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WebSite Help

Southampton Online - how to use this website

This website was developed in consultation with our customers and staff and is intended to make finding information about services provided by Southampton City Council, its partners and central government as straightforward and easy as possible. We are continually working to make improvements and there is a feedback form on every web page so that you can send in your comments and suggestions about the information on the site.

We regularly consult with our customers and staff on proposals for the site. If you would like to be involved in future reviews of our website, please let us know by emailing us at

How this site is organised

In 2009 we completely redesigned the website with a new "look and feel" and a new structure. We changed the way the site is structured to make the navigation more intuitive and less complex, so that key council information about services should be no more than three clicks away from the Home page.

Navigation structure:

Information and services have been grouped together in 6 logical categories:

  • Business: This category includes information and services for businesses including Business advice, Business Rates (NNDR), Licensing, Commercial property and services, Trading Standards, Port Health services and much more.

  • Environment: In this section you will find information about rubbish and recycling services, planning and building control, conservation areas, public health, parks and street cleaning, transport, roads and parking including road safety.

  • Learning: As you would expect, this section covers learning and education services from pre-school children right up to adult education in local colleges and training centres. Look here for information about child care, school admissions and school meals.

  • Leisure: This section is packed with information about where to go and what to see in the city, including information on arts, libraries, parks, sports venues and other leisure activities.

  • Living: This section provides you with information about a range of topics related to living in the city, including housing, benefits, social care, Southampton Ceremonies - registration and bereavement services, community safety and recession advice. Enter your postcode into the Where I Live search box to find information on your locality.

  • The Council: This is where to find out information about the council and the way it works, including working with partner agencies. Information about councillors, council meetings and agendas, elections and consultation are also in this area of the site.

The main categories are displayed across the top of the site for easy access. There are also links to our Online Services, Customer Services information, News and Events and a link to information especially for Visitors to the area.

Finding your way around the site:

The main subject and service categories are displayed across the top of all pages, so you can quickly move from one area to another. As you navigate through the site you will find the sub-sections in each category displayed in the menu on the left hand side of the screen. At all times, you will see your current position within the website displayed in a "breadcrumb" trail at the top of the page (right underneath the A-Z of Council Services) and you can use these links or the back button of your browser to go back to previous pages.

Searching for information:

If you are not sure how to find the information page you want, you can use the site A-Z or the Search to find it.

The A-Z is simplicity itself - just click on the appropriate letter and you will be presented with a list of council services beginning with the letter - C for Council tax for example. The A-Z is located on every page on the left hand side, underneath the main categories.

Our Search engine is powered by Google technology - to use it simply type one or more search words into the search box, click on the GO button and you will be presented with a list of results. Chose your search words carefully, you need only enter key words not whole sentences. The search box is on every page, in the top right hand corner.

Finally, if you want to find information about your local area, you can enter your street or post code into the "Where I Live" search box to find information about local doctors, dentists, schools, libraries and more - this is also available from every page, just underneath the main search box.

Links and downloads

Links to related information are displayed below the information text and may be to other areas of this site or to external sites. We are unable to guarantee the quality of external sites but if you do have any problems please let us know so we can either contact the site webmaster or remove the link from our pages. Email

Downloadable documents relating to information on our website are also available in the sections below the information text. We will provide you with information about the type of document (e.g. PDF format) the size of the document and the approximate time it will take to download.

Printing web pages:

To avoid printing out the whole web page including the banner, images and navigation, and to ensure we do not waste your printer's ink, we provide a print template. If you wish to print out one of our pages, click on the link titled "Print" which you will find at the foot of the page.

Accessibility and text only version:

Our Accessibility pages will provide more information about the features we have built into our website to make it more accessible for all of our customers.

A text-only version Southampton Online is available. This contains all of the text from the Internet, but does not show any graphics, images or photographs. The text-only version can help visually impaired users access information. To access the text only version, click on the "text only" link on the top navigation bar.

Contact information