Privacy Policy

The Data Protection Act

Under the Data Protection Act, we have a legal duty to protect any information we collect from you. We use leading technologies and encryption software to safeguard your data, and keep strict standards to prevent any unauthorised access to it. We recognise however that this medium can never be fully secure and you should be aware of this when you use the site. We may pass on your details to any third party or government department provided that we act in a fair and lawful manner.

What kind of information do we collect?

We collect three kinds of information from visitors to our website: details collected through forms filled in when you apply for services; surveys and polls about the website and our services; and site usage information, from session cookies and log files.

Requests for services

You can apply on-line for some services by completing our online forms, such as reporting a repair or applying for a job.

Voting Polls

We sometimes have voting polls to find out what people think of our website or other services. We use this statistical information to improve our services. To take part in these polls you only need to tick a voting box. Your personal details are not needed for this.

Site usage information

1. Session cookies

Cookies are pieces of data created when you visit a website. The cookies our site uses are “session cookies”, which means that your ‘preferences’, such as your choice of text size, are stored temporarily while you move around the site. You can set your computer not to accept cookies. However if you do this, you will not be able to use our website because we need to record your preferences in order to give you the information you need during your visit.

Session cookies are automatically deleted when you leave the site. They do not contain any personal information about you and do not hold any information about which sites you visited before our website.

2. Log files

Log files allow us to record visitors use of the site. We keep log file information collected from all our visitors, which we use to make changes to the layout of the site and to the information in it, based on the way that visitors move around it.

Log files do not contain any personal information or information about which other sites you have visited.

What happens when I link to another site?

Our websites have links to other websites, both those of government departments and  other organisations. This privacy policy applies only to our site, so you should always be aware when you are moving to another site and read the privacy statement of any site which collects personal information.

Changes to this privacy policy

If this privacy policy changes in any way, we will place an updated version on this page. Regularly reviewing this page ensures you are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it and under what circumstances we will share it with other parties.

If you wish to see our records of any correspondence you have sent us through our websites, or if you have a query or complaint about this privacy policy or about the site, you can contact us by email.

How we use your information

This privacy notice tells you what to expect when this website collects personal information. It applies to information we collect about visitors and those who log in to our websites.

When someone visits our websites we collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. We collect this information in a way which does not identify anyone. We do not make any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting this website.

Where we do collect personally identifiable information through our website, for example our ‘My login’ area, we are up front about this. We will always make it clear when we collect personal information and will explain what we intend to do with it.

Fraud detection

Any personal data disclosed on ‘My login’ area, or in any other way provided to us on-line or not, may be disclosed for the purpose of preventing and detecting fraud. We reserve the right to share any submitted data with the Audit Commission and other third parties for
this purpose.

The data collected will be used for the purpose of data matching. This involves comparing the data we hold on you with that held by third parties solely for the purpose of detecting and preventing fraud. Your data will not be matched or shared for any other purpose. We might also use your data to further
investigate fraud that we think might have been committed. This involves checking with various third parties, such as the Land Registry, banks, schools and utility companies.

The use of data by the Audit Commission in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under its powers in Part 2A of the Audit Commission Act 1998. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Use of cookies

Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site.

The table below explains the cookies we use and why. Each cookie is listed by name, along with the following information:

Cookie Name
Cookie name note, if required
What is it for?
A brief description of what the cookie is used for.
How long does it last?
A cookie can either be deleted after a predetermined timespan, or assoon as the user’s session ends. A session is deemed as ending when theuser closes his or her browser.
What’s the implication for site behaviour?
How would the site visitor’s experience change in the absence of this cookie?

Where X is the ID of a page that has page-level authentication opt-in enabled. Where X is either “S” or “M” and where Y is the name of a field on a form Where X is the name of a metadata search page, and Y is the unique ID ofthe current user.

Where XX is the unique id of a web form survey page on your website.

Cookie name What is it for? How long does it last? What’s the implication for site behaviour?
_utma
_utmb
_utmc
_utmz
These cookies are used to collect information about how
visitors use our site, using a service called Google Analytics. We
use the information to compile reports and to help us improve the
site. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form,
including the number of visitors to the site, where vistors have
come to the site from and the pages they visited.
Session, 30 minutes, 6 months or 2 years, depending on the
cookie name
Without this, we will not be able to track the number of
visitors to different parts of the website.
0-AuthenticationToken A random selection of letters and numbers agreed by prior calls
between a third-party authentication system and this
website to allow single-sign-on between different systems when
configured.
Session. Without this, the current user cannot be identified on the
website, so signing in, purchasing items, My Profile, polls, and
all other personalised sections of the site will stop working. This
cookie is essential when a user signs in.
0-AuthSession-X Contains the value “1” if a user has opted-in to access a page
with page-level session opt-in enabled.
Session. Without this cookie, page-level opt-in will not function.
0-Cubik.Forms.DefaultValue.X.Y Contains a value that will be shown as the default value in a
question on a form. Allows third-party code to set form
defaults.
Session. If this cookie is not used, then default values cannot be set
by any third-party system that is setting default values on forms
in your site.
0-MetaDataSearch_X_Y Contains the term that the user used to perform a metadata
document search.
Session. Without this cookie, document metadata searches will not work
properly on the site.
0-ReadSearchDefinition The word “True” to record that the user needs to see the User
Search form when on User Administration parts of the site. The word
“False” is used to tell the system to hide the search form.
Session. The user experience when searching for users is much
degraded.
0-SessionID Used to track the user’s settings for their current browsing
session. Typical content: randomly generated letters and text.
Nothing in this cookie can be used to access a user’s private
information.
Session. Many site functions require this value.
0-sessionStartTime Holds the date and time that the current session started and is
used by the pop-up survey function to display a survey a set number
of minutes following the user arriving at the site.
Session. If not used, then the pop-up survey feature will not
function.
0-ShoppingBasketID A 32-digit randomly-generated number that identifies the
shopping basket of the current customer.
Session. Without this cookie, the user’s shopping basket will not be
able to hold the contents of the user’s basket.
0-SortDirection Contains whether the search column is being sorted in
“ASC”ending or “DESC”ending order.
Session. No. Although without it, the sort order of search columns will
not be remembered and this function will not work.
0-SortExpression Contains the name of the column on the User Search Results part
of User Administration that is being used to sort the search
results.
Session. Without this cookie, the User Search Results table will not be
sortable.
0-ssi A unique identifier to determine the current user of the
website, randomly generated when the user signs in.
Session. Without this cookie, then certain user functions will not
work.
0-UserCanModifySite The word “True” if the current user is allowed to modify the
site.
Session. Certain functionality is turned on or off based on this
value.
0-UsernameAlias Contains an alias name used by a user on the discussion
forums.
Session. If you use the alias function of the discussion forums, then it
is needed.
1-SessionID Used to track whether the user is signed in. Typical content:
randomly generated letters and text.
Session. Without this cookie, then certain user functions will not
work.
CMSAUTHTOKEN When you access the site, this cookie is set and is fundamental
to site use.
Session. Without this cookie, the site will not work.
CurrentLayout A single-digit number that represents the current ‘viewing
option’ being used by the website visitor.
Session. If you want your users to be able to use the Viewing Options
accessibility features of your site, then it is needed.
ebdsFormAuthentication Encrypted value that identifies the current authenticated user
within the system.
Session. Without this cookie, then certain user functions will not
work.
FormSubmission-{XXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXX} Where XX
is the uniqie id of a web form page on your website.
Name only (holds no value) if a form has been set up to only
allow a single submission, this cookie remembers that the user has
submitted the form.
5 years. If you want to use the ‘single submission only’ feature of the
Web Form template, then it is needed.
ForumDisplayMode The word “Threaded” or “Flat” to determine the format that the
user has selected to view discussion forums in.
1 year. Without this cookie, the display choice of the user will not be
remembered.
username_XXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXXWhere XX is the
unique identification number of a website.
Used to remember a user’s username if the user selects the
‘Remember my Username’ box on the sign in screen of a site.
1 year. Without this cookie, the ‘remember my username’ feature will
not work.
WebPoll-XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Where XX is the unique
ID of a poll on your website.
Name only (holds no value) if the user has voted on a
poll.
On the date entered by the author as the end date of the
poll.
Without this cookie, non-signed-in users will be able to vote
multiple times on a poll.
X-UserSearchDefinitionWhere X is a single digit number from 0
to 9.
Contains information entered by the user on the User
Administration user search page. This allows the user to navigate
elsewhere on the site and to return to the correct user search
results.
Session. Without this cookie, the search results will not be shown when
the user returns to the search form.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Visited The word “true” to record that the user has completed a pop-up
survey and to ensure that the survey does not get redisplayed to
the user.
100 years. Without this cookie, the popup survey will not be able to
remember that it has been shown, and will continue to be shown to
the user.