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Our Accessibility Statement

This accessibility statement applies to

This website is run by Somerset Council. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • Change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • Zoom in up to 300% 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 have 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 this website is

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

  • You cannot modify the line height or spacing of text
  • Most older pdf documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
  • Live video streams may not have captions
  • Use of tables to sort certain information on the site
  • Some of our pages and online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard
  • The skip to the main content link may not work on all pages

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:

We will consider your request and get back to you within 10 working days

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We are 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, you can use our feedback form at the bottom of most pages, or email

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

For people who are D/deaf, hearing impaired or have a speech impediment, we can be contacted by SMS text on 07862 122246 and provide a text relay service.

Our offices have audio induction loops, or if you contact us before your visit, we can arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.

Translate this website

The website can be translated into various languages by using the Google Chrome browser. Following translation, the Home Page and all subsequent pages will be translated into the chosen language. Please allow for a brief delay as the translation takes place.

Please note: This translation service is an automated process. Translations are carried out by computer software and not by a person – therefore, the translation is sometimes ‘best guess’ – it should be understandable but may have some inaccuracies. If you require a more accurate translation of any of our web pages or documents, please contact the service area in question for more information.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

Somerset Council is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

This website is fully compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard as of 20/03/2022.

Compliance status

This website is currently rated 92.1/100 by SiteImprove

This website is fully compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, as of 20/03/2023.

Non accessible content

Interactive tools and transactions

  • Some of our interactive forms are difficult to navigate using a keyboard. For example, because some form controls are missing a ‘label’ tag.
  • Our forms are built and hosted through third-party software and ‘skinned’ to look like our website. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (information and relationships)
  • Merged content from the website previously known as Mendip District Council – Archived Local Plan website from 2002, this Plan has now been almost entirely superseded by the Mendip District Local Plan Part 1: Strategy and Policies 2006-2029 but is still available for information.

We have assessed the cost of fixing the issues with navigation and accessing information, and with interactive tools and transactions. We will make every reasonable effort to address accessibility issues in conjunction with our software suppliers, but any major changes may be a disproportionate burden within the definition of the accessibility regulations.

Third party tools featured on the Somerset Council website include:

  • Adelante Smartpay – a payments engine
  • AllPay – a payments engine
  • Capita Pay360 – a payments engine
  • Granicus govService – a forms engine
  • Goss ICM – a forms engine
  • Firmstep – a forms engine
  • Civica forms – a forms engine
  • Victoria Forms – a forms engine
  • Indigo Forms – a forms engine
  • OneNetwork – mapping tool
  • iShare – mapping tool
  • INRX – mapping tool feed
  • Mod.Gov app – Meeting agendas and documents
  • – Newsletter system

Content that is not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

PDFs and other documents

Many of our older PDFs and Word documents do not meet accessibility standards – for example, they may not be structured so they’re accessible to a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role value).

Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with information on how users can access our services, and forms published as Word documents. We plan to either try and fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages as part of our ongoing content audit.

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

Live video streams may not have captions. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.4 (captions – live).

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

How we tested this website

The site is automatically tested each week using Siteimprove. This is a third-party platform to test the accessibility quality and usability of the site.

We test:

our main website platform, available at

What we are doing to improve accessibility

To improve the accessibility of our website we are:

  • testing web accessibility by using SiteImprove
  • regularly monitoring the accessibility of our website
  • making our PDF documents (created after 22 September 2018) as accessible as possible
  • where possible, create HTML pages rather than PDF documents
  • creating online forms rather than PDF documents
  • replacing or upgrading third-party applications or systems to include WCAG 2.1 AA compliance

We are continuously working on our website and associated Somerset Council sites, which will improve the overall accessibility and usability. We also have many other websites and third-party sites which we know do not meet the required level of accessibility. We have an ongoing project to decommission and evaluate these websites and where appropriate rebuild them to the required standards. If you have any issues accessing any of these legacy sites, please contact us using the details listed above.

This website was last tested on [20/03/2022]. The test was carried out by SiteImprove.

This statement was prepared on 13 November 2019 It was last updated on 8 March 2023.

Last reviewed: November 21, 2023 by Louise

Next review due: May 21, 2024

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