The 10 weirdest questions we've asked our local councils

Can I exercise my kestrel on your tip?

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The Independent Online

Many people like to complain about the council about bins, potholes and housing - but it appears many also think they have the answer to every question under the sun.

From how to host a mouse race to help in tracking down a boy met in Ibiza, local councils have fielded an array of bizarre calls from their faithful residents this year.

The size of Mary Berry's strawberry tart in the Great British Bake-Off, when the council's website "closes" and the number of geese on a nearby lake are just a few other choice enquiries.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which deals with about 50 million calls across England and Wales every year has released some of the calls that have left staff in its 370 councils completely baffled.

Top 10 most bizarre calls:

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. Seven letters, James Bond’s cat-loving nemesis, begins with B?

(a call to Staffordshire County Council from an elderly lady asking for help on her crossword)

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?

(a question to North East Lincolnshire Council from a caller who wanted to visit but was allergic to feathers)

9. What time does your website close?

(Poole Borough Council)

10. How high is Mount Kilimanjaro?

(Somerset County Council)

Though often utterly stumped, the LGA did say its 370 councils, many of which operate up to 800 services at once, try to help where they can.

One elderly resident who asked Stevenage Borough Council where she could buy a shopping trolley was apparently directed to her nearest store after a quick internet search.

In its press release on the eclectic list, the LGA added: "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."

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