Austin Macauley 01 September 2015

Revealed: Top 10 daftest queries to council call centres

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)

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