New tool developed to make sure no residents fall through the gaps

An intuitive piece of software has been developed, giving detailed information about the population of north Oxfordshire, to enable a more tailored approach to service provision in the area.

Published: Tuesday, 16th March 2021

Cherwell District Council’s Story Map has been created by digital specialists Press Red, to help the council know more about the residents it serves, enabling the delivery of more targeted help for those who need it most.

Councillor Andrew McHugh, Cherwell District Council’s lead member for health and wellbeing, said: “The Council is responsible for a large range of services in district, from sport and leisure to planning. Everything we do is for the benefit of the community we serve. But to do this properly, we need to truly understand all the different towns, villages and neighbourhoods and adapt our services depending on what help is needed most. The Story Map is the perfect tool for the job.”

Cherwell is the first council in Oxfordshire to develop the system. The Story Map works by using data already found in the public domain, as well as specialist information from in-house studies, to create a more rounded picture of life for Cherwell residents living in specific locations. The information will be continually updated, giving the most recent analysis possible.

The technology has been developed in partnership with organisations including Active Oxfordshire, Sport England and Public Health England. Chief Executive of Active Oxfordshire, Paul Brivio, said: “Cherwell District Council’s Story Map will be absolutely invaluable in helping us to understand local communities better and target our work, so that everyone across the district has access to an active, healthy life. We know that every community we work with has unique strengths, assets, needs and challenges – and this Map brings together a huge amount of insight and information that will help us reach those most in need.”

The software enables the user to zoom into a specific area, showing a range of relevant data which can be used by the council and its partners to understand more about different neighbourhoods and discover where more help is needed. It will also be used as a tool to support future funding bids from external organisations.

Paul Brivio continued: “We’re looking forward to using the Story Map to inform our work going forwards, in partnership with Cherwell District Council and many other organisations. This is a real step forward in creating a pathway to a more active county, for everyone.”

To view Cherwell's Story Map, head to www.cherwell.gov.uk/story-map