A cookie is a small file that is downloaded onto your device when you visit a website, which means the website can recognise your device if you return to it.

Cookies are used to:

  • recognise where you have already given your username and password, so you don’t need to do it for every visit
  • recognise your device so you don’t have to give the same information several times during the same online task
  • measure how you use the site so it can be updated and improved based on your needs
  • provide data to help understand how a website and it’s services are used

 Cookies cannot be used to identify you as an individual

How cookies are used on this site

Measuring how our site is used – Google Analytics

We use Google Analytics software to collect information about how you use this site. We do this to make sure the site is meeting the needs of our users and to help us improve it.

Every time you visit our site, Google Analytics software creates ‘anonymous analytics’ cookies. These cookies are used to tell us:

  • how many people are using our site and how long they are using it for
  • the different ways people have used to get to our site
Google analytics cookies from this website
Name Purpose Expires
_utma Used to determine the number of unique visitors to the site 2 years
_utmb This works with _utmc to calculate the average length of time you spend on our site 30 minutes
_utmc This works with _utmb to calculate when you close your browser When you close your browser
_utmv This provides information about how you reached our site (eg from another website or a search engine) 2 years
_utmz Used to store variable data by visitor 6 months

Google Analytics – Advertising Features

This site also uses Google Analytics Advertising Features.  These features will not be used for advertising but instead provide the council with more information about who visits our site and what they look at, in order to provide us with information and make improvements to the website.  The information collected by these cookies cannot identify individuals.

Within Advertising Features we have implemented Demographics and Interests reports. These allow us to see a breakdown of age groups, gender and interest categories. More information about how Google determines demographic information is available here . More information on how Google determines  interest reports is available here. 

We retain this Google Analytics data for a period of 50 months.

Opt out of sharing cookies

To opt out of sharing cookies you can use the Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on .

You can also disable cookies in your browser settings:

Google Chrome 


Internet Explorer 


Further reading

All about Cookies 

Information Commissioner’s Office