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West Somerset Council

Privacy Statement

Privacy – 'cookies' legislation

A 'cookie' is a small file of letters and numbers that allow a website to recognise a visitor's pc, mobile or other device.

When a visitor accesses website features that use cookies, cookies are downloaded on to their device. The information accessed by the cookie is used to improve the user experience on the website by, for example:

  • enabling services to recognise a device so that the user does not have to give the same information several times during one task
  • recognising that the user may already have given a user name and password so that this is not necessary for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there is enough capacity to ensure appropriate speed of response

Some cookies are essential to a site's smooth operation, but, if you are worried about the privacy implications of cookies, you may choose to delete and block them.

New legal requirements covering the use of cookies on websites came into force in the UK in May 2011 following implementation in the UK of EU legislation on e-privacy.

As the owner of this website, we must now give all users opportunity to give your explicit consent to having cookies downloaded onto your computers or mobile devices.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), which has been charged with regulating the new rules for websites, has given all organisations one year to prepare for this, recognising that the issues are complex and the appropriate implementation within the law will differ from site to site.

The first step towards compliance is to identify whether a website has cookies, how many, and whether they are essential or desirable for the website's operation.

West Somerset Council is working with their web developers in deciding on an appropriate response. This may include implementing one or more of a range of options for obtaining informed consent from website users.

This statement only covers the West Somerset Council website maintained by us, and does not cover other web sites linked from our site.