Banbury Community Action Group

Minutes of meeting 2/2/2021

BCAG February ’21 catch-up2nd  February, 2021 7pm-8.30pm zoom
Chair:JimType of meeting:Monthly catch-up
Attendees:Zsofi B, Megan C (to 8pm), Harriet J,  Chris M, Mike P, Jane R (to 8pm), Catherine S, Colin S(joined 7.30pm), Jim S, Lynda S, Mike S, Berenice


Welcome and introductions.  

Apologies for absence received from John H, Lise J (VPRS project), Jill O

1. Agenda item II  Matters arising from January meeting, 05/01                                                                                  Jim

All matters arising are covered in agenda items below.

2. Agenda item VII  Banbury Active Transport Supporters group (BCAG-led project)                                              Zsofi

The project has changed name to reflect the broadened scope from a focus solely on cycling to one encompassing all active travel and clean air interests.

Contact has been made with Cherwell District Council (meeting 11/01 E Frape and D Hoyland); Oxfordshire County Council (J Muntane by email).  OCC is currently talking with CDC about getting a LCWIP underway and will keep in touch with BATS.   BCAG will support and promote CDC’s schemes including Dr Bike sessions; promotion of led group cycles; bikes for key workers.

A very useful meeting was held with other interest groups including Sustrans, OxLivSts, CyclingUK, OCN, Bath Rd residents.  Everyone present was extremely helpful, encouraging and supportive.  BATS is keen to reach out to other kindred organisations and has made initial contact with Banbury Star Cycling Club.   

The group is planning to develop relationships with elected members at all three levels of local government.  Megan shared her knowledge having written to OCC on the subject of cycling provision in Banbury.

A meeting is arranged for 10/2 to update those individuals who have shown an interest in the project, and to discuss a plan of action.

3. Agenda item IV     BCAG admin                                                                                                                                      Jim

Online access authorities have been tidied up and the website and Facebook pages brought up to date with relevant links added. 

Those on the list of subscribers to be mailed to give them the opportunity to update their preferences in line with GDPR.  The mailing offers the choice of ‘subscription only’ for the Newsletter, or ‘membership’ which in addition, brings the right to vote at meetings and the AGM.  An informal list of ‘core active members’ is also held which comprises those who regularly attend meetings or are regularly involved in BCAG activities: this is used for consultations on ongoing BCAG business.  Many thanks to Jim for getting all this done!

This meeting was advertise in advance to subscribers through a Mailchimp mailing and this will become a standard procedure.

Those present submitted their totals of hours spent on BCAG business and projects for January.  Total hours are submitted annually to Oxfordshire CAG.

4. Agenda item V  Treasurer’s report                                                                                                                             Lynda

OxCAG has generously provided a grant to help cover our insurance costs for the year and also given a grant of £25 towards pumpkin/seeds/food waste initiative.  

Lynda suggested that, as the new Lidl is very close to BSCC, they might provide support in some way; she will look into this.

ü   Action: Lynda

5. Agenda item VI  Newsletter                                                                                                                                     Harriet

The February News is ready in draft.  Its focus is biodiversity.  Time allowing, a second News will follow providing an update on other BCAG activities.

6. Agenda item VIII  Bridge Street Community Garden  BSCG

Jim has done a temporary fix on the door of the small shed.

Residents from Chamberlaine Court continue to make good use of the garden beds and generally keep the site tidy, as they have done throughout the lockdown restrictions.

Jake is currently not available to lead on BSCG activities so someone is needed to step in on this in order for us to make the most of this wonderful community space. 

ü  Action: Lynda to speak to Emily at Cherwell Larder to see if she knows of anyone

ü  Action: Jim/Harriet to draw up a ‘job spec’ to be posted by Keith at OCVA

ü  Action: Lynda to get in touch with Steve Kilsby who, in his roles as cllr Banbury Town Council and at RVS Cornhill            Centre, might have suggestions.

7. Agenda item IX  Browning Road Orchard BRO                                                                                                         Colin

The poorly-draining ground is exceptionally wet making any programme of mulching impossible for the time being; it is possible that chippings might be available from some tree surgery being done elsewhere on the site.  Some replacement planting of tree which do not form part of the main orchard, is being considered with plans to try out a wider variety of species.  Hopefully the Butterfly Count and Orchard Picnic can happen again this year.

Colin is in touch with Julia O’Shea, landscape officer Banbury Town Council, who has been very positive and helpful.

8. Agenda item X  Proposed Biodiversity Project                                                                                                    Harriet

There is great potential for increasing biodiversity within the town.  Currently there are several great projects happening, including Wild Banbury, but their scope is limited by their resources. 

Harriet has been in touch with Andy Gunn at BBOWT (27/01) who has oversight of the Wild Banbury project and with Roselle Chapman at Wild Oxfordshire: both are keen to support community-based work that seeks to improve provision for the natural world.

Mike S (an active member of Wild Banbury), Catherine, Jill, Megan, Zsofi and Jim all offered to be involved.

ü  Action: Harriet to make a start on putting this together as a project.

9. Agenda item XI  Climate Action COP26                                                                                                                Harriet

This is a vital year for focus on Climate Action with COP26 being held in Glasgow in November.

It would be good if BCAG could join the Climate Coalition’s “show the love” campaign and send a green heart to Victoria Prentis, MP.  Perhaps the artistic community of Banbury young or old could create something for us?

BCAG has joined the FoE Oxfordshire Cop26 Climate Alliance, OCCA and will participate in their programme.

ü  Action: Harriet to send a request for green heart artwork to go out on Facebook

ü  Action:  ideas for other Climate Action-related activities for the March meeting.  Anyone interested on leading on this for BCAG?

10. Agenda item III  guest Anaïs from CAG Oxfordshire                                                                                        Anaïs

We were delighted to welcome Anaïs to the BCAG monthly catch-up meeting: thank you Anaïs for finding the time to attend. 

Anaïs outlined the role of CAG Oxfordshire and provided an outline of the kind of support they could provide to member groups such as BCAG.  This was very useful as Banbury can sometimes feel rather remote from Oxford.

Jim described how Banbury Shed (located in People’s Park) runs; Anaïs indicated that CAG Ox is hoping to offer training for repair cafés later in the year.  Jim to talk further with Mike P, who has been our valued PAT tester for “Give and Take” events, about the opportunities. 

The BCAG PAT testing equipment is currently looked after by John E, Banbury sheds.


a)  BANBURY TREES  Jim provided an update on Banbury Trees: Tila and the group have again been successful in applying for trees to plant and now have the young stock including donations from the Tree Council.  They are hoping the circumstances will allow them to hold a planting work party in March.

b)  There are plans for an Oxfordshire seed library; Lynda is acting as BCAG rep for this.  

c)  Lynda has established a link with Park Road mosque.


Tuesday 2nd March, 7pm, zoom