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Website Accessibility Statement for Bideford Town Council

This accessibility statement applies to the website of Bideford Town Council, which can be found at the following domain:

This website is run by Bideford Town 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 300% without the text spilling off the screen
  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader
  • We have also made the website text as simple as possible to understand.

To assist with website accessibility, Bideford Town Council has installed an Accessibility Widget Toolbar.

Located at the top right of the website, this widget offers a broad selection of functions that users can mix and match to meet their individual accessibility needs.  Each of the functions can be turned on or off.  The functions include, but are not limited to:

  • Read Page: Listen to most of the website.
  • Contrast: Change contrast levels.
  • Readable Text:    helps you to adjust the font size, line height, character spacing to make it easy to read the content.
  • Legible Fonts: To help with better readability
  • Text Spacing: Modify line spacing for improved readability for dyslexic and visually impaired users.

AbilityNet has advice and information on making your device easier to use if you have a disability. 

Bideford Town Council is committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of technology or ability.

We are actively working to increase the accessibility and usability of our website and in doing so adhere to many of the available standards and guidelines.

How Accessible is this website

Things that work well

We have tested sample pages of our website (September 2020).  To our knowledge the website works well with:

  • Skipping to the main content with the Visible Skip Link when using a screen reader
  • Changing background and text colours - using High Contrast plug-ins
  • Magnification and zooming with reflow to 300%
  • Using with Text to speech
  • Consistent heading structure
  • Alternative Text on images

Browser Plug-ins are useful tools, which can support access to web content.  The examples below are offered on a good faith basis without liability.  It is your own responsibility to decide whether to install these plug-ins.

For example:

You can change the way colours are displayed instantly using HighContrast for Chrome

Listen to content (Text to Speech) on a page using a plugin such as Google Selection Reader

Read more effectively by skim reading a page via headings HeadingsMap (Chrome) and HeadingsMap (FireFox)

Again, AbilityNet give a step-by-step guide to individual adjustments you can make to your PC, laptop, tablet or smart phone to make it easier to use.

We know that some parts of the website may not be fully accessible:

  • You cannot access the lower level menus using keyboard tab
  • some PDF documents may not be fully accessible to screen reader software

This site is available in three versions which duplicate all textual information: 

  • Large screen / desktop site, includes graphics and photos. Some pages may require scrolling high zoom.
  • Small screen /mobile site, formatted to display on a smaller screen in portrait or landscape format
  • Text only site, no graphics, no photos or text formatting. Text fonts, size and background contrast may be adjusted by user browser controls.

What to do if you cannot access parts of this website

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, a printed form for example, please use the details on our Contact Us page.

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in 14 working days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We are always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems that aren’t listed on this page or you think we not meeting accessibility requirements,  please contact the Town Clerk by e-mail (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or by calling 01237 428818.

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 contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

Bideford Town 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.

  • Keyboard accessibility for drop down sub menus. We are aware that there is a problem with keyboard accessibility for the drop down sub menus on the Home Page. We are working with IT to try and rectify this.
  • There may be pages with read more/click here links. See WCAG 2.4 Success Criterion 4.4 (Link Purpose (In Context)
  • There may be some pages where HTML (hyperlink text) isn’t perfectly formed, such as stray end tags. See WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.1 (Parsing).
  • Many of our older PDFs and Word documents don’t meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be structured so they’re accessible to a screen reader. Some PDF documents, especially those containing graphics and images, may not be fully accessible to screen readers See WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role value)
  • Some images on the website pages may not have a text alternative, so the information on them isn’t available to people using a screen reader. See WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content). When we publish new content, we’ll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards.
  • WCAG 2.1 Success Criterion 1.4.9 Images of Text (No Exception): Documents that have been uploaded to the website as a scanned image, for example documents that have had to be signed in person, will not be able to be made completely accessible due to the nature of the document. These documents include, but are not limited to, Annual Returns and Precept and Budget information.

PDFs and other documents

Some of our PDFs documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with information on how users can access our services.

The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they are not essential to providing our services.

Any new PDFs we publish will meet accessibility standards, except where these are supplied by other organisations over which we have no control.

We have assessed the cost of fixing the issues with navigation and accessing information, and with interactive tools and transactions. We believe that doing so now would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. Where possible, we are happy to provide accessible alternatives on request.

Online maps

Maps that are present on our website and are not used for navigational purposes are exempt under the regulations. We use several maps to show geographical information. If users require an accessible alternative to this information, please contact us.     

Disproportionate Burden

Some accessibility issues would be a disproportionate burden to fix. This is because the Town Council is a small public sector organisation, with a limited budget.

Fixing Documents

Having carried out a check of our website, we have assessed that it would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the No. 2 Regulations to fix all documents published on since 23 September 2018. 

The majority of these documents have minimum views; therefore we believe they are not negatively impacting users with disabilities or impairments. For this reason, we do not believe the cost of time, effort and resource to fix all the documents is justified. 

We will focus on fixing the most viewed documents on and ensuring that new documents are accessible where they are required for essential services.

Cost of fixing documents

It is difficult to know how long it would take to make every document accessible without first reviewing each one. 

However, if it took approximately one hour to review and fix each document within scope, fixing every document (based on a 6.10 hour working day of 1 part-time member of staff at Bideford Town Council) we believe the costs of paying for fixing all documents on the website would not be justified and would impose a disproportionate burden on our organisation.

Documents that are supplied to us by other organisations (third party) will not be edited to make them accessible.

What we are doing to improve accessibility

We want as many people as possible to be able to access our website.  We have provided in-house training for Council administration operators to be able to actively and progressively be able to make the necessary changes to reduce barriers for users, on an on-going basis.  We will be reviewing this statement annually as expertise and awareness improves.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This website was tested manually prior to the writing of this statement. The tests were carried out by Bideford Town Council, on a sample number of pages, as far as possible.

This statement was prepared on 18 September 2020.   It was last reviewed in December 2022.  We have assessed the cost of conducting a full accessibility audit of the site. We believe that doing so now would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. 

Bideford Town Council shall be responsible for reviewing this statement annually to ensure that it meets legal requirements and reflects best practice.

Contact us

Town Clerk: Mr Paul Swan

Post: Bideford Town Council, Town Hall, Bridge Street, Bideford, Devon, EX39 2HS

In Person: Monday and Wednesday 09:00-12:30 and 13:30-16:00. Tuesday 13:30-16:00. Thursday and Friday 09:00-12:30 at the above address.  Our office is accessible by wheelchair users via a lift.

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Call: 01237 428818



Reviewed 16 December 2022




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