Accessibility statement

This accessibility statement applies to

This website is run by Pendle 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 400% 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)

You should also be able to understand the website text, which we have tried our hardest to write in Plain Language. We use the Hemingway Editor to try and achieve a readability Grade of 6 for all our content.


We use Browsealoud to provide speech, reading and translation support to our website. it works by reading our website content out loud in a natural sounding voice. It can translate our web pages into 99 languages, and read the content aloud in 40 of the most commonly spoken languages in the world. In addition, Browsealoud can:

  • magnify text on-screen to help users with visual impairments
  • convert text to audio files using an MP3 generator for offline listening
  • block on-screen clutter using a screen mask, to let readers focus on the text being read
  • remove ads and other distracting content using a web page simplifier for easier reading
  • even read PDF documents aloud

AbilityNet can help you to make your device easier to use if you have a disability. 

How accessible this website is

We have listed parts of the site which we know are not fully accessible:

  • our online payments system, E-Store, (supplied by Civica), is not fully accessible
  • most of our PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen readers 

Council services provided by third parties

Some of our services are provided by third party software companies. We have asked them to provide evidence of the current levels of accessibility for each of their products.

Planning and Building Control applications

Online Planning and Building Control applications are provided by Idox's Public Access product. 

Our version of Idox Public Access is currently WCAG 2.1 AA compliant.

Council Tax, Business Rates and Benefits services

Online Council Tax, Business Rates and Benefits services are provided by Northgate's Citizen Access product.

Northgate are working towards achieving WCAG 2.1 AA compliance. 

Online payments services

Online payments services are provided by Civica. They do not currently meet WCAG 2.1. AA compliance and we consider it a disproportionate burden to fix this at the moment. For more information on how we intend to resolve this, see the Disproportionate Burden section of this statement.

Applications for Council job vacancies

Online job applications are provided by JobsGoPublic.

JobsGoPublic have recently upgraded our template and our job applications pages are now WCAG 2.1 AA compliant. 

Tourism website

Our Tourism website - VisitPendle - is provided by Simpleview. 

It is not currently WCAG 2.1. AA compliant. More information about the work we are doing to achieve compliancy is in the What We're Doing To Improve Accessibility section.

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:

  • email
  • call 01282 661661

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in 5 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, contact the Web Team:

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

We provide a text relay service for people who are D/deaf, hearing impaired or have a speech impediment. Our offices have audio induction loops, or if you contact us before your visit we can arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter. 

We have an induction loop at our customer services at Number One Market Street, Nelson. We also have a portable unit, which we can take with us into any of our meeting rooms. 

Our Council chamber, where public Council meetings are held, also has an audio induction loop. 

If you have any other specific communication needs – for example, you require a BSL interpreter – please contact us and we will do all we can to provide a solution that meets your needs. 

Find out how to contact us

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

Pendle 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, 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

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

Hyperlinks which are in the menus on the right hand side of our pages do not have sufficient colour contrast. This does not meet WCAG 2.1. success criterion 1.4.3.

Our online Job Applications system does not meet accessibility standards. Our template is being replaced with a template that does meet WCAG 2.1 AA.

Disproportionate burden

Our online payments system, E-Store, is not fully accessible. There is a significant cost to upgrading the system, and a demonstration of the upgraded version was not available to us. We did not want to spend a large amount of money on something that may still not meet the levels of accessibility required. 

We have identified an alternative solution. We are working towards removing all our payments from our current platform, and running them through the website. This will make online payments accessible. We are currently auditing the amount of payments that we have to transfer and we will then draw up an action plan to transfer them, starting with the most popular.

Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

3rd party content

Our site does include links to 3rd party content and documents, where we think there is useful information for our customers.

This includes sites like or

We cannot guarantee that all of this content is accessible. We are not responsible for any 3rd party content.

Live video

We have been streaming some of our Council videos live to You Tube during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are no captions for these videos. We do not plan to add captions, because live video is exempt from having to comply with the accessibility regulations

PDFs and other documents

A lot of our older PDFs and Word documents do not meet accessibility standards. As an example, they may not be structured so that they are accessible to a screen reader. 

We currently have 2,213 PDF documents that were published on our website before September 2018. Unless they are essential to providing services, or they are popular with our customers, we won't be fixing any of these documents because they are exempt from the accessibility regulations

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

Our Web Team have had Accessibility Training to help them to understand the issues some people face when using our website. Our Web Team also attend seminars to keep themselves up to date with the latest advice and guidance.

We have put together an Accessibility Roadmap for the Council, which sets out how we aim to continue to improve the accessibility of our website.

You can view the Pendle Council Accessibility Roadmap.

We currently have 951 downloadable documents on our website published after September 2018. They are mainly in PDF format, with some Word documents. We are auditing these documents, and drawing up an action plan to either delete, them, replace them with accessible HTML pages or fix them.  

We no longer publish any new PDF documents to the website unless they are accessible.

We receive a report every 10 days from SiteImprove, which alerts us to new and ongoing accessibility issues which we then add to our Roadmap.

We are reviewing the template design of our website to see how we can fix issues such as the lack of colour contrast in the hyperlinks in our right hand menus.

We are working with Simpleview to improve the accessibility of our VisitPendle website. Simpleview are implementing improvements to:

  • colour contrast
  • the use of a keyboard to navigate the site
  • properly structured HTML mark-up
  • and ensuring that all images have alternative text

Current Accessibility Score

The Society of Information Technology Managers (SOCITM) are working in partnership with Silktide to produce an index of accessibility scores for all councils across the UK. This index is updated monthly.

For May 2021, our overall score for accessibility was 92/100.

We are 98.2% compliant for Level A

We are 92.3% compliant for Level AA

We are 73.5% compliant for Level AAA

You can see Pendle Council's latest Accessibility Score.

How we test

This website is tested by Siteimprove. Tests are carried out by them every 5 days. The entire website is crawled, using intelligent algorithms to determine when and what to re-check.

You can read the full accessibility test report.

We have also engaged the services of The Shaw Trust, who are going to audit our site using people with a range of impairments and disabilities.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 27 August 2020. It was last reviewed on 13 May 2021.