- Test cookies allow us to find out whether cookies are enabled on your computer.
- Functional cookies enable the website to store responses to the consultation.
What is a cookie?
A cookie is a small text file, placed on your computer or device when you visit a website. Cookies vary in (1) duration, (2) ownership and (3) use.
- Duration: how long does the cookie remain on your computer or device? All cookies are set to expire automatically: 'session' cookies expire when you close your browser, 'persistent' cookies expire after a fixed period of time. Cookies can also be deleted manually at any time using your web browser.
- Ownership: who does the cookie belong to? When you visit a website, the cookies that are set may be either 'first party' cookies that belong to that website, or 'third party' cookies belonging to some other website.
- Use: what is the cookie for? A cookie may be essential to the functioning of a website or be used for a non-essential purpose such as tracking visits to the website.
The cookies we use
We have to set a cookie on your computer or device in order for you to take part in the online consultation. To do this, we need to test whether your browser will allow us to set cookies when you arrive at the consultation website. The test involves us trying to set two test cookies. When you go to Login or Register we check for the presence of these cookies and if they have not been set we prompt you to enable cookies. These test cookies do not contain any significant content, just the words 'Test = 1'.
First party session cookie - essential functional cookie
We need to set a session cookie to enable you to enter your consultation responses and look at any responses you have already submitted. This cookie consists of a string of letters that is used to identify you and distinguish you from other respondents. It does not contain any personal information about you.
First party persistent cookie - functional cookie
We set a persistent cookie to enable you to recover information that you have entered as part of a response but not saved (i.e., submitted). This might happen if your internet connection is interrupted or you leave your computer for a while and your session is 'timed out'. This cookie is deleted when you log out of the consultation, but persists on your computer or device for 2 days if your session is interrupted before you log out.
Table summarizing information about cookies used by the website
||Allows responses to be grouped by session (a session being a single visit to the website)
(example of content)
||Allows preservation of un-submitted responses if connection to website is lost.
(example of content)
Will the site work if I disable cookies?
You do not need to enable cookies in order to visit this website, but 'session' cookies are required for you to register, log in, and take part in the online consultation.
If you want to take part in the consultation but do not wish to set cookies on your computer or device, please contact us for other ways of submitting your response - e.g., by email or post.
- If you disable session cookies in your browser, you will not be able to take part in the online consultation.
- If you disable persistent cookies, you will be able to take part in the online consultation but the functions described under (3) above will not work, and you will therefore lose unsubmitted responses if your session is 'timed out' or your internet connSection is interrupted.
- If you disable third party cookies, the functioning of the website will be unaffected and you will be able to take part in the online consultation.
What browser cookie settings should I use?
Different browsers classify cookies in different ways, but in general you can either enable or disable a selected type of cookie for all websites, or for a named website. We recommend that you enable all cookies for this website. The minimum requirement for taking part in the consultation is that you enable session cookies from this website.
How do I change my browser settings?
The Information Commissioner's Office Cookie Information page (opens in a new tab/window) provides further information about cookies with links to instructions on cookie management for different browsers.