Banbury Community Action Group

Minutes of meeting 4/4/21

BCAG April ’21 catch-up4th  April, 2021 7pm zoom
Chair:JimType of meeting:Monthly catch-up
Attendees:Ingrid C, Kimberley D (part), Jake E, Dale H, Harriet J, Chris M, Jill O, Mike Peel, Jane R, Jim S, Lynda S


Welcome and introductions.  

Apologies for absence received from Allie H, Colin S

This monthly catch-up meeting followed on from the AGM.

1. Agenda item II  Matters arising from March meeting, 02/03                                                                                  Jim

BCAG is now signed up to the VPRS newsletter; Lise has been thanked for coming along to our March meeting, and informed about the seed swap in case any of the Syrian families are interested in attending.

A letter from BCAG to WTHS was sent in support of the concept of a community building as part of their farm.

All other matters arising are covered in agenda items below.

2. Agenda item III     BCAG admin                                                                                                                                      Jim

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

3. Agenda item IV  Treasurer’s report                                                                                                                             Lynda

The Treasurer’s report for this month was given at the AGM. 

4. Agenda item V  Social media, Newsletter, publicity                                                                                                Harriet

The March Update and News was sent out mid-month.  The April News will promote the upcoming Seed Swap event.

Jane R has kindly offered to write some pieces about BCAG projects and events for publication in the Banbury Guardian: thank you!

5. Agenda item VI  Bridge Street Community Garden  BSCG                                                                                   Lynda

Lynda gave an excellent interview for Radio Oxford about BSCG.

There is a pressing need for some of the raised beds in the Garden to be repaired: scaffold boards are best for this.  The second shed needs emptying.

There is currently no reliable source of water for the Garden. 

Kidlington-based Cherwell Collective are interested in establishing a hub in Banbury from which to distribute information and materials, and as a centre for training.  BCAG would be keen to talk with them further about the suitability of using the 2nd shed at BSCG for this.

We’ll be holding a mini-Seed Swap event at the Garden 24th and 25th April, 11am-2pm each day, as part of Good to Grow week.  This will be low-key because of the circumstances, and the format will be an ‘open day’ with seeds available to take away.  Pumpkin seeds have come from Good Food Oxford as part of their Pumpkin Festival which focusses on food waste issues.  The event has been mentioned in the March News.

Harriet is contacting Bee Myson at Age Friendly Banbury, to find out more about their Seeds of Hope stall on the market, 22nd April, and to see if there are ways of linking up.

ü  Lynda and Jake to organize work party for repairing beds and clearing shed.

ü  Lynda and Jake to consider the options for providing water on site, and to get an idea of cost for the various possibilities.

ü  Lynda to take the lead on liaising with Cherwell Collective about the use of the Garden as a hub.

ü  Lynda to coordinate preparations for the Seed Swap.

6. Agenda item VII  Browning Road Orchard BRO                                                                                                         Colin

Julia O’Shea, landscape officer Banbury Town Council has purchased the additional fruit and other trees.  These will be planted in the Orchard, and all trees mulched using chippings from other tree works on site, on Friday 9th and Saturday 10th.  Volunteers welcome; volunteers from Wild Banbury will be helping out.   Sadly, lockdown restrictions prevent refreshments being available.

6. Agenda item VIII  Banbury Active Transport Supporters group (BCAG-led project)                                     Jane/Chris

The BATS initiative continues to progress well: Jane and Chris gave an update.

Following the meeting (Zoom) on 18/3, a core group has been formed with the task of dividing up the town into ‘routes’.  These will be allocated to volunteers for assessment of issues along them, taking into account the various active travel users and air quality factors (eg cycles, those on foot, those with particular additional needs).

Dale drew attention to the imminent arrival of Park & Charge Oxfordshire EV scheme in Banbury, led by Cherwell DC and Oxfordshire CC.

8. Agenda item IX  Biodiversity Project                                                                                                                     Harriet

Jim chaired a meeting held for those interested in Biodiverse Banbury, 31st March.  Along with everyone else who came along, it was particularly helpful to have Ed Munday present, from BBOWT and Wild Bicester, to talk about future plans for Wild Banbury; also Julia O’Shea from Banbury Town Council, and Daniel Messer who is part of the spatial information team at Cherwell DC.

A new project officer post for Wild Banbury, funded by Cherwell DC and managed through BBOWT, is currently being advertised and the post-holder should be in place by the end of May.  The post is for one year, 2 days/week, and a key part of the role is to enable Wild Banbury to eventually become self-supporting.

BCAG offered full support to Wild Banbury and hopes to work closely with them.

It was agreed that BCAG should coordinate two projects this year, and work on a possible third:

*  develop the existing Cherwell Swifts project within the town.

*  establish the ‘pollinator paradises’ initiative, developing insect-friendly plantings with associated outreach and education opportunities.

*  seek out opportunities for establishing a mini-meadow to trial no-mow/reduced mowing management regimes for grassed areas.

Sue Marchand, Community Nature Officer at CDC, has been very helpful and is very supportive of BCAG biodiversity initiatives.  There are opportunities to link up with Banbury BID (Business Improvement District).

ü  Harriet to develop the next steps for this project.

9. Agenda item X  Climate Action COP26                                                                                                                Jill

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

BCAG has joined the FoE Oxfordshire Cop26 Climate Alliance, OCCA and will participate in their programme.  Jill is our link with OCCA.

Jill flagged up the Climate Coalition’s Great Big Green Week 18th-26th September: BCAG should consider how it can be involved.  CDC is planning a week of events – Dale is involved with this and will share thoughts and resources with BCAG.

ü  Jill to take the lead on this; ideas from everyone welcome.


a)  Time to think about a Give & Take event?  On the market June/July?

ü  Lynda to ask Lorraine how these were organised in the past.


Tuesday 4th May, 7pm, Zoom.