Banbury Community Action Group

BCAG  November 2022 Minutes

Chair:          Chris                    

Minutes:    Harriet

Present:      Lynda S, Chris M, Robin C, Lynne C, Harriet J


1. Agenda item I   Welcome and apologies                                                                            Chris

A warm welcome to everyone.  Apologies from Zsofi B, Tila R, Jim S 

2. Agenda item II   Matters arising from October meeting, 04/10                                   Chris

All matters arising are covered under agenda items.

3.  Agenda item III   BCAG admin                                                                                             Chris

Total hours spent on BCAG business and projects for October 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 c.£9k, this mostly being grant monies allocated to BSCG projects, with a £2.5k contingency.  Great to have a generous £35 in donations from the Give and Take event.  Greenpeace has made a donation to us of £100 toward the Garden; Hanwell village kindly donated £25 for use of the BCAG apple press and scratter.  Thank you for this support.

Lynda, Harriet and Jim will discuss the renewal for the BCAG insurance.

5. Agenda item V   Social media, Newsletter, publicity                                                       

Leaflet update: thanks to Maria who has prepared a draft for a revised version.  This is with Lynda and Harriet for initial comments.

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

The Garden continues to be used by rough sleepers.  The police, Street Link and CDC have been involved and this has helped to some extent, but not completely solved the issue. 

The meeting discussed the problem and it was agreed that it would be positive if BCAG could look into taking action on homelessness and housing issues.

In the short term, we need to make sure that Tila feels safe in the Garden and also that the Garden is a safe space for the groups and people who use it. 

The Group must ensure that the sheds are well secured.

This matter has taken up considerable amounts of Tila’s time and has inevitably caused her stress.

The ongoing programme of garden events has nevertheless continued, with a range of groups being welcomed to the Garden for community growing, and the Garden providing the venue for a number of events including dance and meditation sessions.  Age UK in association with Oxford Natural History Museum used the Garden for their Big Bug Hunt.  Grimsbury Autumn half-term Play Day, 25th October was again held, very successfully, in the Garden.

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

There will be a winter pruning workshop run as part of the BSCG outreach and training.  Date fixed for 22nd January.  There is other winter work needed – checking ties, restaking and mulching round trees.  This might best be done on a different day.

8. Agenda item VIII   Banbury Active Transport Supporters group                             Chris

BATS held a very enjoyable social walk, Sunday 9th October.

9. Agenda item IX     Biodiversity                                                                                       Harriet

Good news that Thames Water have offered BCAG a grant of c.£1,800 towards replacing the liner in the ‘dry pond’ in Spiceball Park.  The project is being carried out in partnership with Wild Banbury volunteers.  Preliminary work, however, suggests that the problem might in fact not be a split in the liner – research is ongoing before a plan of action can be drawn up.  Any change in approach will need to be cleared with TW for the grant to be awarded.

10. Agenda item X     Climate Action COP26                                                                        Chris

Well done to Greenpeace for their recent action in the Houses of Parliament.  Great that BCAG has overlap in membership!

11. Agenda item XI     Autumn Give & Take                                                                     Harriet

The Autumn G&T, 15th October at The Haven, was a very positive event with much appreciation particularly from passers-by who dropped in and were delighted to find items available for free.  Numbers were a little down, as was the volume of ‘gives’.  This needs to be considered before arranging the next event.

Particular thanks to Clive at The Haven for all his time and support, to Sheila for the amazing and delicious cake, and to the BCAG home team.

12. Agenda item XII     Food action                                                                                  Lynne

The focus of this action will be tackling food waste.  Social isolation and food insecurity will also be addressed.   A test event will be held mid-November: we are awaiting confirmation from The Haven of the date.

Care is being taken to link up with all related activities already underway across the town, and to learn from similar action being carried out elsewhere.

Anaïs (OxCAG, Replenish and Good Food Oxford) continues to provide encouragement, expertise and proof-reading for grant applications.   Replenish is able to offer some financial support for this action.


Zsofi is looking into the possibility of arranging some film screenings and subsequent discussion, at the Friends Meeting House.  BCAG will need to consider the costs involved and perhaps seek funding to help with these.


Tuesday 6th December, 7.30pm, Zoom.

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.