Privacy Notice

Smiths News PLC is committed to protecting and respecting the privacy of individuals. This Privacy Notice explains how Dispatches collects and uses information when the blog is used.

If you require any more information or have any questions about our privacy notice, please contact Kerrie Colford.

Hosting of this blog (Dispatches)

This blog is hosted and the software provided by, which is owned by Automattic in the USA. is one of the largest providers of this kind of software (known as a content management system or CMS) and hosting in the world.

Because the software is provided as a package, blogs like Dispatches using this software are limited in the extent to which they can add to or modify the functions of the site. This includes having no ability to add opt in/opt out facilities for blocking cookies, which you may have seen when viewing websites.

What are cookies?

A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that is downloaded onto your computer when you visit a blog or website. Once a cookie is saved on your computer, only the website that created the cookie can read it. Cookies can do a number of things such as remembering who you are when you add a comment, collecting the information needed to manage blog subscriptions, and counting the number of people looking at a blog post.

Automattic policy on cookies

This text was downloaded on 26th November 2012. For the full text, and in case the text is modified by Automattic, please go to this page:

NB when Automattic mentions ‘website’ in its text, it is also referring to blogs like Dispatches.

Automattic’s privacy policy also refers to Ads and Contact Forms. Note that Smiths News has taken the option to remove advertising from Dispatches and doesn’t currently have a Contact Form, so these parts of their general policy can be ignored.


A cookie is a string of information that a website stores on a visitor’s computer, and that the visitor’s browser provides to the website each time the visitor returns. Automattic uses cookies to help Automattic identify and track visitors, their usage of Automattic websites, and their website access preferences. Automattic visitors who do not wish to have cookies placed on their computers should set their browsers to refuse cookies before using Automattic’s websites, with the drawback that certain features of Automattic’s websites may not function properly without the aid of cookies.


Ads appearing on any of our websites may be delivered to users by advertising partners, who may set cookies. These cookies allow the ad server to recognize your computer each time they send you an online advertisement to compile information about you or others who use your computer. This information allows ad networks to, among other things, deliver targeted advertisements that they believe will be of most interest to you. This Privacy Policy covers the use of cookies by Automattic and does not cover the use of cookies by any advertisers.

Your implied consent

By continuing to use this website you are giving your implied consent to our use of cookies according to the policy set out here.

Collection of data by this website

This website does not collect or store any personal information, except where anybody may fill in a Contact Form or an email subscription form, or use in-built features such as Comment boxes or Like and Share buttons at the bottom of posts and pages, to communicate with the website owner. Data supplied is not stored in any other retrieval system and will never be sold or passed to third parties or used for marketing purposes, but purely to maintain communication with the person who initiated the enquiry.

Analytical data on this site software has a built in analytics facility which provides summary data about visitors. This data is purely presented as statistics and no individual can be identified, nor can data be cross-tabulated to create profiles. The data available at time of writing (November 2012) was:

  • Views by country
  • Top posts and pages
  • Referrers (e.g. search engine used to find the site)
  • Search engine terms (e.g. the actual words visitors typed into their search engine)
  • Clicks (links on this website that were clicked to go to external sites)
  • Tags and categories
  • Totals, followers and shares

This data is very useful for establishing the volume of people using the site, the most popular days of the week and the type of content people are most interested in, but as stated above, the data does not reveal any details about individuals and only gives summary data about the performance of the site. software does not enable the site owner the power to switch these analytics off, nor to provide users with opt in/opt out facilities. may change the analytic tools available at any time.

Links to external websites

This site contains links to many external websites and social media sites such as the charities supported by Smiths News.  This site will never add links which are knowingly unsafe or malicious, though you should always check the cookies and privacy policies of external sites if you have any concerns. This site cannot be responsible for external content or sites. If you have any concerns there are some useful links at the bottom of this page which may help to answer your questions.

Useful information

Links to privacy policies of external websites used:

About smithsnews

Communications Executive
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