Banbury Community Action Group

BCAG March 2022 Minutes

Chair:          Jim                       

Minutes:    Harriet

Present:      Jim S, Lynda S, Harriet J, Zsofi B, Tila R, Chris M, Colin S, Lynne, Vaughan & Winnie


1. Agenda item I   Welcome, introductions and apologies                                                  Jim

A warm welcome to everyone.  Apologies from Maria M and Jill O. 

2. Agenda item II   Matters arising from Feb meeting, 01/02                                            Jim

All other matters arising are covered under agenda items.

3.  Agenda item III   BCAG admin                                                                                               Jim

Total hours spent on BCAG business and projects for February were recorded – thanks to everyone for putting in time.  It was agreed that the logging of hours should continue in this way as it is efficient, reliable and easy.  Should anyone prefer, however, they can e-mail the total of hours spent during the month on BCAG business directly to Harriet.  

4.  Agenda item IV   Treasurer’s report                                                                                Lynda

The current balance stands at c.£3K.  Concerns were raised about ensuring we have sufficient funds to enable BCAG to continue to pay Tila towards the amazing work she is doing at BSCG.  Funding is all through incoming grants – we need to make sure we don’t miss any opportunities to apply for relevant funding.

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

STATS:  Mailchimp:  170 subscribers / 89 voting members; Facebook: BCAG 986 followers BSCG 419 followers.  These numbers continue to go up and up!

Thank you, Maria for the excellent February News.  The March edition is prepared and ready to send.

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

Tila gave an update on the past month at the Garden.

New groups using the Garden over the past month include Woodcraft Folk and The Hill Community Centre, and there have been regular weekend sessions too. 

Spend of grant monies continues to be on schedule.

The Garden, in partnership with the BCAG ‘wildlife’ outreach, took an activity to the busy Grimsbury half-term Winter Wishes event put on with support from CDC.  Both the ‘crazy sprout birds’ and the nest-making activity proved highly popular and there was lots of high quality engagement with children, parents and carers.  Thanks Tila, Zsofi and Harriet.  Over 50 people participated.

Tila drew attention to how difficult it is to get deliveries of bulky items to the Garden.  Large lorries are not able to drive in to the site and instead have to unload either in Lower Cherwell Street or at The Mill.  The items then need to be transported to the Garden.  The delivery firms usually do not give a time slot which adds to the problem.  There’s no easy solution: Tila to make sure as many people as possible are on stand-by to help on major delivery days.  Scheduled deliveries include the pergola on 3/3; the x3 benches funded by AFB on 7/3; the recycled plastic boards for the ToE-funded beds on 17/3.

Upcoming events are included in the March News and include the talk on 5/3 by Rachel at EDGE landscaping; a Garden lunch meeting to mark International Women’s Day; Seniors’ meet-up with Age Friendly Banbury and Laura from the CDC Wellbeing team; bird and bat-box assembly with Homestart families on 19/3; building the ToE beds on 20/3; herb gardens with Sunrise on 22/3 and the Garden community fair on 26/3.

7.  Agenda item VII   Browning Road Orchard BRO                                                        Colin

The Browning Road Park and Orchard improvement proposals have been submitted to Julia at BTC.  Thanks to Mike S, supported by Harriet and Colin, for putting together such an excellent report.   The group hope to be able to meet with the Council to discuss next steps.  Vaughan and Winnie are interested in taking on the care of the raised beds in the Park.  Julia at the TC is happy with this in principle, but work is needed to stabilize the beds first and to ensure they are filled with sufficient growing medium.

Colin has arranged for Akemans to drop off wood chippings at the orchard as a mulch for the trees.  A mulching session can then be arranged.  There is no need for a pruning event this year.

A reminder from Jim of the suggestion that BCAG find out more about the Longford Park community orchard to see if this is something we can engage with.  Lynda to ask local resident Kimberley for update.

8. Agenda item VIII   Banbury Active Transport Supporters group                             Zsofi

BATS keep up the fantastic work raising the profile of active travel and questioning the dependence on private cars.

Ongoing issues include the 20s Plenty campaign which has resulted in angry feedback from a number of motorists concerned about losing their freedom to put lives at risk, lower the air quality, add to noise pollution, and generally make the town a less pleasant environment for others.

The wait for the LCWIP goes on..

9. Agenda item IX     Biodiversity                                                                                    Harriet

BCAG continues to work closely with the Wild Banbury network especially through BSCG and BRO.

10. Agenda item X     Climate Action COP26                                                                      Chris

BCAG continues to look to the excellent work being done by OxFoE on climate action, and to key in with this, with Jill being our primary link.

As part of The Climate Coalition’s February ‘show the love’ campaign, BSCG sent an envelope full of green hearts carrying climate-focused messages, to Victoria P, MP for Banbury.  The green hearts were cut for the event by wonderful Orinoco.

The initiative is aimed at showing decision makers that people want to see real and rapid action to tackle the climate and nature crisis.

11. Agenda item XI     Spring Give & Take                                                                          Lynda

Arrangements are well underway for the Spring Give & Take, 12/3 at The Haven, Calthorpe Street, 11am-1pm. 

The hall will be available to us from 10am-2pm; cost: £14/hr.  The people at The Haven are being very helpful and supportive.  8 volunteers have answered the appeal for help which went out to subscribers, which is very encouraging. 

For this event, the café will be kept simple, but there are good kitchen facilities which we could consider for future events. 

Cherwell recycling will be attending.

A reminder for the event has gone out in the March Newsletter.

Thanks to Lynda for taking the lead on this, and to Maria and Harriet.


Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the war in Ukraine.

Lynda has been looking at costings for PAT training.  Funding could be sought from Banbury Charities and Sanctuary.  Orinoco would be interested in putting forward people for the training. Puritans radio would be happy to do an interview and put out the request for volunteers to come forward to do testing and repairs.

The BCAG PAT-tester is with Jim; note: £80 for renewal coming up in July.

Tila and Harriet have met Georgia from The Mill Arts Centre and discussed ideas for joint working.  T and H have put in a bid to the Arts Council for a Jubilee celebration event.

Lynne is interested in having a focus on food poverty issues and is looking to link up with Lorraine at The Hill Community Centre to discuss possibilities.


Tuesday 5th April, 7pm, 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.