Monday, December 26, 2011

Bizarre Freedom of Information Requests - really!

Many people think about things. You know - deep and perplexing issues - like how could a council help Santa - the Santa - and his reindeer if they crashed in Cheltenham, England. Why Cheltenham, England, one might be asking oneself. Most likely because a person living in said geographical location for whatever reason (perhaps while visiting the local pub springs to mind) may be concerned that Santa and his entourage could end up in a bad accident. Go know!

Still another request was what percentage of Hampsire County Council's drawing pins are actually stuck in pin boards. This request is tricky in my opinion. First of all, the request should have been narrowed down to a specific day and/or time because pins can be removed and new pins replaced depending on who's in charge and the reason for sticking said pins in the boards in the first place. But I digress.

These were two subjects that made the Local Government Association's list of the top 10 most bizarre Freedom of Information Requests of 2011 in England and Wales. Here are some more ponderings:

- somebody wanted to know whether the West Devon District Council about its preparations for helping soldiers defend against Napoleon's marauding hordes.

- Both Leicester City Council and Bristol City Council were asked about their readiness for a zombie attack

- Cornwall Council was questioned as to how much money it had paid to exorcists

- The Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service were queried as to what plans are in place to deal with an alien invasion

- Meanwhile, the number of holes in privacy walls between toilet cubicles are found in public washrooms and council buildings was asked of the Cornwall Council

In excess of 197,000 requests for information were made this year alone, with authorities spending £31.6m on responding to the querents.

There's a good photo of Santa and one of his reindeers here:

Word has it when asked as to whether he has had any close calls while flying over Cheltenham, Santa couldn't recall but mentioned his GPS has misled him from time-to-time.

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