A former folk-lift driver claims Watford Borough Council owes him thousands in wrongly paid Council Tax, but it’s impossible to claim it back because the authority did not keep records of his case.

Clinton O’Connor, of Courtlands Close, said he made several approaches to the council between 2005 and 2010 to notify them he was incorrectly paying Council Tax - but there is no record of his attempts.

However, the council said it diligently maintains detailed records of all interactions with the public, and if Mr O’Connor had approached them it would be noted.

The 64-year-old started incapacity benefit in 2005 after back and hip problems made him unemployable.

He said that at the same time he filled in a Council Tax exemption form, but received no acknowledgment of its receipt.

He claims he made numerous phone calls and visited the office several times during the period to rectify the situation but was "fobbed off".

Mr O’Connor said: "I’ve been fobbed off time and time again. I’ve sent letters, I’ve phoned, I’ve gone to see them but they have no record of it. They tell me they’re not paying me back because there are no records.

"I’m livid with what they’ve done to me."

Mr O’Connor took his fight to the Local Government Ombudsman, but his case was thrown out.

Former Leggatts councillor, now ward councillor for Tudor, Liberal Democrat Stephen Johnson, supported Mr O’Connor through the process but said there was simply no evidence to support his claim.

He said: "The Ombudsman found against him. If there was any evidence to support his claim, they would have found in his favour."

But Mr O’Connor’s current councillor, Asif Khan, blamed council "administrative errors" for the problem.

He said: "I believe Mr O’Connor made the effort to contact the council during this period. There is no reason to doubt him.

"The council department at that time did have a problem of maintaining those records.

"Due to all sorts of administrative errors he has fallen into this situation.

"The council needs to look at how historically its records weren’t kept. There has during this time been a data loss on the computer system.

"He was claiming other benefits, all the council had to do was cross check with the Department of Work and Pensions.

"It is unfortunate this happened to him."

Marie Parsons, spokesman for Watford Borough Council, said the council was not made aware of Mr O’Connor’s circumstances and unable to make backdated payments.

She said: "Mr O’Connor’s case has been explored fully through all the correct channels, finally going to the Local Government Ombudsman.

"The Ombudsman concluded that there would be no merit in undertaking an investigation, as Mr O'Connor could not produce any satisfactory evidence that he had made any claim to the council for the period 2005 to 2010.

"As the council was not made aware of Mr O'Connor's circumstances at the time, it is now legally unable to make any backdated payments for the period in question.

"The council diligently maintains detailed records of all our interactions with the public and we are committed to investigating all claims, as we have done so thoroughly in this case."