Website terms and conditions for use

Terms and conditions for your use of the Communities and Local Government website, including our privacy policy, copyright information and link policy.



Communities and Local Government makes every effort to ensure that the information published on this website is accurate. However, the Department cannot accept any liability for the accuracy of content. Visitors who rely on this information do so at their own risk.

Copyright and neighbouring rights

Main website

The material featured on this site is subject to Crown copyright protection unless otherwise indicated. The Crown copyright protected material (other than departmental or agency logos) may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium for research, private study or for internal circulation within an organisation. This is subject to the material being reproduced accurately and not used in a misleading context. Where any of the Crown copyright items on this site are being republished or copied to others, the source of the material must be identified and the copyright status acknowledged. Any other proposed use of the material, please apply for a Click-Use online Licence by visiting the Office of Public Sector Information website at www.opsi.gov.uk/click-use (external link) or by contacting: OPSI Information Policy Team, Kew, Richmond Surrey, TW9 4DU, email licensing@opsi.gov.uk.

The permission to reproduce Crown protected material does not extend to any material on this site which is identified as being the copyright of a third party. Authorisation to reproduce such material must be obtained from the copyright holders concerned.

For further information see the guidance at www.opsi.gov.uk/advice/crown-copyright (external link).

The video material featured on our website and our YouTube channel is subject to Crown copyright.

'Have your say' section

User-submitted material in the 'have your say' section of the site is not subject to Crown Copyright, and may not be reproduced without the permission of its author.

By submitting material, you grant the Department the right to reproduce, edit, publish and broadcast it. This right is non-exclusive, and you are not prevented from reusing your own submitted material elsewhere. You retain copyright in your work, and you may not reproduce other users' submitted material without their explicit permission.


The copying and use of the Communities and Local Government logo and related logos is not permitted without prior approval in writing from Communities and Local Government. Permission requests should be directed to logo@communities.gsi.gov.uk. Tell us who you are, the organisation you represent (if any), how and why you wish to use our logo. Please include your contact details, including name, address, telephone number, fax number and e-mail.

Linking policy

Hyperlinks to us

Communities and Local Government encourages users to establish hypertext links to the site. You do not have to ask permission to link directly to pages hosted on our website. We do not object to you linking directly to our information. However, we do not permit the use of our logos as promotional or hypertext objects.

Hyperlinks from us

Communities and Local Government is not responsible for the contents or reliability of the linked websites and does not necessarily endorse the views expressed within them. Listing should not be taken as endorsement of any kind. We cannot guarantee that these links will work all of the time and we have no control over the availability of the linked pages.

Privacy policy

Communities and Local Government is strongly committed to protecting the privacy of users of its interactive products and services as well as to respecting the Data Protection Acts 1984 and 1998. We do all that we can to protect information about participants. The following information applies to the Department's main website (www.communities.gov.uk). Other websites linked from this site are not covered by this privacy policy.

Information about all users

The  website does not capture or store personal information from site visitors without their knowledge, other than to log the user's IP address and session information such as the duration of the visit to the site and the type of web browser used, the numbers and frequency of visitors to the site and its pages. We only use such data in aggregate form. This collective data helps us determine how much visitors and participants use specific parts of our site, so we can improve its operation and appeal.

'My favourites' option

Saving links using the'my favourites' option gives you a quick list of your favourite pages on our website. This works by saving a 'cookie' on your machine storing the URL of the page you've visited.

Cookies are pieces of data that are often created when you visit a website and are stored in the cookie directory of your own computer. Cookies are used to store a session ID which allows you to log-in and make comments. We do not save personal or machine data. In order for this optional facility to work you need to have cookies enabled.

'Have your say' user registration

The 'have your say' section of our website requires registration to use its functions (namely email newsletters, discussion forums, blogs, wikis and webchats). At registration we ask you for personal information, for the purposes of evaluating the interactive tools and to ensure the validity of responses. Certain information is mandatory - such as your name, valid email address, screen name, password. Anonymous registrations will not be accepted. Your username may be anonymous, but all registration accounts must include your name and a genuine email address. Do not represent yourself as another person.

We would also appreciate you filling out the rest of the registration form to help us understand how users hear about our interactive tools.

All personal data collected through voluntary user registration to these Communities and Local Government interactive services is used for the purpose of providing you access to those services, and to contact you about updates to those services only. Your specified username is visible to other users of the site, but your email address and other personal data are not. All submitted details are completely confidential and we do not pass on any of your personal information on to any third parties.

Other online services

All personal data collected through other online services, such as ordering publications, is used only for the purpose of providing you access to those services, and to contact you about updates to those services. We do not pass your details to third parties.

'Have your say' rules and acceptable use of comments

By submitting a comment to 'have your say' section of our site, which includes our blog, discussion forum, webchat and wiki, you agree to abide by the following rules. These rules are designed to ensure participants feel comfortable and equal in the online discussion and keen to take part, and that the discussion meets its objectives.

  1. Be respectful of others. Debates may be lively but taking part should be a positive experience for all participants. Comments should be civil and tasteful, and must not be malicious or designed to offend. No reference should be made to the personality of other participants nor should attacks be made on an individual's character
  2. Stay on-topic. Your comment should be within scope of the topic under discussion. Please don't post messages that are unrelated to the forum, blog, webchat or wiki discussion you are contributing to.
  3. Don't incite hatred on the basis of race, religion, gender, nationality, sexuality or other personal characteristic. Don't swear, use hate-speech or make obscene or vulgar comments. 
  4. Don't break the law. This includes libel, condoning illegal activity and contempt of court (comments which might affect the outcome of an approaching court case). You should remember that you are legally responsible for what you write. By submitting a comment you undertake to indemnify Communities and Local Government against any liability arising from its publication.
  5. Don't post personal information - addresses, phone numbers, email addresses or other online contact details either relating to yourself or other individuals.
  6. Don't engage in 'spamming'. Please don't add the same comment to more than one forum, or more than once to the same discussion. 
  7. Don't advertise. You can mention relevant products and services as long as they support your comment. No advertising or promotion is allowed except where it is for an event, publication or similar item that has direct relevance to the subject of discussion. Information about locating and sharing knowledge and expertise is welcomed, but within the specific discussion provided. All links submitted must be appropriate for a general audience, and must not link the site to material that is obscene, defamatory or inciting to hatred or violence.
  8. Don't impersonate or falsely claim to represent a person or organisation. Please don't mislead other users by abusing our registration procedure. 
  9. Don't post in a language other than English. 
  10. Avoid being party political - this site is about consensus-building, not party political point-scoring. This is a Government website and comments used for party political purposes cannot be published for propriety reasons.
  11. Under 16? - If you are aged 16 or under, please get your parent/guardian's permission before participating in this online forum. Users without this consent are not allowed to participate or provide us with personal information. 
  12. Be concise - other users are more likely to read your contribution if it is concise, and for this reason we don't generally publish articles longer than 400-500 words.

We encourage open, lively debate but the decision to publish comments received via this site remains at the Department's discretion. Comments that violate any of the above rules will not be published. See the how to use 'have your say' page for more information about how we moderate your comments.

Posts may be returned to the participant by email, along with a reference to the broken rule(s). The participant will be invited to make appropriate changes so that the post can be reconsidered. If a participant repeatedly breaks the rules, their user account will be suspended and all their comments revoked.

Virus protection

While Communities and Local Government make every effort to check and test material at all stages of production, it is always wise for users to run an anti virus program on all material downloaded from the Internet.

Communities and Local Government cannot accept any responsibility for any loss, disruption or damage to your data or your computer system which may occur whilst using material off the Communities and Local Government website.

My favourites