The consultation was sent to the main contacts for all the Chambers of Commerce within East Devon. Chambers of Commerce in East Devon have around 2,200 member businesses. The main contacts were asked to send it out to their members.

In addition, the consultation was sent out by email to 188 businesses that pay business rates to East Devon District Council.  

We received 20 completed questionnaires. As the response rate is so low care must be taken with these results as one persons view will equal a minimum of 5%. These results are a snapshot rather than being statistically reliable.

Summary of results

A – Current uses

  • 70% had not visited our main offices in Sidmouth in the last 12 months. 25% had visited between one and five times in 12 months. 5% had visited between one and three times a month.
  • The reasons given for visiting our main offices were to drop off a letter or form, discuss circumstances with an officer and to look at a planning application.

B – Moving and Improving

50% would visit us in person at either Honiton or Exmouth to access services, 50% would not.

The main services they want to access in person in Honiton were:

  • Planning 88%  
  • Building control - making sure all of the building work carried out meets certain standards 63%  
  • Searches on land and property 38%  
  • Licensing - alcohol, entertainment and other licences for residents and businesses 25%

Only two people responded when asked what services they would like to see in Exmouth Town Hall.

85% said they would be able to access the services they need when we move. They would mainly access services:  

  • Online, using our website 77%  
  • By phone 71%  
  • At the new Honiton offices 59%

69% stated they didn’t think they would use surgeries. Of those that said they would use surgeries, the most popular requests were for surgeries in:  

  • Sidmouth 13%  
  • Seaton 13%

Of those who would use surgeries, the most popular requests for services to be at those surgeries in general were:  

  • Planning 88%  
  • Environmental health - health and safety enforcement in businesses, investigating food poisoning, noise pollution etc 50%  
  • Building control - making sure all of the building work carried out meets certain standards 38%

When asked about specific requirements for the design of the new main offices in Honiton and refurbishment of Exmouth Town Hall, the only comment received said that car parking should be free at Exmouth Town Hall.  

95% can regularly access the internet when carrying out their duties as a business. This is mainly through a PC / laptop (94%) but many also use a smartphone (61%) or tablet device (50%).