A MAN who had a bees' nest removed from his home felt the sting when a bill for the work arrived on his doorstep - eight months later.

Richard Smytheman, 56, of Garden Village, Darwen, said he had forgotten all about the work by the time the bill arrived and was furious to receive a reminder threatening legal action because he was late in paying.

The father-of-four called out workers from Blackburn with Darwen Council's pest control department on July 4 last year when he noticed the bees' nest and said the work they did to remove it was "smashing".

He was told he would receive a bill through the post but gradually forgot about it when nothing arrived, until an invoice landed on his doorstep on March 13 for £41.69.

Mr Smytheman said: "I had totally forgotten the work and had no idea what the bill was for. I didn't pay it immediately and then I received a reminder.

"I paid the bill, but I just can't believe this should be allowed to happen.

"It's the principle of the thing which annoys me the most.

"If it had been a substantial amount, or if I had been on a very low income it could well have led to difficulties, because after eight months no-one would expect to have to budget for a forgotten bill."

Coun John Milburn, executive member for resources, said: "Due to a change in the council accounting system it appears a batch of invoices were not sent out when they should have been.

"Mr Smytheman's bill was among this batch.

"We can fully understand that people would expect an invoice immediately after they have been provided with a service and steps have been taken to ensure that invoices are now sent out quickly.

"We are pleased to note Mr Smytheman was happy with the actual service he received and apologise for any inconvenience caused by the delay."