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We sent out paper copies of this questionnaire to 3,000 households throughout the district who were selected completely at random.

We received 736 completed questionnaires back. 698 paper copies were received and 38 were submitted online. This is a response rate of 25%, which is a good engagement level given the nature and length of the consultation.

 Summary of results

A – Current uses

  • 83% had not visited our main offices in Sidmouth in the last 12 months. 15% had visited between one and five times in 12 months. 2% had visited between one and three times a month.
  • The main reasons given for visiting our main offices were to discuss circumstances with an officer, drop off a letter or form and to look at a planning application.

B – Moving and Improving

38% would visit us in person at either Honiton or Exmouth to access services, 62% would not.

The most popular services they want to access in person in Honiton were:  

  • Planning 60%  
  • Recycling and waste; street cleaning; parks and gardens; beach management; concessions etc 52%  
  • Building control - making sure all of the building work carried out meets certain standards 41%  
  • Searches on land and property 37%

The most popular services they want to access in person in Exmouth were:

  • Recycling and waste; street cleaning; parks and gardens; beach management; concessions etc 56%  
  • Planning 49%  
  • Housing benefits and council tax support 42%  
  • Building control - making sure all of the building work carried out meets certain standards 37%  
  • Environmental health – health and safety enforcement in businesses, investigating food poisoning, noise pollution etc 35%  
  • Searches on land and property 35%

91% said they would be able to access the services they need when we move.

They would mainly access services:  

  • Online, using our website 64%  
  • By phone 62% 
  • At the new Honiton offices 34%  
  • At our new Exmouth offices 34%  
  • By post 20%  
  • Surgeries 15%

64% 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 10%  
  • Seaton 7%  
  • Budleigh Salterton 7%  
  • Axminster 6% 
  •  Ottery St Mary 5%

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

  • Planning 55%  
  • Recycling and waste; street cleaning; parks and gardens; beach management; concessions etc 52%  
  • Housing benefit and council tax support 27%  
  • Searches on land and property 26%  
  • Building control - making sure all of the building work carried out meets certain standards 23%

When asked about specific requirements for the design of the new main offices in Honiton, the most popular requests were sufficient car parking for visitors, small private meeting rooms, lift access to all floors, fully accessible for disabled people, a hearing loop in meeting rooms and free visitor car parking. 

When asked about specific requirements for the refurbishment of Exmouth Town Hall, the most popular requests were for sufficient / more car parking for visitors, small private interview / meeting rooms and lifts to all floors.

When asked for other comments the most popular comment was that people said it sounds like a good idea / positive / sensible. The second most popular comments were ‘don’t do it it’s a waste of money’, and ‘you provide good / great services’. 

When asked for suggestions on how to improve our service delivery the most popular comment were that we should ‘keep up the good work’ and that we shouldn’t move and should stay in Sidmouth.   

84% can regularly access the internet for personal use. This is mainly through a PC / laptop (87%) but many also use a tablet device (57%) and smartphone (49%).