Banbury residents among ‘least satisfied’ in Cherwell, survey finds

Cherwell District Council's offices at Bodicote House
Cherwell District Council's offices at Bodicote House

Around 80 per cent of people in Cherwell district are satisfied with the area they live in – but most parts of Banbury are among the least happy, a survey shows.

Cherwell District Council’s annual survey found a clear correlation between satisfaction and deprivation, with Banbury’s Ruscote ward the ‘least satisfied’ in the district at 48.1 per cent.

Banbury Cross and Neithrop was second with 67.4 per cent and Banbury Hardwick was third with 69.5 per cent – while Deddington was among the ‘most satisfied’ at 88.5 per cent.

But a resident said in a response to the survey: “We love living in Banbury and are looking forward to the developments to the town centre.”

In terms of council services, 55 per cent were satisfied but only 33 per cent agreed that the council provides value for money.

At the council executive’s meeting yesterday (Monday, October 1), lead member for performance Cllr Richard Mould said: “This council has a strong track record of customer and community consultation and the annual satisfaction survey is a key part of this and we use it to understand our residents’ priorities, the issues and concerns in order to shape and improve the service.”

Developing town centres was identified as the most area in most need of improving by the respondents as people were concerned town centres are struggling.

Cllr Mould said this is a national problem but the council has taken a ‘positive and proactive approach’ to the issue, including ensuring the completion of Castle Quay Shopping Centre’s expansion.

Other areas of concern were affordable housing and an increase in crime – both of which Cllr Mould said they are addressing.

“It is important that when we get these surveys that we use the information particularly in those priority areas people have identified as part of our business planning process for the next year and beyond,” he added.

Council leader Barry Wood said the survey should be taken seriously as the response rate of 31 per cent was high enough to warrant its respect.

“I think we consistently seek to react to and to positively find ways to follow the leads that the residents survey gives us,” he added.

The highest satisfaction score for services was for green waste collections – Cherwell District Council remains the only council in Oxfordshire not to charge for the collections.

But the lowest scorer was for the council’s approach to dealing with anti-social behaviour and nuisance at 32 per cent, with dissatisfaction at 33 per cent.