Anger as lottery winner stays in council home despite large win
A LOTTERY winner who could afford to buy several homes is living in a Stroud council house.
The tenant, who got lucky on the lotto, is said to have won a "significant" sum but, because of council rules, cannot be told to leave the social housing.
It comes as more than 3,200 people are on the waiting list in the Stroud area.
Stroud District council tenant Margaret Marshall said she thought it was vastly unfair and that the lottery winner should move on
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"I think that's fair. If I won then I'd go, because other people need homes," said Mrs Marshall, who has lived at her address in Nailsworth for over 30 years. "Otherwise, I might buy it, then they could build another with the money," she said.
The revelation of the winner's decision to stay in their home came at Stroud District Council's housing advisory panel.
"We had someone who won on the lottery a large, significant sum," the council's housing advice manager Sue Leighton-Boyce told the meeting at Ebley Mill. "They are still our tenant although they clearly had enough money to go out and buy several homes."
Councillors were discussing a review of their council homes allocation policy after a Government consultation suggested ending lifetime tenancies.
A further suggestion was that households with a gross income above £60,000 shouldn't qualify for social housing.
The Government's Localism Act has given local authorities the ability to choose renewable tenancies instead.
"We have had another lady who married a very nicely-off gentleman," said Ms Leighton-Boyce. "They chose to live in their council house but he has another property, has a house abroad, a yacht abroad.
"Tenants were quite miffed about this and said why can't you do anything? Why are you still allowing them to live there?" she said.
"Under the current rules they have their tenancies for life," she said.
The council's rainbow political alliance are expected to decide about tenancy issues at their next executive on November 8.
Councillor Debbie Young (C, Chalford), former cabinet member for housing, said renewable five-year tenancies would allow these situations to be reviewed.
"This lottery guy has highlighted the issue that people don't have to give up their properties even when they don't need them," Mrs Young said.
"Surely this person's conscience should be pricked now?"
Stroud's other lottery winners include Bryan Crook and his partner, who in 2007 scooped almost £2.5million and opted for a new bungalow and a caravan. Another £1.6million win in 2005 was never claimed and given to charity.
* Do you know the Lottery winning tenants? If so email The Citizen: email@example.com