Council officers set out a contingency plan for how they would deal with Santa’s sleigh crash landing in the borough.

In response to a bizarre Freedom of Information request from a member of the public, Barnet Council promised to look after the reindeer if the catastrophe should occur.

In guidance, children preparing for Santa Claus’s arrival were also advised to leave him milk instead of sherry to minimise the chance of the jolly character loosing control of his sleigh.

Officials wrote: “Of course, the chances Santa crashing increase with the number of sherries he has consumed.

“The council does not condone the consumption of any alcohol before driving any vehicle - whether powered conventionally or by elf dust.”

Given his hundreds of years of experience, Saint Nick has never crash landed his sleigh, and he only spends a small amount of time in Barnet before whizzing off to other boroughs.

The request also asked what animal welfare provisions are in place for any reindeer that might become detached from the sleigh.

It said: “I am interested in how you would deal with any re-entry from space burns to the reindeers' antlers.”

Luckily, as the reindeers have names and can talk, they are considered as domestic creatures, so are exempt from the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.

But if one were to somehow slip from its reins, it could be safely looked after in one of Barnet’s stables until one of the elves could collect it.

Council staff also promised to make sure the reindeer was given enough food until it could return to its friends at the North Pole.

They added: “We have a number of vets within Barnet and the Royal Veterinary College Equine Referral Hospital is only a short drive north of the borough.

“Any serious injuries would be dealt with by the Royal Veterinary College’s Equine Referral Hospital, and we would assume that Santa would be happy to pay the bill.”