Banbury Community Action Group

BCAG September ’21 catch-up

7th September, 2021

Chair:          Jim                       

Minutes:    Harriet

Present:      Jim S, Lynda S, Harriet J, Zsofi B, Jane R, Colin S, Tila R, Paul B


1. Agenda item I   Welcome, introductions and apologies                                                  Jim

Apologies for absence received from Mike P.

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

We now have an Instagram account thanks to Tila.  All others covered under agenda items.

3.  Agenda item III   BCAG admin                                                                                               Jim

Totals hours spent on BCAG business and projects for June were recorded; total hours are submitted annually to Oxfordshire CAG. 

4.  Agenda item IV   Treasurer’s report                                                                                Lynda

Bank balance standing at c.£2K

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

STATS:  Mailchimp: 252 contacts / 136 Newsletter /  77 voting members; Facebook: BCAG 882 followers 752 likes; BSCG 270 followers, 255 likes.

August News and Update sent out 05/08

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

Tila has already held 8 garden sessions plus the Seed Bomb workshop (11/8) and the children’s Scavenger Hunt.  Both Workshop and Hunt were excellent events – well attended and fun!  Two new hexagonal beds have been constructed and one of them filled and winter veg seed, plus clover (to improve Nitrogen soil levels) sown.  The Garden has also been used for some social prescribing opportunities.

Planning is continuing for the community groups Garden Party on 11/9.  Tila for BSCG/BCAG is now taking the lead in organising this event.

The Garden has instantly become a more vibrant and busy place as a result of having someone at its focus to co-ordinate sessions, organise events, take responsibility.  Nice work, Tila!

CDC have awarded the Garden 1K for materials and equipment.  Thank you CDC, we value your support and appreciate the help!

Tila will now focus on applying for grants so that the momentum can be maintained, as well as ensuring the ongoing maintenance of the Garden.  CDC have offered to help with grant application to GoodFoodOxford and to ToE (Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment).  Banbury Charities was suggested as another place to try, and also Nicholson’s Nurseries.

The group discussed costing in an ‘admin’ fee of 15% when putting together funding for events and agreed this was desirable.

Also planned, Sat 18/09 is the upcoming Bee Hotel workshop as a part of the Climate Coalition Great Big Green Week.  The XR ‘endangered animals’ heading off to the Walk in Oxford will assemble at the Garden.  Tila will write a press release for the Banbury Guardian.

Lynda and Harriet are meeting Emily from Harvest@Home/Cherwell Collective, 09/9, for an update on our status as Development Partners in their funding bids.

7.  Agenda item VII   Browning Road Orchard BRO                                                        Colin

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 are doing well on the challenging ground conditions.

The Orchard is planning an Apple Day, 10/10.  BTC have given permission.  Colin to lead.

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

BATS will be joining in with the Climate Cafés being organized by the Banbury Quakers, to chat about active travel with visitors.  Zsofi will be there for most of the ‘opening hours’ supported by other BATS members.  All extra help much appreciated.  The BATS group have put together a questionnaire to help focus discussions and to gather data, and Zsofi has designed a contacts card to hand out.  Great idea – thanks for all the hard work!  Good luck with the events!

The LCWIP is now complete with the public consultation phase scheduled for October.

Zsofi asked for ideas about sourcing secondhand bicycles.  Thoughts included Bicester Green and the police scheme where stolen bikes are reconditioned by prisoners and sold on through charity shops.

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

Climate Coalition Big Green Week, 18th-26th Sept designed to engage with the public in the run up to COP26.  There will be an event 18/9 Broad Street, Oxford; 22/9 is to be a No Car day; the Quakers are running a Climate Café; XR are holding an extinct species animal mask march 18/9 meeting in the BSCG.  BSCG/Wild Banbury will be building a Bee Hotel to highlight biodiversity/climate concerns. 

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 and other Garden events.


These from Jim:

1.  Cherwell DC Electric Charging Gulleys call for trial participants.  Contact Jim for more.

2.  Steve Kilsby offer to rent small patch of woodland.  Tila and Jim visited this and concluded it was not suitable for us to take on.

3.  Jessica Sykes call for older climate activists to video themselves (50+)

“We are asking people to video themselves answering the below questions focusing on climate. You can answer as few or as many as you’d like, that’s up to you “

  • Why do you think it is important to take climate action?
  • Has climate change become more important to you as you have grown older?
  • What changes have you made to become greener?
  • What advice would you give to someone who is confused about climate change?

See Jim for more details

4.  TEDx Countdown Sunday October 31st . Anyone interested in being involved contact Jim

5.  Is Banbury CAG a member of NVCO ? It seems probably not – Lynda to check with Keith.  NVCO is holding a BID Writing Training 14th Oct £55 less 30%.  There is a discount for members.  Agreed – happy to fund Tila to attend.

6. Canal Day cancelled by Town Council.  Saturday 2nd October will be an Open Day at Tooley’s Boatyard.

7.  “Read This” free local distribution letterbox magazine does free listings.  Agreed Jim to add listing for BCAG and BSCG.


Tuesday 5th October, 7pm, Zoom.