Banbury Community Action Group

BCAG October ’21 catch-up

5th October, 2021

Chair:          Jim                       

Minutes:    Harriet

Present:      Jim S, Lynda S, Harriet J, Zsofi B, Tila R, Chris M, Jill O, Dale H, Paul B, Cathy R


1. Agenda item I   Welcome, introductions and apologies                                                  Jim

Warm welcome to Cathy Ryan, Community Engagement Officer, Low Carbon Hub Oxford.

Apologies for absence received from Mike P.

2. Agenda item II   Matters arising from Aug meeting, 03/08                                            Jim

TEDx countdown: 31st October – Jim leading; Chris offered to do one of the local interview slots.    

NVCO: confirmed that BCAG is not a member; concluded that, despite this being free to do, there seems no immediate advantage for us to join.

“Read This” magazine: agreed Jim provide information about our monthly meetings for inclusion on the community pages

 All others covered under agenda items.

3.  Agenda item III   BCAG admin                                                                                               Jim

Totals hours spent on BCAG business and projects for September were recorded – thanks to everyone for putting in time; total hours are submitted annually to Oxfordshire CAG. 

4.  Agenda item IV   Treasurer’s report                                                                                Lynda

Bank balance standing at c.£3K, which includes the grant from CDC and donations from events.

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

STATS:  Mailchimp: 252 contacts / 141 subscribers /  82 voting members; Facebook: BCAG 895 followers 762 likes; BSCG 298 followers, 280 likes.

September News and Update sent out 30/09

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

Events: Tila has continued to arrange lots of events at the Garden.  The community groups’ Garden Party on 11 September was extremely successful and well attended with around 250 visitors.

18th September saw the Bee Hotel workshop, part of the Climate Coalition Great Big Green Week.  The XR ‘endangered animals’ assembled at the Garden before heading off to the Walk in Oxford.   The event was covered in the Banbury Guardian.

Development: Smaller beds are being built at the north end of the Garden to allow for the old beds at the shed end to be cleared.  This in turn will make space for the new hexagons.  All the planks currently available have been cut in preparation for building beds: lots of thanks to Mark for doing this, and also to the Chinese restaurant for allowing us to use their power supply. 

East Street Early Years are keen to have a regular group visit to the Garden and to build, fill and plant their own bed from scratch.

Restore would like to visit on alternate Tuesdays to grow their own FFG.

Tila explained that these groups must have some shelter available if the link it to be a success.  The existing gazebos need four people to put up so are not a practical solution.  The need for shelter was discussed; all agreed that some form of protection from the weather is essential.  A metal free-standing ‘gazebo’ (cost £379) was thought not to be sufficient to solve the problem.  There is not currently funding for a second substantial shed.  As a holding solution it was agreed that the existing sheds should be sorted and tidied to free up some space (date: 6th October).

Jon Wild, CDC has arranged with Tila and the Grimsbury Network, for the Autumn half-term Playday to be held at the Garden this year (it is usually held in Moorfield Park).  The Playday will have a “nature” theme.

The meeting thanked Tila for all her hard work and congratulated her on the impressive results.

Lynda and Harriet met Emily from Harvest@Home/Cherwell Collective, 9th September, for an update on our status as Development Partners in their funding bids. Lynda clarified that BCAG’s inclusion as a partner brought no money with it, but placed us within the network and enabled us to benefit from various resources.  H@H might, for example, be able to cover our upcoming insurance renewal.

7.  Agenda item VII   Browning Road Orchard BRO                                                        Colin

Arrangements for the Apple Day, 10/10, 2-4pm were discussed.  BTC have given permission.  Colin to lead.

With help from local Browning Road residents Mike and Catherine S, and from Wild Banbury, all the trees are now protected and are looking the best ever with plenty of fruit.  The wider range of species put in last Winter/Spring was a good move: trees are doing well on the challenging ground conditions.

8. Agenda item VIII  Banbury Active Transport Supporters group (BCAG-led project)  Zsofi

The LCWIP is still not available for consultation.  Paul B has submitted a FOI request in order to see the first draft and comments made on this, due to concerns about the level of commitment amongst councillors.

Zsofi asked for ideas as to how BATS could maintain momentum and interest during the delay in appearance of the LCWIP.  Ideas included Dr Bike sessions; a stall on the market; involvement in the Healthy Walking routes, particularly in determining the optimum sites for seating, for which there is funding.

The Green Week climate cafés were not well attended, but useful discussions were held with those visitors who came.  Paul B is collating the results of the questionnaires.

Brilliant work from Zsofi making this such a strong project.

9. Agenda item IX    Biodiversity Project                                                                       Harriet

Wild Banbury are now regular partners at the BCAG events.  Cool!  The Scavenger Hunt saw WB story-telling and investigating the fauna associated with a rotting log..;  Wildflower info was available at the Seed Bomb making event; the local population of dragonflies was increased by just on 50 at the Garden Party.

10. Agenda item X     Climate Action COP26                                                                      Jill

There will be a march in Oxford 6/11 providing an alternative to travel to London or Glasgow.  Jim to feed back info on this as details are firmed up.

11. Agenda item XI     Give & Take and Repair Café event                                              Lynda

The Give & Take event held in BSCG 14/8 was not so well attended as past events of this kind.  Nevertheless, 148Kg of ‘stuff’ was re-homed and 40Kg of electrical goods repaired and rehoused.  Those who did attend were very appreciative and it was excellent promotion for the Garden and BCAG. 

We need to consider the best venue for similar events in the future.

Thanks as always to the Chinese restaurant for use of their power for this event.

Low Carbon Hub Oxford                                                                                                        Cathy

Warm welcome to Cathy Ryan, Community Engagement Officer, Low Carbon Hub Oxford.

Cathy has noticed the increased activity at BCAG through our Newsletter and social media channels.  As a result she is interested in having BCAG as their “Community of the Month”.  The meeting welcomed this idea. 

Members of Low Carbon Hub can apply for grants: £500 grants are available for application all year round; a competitive grant of up to £5K is offered once a year with the deadline for this year’s round being 05/01/21 for an outline proposal.  The second stage deadline is 09/03/22 and winners will be announced at the end of March.  The grants have a renewable energy, or energy saving focus.

Application for grant aid by BCAG would be welcome.

Thank you Cathy for showing an interest in our work and for coming along to the meeting and telling us about the Hub.


The need for a printer was discussed.  This would be for minor print jobs such as printing out receipts for the treasurer, short runs of flyers for noticeboards.  The meeting decided to manage for now, with those printers already owned by BCAG members, and to use other printing options such as the library or online services.  This decision should be reviewed at future meetings to see if it is satisfactory.


Tuesday 2nd November, 7pm, Zoom.