Banbury Community Action Group

BCAG Minutes September 2023

Chair:          Jim                       

Minutes:    Harriet

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


1. Agenda item I   Welcome and apologies                                                                            Jim

Apologies from Tila R, Maria M, Zsofi B, Lynne C, Naseem, Paul B.

2. Agenda item II   a) Minutes of the last meeting, 04/07/23 b) Matters arising from July meeting, 04/07/23                                                                Jim

No comments were received on the minutes of the last meeting, 04/07.

Longford Park.  While the sports facilities have now been handed over by the developer to the District Council, there are still snagging issues with the handover of the orchard and other public open space.

All other 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 August 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 £14K – this is mostly grant money for specific projects.

The meeting agreed that, while BCAG does not in principle support lotteries, it would be appropriate to include a line of thanks in the Newsletter to those who name BCAG as their chosen organization when playing the Cherwell Lottery.

A reminder that our insurance is due for renewal in November.

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

Thanks to Maria M for all the work that goes in to producing the regular Newsletter and to Jim for keeping the socials flourishing.  The next Newsletter is scheduled for mid September.  Please remember to send items for the Newsletter to Maria.

Stats for June:   264 subscribers of which 191 are voting members.  BCAG has 1,200 followers on Facebook; BSCG has 707 followers.

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

Age UK organized an event at the Garden 03/08, and encourages people to meet together at the Garden to cherish memories of their loved ones who have passed away.

Home Start visited the Garden 04/08 for a scavenger hunt, snacks and a planting session.

Aspire continue to visit the Garden every Monday.

Over 40 people attended the Singing Circle, 12/08, led by Patrissia Cuberos.

Restore came along for a gardening session 05/09.

Sunrise Multicultural Project attended for a gardening session 12/09.

There’s lots in the Garden calendar for the coming weeks.

7.  Agenda item VII   Browning Road Orchard BRO                                                        Colin

The raised beds tended by Vaughan and Winnie have this year again been beautiful and productive, bringing pleasure to visitors to the Park.

Apple Day this year will be 15th October, 2 – 4pm.  Colin to send details to Maria for inclusion in the Newsletter.  Because this is later in the year than usual, apples will need to be gathered in and stored before the event.

The BCAG press and scratter are available for other groups to borrow in return for a donation to BCAG funds.

8. Agenda item VIII   Banbury Active Transport Supporters group                      (Paul)/ Jim

The next BATS newsletter will be out shortly.

Jim continues to represent BCAG providing support for the 20’s Plenty initiative.  The draft plan for public consultation should be available before the New Year.

9. Agenda item IX     Banbury Environment Network                                                   Harriet

The Water Quality Testing work with FreshWater Watch is progressing well with volunteers testing on a monthly basis.  The Cherwell & Ray Catchment Partnership provide support and expertise and the data feeds into their work.

Extra kit has been purchased with grant from Banbury Town Council.  This will help with environment-friendly management by volunteers of grassland areas within the town, such as those at Browning Road Park and Orchard, Hanwell Brook Wetland, and Spiceball Park ‘wildside’.  The items will be available for the Wild Banbury volunteer group to borrow.

BCAG volunteers will be joining with volunteers from Adderbury Parish Council later this month for a mid-September work party to assist with the management of Adderbury Lakes Local Nature Reserve.

10. Agenda item X     Climate Action                                                                                Jim

Cropredy WI, with lead from Sue S and with support from BCAG, is holding a Water Event on 17th September.  The Water Quality Testing project will be attending to explain this important work to event visitors.

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.  Orinoco and Good Food Oxford will be present, and The Shed will be on hand for electrical repairs.  The event might also be joined by the Castle Quay-based Uniform Swap. 

12. Agenda item XII     Food action                                                                               Jim/Harriet

OCVA have approached BCAG to discuss whether we might now have the capacity to run a food-related action.  Harriet to discuss with Vicki Baker from OCVA.

On behalf of St Hugh’s Church, Colin is looking into the possibility of the Church setting up a community food larder.  He is in touch with SOFEA.   This might offer an opportunity for collaboration. 

Harriet reminded that one of the difficulties BCAG had encountered when looking to set up the proposed Food Action, was finding a reliable means of sourcing food surplus.

Lynda continues to be the BCAG rep. for the Oxford Food Strategy and Cherwell FAWG.

There are various sources of funding available for food-related community projects; Libby Knox, Healthy Place Shaping Team, CDC, met with Lynda and Tila to discuss ideas.

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.


Thanks to Jim for attending to the BCAG mailbox and forwarding relevant mail such as grant opportunities, to core members.

A reminder that The Mill offers a scheme for subsidized tickets for disadvantaged members of the community.

Maria H is arranging a series of Community Assemblies.  These take the form of facilitated discussions about preparing better for climate change.  Ideas will then be collated and used to inspire action as appropriate.  There are plans for a Community Assembly at BSCG on Canal Day.


Tuesday 03/10, 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. 

It was agreed to consider an in-person meeting, possibly with pressing invitations sent to the sub groups – Garden, BATS, Orchard, BEN