To search the website you can use words, phrases or whole sentences, but it's best to use terms that are likely to be in the text of the documents you want to find.

Searching for a single word may not give good results. The more information you provide, the better your results will be.

You can type your query in lower case, UPPER CASE or a combination of both and it will not affect your results.

Understanding your search results

Once you have submitted your query, the search engine will return a page of results. You will see the title of the document and a brief summary of what it is about. Click on the title to go to the actual document. The results are ranked with the most relevant at the top of the list.

Showing more results

If your search query has returned lots of results, the search engine will divide these into several pages. You will see these numbered in a series of boxes below the results. Use the 'Previous' or 'Next' links to navigate through the results - or click any page number to jump to a later page.

Multiple search terms

Typing the words Bin Collection into the search box will look for information containing the word/s Bin or/and the word Collection.

To search for an exact phrase simply put speech marks: " " around it.
Search query: "Bin Collection"
The search function will only look for information containing the actual phrase 'Bin Collection'.

Include or exclude terms

Place a plus: + in front of the term if the results must contain that term.

Search query: "Housing" + Benefits
The word Housing might be included in the search results, but the word Benefits must occur in each result.

Place a minus: - or NOT in front of the term that should not be part of the search results.
Search query: "Building Regulations" - Charges and Fees
The search results will return documents that contain information about Building Regulations Charges and Fees but which do not include the phrase Charges and Fees.


Including * or ? allows the use of wildcards in the search query. The ? is for one letter and * is for multiple letters.
Search query: t?p
matches any of the words: tap, tip and top

Search query: anima*
Finds documents containing any word starting with the letters anima, such as Animal Attractions, Animal licences or Animal nuisance.