A COUNCILLOR fears he could be made homeless after receiving a letter telling him his council tenancy has been terminated.
Keith Gregory, who represents Smithfield on Wrexham Council, received a hand-delivered letter from his own authority yesterday informing him he would now be classed as a “tolerated trespasser”.
Cllr Gregory, 56, lives in a three-bedroomed house on Colwyn Road, Caia Park, which is adapted to meet his needs for disabilities including spina bifida, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and arthritis.
Last month Cllr Gregory split up with his long-term partner, who had been a joint tenant with at the property for five years, living with with their five-year-old daughter.
The pair took advice from Wrexham Council on how to proceed regarding the tenancy.
They decided Cllr Gregory’s partner would sign off her part of the tenancy and would move into a flat while Cllr Gregory remained sole tenant of the house to accommodate his disabilities.
He said he was told by council officers he could remain at the property and ultimately be moved to a bungalow, which he accepted, although he was told they currently had no appropriate properties.
But then out of the blue a letter was posted through his door by Wrexham Council’s estate manager, Jane Cotton, notifying his tenancy had terminated.
In her letter to Cllr Gregory, Ms Cotton says: “I acknowledge receipt of your notice to terminate the tenancy of the above property.
“The tenancy of 13 Colwyn Road, Wrexham, ended September 22, 2013, so you are now living there as a tolerated trespasser until the council is able to make you an offer of suitable alternative accommodation.
“As you are not a council tenant, you are not liable to pay rent, but you will be liable to pay £91.45 weekly. In legal terms, this is called Mense Profits.”
But Cllr Gregory said: “Up to last Friday there was no mention of it. I’ve never signed any forms whatsoever. The only thing I have done is give my intention to stay here as sole tenant.
“Then today I get this letter through the door, no warning, no nothing. It makes me a criminal as a trespasser and means I’ve got no rights. I’ve got no arrears and I’m not on benefits either.”
Cllr Gregory added: “I’m due (hospital) in for a bladder operation and I’ll end up with a stoma bag to replace it. I’m going to be at least three weeks in hospital and I’m worried that when I come out my house could be boarded up. It’s really worrying me.”
He said he believed the council’s decision may have been politically motivated.
He received the letter on the same day that he publicly crticised the cost of the Wrexham mayoral office in the Leader.
He said: “Up to last Friday I was to stay here. Then there’s a story on the front page about the mayor with me speaking out and this happens.
“What I don’t like is the cost to Wrexham people. They’ve put in these adaptations, which you’re talking thousands of pounds for but now if I’m moving somewhere else it’ll have to be readapted .”
A Wrexham Council spokesman said: “Cllr Gregory and his former partner’s tenancy has ended.
“We will continue to work with him to look at the most suitable housing option for his needs, in accordance with our policies, as we have done since this situation arose.”
Cllr Mark Pritchard, the council’s lead member for housing, added: “We will treat Cllr Gregory no differently to any other of our tenants.”