Cherwell District

Cherwell (/ˈɜːrwɛl/ CHER-wel)[1][2] is a local government district in northern Oxfordshire, England. The district takes its name from the River Cherwell, which drains south through the region to flow into the River Thames at Oxford.

Cherwell District
Banbury, is the largest settlement in the district
Banbury, is the largest settlement in the district
Coat of arms of Cherwell
Cherwell shown within Oxfordshire
Cherwell shown within Oxfordshire
Coordinates: 51°57′N 1°15′W / 51.95°N 1.25°W / 51.95; -1.25Coordinates: 51°57′N 1°15′W / 51.95°N 1.25°W / 51.95; -1.25
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionSouth East England
Non-metropolitan countyOxfordshire
StatusNon-metropolitan district
Admin HQBodicote
Incorporated1 April 1974
 • TypeNon-metropolitan district council
 • BodyCherwell District Council
 • LeadershipLeader & Cabinet (Conservative)
 • MPs
 • Total227.3 sq mi (588.8 km2)
 • Rank73rd (of 309)
 • Total161,016
 • Rank125th (of 309)
 • Density710/sq mi (270/km2)
 • Ethnicity
94.5% White
2.3% S.Asian
1.0% Black
1.4% Mixed Race
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code38UB (ONS)
E07000177 (GSS)
OS grid referenceSP5153928258
Bicester, the second-largest settlement in the district
Kidlington, the third-largest settlement in the district and one of the largest villages in England

Towns in Cherwell include Banbury and Bicester. Kidlington is a contender for largest village in England.

The district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, by a merger of the municipal borough of Banbury, Bicester urban district, Banbury Rural District and Ploughley Rural District.


The Northern half of the Cherwell district consists mainly of soft rolling hills going down towards the River Cherwell, but the southern half of the district around Bicester is much flatter. Much of the district is soft rolling hills with the northwest of the district lying at the northern extremity of the Cotswolds.


Much of the district is within easy reach of the M40, with junctions 9, 10 and 11 in the district. It also has good rail links with London, Birmingham, Oxford and the South.


Elections to the council are held in three out of every four years, with one third of the 48 seats on the council being elected at each election. Since the 2000 election the Conservative party has had a majority on the council. This followed 2 years of no overall control, in turn preceded by 2 years of control by Labour.

Following the 2022 election, the make-up of the council is as follows:

Party Councillors
Conservative Party 25
Labour Party 10
Liberal Democrats 7
Independent 4
Green Party 2

Settlements in Cherwell districtEdit

Recycling in CherwellEdit

Cherwell district has one of the country's highest recycling rates at over 40% (2005). The district used to have a recycling rate of just 9%. This changed with the introduction of the blue box scheme for recycling paper, which has since grown to include plastic, cardboard and cans. Kidlington has its own freecycling group.

Food safety enforcementEdit

Cherwell District came top of a Which? study that ranked 395 local authorities in Britain on their record of enforcement of food safety regulations.[3]

Leisure ProvisionEdit

Cherwell District provides a range of leisure and sporting facilities to local residents, catering to a range of sports through their leisure centres and open spaces.[4]


Coat of arms of Cherwell District
Granted 21 March 2016
On a Wreath Or and Vert in front of a Rainbow proper an Oak Tree eradicated Sable leaved Vert and fructed Or, Mantled Vert and Azure lined Or and Argent.
Vert a Pale wavy Or thereon a Pale wavy Azure all between two Pallets Argent on each a Pallet Azure.
From Cherwell Flows Prosperity [5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "How do you pronounce Cherwell?".
  2. ^ Ann Spokes Symonds; Nigel Morgan (2010). The Origins of Oxford Street Names. p. 36. ISBN 978-1-899536-99-3.
  3. ^ "How does your council score on enforcing food safety?".
  4. ^ "Sport and Leisure Provision in Cherwell District". Archived from the original on 21 September 2021.
  5. ^ "Civic Heraldry of England". Robert Young. Retrieved 12 March 2019.