Accessibility, cookies, data protection, payments and copyright

Accessibility and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

Central Bedfordshire 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 accessibility statement applies to this website -

Compliance status

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.2 AA standard, due to the exemptions listed below.

Non-accessible content

We know some parts of this website aren’t fully accessible, for example some:

  • images contain text which you may not be able to read
  • links don't make sense on their own
  • PDF documents aren’t fully accessible to screen readers
  • videos don’t have captions or audio description
  • interactive tools are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard

Disproportionate burden

We have links to over 6,000 PDF documents on our website. In addition to the PDFs we currently directly link to on this website, or committee services generate around 140,000 documents each year and within the Planning Department there are well over 1 million PDFs alone.

Some of these PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. An example of these essential documents are guides on how users can access our services.

Fixing documents

Having checked this website, we’ve assessed that it would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of No. 2 Regulations to fix all documents published on the website since 23 September 2018.

Central Bedfordshire Council store their documents in the Cloud with Sharepoint. Therefore, we are unable to determine which PDF documents were produced before 23 September 2018 as the majority of our documents are stored in the Cloud with Sharepoint.

Cost of fixing documents

It's 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 the scope of the accessibility regulations, fixing all 6,000 would take 1,000 days (based on an ‘agile’ 6 hour working day). That is not including the further 1 million plus documents also identified above. The impact therefore of fully meeting the requirements is too much for us to reasonably cope with given the number of staff available who are trained to do this work, the number of hours it will take them, the resultant cost to the Council and the fact that not all PDFs are essential to our services, and particularly to disabled users.

Our approach

We provide accessibility training for all staff which enables colleagues to make their documents accessible.


Please note we do not need to fix the following types of content because they are exempt from the accessibility regulations:

  • pre-recorded audio and video published before 23 September 2020
  • live audio and video
  • heritage collections like scanned manuscripts
  • PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 - unless users need them to use a service, for example a form that allows users to request school meal preferences
  • maps - but we will provide essential information in an accessible format like an address
  • third party content that’s under someone else’s control that we did not pay for or develop ourselves - for example, social media ‘like’ buttons
  • content on intranets or extranets published before 23 September 2019
  • archived websites if they’re not needed for services your organisation provides and they are not updated

Accessibility alternatives

Recite Me accessibility features

At the top of our website, you will see a button that says Speak / Translate. This opens up Recite Me. Recite Me's cloud-based assistive technology toolbar allows web visitors to customise our digital content, so that they can consume it in ways that work for them.

Screen reader

The Recite Me screen reader helps website visitors to perceive and understand our digital content by reading aloud website text, which can be customised to suit the viewer.


To simplify and support our website visitors Recite Me provides five main tools:

  • ruler
  • screen mask
  • magnifier
  • margins
  • dictionary


The Recite Me assistive toolbar allows you to change the way our website looks. Users are able to customise the websites colour scheme as well as the texts font style, size, colour, and spacing.


The Recite Me assistive toolbar quickly and easily translates all our web content into over 100 languages, including 35 text to speech voices.

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

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 4 June 2024.

This website is regularly tested by automated software, provided by Site Improve ( We tested our main website platform.

The statement was last reviewed on 4 June 2024.

Feedback and contact information

If you need information on this website in a different format or want to give website feedback, email or call Customer Services on 0300 300 8301.

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

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 and we will get back to you within five working days. Your feedback will be sent to the Web Team. If they need to pass you on to a service, they will give their contact details directly to 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).