IELTS General Task 1: A Formal Letter To Your Local Council 

May 19, 2023 | IELTS Test

A common General Task One Letter questions asks you to write a letter to an organisation or business that explains a problem and suggests a solution.

This kind of letter should start Dear Sir or Madam. Note that since these words are given to you they do not form part of the word count.

The mock answer below tackles this question by assigning one paragraph to each bullet point and answering them in turn. 

Note the variety of punctuation marks used with dashes (-), em dashes (–), colons (:), semi-colons (;), brackets as well as commas and full stops.  

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task. Write at least 150 words.

Mock IELTS WT1 Question 

Your local council has blocked access to cars on your street to create a low-traffic neighbourhood. However, this has pushed more traffic onto surrounding roads and inconvenienced local residents.

Write a letter to the planning manager at your local council. In your letter

  • explain what problems this has caused
  • suggest what you would like the council to do
  • suggest what residents will do if their concerns are ignored

You do NOT need to write any addresses.

Begin your letter as follows:

Dear Sir or Madam,

image of a person writing a letter by hand

Mock IELTS WT1 Answer

Dear Sir or Madam,

I write to express my concern in the strongest possible terms regarding the council’s recent ‘Greener Streets’ initiative in Bexleyheath. This ill-considered – while well-meaning – change has resulted in precisely the opposite outcome to that intended: on Blueberry Hill, my own street, traffic (and thus noise, air pollution and delays) has more than doubled. This is a major inconvenience for residents and could easily have been foreseen. 

Given the immediate and significant risks posed to local residents’ health and general wellbeing, I request that Greener Streets be scrapped immediately, with the previous access roads reopened to traffic. Only then will the aforementioned issues be rectified. 

Should our concerns be ignored, we will not hesitate to take the matter further; we plan first to make representations to the local MP, followed by further collective action – including legal action – if necessary. We are prepared, as a last resort, to undertake a protest in the streets. 

I look forward to your response. 


Best regards, 

Mary Cobham 


[166 words]


How to Continue Your IELTS Study

If you would like to get some IELTS practice, answer the same question and purchase one of our Writing Correction Packages to get feedback.

If you would like to watch a video about how to write IELTS General Task 1 letters, visit this page.

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