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Cookie usage policy

How we use cookies

A cookie is a small text file used by web service to write information to your computer or smartphone for use later on. For example, the web service might write a unique user ID or session ID so that it recognises you again when you load the next page of the website.

There are many different ways in which cookies are used, and you have the right enshrined in UK and European Law to control how websites use cookies on your device.

Depending on the purpose of the cookie, you have some rights to access a service without the cookie being set. This right does not extend to cookies that are essential for the service to work, such as cookies that are set to control sessions or load balancing. They do apply though, to cookies that are used only for measuring service usage, personalisation or advertising.

You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website.


Cookies can be categorised as follows:

Strictly necessary cookies

Some cookies we place on your device to ensure that the service delivers you information and services securely and optimally. The service is not able to function at all without these cookies, therefore you must accept them to be able to make use of our online systems.

Session ID

Wikipedia page about Session IDs

Microsoft Application Insights

Microsoft's privacy policy


Preference cookies

Preference cookies enable our website to remember what preferences you have set. For example, we use a cookie to record what categories of cookies you have accepted. As this is necessary to remember your cookie preferences, you must accept preferences cookies.


Performance cookies

We use a number of tools that monitor visitor behaviour on our website to help us improve our information and services. They are not used to target or personalise advertising.

These cookies are important as they help us understand what content is most important to our users, where people may have problems using our services, and what content is not as important to them. This helps us to continue to improve our service to you and our users as an overall group.

These cookies use an anonymous ID, not personal information, and the data we collect are aggregated and used as a whole group for statistical analysis, not as individual users.

Google Analytics

Google's privacy policy


Marketing Cookies

Although at the current time we do not, we may from time to time use targeted advertising or personalised content to help make you aware of our services or issues that may affect you. Marketing cookies help us do this.

These cookies use anonymous ID, not personal information, and the data we collect are aggregated and used as a whole group, not as individual users.

The third party services who collect this data for us may link it to your data or internet usage on other websites such as Facebook, but we do not have access to your personal data. The third party services use this technique to help us try to avoid advertising to people with no interest in our services.


How do I change my browser’s cookie settings?

Most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through the browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit or

Be wary though that blocking all cookies may prevent some web services from being able to set the cookies essential your delivering services such as ecommerce or log-in.

You can also edit your preference for this website using the preference setting below. We store your preference for this in a preference cookie as described above.