East Devon is the largest (in terms of population) of eight local government districts in Devon. East Devon District Council (EDDC) is currently based in Sidmouth, although it is currently considering a move to new premises in Honiton. The largest East Devon town is Exmouth on the eastern bank of the Exe estuary south of Exeter.
The district was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of the borough of Honiton with the urban districts of Budleigh Salteron, Exmouth, Ottery St Mary, Sidmouth and the Rural Districts of Axminster, Honiton and part of St Thomas.
East Devon is covered by the Parliamentary constituencies of East Devon (MP Hugo Swire – Conservative) and Tiverton & Honiton (MP Neil Parish – Conservative).
Members are elected to East Devon District Council every four years. In the May 2011 elections, of the 59 seats, 43 were won by Conservative party candidates, 10 Liberal Democrats and 6 Independent. 9 of the Conservative candidates were elected without opposition.
Issues facing East Devon include those associated with an ageing population. The 2001 census confirmed that a third of the population in the district were over 60, compared to a national average of 24%. East Devon also had a higher number of people living in ‘Medical and Care Establishments’ at 1.6% compared to an average across England of just 0.9%.
The responsibilities of East Devon District Council include local planning, council housing, refuse collection, sports and leisure facilities, and street cleaning.
On some matters, the county council share responsibilities with the district and parish councils. These include economic development and regeneration, emergency planning, tourism promotion and coastal protection
Much of East Devon is covered by two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB);
The East Devon AONB, covering over 100 sq miles, runs along 18 miles of the coastal strip, and includes 29 parishes. It borders the towns of Seaton, Sidmouth and Exmouth, but includes the whole of Budleigh Salterton.
The Blackdown Hills AONB runs along the Somerset:Devon border. It covers 143 sq miles with the highest point at Staple Hill in Somerset (1,033ft above sea level). The area is sparsely populated with a strong commitment to dairy farming.
A challenge for the local community is to protect the AONB areas against inappropriate development. They enjoy the same level of protection as the National Parks of England and Wales which is designed to ensure the long term protection of the natural beauty of the district.
The entire East Devon coastline from Exmouth to the border with West Dorset (west of Lyme Regis in Uplyme) is designated as the Jurassic Coast, World Heritage Site. This area is listed by UNESCO as having special cultural or physical significance.
(some information ref: Wikipedia)