Website accessibility statement
Accessibility statement for this website
This accessibility statement applies to the local authority website for Allerdale Borough Council. The URL is www.allerdale.gov.uk and its sub-domains for third party systems.
This website is run by Allerdale Borough Council. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. For example, that means you should be able to:
- change colours, contrast levels and fonts
- zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen
- navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
- navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
- listen to most of the website using a screen reader
We’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand.
AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.
We also provide access to the ReciteMe add-on which provides tools which can help a user navigate the website and make it more accessible.
How accessible this website is
We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible:
- some older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
- there are some fixes required to improve the website
- some video streams do not have captions
- some of our online forms may be difficult to navigate
- some of the third-party systems used to provide information on our website are old and therefore there may be issues. We are upgrading our systems and will incorporate improvements where available.
Feedback and contact information
If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille:
- call 0303 123 1702 and speak to one of our customer service advisors to refer your comment to the web team.
- Use our general enquiry form
We’ll consider your request and get back to you in seven working days where possible.
Reporting accessibility problems with this website
We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact: Web Team, Allerdale Borough Council by email or by telephone .
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).
Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person
Please note that due to coronavirus, our offices are currently closed to the public except for our office in Wigton which is open by appointment only. Can us on 0303 123 1702 to discuss any issues or book an appointment with a customer service advisor.
We can provide help for people who are D/deaf, hearing impaired or have a speech impediment.
Our offices have audio induction loops, or if you contact us before your visit we can arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.
Find out how to contact us on our website .
Technical information about this website’s accessibility
Allerdale Borough Council is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.
We are constantly making changes to this website to make it compliant with the WCAG 2.1 AA standard.
Our most recent Silktide report has shown a small number of issues which we are fixing as soon as possible.
Therefore, this website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the following non-compliances:
- Ensuring pages do not scroll in two dimensions on a small screen
- Text contrast
- Ensuring fields are identified programmatically
The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.
Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations
- Ensuring pages don’t scroll across two dimensions. WCAG 2.1AA 1.4.10. This will be sorted before the end of June 2022
- Identify the purpose of fields programmatically. WCAG AA 1.3.5. We shall look to fix this, where possible, before the end of June 2022.
- During an audit a PDF document on our planning policy pages, was found to not be compliant due to issues with the page titles WCAG 2.4.2 and language of the page WCAG 3.1.1. We will look at resolving this issue if possible before the end of June 2022
There are a number of documents on our website which are currently not accessible and in compliance with the regulations.
These may be:
- Documents we have produced previously
- Documents supplied by third parties such as on our planning search system
- Documents designed to be printed – such as flyers for events
In May 2020 there were 2,149 PDF documents within the website’s file store. This does not include documents held in our planning system, democratic services and other systems.
A follow-up scan of the website in December 2021, showed that there were 1673 PDF files on the site. This reflects some of the work already carried out to convert and remove many of the PDF files on the site. This work will continue and a new approach has been introduced, going forward.
Benefits of making these documents accessible
- Making these documents accessible would benefit our users as:
- They would be fully accessible to all users
- If converted to HTML they would be more easily searchable
- Each document would take a considerable number of hours to convert. The Constitution took five day’s work to convert to HTML for instance.
- On a business support grade at £9.81 an hour, conversion of every document (anything between 2 and 30 hours) would cost between £19.62 and £294.30). Converting the 2,149 PDF documents assessed in May 2020 could cost between £42,163.38 and £632,450.70. This compares with the annual operating budgeted costs for the website of around £10,000.
- Many of these documents were created by third parties and publishing an updated version would mean altering content that isn’t ours
- Many of the documents contain complex elements which can be difficult to convert retrospectively.
- Many of these documents have low levels of interest
- We are a small council with no person wholly dedicated to the website.
- People can ask for assistance if required.
- The council is due to be reorganised resulting in a wholly new council and website from 1 April 2023.
- We plan to improve the situation through the measures outlined in ‘Approach going forward’ outlined
Approach going forward
To ensure that as much of the information contained in PDF documents is accessible to as many people as possible, we will undertake the following approach:
- We will continually assess the most important and most accessed documents for conversion to accessible PDFs or html
- We shall have a default position to convert into html where possible and where this will provide maximum benefit to a large number of people and the access to our services – such as our Constitution
- We shall delete out of date documents that contain information that is no longer required or relevant
- We will provide a service to those who require help accessing documents
- We will provide revised templates to colleagues to use when producing documents
- We will only upload documents that are accessible, and/or convert into html or provide accompanying text
Third party interactive systems, tools and transactions
The council uses a number of third party systems on its website. These allow residents to access council services.
Many of these are compliant with the regulations. There may, however, be instances where some features and elements of the systems are not compliant.
Benefits of being compliant
- They would be fully accessible to all users
- The council has some older and legacy systems. These are being replaced with modern systems and accessibility is a consideration in the procurement process.
- System development is with the software provider. However, the council will look to improve the way these systems operate on its website where possible – there are plans for instance in late 2021/early 2022 to remove iFrames on the website, which we anticipate will solve an issue with our current online forms which has been identified by a recent audit.
- The council is due to be reorganised resulting in a wholly new council and the opportunity to replace systems going forward from 1 April 2023.
- Help and assistance is provided for anyone affected by any issues with our systems.
Interactive tools and transactions
We are constantly updating our systems with some new systems coming online within the next few months. Many of these systems have public portals which allow users to access our services, and are skinned to look like our site. The online forms will be fully accessible.
Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations
PDFs and other documents
Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with information on how users can access our services, and forms published as Word documents. By September 2020, we plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages.
The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services. Where possible, we have improved the accessibility of these documents, or deleted any old PDF documents which are no longer relevant to our services.
Some old documents, or those provided by other organisations, are not accessible. Please contact us and we shall endeavour to make them accessible to meet your requirements if possible.
Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.
We will look to add captions to live video streams where possible although live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.
What we’re doing to improve accessibility
We shall continue to improve the accessibility of this website.
We have been using the accessibility tool Silktide as part of our membership to the professional body Socitm to audit and improve our website. A substantial amount of work has already been carried out to improve the usability of our website. This will continue with monthly audits of the site. We have also been using Google’s Lighthouse facility to assess the accessibility of pages.
The website also includes the ReciteMe application to provide tools to help with any accessibility issues.
Our report templates have been updated to ensure they are fully accessible when in PDF format.
Preparation of this accessibility statement
This statement was prepared on 21 September 2020 It was last reviewed on 21 March 2022.
This website is tested on 20th/21st day of every month. The test is carried out automatically by Silktide through Socitm.
Silktide take a sample of 125 pages from the website. However, we have also manually been through the site on a page by page basis.
Browser extensions and online help
The BBC's My Web My Way website provides lots of information on how to enhance the experience for computer users with disabilities.
There is also more information on how to use the accessibility features in the Microsoft software .
How do I read documents which can be downloaded on the Allerdale Borough Council website?
There are a number of documents which are available to download on this website. Most will open automatically with readers already installed on your computer or mobile device.
However, if there is a document which is in a format which you haven't got, you can find the links to download the free readers below: