Barnet Council has admitted it gave the wrong figures to a man who complained about the number of potholes on a local street.

Handyman Dan Lequelenec, who lives on Highwood Hill, travels up and down Hendon Wood Lane two or three times a day and often encounters potholes on his journey.

He said: “I am always reporting problems, and I know other people are as well. There has been a water leak there for over a year.

“I asked someone ‘what do we do about it? We could have to go through another winter with it freezing up’.”

Mr Lequelenec decided to submit a Freedom of Information (FoI) request to the council asking how many reports of defects on Hendon Wood Lane it had received since January 2016.

But he was surprised when the council told him it was not nearly as many as he thought.

Mr Lequelenec said: “They came back and said that since January 2016 there had been only four reports of defects in the road.

“In the past week I have reported four myself!”

He decided to check the Fix My Street website, which allows people to log details of problems like potholes and sends the information to the local council.

Mr Lequelenec said: “I went on to Fix My Street, and in the same period there were more than 55 reports – so someone is not giving the right information.”

He went back to the council with the new information and was told there had been a mistake when responding to his FoI request.

The council has since provided Mr Lequelenec with the correct information, which shows there were 58 reports of defects on Hendon Wood Lane in the time period he specified.

A Barnet Council spokesman said: “We reviewed the matter, and it became apparent that we issued incorrect information, for which we apologise.

“We received 58 reports of road defects in the period specified, which spanned more than two years.

“We reissued our statement – with the correct information and an apology – very quickly after realising our error. We are taking steps to prevent such a mistake from happening again.

“Fix My Street is not a council-maintained site – we do not hold data for Fix My Street and cannot confirm the validity of the records presented.

“We have reported the water leak to Affinity Water on several occasions for investigation. The leak is coming from a main water connection, and as such falls under the remit of Affinity Water, not the council.”

An Affinity Water spokesperson said: “We are carrying out investigations on Hendon Wood Lane, Barnet to identify a potential leak.

“We need to sample and analyse the water to determine if the water is leaking from any nearby pipes.

“A technician has visited the site several times throughout the day and night, however results have proved inconclusive so far.

“Our leak detection equipment has also not identified any problems on our mains in the immediate area.

“There is a possibility that the water is from other sources, such as groundwater or localised drainage problems.

“However, we will continue to investigate until we have a conclusive result on the source of the water.

“We would like to thank our customers during this time.”