By Ian Dipple Friday 30 August 2013 Updated: 30/08 10:24
A CROCODILE licence, speeding pigeons and help getting on television are some of the more unusual requests residents have made to council staff.
In the last financial year alone Worcestershire County Council received 540,000 calls while Redditch Borough Council was contacted 7,500 times a week.
And while the majority of queries are about mundane issues such as bin collections and paying council tax, there are times when council staff are left well and truly stumped.
One concerned resident asked Worcestershire County Council if they could get licensed to keep a crocodile or chimpanzee in his flat, while another woman wanted to inform staff her cat could fly and she had seen it happen.
Another caller demanded to know what action was being taken to stop pigeons speeding down the street.
Other unusual queries include a woman who wanted to know how she went about getting her brain frozen, another asked if the council could help them get on Britain’s Got Talent and in one case a concerned neighbour informed officials his neighbour, who was only 5ft tall, had climbed into her wheelie bin to clean it but had got stuck and had to be rescued.
Redditch Borough Council has also been called on to help in odd circumstances including a request from a resident who wanted a fire installed in her property to stop spiders coming down her chimney and another who wanted to know how to tackle hedgehogs pooing on her garden.
A Warwickshire County Council worker was also left baffled when asked by someone if they were allowed to bury their horse in their back garden.
The Local Government Association, which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, has released a top ten of bizarre calls councils nationwide have received including a request to Westminster Council asking if they could remove all pornography from the internet.
Coun Peter Fleming, chair of the association’s improvement and innovation board, said: “Councils try to help callers with support and advice as much as they possibly can.
“While the vast majority of calls fall within the bounds of councils’ usual responsibilities, there are occasions when call handlers are left baffled.
“The fact 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. While councils offer more than 800 local services, some requests really are beyond them.”
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