An independent review of Cherwell District Council as a standalone authority for the first time in a decade, has heralded it as a leader of place, with big ambitions and a track record of delivering.

In November 2022, Cherwell District Council invited the Local Government Association (LGA) to carry out a peer review challenge, involving a team of leaders, chief executives and directors from leading local authorities across the country who came together to undertake a root and branch review of the authority.

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In the LGA report, which followed weeks of background reading and four days of meetings with more than 145 stakeholders including representatives from the business sector, community and voluntary sector, Cherwell District Council staff, councillors and town and parish councils, the team highlighted Cherwell’s many strengths including its ability to attract growth and inward investment to supporting its communities' housing needs.

Councillor Barry Wood, Leader of the Council, said: “Inviting the LGA to be a critical friend so early on our journey as a solo authority was in our view essential to ensuring that through our emerging plans, we were charting a successful course for the future.

"We were therefore delighted that the review confirmed what we already knew about ourselves – that working with partners to deliver the best outcomes for our communities is in our DNA, we have ambitious plans but also a track record in delivering, and we have committed councillors and first-class officers that make this all possible.

"It also gave us the confidence that we are on course for creating a bright and prosperous future for Cherwell as the LGA’s recommendations were all projects and programmes of work that we already have underway or captured in a future delivery plan.”

The LGA Peer Challenge Report and a proposed action plan for the council will be considered at a meeting of full council Monday, February 27.

The LGA is the national membership body for local authorities and it works on behalf of its member councils to support, promote and improve local government.

It is a politically-led, cross-party organisation that works to ensure local government has a strong, credible voice with national government.

It aims to influence and set the political agenda on the issues that matter to councils, so they are able to deliver local solutions to national problems.

Its core membership comprises 331 of the 333 councils in England and includes district, county, metropolitan and unitary authorities along with London boroughs and the City of London Corporation.

The 22 Welsh unitary councils are in membership via the Welsh Local Government Association.


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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

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