Freedom of information (FOI) is a vital tool in the fight for transparency from public institutions. Without it stories like the MPs' expenses scandal may never have been exposed. It's important. But it can also be really, really funny, as this list from the LGA of the 10 most spurious FOI requests shows.
1. What plans are in place to protect the town from a dragon attack?
2. Please list all the types of animals you have frozen since March 2012, including the type and quantity of each animal.
(Cambridge City Council)
3. How many times has the council paid for the services of an exorcist, psychic or religious healer? Were the services performed on an adult, child, pet or building?
4. Please can you let me know how many roundabouts are located within your council boundaries.
(Leicestershire County Council)
5. What precautions, preparations, planning and costings have been undertaken in the case an asteroid crashes into Worthing, a meteorite landing in Worthing or solar activity disrupting electromagnetic fields?
(Worthing Borough Council)
6. How many holes in privacy walls between cubicles have been found in public toilets and within council buildings in the last 10 years?
7. How many bodies are there in mortuaries that have been unclaimed for 10 years? How long have these bodies been in the mortuary? How old were they when they died? Is it possible to have the names of these people?
8. How many people in the town have a licence to keep a tiger, lion, leopard, lynx or panther as a pet?
9. How many requests were made to council-run historic public-access buildings (e.g. museums) requesting to bring a team of "ghost investigators" into the building?
10. How many children in the care of the council have been micro-chipped?