Councils’ list of bizarre requests

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Can you write to the dog next door? It looks at me funny when I open the back door.’

That is just one of the strangest requests received from residents in a list compiled by two councils that share services.

Eastbourne and Lewes councils share services including customer and neighbourhood services teams, which work across the area dealing with enquiries, covering everything from planning and parking to rubbish collections and noisy neighbours.

However, occasionally even a seasoned call operator in the customer contact centre is caught off-guard with the nature of the request coming in online or over the phone.

For example, why would someone in Eastbourne or Lewes ask the council for the bus timetable for Copenhagen, or for a death certificate for a very much alive husband or call to say their nutritionist isn’t picking up and do the council know if she has changed her number or just busy?

Scot Reid, the head of the councils’ customer and neighbourhood services, said, “While we will always do what we can to assist our residents and the people who visit Lewes and Eastbourne, sometimes we have to politely point them in another direction.

“We’ve been encouraging people to go online and use email or Twitter when they want to get in touch because it’s quicker and more efficient, but it hasn’t stopped people making the strangest requests.

“One of the most memorable I think was asking us to write to the dog next door because it looked at them funny when they opened the back door.”

Other enquiries include:

* A snake has just crawled out from under my bath.

* I’ve been in hospital; did I get any post? I thought you would know.

* I need to make an appointment to see my GP. Can you walk up the road and ask them to call me?

* I’m back from a two-month holiday, have I got any mail to collect?

* I’ve seen a swan stood at the side of the road, it looked like it wanted to cross. Can you send someone out to help it cross?

* How do I get a stain out of a lemon-coloured T-shirt?

* What time is it and what day is it?