Mapping a way to improve activity and health

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Residents are being asked to support a pioneering new consultation project being launched by Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council and its project partner Sport Across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent (SASSOT) to help improve the health and wellbeing of residents in a North Staffordshire town.

A unique online mapping system specifically developed for this purpose will be used by Kidsgrove residents as part of a public consultation which will go beyond the ‘surface value’ of sports and leisure provision in Kidsgrove in order to gather data from a wide audience.

As well as providing the data and helping to better understand what sport and physical activities local people would like to access, the initiative will also help to shape future investment into key services, such as leisure facilities, parks and open spaces or other physical activities for the community.

Using mapping consultation software developed by “Our Say” residents will have the ability to provide feedback on existing facilities and activities in Kidsgrove as well as adding ‘pins’ to a map of the area to identify any unlisted ones that they use. Residents will also have the ability to rate their experiences and like listings added by other people through links within the software to social media channels.

Cllr. Mark Holland, the Cabinet member for leisure, culture and heritage at the Council said: “This is an incredibly exciting project which will have real benefits for people living in Kidsgrove. We are working closely with Sport Across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent on this project. This is a network of local agencies committed to working together to increase the number of people taking part in physical activity and sport. Our consultation on this pioneering project in Kidsgrove gets under way on 16 September and will run for up to 12 weeks. We are looking for as many people as possible to get involved, let us have their thoughts and opinions and their input can help make a difference to how services are provided in their community.”

The aims of the project are:- To consult with residents in Kidsgrove to understand how they are (or aren’t) using the local area to be physically active, gain a deeper understanding of the physical activity opportunities that currently exist in Kidsgrove, gain a deeper understanding of residents’ experiences of using local facilities for physical activities, better understand what sport and physical activity opportunities residents in Kidsgrove would like to access in future, use the data and insight to shape future sport and physical activity priorities, allocation of any available funds and policy development.

Cllr. Holland said: “The Council is working closely with the community interest group – which is made up of local residents – to get Kidsgrove leisure centre back open to provide much needed provision of sport and leisure facilities in the town. We will be sharing the result with the group to help them shape their plans.This consultation exercise is an important part of building a really detailed picture of what local people already use and enjoy as well as what they may look to get involved with in future years.”

The consultation goes live on Monday, 16 September. Residents who are interested in taking part can get involved by following this link: http://oursay.org/kidsgrove 

Alternatively access the consultation at www.newcastle-staffs.gov.uk by going to the ‘Have Your Say; section on the home page.