Banbury Community Action Group

BCAG Minutes Oct 2023

Chair:          Jim                       

Minutes:    Harriet

Present:      Jim S, Lynda S, Harriet J, Chris M, Zsofi B, Carol B


1. Agenda item I   Welcome and apologies                                                                            Jim

Apologies from Tila R, Maria M, Naseem.

2. Agenda item II   a) Minutes of the last meeting, 12/09/23 b) Matters arising from the last meeting, 12/09/23                                                     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 September 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

The balance stands at £12,800 – this is almost entirely grant money for specific projects.

A reminder that our insurance is due for renewal in November.  The meeting agreed to renew with Naturesave providing any increase in their quote is considered reasonable.  Lynda has applied to the CAG Ox scheme for funds to help towards this major cost of ours.

The meeting agreed not to pursue the possibility of free insurance through becoming a Friends of the Earth sub-group.

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

Thanks to Maria M for the September Newsletter and to Jim for keeping the socials flourishing.

Stats for June:   265 subscribers of which 192 are voting members.  BCAG has 1,200 followers on Facebook; BSCG has 713 followers.

Harriet has put together an updated leaflet ready for the upcoming Autumn events.  The design reflects that of the original leaflet and, like it, is print-friendly and ink-lean.  It is easy to revise and alter if required.

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

September saw the Garden bright with a sculpture of over 2000 origami cranes.  The installation came from Colours of Banbury, the cranes having been folded by participants from many local community groups.

Weekly sessions with Aspire continued throughout the month.

Rhiannon Evans led a workshop about the history of wheat and other edible grains and heritage seeds (25/09).

The Garden hosted a group of supported learning students from Active Learning College.  Thank you to the group for volunteering their time to assist with various Garden tasks and particularly to Kate Johnson for organising the trip (25/09)

The Garden joined as a venue in the Banbury Canal Festival, with BATS being present on the Saturday to talk about the work they do (30/09-01/10).

Upcoming are another in the popular series of Intergenerational Singing Circles (15/10) and Play Day at the Garden (25/10).

7.  Agenda item VII   Browning Road Orchard BRO                                                        (Colin)

Apple Day this year will be 15/10, 2 – 4pm. 

Hanwell village have asked to borrow the BCAG press and scratter for their Apple Day.

8. Agenda item VIII   Banbury Active Transport Supporters group                              Zsofi

BATS is holding a webinar (10/10), “How to make Banbury better and greener”.  This will be an opportunity to look at local travel and infrastructure and hear the latest on Banbury’s Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP).  There will also be an update on 20’s Plenty and how we can reduce traffic and improve road safety and air quality.  BATS will be joined by guest speakers Jacqui Cox and Cllr Mark Cherry.  

9. Agenda item IX     Banbury Environment Network                                                   Harriet

BCAG volunteers joined with volunteers from Adderbury Parish Council to assist with the management of Adderbury Lakes Local Nature Reserve.

BCAG supported Cropredy WI at their well-attended Water Event (17/10) with guest speaker Giles Strother from BBOWT / Cherwell & Ray Catchment Project. 

A session will be held in Cropredy (14/10) to train those who put their names forward to become part of the water quality testing project. 

Jim has marked up a visually striking map which shows all the streams and tributaries in the catchment which feed into the Cherwell at Banbury.  This will be valuable for selecting new sites for testing and for a possible future Water Blitz.

The 15 existing ‘Banbury Water Vols’ have logged an impressive 80 water quality tests since the start of the project in March.

10. Agenda item X     Climate Action                                                                                Jim

The meeting discussed BCAG visibility at Banbury Canal Festival.  It was agreed that the Group should plan to take a stand in the main area of the Festival for 2024 since so few visitors find their way to the Community Garden.  It would be great to also have an activity on offer at the Garden for the benefit of those festival-goers who do visit.

11. Agenda item XI     Give & Take                                                                                   Lynda

To coincide with the Autumn PlayDay, 25/10, there will be a Repair Café in the Community Hub.  This is being organised by Rachel Townsend, Waste Strategy Project Officer, OCC.  Thank you to Tila for stepping in and designing the posters.

The event sits alongside National Repair Day (21/10).  Jim for BCAG has signed the Declaration demanding ‘easier to repair’ laws.

12. Agenda item XII     Food action                                                                               Jim/Harriet

OCVA are keen that BCAG succeeds in launching our food action and are being extremely supportive.   Harriet discussed the challenges with Vicki Baker from OCVA.  OCVA will hold the grant open while we look again to find a project lead.

A reminder that we need to return the private donation if the food action is not going ahead.

12. Agenda item XIII     Library of Things                                                                         (Melissa)

No update this month.


There was no other business.


Tuesday 07/11, 7.30pm, Zoom. 

A reminder that, 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.  This was raised at the meeting the majority vote being to stay online for the November meeting.