Gosport woman faces losing her home of 50 years

Wendy Kirkby at her home in Gosport'''Picture: Ian Haregreaves  (133019-5)
Wendy Kirkby at her home in Gosport'''Picture: Ian Haregreaves (133019-5)
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UPSET Wendy Kirkby faces having to leave her family home of 50 years in a row with Gosport’s council over adapting her home.

Rheumatoid arthritis sufferer Wendy, 60, of The Crossways, in Gosport, was promised disabled adaptations for her upstairs bathroom by the borough council.

But after surgery to amputate her right leg after developing a blood clot, council staff said the three-bedroom home is no longer suitable and have suggested she move to a two-bed bungalow.

It comes as the bill to adapt her home has increased by eight times to around £16,000 as she would need a stairlift.

Wendy told The News she is trapped downstairs.

She said: ‘They’d already promised to do the bathroom because I’m disabled anyway.

‘My daughter postponed it for me because they didn’t know whether I was going to live or not.

‘Now the council aren’t doing it. I’m stuck here, I can’t get out the front door.

‘I’ve got no toilet and the bathroom is upstairs, I’ve got no washing facilities. I’m living in my dining room.’

Surveyors say Wendy’s home may not fit a stairlift.

Charles Harman is head of operational services.

In a statement he said: ‘The council has been working with Mrs Kirby to find the best possible solution to meet her needs.

‘We are currently seeking specialist advice to enable us to establish what adaptations are possible in the property.’

Mr Harman added if the council does do the work, its spending would be capped to £10,000 – meaning Wendy would have to pay the rest.

Wendy’s daughter, Natasha Kirby, 34 of George Street, Gosport, said her mum cannot afford to pay that.

‘My father died in that house, my nan died in that house, and my mum’s nan died in that house.

‘She said she’d rather die than move out.’

Leesland ward member Cllr Peter Chegwyn said: ‘She’s lived there for much of the last 50 years, she grew up there, married, moved away and then moved back.

‘I can understand why the council will say a bungalow is more suitable.

‘But it’s the fact they’ve made the promises and she wants to stay there.’