How can we make Banbury a better place for older people?

Cherwell District Council wants to know how Banbury could be made better for older people NNL-160305-155734009
Cherwell District Council wants to know how Banbury could be made better for older people NNL-160305-155734009

Older people are being asked for their views and suggestions on how to make Banbury a better place to grow older in as part of a council project.

Cherwell District Council is working with a wide range of partners to carry out an online consultation – aimed at anyone aged 50 or over – to find out what changes they would like to see to make Banbury friendlier, safer and healthier.

Oxfordshire Community Foundation and Age UK (Oxon) secured £5,000 from the Big Lottery Fund to consult on people’s priorities for an ‘Age Friendly Banbury’ initiative.

The consultation is one of only 20 projects in the country to receive this funding and there will be a further selection process to pick ten projects to receive Big Lottery Funding of around £250,000.

Cherwell’s lead member for health and wellbeing Cllr Andrew McHugh said: “People’s needs necessarily change as they grow older.

“We want to make Banbury as pleasant as we can for older residents, and that means finding out what they most want from their town.

“This initial consultation is about gathering as many people’s views as we can.

“We will present them as part of a bid for future funding that would enable us to launch an Age Friendly Banbury programme.”

The work is drawing inspiration from Age Friendly Cities, a World Health Organisation programme which was launched in 2011.

Suggestions could include how to make it easier to get to and from Banbury, more activities and groups for older generations or increased disabled access across the town.

Along with the online survey there will be a host of group working sessions to capture residents’ thoughts and suggestions – these will be advertised on the council’s website and social media pages.

Cllr McHugh added: “The survey, and other consultation events that we will be running over summer, cover a wide range of topics, from outdoor spaces to transport and social isolation.

“That breadth is reflected in the wide range of organisations we are working with to make the consultation a success.

“I hope as many people as possible will get in touch and let us know what they think Banbury needs to better reflect their needs as they age.”

The partnership behind the consultation includes the Royal Voluntary Service, the North Oxfordshire Patient and Public Involvement Forum, Sanctuary Housing, Banbury Chamber of Commerce and other voluntary, faith and community groups.

To complete the survey, visit www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Age_Friendly_Banbury_Consultation