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Moving from Hilcot at Christmas
3:00pm Thursday 5th January 2012 in Pewsey
Emma Wheeler spent a miserable Christmas moving out of the home where she was born and brought up.
Mrs Wheeler, 39, and her 41-year-old husband Colin had been given notice to quit the cottage in Hilcot, near Pewsey, after her mother, Patricia Trotman, who suffers with multiple sclerosis, had to move to a Devizes care home.
Mrs Trotman is the registered tenant of the property, which belongs to Sarsen Housing Association, and Mr and Mrs Wheeler gave up their home in Southampton to come and care for her four years ago.
They were shocked to receive a letter from the council telling them they had no right to stay on in the house now Mrs Trotman is not living there and they were given until next Monday to pack up and move out.
Despite repeated attempts to discuss the situation with Wiltshire Council and Sarsen Housing Association, Mr and Mrs Wheeler had no option but to look for alternative accommodation very quickly.
Mr Wheeler, a fork lift truck driver for Latchways in Devizes, said: “We were very lucky. There was a flat in Market Lavington we saw advertised in the paper. The landlord had lost his mobile phone and had to readvertise. We went and looked at it and it was perfect for us.
“But this does not take away the pain my wife has suffered as a result of the very unsympathetic treatment we have received. The house in Hilcot has been the family home for 44 years and my wife was in tears as we packed up all the stuff and took it away in skips. We had to do this over Christmas. It didn’t make for a very happy Christmas.
“We are very upset that the council has been so unhelpful. We have been left to do everything ourselves.”
A spokesman for Wiltshire Council said: “We met with the couple in December, when they applied to be rehoused. We gave them advice and talked to them about their options.
“We have not been contacted since this meeting but we have officers ready to provide them with further support should they need it.”