What are browser cookies?
The communication between your browser and a server is stateless and by default it remembers nothing. Way back the people developing one of the first web browser, Netscape, realised that it would be useful to have a way for the browser to remember things and they came up with the idea of cookies. Cookies are small text files in a specific format that the browser can save for the next time you visit a site. Cookies can contain information and they have an expiry date.
To ensure that the information stored in a cookie cannot be viewed by someone for the wrong reasons only the domain that set the cookie can get the cookie. You can control whether your browser accepts cookies by setting this in the browser preferences. You can also delete all cookies or individual cookies again usually in the browser preferences or tools.
Analytics Cookies are little more than the Internet equivalent of having someone outside a shop and counting the numbers of people who pass by, the number who come in and how many of them buy something. They are not at all sinister for example we don't know who you are, by virtue of the cookies set, but they do help us to decide where we need to improve the site and how we make you aware of it.
The cookies set by this website are:
Used to determine unique visitors to the site.
Expiry: 2 years.
Work together to calculate the length of time users are here.
Expiry: __utmb 30 minutes, __utmc when browser closed.
Records information about how the page was reached.
Expiry: 6 months.
On 25th May 2011 a new law was forced on the UK by the EU and no one was ready so the Information Commissioner gave everyone a year to try and get up to speed. The new law says that we must get consent from you before we store a cookie on your browser. This has major implications and many websites were still not ready, even Government websites. The day before enforcement of the new rules was due to come into force the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) changed its guidelines to make it permissible for websites to use implied consent.
There are a range of categories of cookies dependant on whether they are essential for the proper function of a website or not and the sensitivity of the information contained in them. The ICO has stated that analytics cookies that simply collect anonymous statistical data are the least likely to cause any regulatory issues.
Because we only have simple analytics cookies on our website we came to the conclusion that our decision on what to do about the new cookie law boiled down to either switching them off for everyone or making it a condition of use for the website that you consent to them. In other words on for everyone who uses the site. They are useful to us so we decided on the later course of action. By your use of this website we are assuming that you have given consent to our use of Analytics Cookies
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