thank you to BTC for letting us use this venue.  Funding was provided through the RWCD scheme.

The event led by Angie from the Oxford Amphibians and Reptiles Group, 19/04, was fully booked.  Angie was an excellent and very informative guide, and helped the group set up the basics for a survey these creatures at the Banbury Country Park.  We were delighted to see four young lizards!  The event was funded through the RWCD grant.

 ZSL, with support from Thames Water, held a training event on 18/04 about their ‘Outfall Safari’ scheme.  Attendees signed up to annually survey lengths of watercourses within the town, for misconnections. 

Upcoming events include: 10/05 Community Riverfly with the Riverfly Partnership. 

25/5 Oxfordshire Clean Rivers Festival, Longbridges Nature Park, Oxford.

11. Agenda item XI     Climate Action                                                                                    Lynda

The BATS-led stand at the Town Show will be the main BCAG GBGW event.  Lynda is looking into the possibility of other BCAG supported activities during the week.  James N would be keen to join forces.

The next G&T to be held 20/07 at BSCG.

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


Emma told us about the organization Reducing the Risk of Domestic Abuse.  She is their Community and Friends officer.  Emma is keen to connect with local groups to work together to help raise awareness of domestic abuse. 

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

Thomas and Natalie are taking over the Bridge Street corner site as a community venue.

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


The June monthly meeting will be held on Tuesday 04/06, 7.30pm, online.