A POSTAL company has apologised for an administrative error which resulted in thousands of council tax bills being duplicated.

Darlington Borough Council re-issued 6,000 invoices after an error by contractor TNT Post resulted in an unspecified number of bills being lost.

The missing bills were then found and delivered, which led to a number of taxpayers contacting the Town Hall in confusion after receiving duplicate bills without explanation.

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TNT Post has accepted responsibility for the error and agreed to reimburse the council for the £2,000 costs of reissuing the bills.

A TNT Post spokesman said: “There was an administrative error during the processing of this mail which was our responsibility and, as a precautionary measure, agreed with the client to reissue the mail at our cost.

“We can confirm that there were no data protection issues regarding the security of this mail and apologise for any confusion and inconvenience caused by those residents who received two invoices.”

A council spokeswoman added: “Unfortunately, TNT Post, the council’s suppliers of post and packaging, misplaced a number of council tax invoices.

“To ensure all our residents received their invoice, we made the decision to re-issue a batch of 6,000 invoices.

“In the meantime, the misplaced invoices were found by TNT Post and sent out, resulting in a number of residents receiving two council tax invoices.

“TNT Post has apologised to the council for its mistake and agreed to reimburse the council with any additional costs, which amount to approximately £2,000, that have been incurred by the council as a result of the error.

“The council will continue to work with TNT Post to ensure this mistake is not repeated.”

She added: “If you are in receipt of two council tax invoices, there is no need to contact the council.”