A frustrated man from Pendle is threatening to take the council to the small claims court if he doesn’t receive his Council Tax rebate due.

Kevin Foster, 60, of Earby, said he has been waiting "over a month" for his Council Tax rebate, which he said should have been deposited within two weeks.

The Government announced a £150 Council Tax rebate for people in bands A to D to help people address the £700 increase in household energy bills.

For those who pay their Council Tax by direct debit, the amount was automatically deposited into their bank accounts, but people who pay by alternate methods had to get their payment a different way.

Kevin submitted his application on Wednesday May, 11, so claims he should have received £150 by Thursday May, 26.

Pendle Council has said a "software issue" has resulted in delays to the rebate being paid to those who want it in cash.

After waiting four weeks, Kevin tried to call Pendle Council to chase his payment and said he waited on hold for 49 minutes "before being cut off".

He said: “I’ve been more than reasonably patient but they’re having a laugh now.

Lancashire Telegraph: Kevin Foster has waited almost six weeks for council tax rebateKevin Foster has waited almost six weeks for council tax rebate

“They said it would be paid in a fortnight; I gave them an extra two weeks on top and then my councillor Mike Gouldthorp responds saying he doesn’t know what to do or when it’s going to be fixed.”

Kevin has said he will take the council to small claims court if he doesn't receive the payment soon.

The delayed payment is due to a software issue coming from the third-party company Liberata, a system designated by the government which councils use to process the payments.

Councillor for Earby and Coates, Mike Gouldthorp, said: “I totally agree with Kevin, it should not take this long to receive his money.

“The general problem we’ve got with all of this, and it’s right across the country, is that some council systems can cope with it and others can’t.

"There’s been a lot of rewriting of software to get this through.

“What is being proposed is a rebate to council tax accounts. That could be fairly immediate, but if it’s a cash payment that someone wants, it will take longer.”

Kevin thanked Cllr Gouldthorp, stating he was "very helpful" but does not want the money credited to his rates account.

Since April, Pendle Council has made more than 26,000 payments to eligible customers however, residents who pay council tax by card monthly rather than direct debit have been experiencing the same delays as Kevin.

The Chief Finance Officer Richard Gibson investigated the situation after Kevin’s complaints and found that a relatively large number of people’s cards were being rejected, which confirms the issue is software related.

Pendle Council released a statement advising those who haven’t yet received a payment will receive a credit to their council tax account or can claim a refund if they would rather have the money.

One user commented: “This is a joke, I don’t want crediting I need the money which has been processing for two month.”

Another person commented: “No cash yet. If I owed the council money, I would soon be receiving a letter threatening me with court action.”

Residents have been receiving automated emails and letters advising that payments would be processed despite the software problems which would reject the payments.

Additionally, officers and elected members of the council were not being made aware of the issues until people called up to complain.

Cllr Goulthorp continued: “There has been unacceptable let downs at the beginning of this process.”

“To have been waiting on a phone line for almost an hour is unacceptable."

Another Councillor said the backlog of payments is being made worse due to bank holidays and half term, and there is also a large proportion of local government workers working from home.

They said the back up and infrastructure "isn’t there like it was and there are multiple vacancies", also affecting the payments.

Pendle Council are now aiming to pay qualifying households who don’t pay by direct debit within 28 days of them receiving bank details.