Austin Macauley 01 September 2015

Revealed: Top 10 daftest queries to council call centres

Revealed: Top 10 daftest queries to council call centres image

A request for help with a crossword clue, advice on cooking instant noodles and an enquiry about a website’s opening hours have been among the 50 million queries made to council call centres in the last year.

Other bizarre enquiries included a call to Somerset County Council requesting the rules and regulations for hosting a mouse race. Meanwhile, Nottinghamshire County Council fielded a call asking whether it was ok to exercise a pet kestrel at its municipal tip.

Cllr Peter Fleming, deputy chairman of the LGA, said: ‘These light-hearted examples of calls highlight the variety of issues that councils deal with every day – from the slightly amusing to the outright bizarre.

‘Call centres are vital to the successful delivery of council services and even if they do feel as though they are outside their remit, council call centre staff will always try their hardest to assist where they can. But whilst councils offer more than 800 services, some requests are simply beyond them.

‘The fact that councils are so often the first port of call for residents who are seeking a solution to their problems shows just how central a role councils play in the lives of their communities.’

Bizarre calls top 10:

1. Do you know how much water I need to cook super noodles? (Stevenage Borough Council)
2. What are the rules and regulations for hosting a mouse race? (Somerset County Council)
3. Can I exercise my kestrel on your tip? (Nottinghamshire County Council)?
4. A call from an elderly lady asking for help on her crossword. Seven letters, James Bond's cat loving nemesis, begins with B? (Staffordshire County Council)?
5. What is the daily room rate at the Holiday Inn express? (Stevenage Borough Council)
6. What size tin is required for the Mary Berry strawberry tart featured on the BBC's Great British Bake Off? (Somerset County council)?
7. I met a boy whilst on holiday in Ibiza, but I've lost his number, he said he lived in Nottingham and his dad is a bin man, do you know him? (Nottinghamshire County Council)?
8. How many geese are on the boating lake in Cleethorpes this year - caller wanted to visit but had an allergy to feathers (North East Lincolnshire Council)?
9. What time does your website close? (Poole Borough Council)?
10. How high is Mt Kilimanjaro? (Somerset County Council)

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Head of HR/OD

Babergh & Mid Suffolk
£60,000 circa
The role will involve working closely with the Senior Leadership Team and Chief Executive to lead our People Strategy and... Ipswich, Suffolk
Recuriter: Babergh & Mid Suffolk

Customer Services Assistant (Libraries)

Essex County Council
Up to £9469 per annum
Please note this is part time position (18.5 hours a week) across Uttlesford, mainly based in Dunmow and Stansted and is to be offered on an initial 6 England, Essex, Dunmow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Customer Services Assistant (Libraries)

Essex County Council
Up to £18938 per annum
Please note this position is to be offered on an initial 6 month , fixed term basis. Do you enjoy working with people? Enthusiastic about playing a ke England, Essex, Saffron Walden
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Customer Services Assistant - Mark Hall Library

Essex County Council
£17000 - £18950 per annum
Please note that this position is a part time role, offering 18.5 hours per week and is offered on a Fixed Term Basis for a period of 6 months. England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior Practitioner - Family Support & Protection

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Please note this is a fixed term contract or secondment opportunity until December 2020 In Essex County Council we are "Serious about Social Work". H England, Essex, Basildon
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores what impact the increase to the Public Works Loan Board rate have on councils’ capital schemes and why adopting AI will not just improve customer service response times for councils.

This issue also finds out how local government pension funds are backing infrastructure projects and calls on local government to get better value from its technology spend.

Register for your free magazine