Banbury Community Action Group

BCAG Minutes 1st February 2022

Chair:          Jim                       

Minutes:    Harriet

Present:      Jim S, Lynda S, Harriet J, Tila R, Maria M, Chris M, Colin S


1. Agenda item I   Welcome, introductions and apologies                                                  Jim

Apologies from Zsofi B and Jill O. 

2. Agenda item II   Matters arising from Dec meeting, 07/12                                            Jim

Decision made to leave standing item for project ideas from Cathy’s talk about Low Carbon Hub, Oxford, off the agenda until a relevant project idea materialises. 

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 January were recorded – thanks to everyone for putting in time.  It was agreed that the logging of hours should continue in this way as it is efficient, reliable and easy.  Should anyone prefer, however, they can e-mail the total of hours spent during the month on BCAG business directly to Harriet.

Lynda will discuss with Anaïs at OxCAG how best we collect data for them.  

4.  Agenda item IV   Treasurer’s report                                                                                Lynda

The current balance stands at c.7k.

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

STATS:  Mailchimp:  159 subscribers / 89 voting members; Facebook: BCAG 961 followers 817 likes; BSCG 370 followers, 397 likes.  Great to see these numbers still going up and up!

Maria has her first Newsletter ready to send: that’s brilliant.  Thank you, Maria.  Maria suggests the link to the Newsletter should be shared on Facebook and BSCG facebook; agreed.  Note there is already a sign-up button on both.

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

Tila’s Sunday sessions are proving very popular and have helped relieve her concerns about the amount of work since they are productive with lots of ‘serious’ volunteers getting tasks done.  Spend of grant monies is on schedule.

Revised costings have been submitted to TOE for the wildlife friendly beds in line with their request for longer-lasting materials to be used.

Thanks to Tila, volunteers have been able to collect chippings left for them by contractors working in Bridge Street Park.  This has greatly improved the surface underfoot around the raised beds which was getting churned up and muddy.

A number of groups new to the Garden have come forward expressing an interest to join in, including Rainbows, Woodcraft Folk, The Hill Community Centre.  Other groups already involved are moving forward with their planters including Restore.

Tila is visiting Sunrise Multi-cultural project to discuss their using the Garden for a herb-garden making session.  15/2.

Rubbish has been accumulating at the entrance to the Garden: the council has been notified of the problem.

Ideas for the central pergola and associated seating area are progressing.

Tila has purchased the Urban Food Production toolkit from EDGE landscaping, to go in the Shed Library to help volunteers.  There will be a free talk on companion planting at BSCG on 5/3 by Rachel from Edge, 11am-1pm.

The meeting supported the idea of aluminium plaques for the hexagon planters ‘adopted’ by groups which would give details of each group as relevant and a QR code to lead to them. 

The Garden will be at Grimsbury network’s Winter Wishes February half-term event 23/2 with a recycled whacky bird sprout activity alongside Wild Banbury’s nest making.

The next major event in the Garden will be the Community Fair on 26th March (mentioned in the February Newsletter).

The town council events team has requested use of the Garden as part of Canal Day in October.

7.  Agenda item VII   Browning Road Orchard BRO                                                        Colin

Winter mulching and pruning to be arranged.

Colin, Harriet and Mike S have met to discuss future plans for the Orchard: a draft proposal has been prepared by Mike which looks at how the Park could be improved for wildlife and through this, the local community.  The proposal will be given to Julia O’S for her initial comments.

Local residents are keen to take on the care of the raised beds.

Colin is arranging details for a pruning / mulching work party event.

It was suggested that BCAG find out more about the Longford Park community orchard to see if this is something we can engage with.  Lynda to ask local resident Kimberley about this.

8. Agenda item VIII   Banbury Active Transport Supporters group                             Zsofi

As part of the 20’s Plenty campaign, BATS have submitted their suggestions to the town council regarding which streets should have the 20mph speed limit, although strongly prefer to see a whole town approach.  They are putting a petition on and publicising this, in order to promote the concept and gather more support.

BATS is considering the OCC Local Transport Plan currently out to public consultation and will be collating and submitting a response to this.

The group is campaigning to raise awareness of the pollution and illness caused by cars.  They are putting together a petition to see if people are in favour of introducing a section in the theory test for a driving license about environmental and health-related damage caused by cars.  The hope is, when suitably informed, drivers will use the car more responsibly and less frequently.

BATS have been focusing on the 20’s Plenty for Us campaign, seeking the opinion of members, on restricted speed limits, in order to put proposals forward to the council.

The group are also supporting the Keep Nethercote Rural campaign.

9. Agenda item IX     Biodiversity                                                                                    Harriet

The Oxtrees Banbury Treescapes report was discussed at a well-attended online meeting brought together by Dale H.  Thank you, Dale for facilitating this.  Representatives from both Town and District councils were present and acknowledged the desire to get more trees planted and to ensure these go in in the appropriate places.

Much of the report highlights the rural areas around the town rather than providing the level of detail required for smaller-scale in-town urban planting.

BCAG continues to work closely with the Wild Banbury project especially through BSCG and BRO.

10. Agenda item X     Climate Action COP26                                                                      Chris

BCAG continues to look to the excellent work being done by OxFoE on climate action, and to link in with this.

BCAG hopes to work through the Garden to join with The Climate Coalition’s February ‘show the love’ campaign – aimed at showing decision makers that we want to see real and rapid action to tackle the climate and nature crisis.  It is planned that a green heart message will be sent to VP our MP from BSCG.

11. Agenda item XI     Spring Give & Take                                                                          Lynda

Spring Give & Take confirmed for 12/3 at The Haven, Calthorpe Street, 11am-2pm.  The hall will be available to us from 10am; cost: £14/hr.  The people at The Haven are being very helpful and supportive.  For this event, the café will be kept simple, but there are commercial standard kitchen facilities which we could consider for future events.  The event has been advertised in the February Newsletter.  Maria has made the poster – thank you!


Tim T-D from Visit Banbury has a four-drawer filing cabinet available which would be useful for BCAG paperwork. 

Bob, a regular visitor to the Garden, has offered some machinery.   Tila will pass on the offer to Orinoco as being more appropriate for them to follow up.

Any plans for the June Jubilee celebrations?  For discussion march meeting.


Tuesday 1st March, 7pm, Zoom.