Banbury Community Action Group

BCAG Minutes April 2022

Text Box: 5th April 2022

BCAG April ’22 catch-up                  

Chair:          Jim                      

Minutes:    Harriet

Present:      Jim S, Lynda S, Harriet J, Chris M, Maria M (to 7.30pm), Lynne


1. Agenda item I   Welcome, introductions and apologies                                                  Jim

A warm welcome to everyone.  Apologies from Zsofi B, Jill O, Tila R and Colin S. 

2. Agenda item II   Matters arising from March meeting, 01/03                                        Jim

Longford Park community orchard: Lynda to find out whether the orchard has yet been handed over by the developers, and if it has, whether it is still with the District or now managed by the community or the Town Council.

Training for PAT testing: this will go ahead if there are sufficient organisations interested in participating to make it viable.  Cost will be around £100 per person.

The bid to Arts Council England for Jubilee funding was not successful.  The meeting agreed that there would be plenty of events arranged by others in celebration of the Jubilee, so no need for BCAG to organize one.

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. 

4.  Agenda item IV   Treasurer’s report                                                                                Lynda

The current balance stands at c.£12K.  This includes the 10K grant from the National Lottery Community Fund – Together for our Planet.  Congratulations to Tila for securing this impressive award.  The grant includes an allocation for training for Tila. 

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

STATS:  Mailchimp:  … subscribers / .. voting members; Facebook: BCAG … followers BSCG … followers.

Thank you, Maria for the excellent March News.

Lynda reminded the meeting that our leaflet is due for a reprint which gives the opportunity for updating.  Maria offered to co-ordinate this, with input from core committee members.

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

Harriet gave a summary of Tila’s written report of the past month at the Garden.  Thanks to Tila for the report, and for managing to organize things from home despite being unwell.

As mentioned by Lynda, Tila was successful in securing the 10K Together for our Planet grant.  The Garden has also been awarded £2K by The Midlands Co-op for an additional four hexagon beds and an £150 Food for Life, Soil Association award for a garden growing event, to be spent April/May.  Thanks to Harriet for applying for these two grants.  The awards provide plenty of funds for materials which is great, and a little towards Tila’s time.

Over the next month, Tila will focus on finding some additional funding to cover her time.

The new pergola looks fantastic and the three chunky benches from Age Friendly Banbury are in place and very comfortable.

The Intergenerational Community Fair went extremely well with some 200 people attending – thanks to everyone who helped.  There were lots of visitors and many groups represented, and Jim’s soup was delicious.  The flyer for the Fair posted round Grimsbury was translated into the 11 languages commonly spoken in the neighbourhood.

Home-Start families have been enjoying the Garden as a venue for Forest School activities with Muddy Feet.  Sunrise Multicultural Project planted up beautiful herb gardens to take home.  There are at least four new groups looking to become associated with the Garden and looking after hexagons.

The planks for the TOE-funded beds supplied by British Recycled Plastic had been wrongly cut.  The company will collect and re-deliver.

Tila is hoping to run a low-key spring event over the Easter holiday.  She would welcome help with this.

The Garden now has a Hot Bin for composting.  Anais will be giving a composting workshop at the Garden 23rd/24th April as part of a Late Spring Seed Swap.

With so much going on at the Garden, it was agreed that it would be useful to have a sub-group in place to support Tila.  Lynda, Harriet and Tila to discuss how best this might work.

7.  Agenda item VII   Browning Road Orchard BRO                                                        Colin

Julia at BTC has yet to respond about the Browning Road Park and Orchard improvement proposals.  There has been no progress by BTC on fixing the raised beds.

Ocado is offering community grants to celebrate the opening of its new store in Bicester.  Banbury comes within the catchment area.  Possible BCAG projects include BSCG, BRO, and G&T events.

It was agreed to discuss with BTC applying for funding towards the Browning Road Park and Orchard wildlife and community improvements.  Harriet to talk with Colin.

8. Agenda item VIII   Banbury Active Transport Supporters group                             Zsofi

The wait for the LCWIP goes on.  It is now not expected until after the May elections.

9. Agenda item IX     Biodiversity                                                                                    Harriet

BCAG continues to work closely with the Wild Banbury network 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 key in with this, with Jill being our primary link.

As part of The Climate Coalition’s February ‘show the love’ campaign, BSCG sent an envelope full of green hearts carrying climate-focused messages, to Victoria P, MP for Banbury.  The green hearts were cut for the event by wonderful Orinoco.

The initiative is aimed at showing decision makers that people want to see real and rapid action to tackle the climate and nature crisis.

11. Agenda item XI     Spring Give & Take                                                                          Lynda

The Spring Give & Take was well attended with around 160 people through the door and plenty of donations.   The United Reformed Church were very welcoming and even helped with the refreshments on the day.  It was great to have the Repair Café and Orinoco with us and also Cherwell Recycling. 

Thanks to Lynda for doing the majority of the organizing and to everyone else who helped out.

The Hall is on the small side for this kind of event.  Some use was made of the pavement outside and on a fine day, more donations could be displayed there.

There was some discussion as to whether we should try a different, more focused format, or restrict the range of items accepted.  It was agreed that, since the event had been well attended, we should do a similar summer event, but review again after this.

Lynda will contact The Haven and book in for July.

12. Agenda item XII     Food waste                                                                                  Lynne

Lynda feels that there would be funds available for a food-waste / food-poverty related initiative.  She confirmed that there is plenty of interest amongst other groups to work alongside us.  Currently, though, no one has come forward to join Lynne in taking the lead on this.

It was agreed to ask Maria to put a piece in the News and see if there is any response.  Lynda and Lynne to put wording together for this.


Chris suggested BCAG have a policy in place to guide decisions on which funding sources, offers of support, etc we would consider inappropriate for us to accept.  He agreed to put together an outline paper for discussion on this.

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


Tuesday 3rd May, 7pm, Zoom.

The BCAG AGM will precede the main meeting.

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.