Cookies are small text files that websites save to your computer to remember which pages your device has visited and sometimes what actions you took while on the page.
Why are cookies used?
In some cases the site would not work without cookies, for example where you have to log on to an account or complete a multi-page form. In other cases cookies can be used to personalise your experience, for example not showing the same advert over and over again. In still other cases, they are used to help the people looking after the website to understand how it is being used so they can constantly improve it.
Other methods are available besides cookies for websites to store information on your browser. Currently (December 2019) the Council does not use any of these other methods. In this page the word "cookie" should be taken to include all such methods.
For more information, visit the Information Commissioner's Office webpage on cookies.
What are the regulations about cookies?
Since May 2018, all websites operating within the EU have been required to obtain your consent to save cookies on your device. This website, in common with most others, uses "implied consent", which the regulations allow. This means we show you a clearly worded and visible notice requesting your consent but pointing out that we will assume we have your consent if you ignore it. We stop showing you this notice after you consent or after you have seen it and ignored it three times. If you do not consent, scroll to the bottom of this page for more information on managing your cookies.
Why are people concerned about cookies?
When you visit a website, cookies can be set by the owner of the site but also by other content providers whose information is included. Some of those providers may track your activities from site to site in order to build up a picture of your interests and, for example, customise advertisements you are shown. Some people regard this as a benefit; others regard it as an intrusion on privacy.
Some cookies are essential to the working of the site, for example linking your log-in with the information you have entered on forms. Most of these are deleted as soon as you close your browser. Others last for longer so you can carry on filling in information when you return.
We also use Google Analytics cookies to gather statistical data about which pages are most visited and how people use the site. This helps us make the site more effective but you should know that information gathered this way is processed by Google and we have no control over how else it might be used.
Service provider cookies
The service providers we currently (December 2019) use are:
- Capita (Opens in a new window) for secure payments
- PCN (Opens in a new window) for parking charges
- Permits (Opens in a new window) for parking permits
- Modern.gov (Opens in a new window) for information and documents relating to the council's decision making processes
- Planning Apps (Opens in a new window) for planning matters
- View-Applications (Opens in a new window) for planning matters
- iDox (Opens in a new window) for planning applications
- Victoria Forms (Opens in a new window) for housing applications
- HousingSSP (Opens in a new window) for housing services
- iTouchVision (Opens in a new window) for my council services
- Northgate Public Services (Opens in a new window) for revenues and benefits
Please note we do not allow advertisers on our site to set cookies. For further information please visit our service provider websites
How to manage your cookies
There are various ways in which you can control which cookies are sent to your device. The settings in your web browser will usually allow you to:
- Disallow all cookies. Note that this is likely to cause many sites, including this one, to malfunction.
- Disallow "persistent" cookies i.e. cookies that remain on your device after you have closed your web browser. This will prevent many content providers that consolidate information about visits to different sites from doing so but at the potential cost of inconvenience, for example not being able to take more than one visit to complete forms on some sites.
- Prevent third parties' cookies. This will prevent advertisers on many sites from tracking you. It is not relevant to this website. Note this will not prevent the providers listed in the section above from setting cookies when you are transferred to their websites.
How cookies are used on our website
We use Google Analytics software to collect information about how you use our website. We do this to help make sure the site is meeting the needs of its users and to help us make improvements, for example improving site search.
Google Analytics stores information about:
- the pages you visit on our website.
- how long you spend on each website page
- how you got to the site
- what you click on while you're visiting the site
We do not collect or store your personal information (for example your name or address) so this information can't be used to identify who you are.
You can opt out of Google Analytics cookies.
Messages across the website
We might display a message on all pages to tell you about an important event or situation. We'll save a cookie that will let us know how many times you've seen it, or if you've dismissed it.