Warrington Borough Council website

This accessibility statement applies to warrington.gov.uk

This website is run by Warrington 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:

  • zoom in up to 400% 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 (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)

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.

How accessible is this website

We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible:

  • you cannot change colours, contrast levels or fonts
  • you cannot modify the line height or spacing of text
  • some older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
  • live video streams do not have captions
  • some of our online forms may be difficult to navigate using just a keyboard

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:

  • email digital@warrington.gov.uk 
  • call 01925 443322 - phone lines are open from 8:30am to 5pm Monday to Friday and charged at local rate.

We’ll consider your request and get back in touch with you. If you cannot view the map on our ‘contact us’ page, call us on 01925 443322 or email contact@warrington.gov.uk for directions.

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, please email digital@warrington.gov.uk or call 01925 443322 and ask for a member of the communications team who will be able to help you.

Enforcement procedure

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

We provide a text relay service 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.

Details of how to contact us are on our contact us page.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

Warrington 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.

Compliance status

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances and exemptions listed below.

Non-accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Following an audit by central government, several issues have been raised that we have now fixed and any remaining issues will be resolved with support of our third party web developers.

We know of the following issues:

  • Link without a text alternative - some images on the site are also links and they need to have an alternative text to tell the user what the link is
  • Container element is empty - some items on the site need a special structure to help layout the page

We plan to address the issues by the end of January 2022.


Disproportionate burden

Our most important content is provided on our main website, warrington.gov.uk, and we’re committed to doing monthly accessibility checks on this. Our planning and enforcement and building control web portals have accessibility issues. We completed an assessment of the planning portal and concluded it could not be upgraded to improve the service it offers.

Therefore, to provide a better user experience, we are replacing these portals with more modern, up-to-date compliant sites by the following dates:

  • Planning and enforcement - February 2022
  • Building control - April 2022

These expected deadlines for completion are subject to change, but we will review progress monthly and update the completion dates if required.

Why replacing these portals immediately would be a disproportionate burden

Our IT team is committed to creating accessible solutions with the support of our website delivery team. However, we believe that trying to fix inaccessible portals immediately would be a disproportionate burden because the current solution is end of life, does not meet the current needs of the users, cannot be reasonably updated as per the current contract and therefore is on a planned decommission and replacement process. We believe that fixing the accessibility problems would be disproportionate because the relevant platform will be retired soon.

In reaching this decision, we have considered the following:

Assessment of the current system

The assessment concluded the current APAS planning system cannot be upgraded beyond what it is in place today and needed to be replaced. A suitable alternative was found which answered the needs of users and has been scheduled to go live. As part of the assessment and tender documentation, some of the issues it identified were:

  • The Council’s version of APAS is an old version, procured before the accessibility regulations came into force.
  • It offers a poor user experience (UX) for officers, consultees and the general public through both inaccessibility and general UX concerns.
  • Workflow has proved difficult to establish and the necessary levels of monitoring data is difficult to extract.
Our organisation’s size and resources

As a local authority, we are managing increasing front-line service demands (e.g. for adult social care) with reducing annual budgets. During 2020 and 2021 we have had to prioritise resources because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic making sure essential services could continue to operate. Our teams are now able to focus on more ‘business as usual’ activity and have a programme of work for our websites, which includes planning, building control and land charges. 

Benefits from making the current site accessible

As the current solution is end of life, does not meet the current needs of the users and cannot be updated to bring into compliance, at present, the best and quickest solution is to replace the Planning Portal with a more user friendly, compliant site, which we are currently in the process of delivering. The tender documentation for a new planning system included a measurement criteria regarding compliance with accessibility standards.

As an alternative you can get in touch with Contact Warrington who can help with finding out the information you need.


Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

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. Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.

Live video

We do not plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

  • We carry out a full review of the site and address all WCAG 2.1 AA issues as identified by our Siteimprove testing software once a month
  • Training staff to create accessible documents
  • Make accessibility checks on all new documents
  • Reduce the number of PDFs used on the site
  • Adopted a HTML and Mobile first approach to web content

Other PDFs and documents

Where PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services, e.g. we have PDFs with information on how users can access our services, and forms published as Word or PDF documents. These are being replaced with online forms as part of our Transformation programme and any other essential documents should be fixed or replaced with accessible HTML pages by the end of 2021.

Current PDF report

We have noted some accessibility issues with a number of PDFs on the site including:

  • The document contains untagged content
  • The image has no alternative presentation
  • The document is not tagged
  • The document is missing a language definition

A recent review counted over 5800 PDFs on the website, 77% of them being viewed 50 times or less (49% viewed less than 5 times). To update all PDFs to ensure accessibility we estimate to be 784 working days. This is based on an average PDF taking one hour to assess, update and review. We are also aware that a number of inaccessible PDFs currently on our website are third-party content, such as many hundreds of PDF representations from our Local Plan consultation which we have a duty to make available to the public but which we have not created. Our approach therefore is to focus our efforts on where we can gain the most benefit to the website user and are prioritising updates to those most used. This means that we will continually review our most read PDFs and ensure wherever possible that they are made accessible

 

If there is a specific PDF you would like to be made accessible or need help in understanding, you can let us know and we will get in touch to discuss your request.

The information you have provided within this form will only be used to answer your request for an accessible document. Your information will not be used for any other purpose by the Council and will only be held to process the request.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was initially prepared on 21 September 2020. It was last reviewed on 8 December 2021. This website was last tested on 5 December 2021. The test was carried out by Warrington Borough Council web team using Siteimprove software and live user testing.

You can read the full accessibility test report.