Oxfordshire is home to significant inequalities. It is only one of three regions that contributes a surplus to the UK economy, but despite its global position and perceived affluence, its wealth and opportunities are not evenly distributed.
According to the 2019 English Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) Oxfordshire contains 17 (out of 407) LSOAs (Lower-layer Super Output Areas) within the 2 most deprived IMD deciles – deciles 1 and 2. They are mostly contained within 10 wards – 1 in Abingdon, 3 in Banbury and 6 in Oxford. The IMD focuses on seven domains of deprivation: income, employment, education, skills and training, health and disability, crime, barriers to housing and services and living environment. The city of Oxford is the second most unequal place in the UK (source: Cities Outlook 2022 | Centre for Cities) in terms of income, housing, affordability and life expectancy.
We need to develop an inclusive economy for all places: urban and rural.
Place-based working is a person-centred, bottom-up approach used to meet the unique needs of people in one given location by working together to use the best available resources and collaborate to gain local knowledge and insight. By working collaboratively with the people who live and work locally, it aims to understand needs and priorities and to deliver solutions from a local perspective, taking an asset-based approach that seeks to highlight the strengths, capacity and knowledge of all those involved.
What we're doing
Our place-based working group serves an enabling function for the Partnership, ensuring we are targeting our efforts to make the best use of resources.
Our place-based working group has carried out an exercise looking at the correlation between deprivation, educational attainment and economic inclusion /employment for people aged 16-24 and 45 years plus cohorts across Oxfordshire.
The exercise highlighted the following areas as of highest need:
Cherwell: Banbury: Grimsbury/Bretch Hill/Neithrop
Oxford City: Blackbird Leys/Rose Hill/Barton
South & Vale: Didcot
West Oxfordshire: Witney
We have then drilled down into the data by ward level as well as looking at the protected characteristics for each of the 8 identified areas. This approach will allow us to target our work. This place-based approach will help build an inclusive economy in Oxfordshire by focussing on the specific needs of a particular area, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.