More than half a million people visited EDDC’s website last year

East Devon District Council is open 24/7 as it continues to increase the number of transactions residents and businesses can carry out online.

Council leader Paul Diviani told EDDC’s Annual Meeting that last year more than 570,000 people visited the council’s eastdevon.gov.uk website and in the first four months of this year, the council had recorded 240,000 visitors so far.

He told councillors:

We should never underestimate the power of our website as more and more people are interacting with us through the web, and via social media with Twitter and Facebook being the most popular platforms.

Our website is available 24/7 for business transactions online so our residents and businesses can use it at their own convenience any time of the day or night.

In his review of 2015/16, Cllr Diviani highlighted the recently opened £4 million Seaton Jurassic visitor attraction where EDDC has invested £1.9 million and is the main funder.

He said:

Even after a few short weeks, Seaton Jurassic is absolutely “flying”and it’s a key part of the resurgence in Seaton which, when combined with the with the beach, Wetlands, Seaton Tramway, and the Stop Line Way cycle route, makes it a true destination town again.  This is amplified by the recent confidence of Premier Inns in submitting plans for a hotel close to the sea front. This will bring huge economic benefits to the town.

He also praised the recent recycling trials in new Feniton and Exmouth (The Colony) where almost 1,400 households have been able to recycle cardboard and mixed plastics which are collected weekly from the kerbside. The trials have proved so successful that the extended service will now be rolled out to the rest of the district next year as part of the council’s new waste and recycling contract.

Councillors re-elected Cllr Stuart Hughes as chairman of the council and Cllr Helen Parr as deputy chairman.

Cllr Diviani and Cllr Hughes both paid tribute to Cllr Alison Greenhalgh who died suddenly earlier this month and the council held a minute’s silence in her memory. Cllr Greenhalgh was elected to the council in 2015 and represented Exmouth Littleham Ward. She served on a number of committees – Development Management committee, Scrutiny committee, and Licensing and Enforcement committee. She was also Member Champion for Tourism.

Cllr Diviani said:

Her impact in one year was considerable and we all, but especially her Exmouth colleagues, will miss her considered insights and well-reasoned debates. For one so young to go so soon is indeed a tragedy and I would add my condolences to those already expressed and our thoughts are with her family.

Cllr Hughes added:

In her short time on the Council she gained a lot of respect from both her fellow councillors and officers and will be greatly missed by many.