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When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, computer or mobile phone.

These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally. These pieces of information are used 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 many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there’s enough capacity to ensure they are fast
  • analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with government services so we can make them better

You can manage these small files and learn more about them from the article, Internet Browser cookies – what they are and how to manage them.

Current cookies

We use a series of cookies to monitor website speed and usage, as well as to ensure that any preferences you have selected previously are the same when you return to our website.

  Cookie Name Duration Purpose
Amazon Web Services AWSELB Session only Ensures that your session on our website always goes to the same server, to give you the fastest and most consistent load times.
Drupal core Drupal.tableDrag.showWeight Two years Determines whether a numeric weight is shown when a table is dragged.
Drupal core has_js Two years Detmerines whether you have JavaScript, allowing us to serve content in a dynamic way across the website.
Drupal core hee-cookie-banner Two years When set, you will not see the cookie banner at the top of the website.
Google Analytics _ga Three years Stores your client ID - the identification number given to your device by Google Analytics.
Google Analytics _gid One day Stores a session ID - the identification number given to your current and additional sessions within 24 hours, by Google Analytics.
Hotjar _hjIncludedInSample Two years Lets Hotjar know whether you should be included in the sample which is used for anonymous website analysis.


Full details on the cookies set by Google Analytics are published on the Google website. Google also publishes a browser add-on to allow you to choose that information about your website visit is not sent to Google Analytics.