But the move, which is very welcome in the name of transparency, appears to have been carried out somewhat quietly last summer.

All councillors were asked last May, whether they would support their declarations of interest being available online.

I stated that I would be very happy for my declaration to be listed on the website.  However, we had no feedback following this survey and it was only last week that I thought I had better follow it up. 

This evening I drafted a question to ask at full council next week, only for someone completely coincidentally (not a councillor) to email me to say how pleased they were, that the register of interests was now online!

Previously, members of the public had to make an appointment to look at a paper copy of the register and were not allowed to copy any declaration.  Note-taking was permitted.

It is a great step forward that East Devon councillors declarations of interest are now available online but I am a bit surprised that councillors were not made aware of this decision, nor was the news issued by way of a press release – despite it being a good story and of considerable public interest.

Hopefully this blog will go some way to spreading the word!

EDDC register of interests can be viewed here.