Cookies and data storage are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit.

They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site.

Refusing to accept a cookie will not stop you using Oxford City Council's website, but it may have an impact on available functionality such as ability to watch youtube videos, view location maps and view data in embeds such as Power BI.

Your cookie settings and how to opt out

The first time you visit the Oxford City Council website you will be asked if you want to accept different types of non-essential cookies. You can accept all cookies or you can customise which cookies to accept. You can also close the options box without setting any cookie preference but you'll be asked repeatedly while you navigate the website.

You can go back at any time to change or withdraw your consent from the cookie declaration on our website. The easiest way to do this is by clicking the button 'cookie settings' which you'll find at the footer of all our web pages.

Other ways to opt out of cookies

Most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through the browser settings. You can set your browser to notify you before receiving a cookie so that you can decide whether to accept it or you can refuse all cookies although this can adversely affect the operation of some websites. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit the All About Cookies website.

How we use cookies on our websites

We want to provide online services that are easy to use, useful and reliable. This can involve placing cookies on your computer or other device.

Cookies cannot be used to identify you personally. The cookies we set provide pieces of information to improve services for you through, for example:

  • enabling a service to recognise your device so you don't have to give the same information several times during one task
  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don't need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how people are using services, so they can be improved.

Type of cookies

Persistent cookie

A persistent cookie does not expire at the end of the user session /visit. As long as the cookie remains, data can be sent back to the server everytime the visitor visits the site. Persistent cookies allow for vital pieces of information, such as how the visitor first came to the website, to be recorded. Persistent cookies are also known as tracking cookies.

Session cookie

A session cookie / non-persistent only lasts for the duration of the user session/visit. The cookie is deleted at the end of the session when you close the page or tab in your browser.

1st party cookie

1st party cookies are cookies set with the same domain (or subdomain) as the website.

3rd party cookie

3rd party cookies are cookies set with a different domain than that of the website you are on.

Cookies set by sub sites

Some council services operate sub sites and these may set additional cookies. These sites will have their own cookie control banner and cookie policy linked in the footer.

Cookies set by the main council website (www.oxford.gov.uk)

Third Party Tools

Google Analytics

We use Google Analytics (GA4) to collect statistical data about our visitors. We collect this information in a way that does not identify you. 

Hotjar

We use Hotjar to help us understand user behaviour while on our websites and to provide some website features, like feedback forms or surveys. All visitor information is kept anonymous. Hotjar does not track or record visits when cookies have not been accepted.

If a user enters their email address into the Incoming Feedback widget on pages using Hotjar, we have the ability to perform a search for personal data associated to individual visitors of the site. However, email addresses shown within Heatmaps and Recordings can not be linked to the search results. More information is available on the Hotjar website. You can make a request for this information via our normal Subject Access Request process.Full technical information about the cookies used by Hotjar and what they do can be found in their online documentation.

GovMetric website feedback

We use GovMetric to get feedback on our website in order to make improvements. GovMetric collects information about what pages users visit. Information is never passed on to third parties.

Visit the Privacy pages on the GovMetric website for more information.

Tawk.to webchat

We use Tawk.to to provide webchat functionality on our website. Tawk.to collects information about what pages users visit.

YouTube

We embed youtube videos throughout the website, you'll need to consent to YouTube cookies to watch these from the webpage.

Google Maps

We embed Google maps throughout the website, you'll need to consent to Google Maps cookies to view and interact with these from our webpage but many users find it easier to open maps in the Google app.

Microsoft PowerBI

We use Microsoft PowerBI on some pages to embed tables with lots of records. It helps us to keep the information on the website as up to date as possible.