‘Council was waiting for great gran to die’
House had already been given to another family
A GRIEVING family claim Hillingdon Council was ‘waiting for their grandmother to die’ to reclaim her council home.
G re at - g ra n d m o t h e r Audrey Leeson died, aged 88, on Monday February 1. She had lived in the home she shared with her husband and children at Heather Lane, West Drayton, for more than six decades.
Mrs Leeson had inherited the tenancy from her husband, Raymond, when he died in 2006.
Her granddaughter, Natalie Puckett, who has three young children, hoped to take on the tenancy as she has been on the council housing waiting list for nearly 10 years.
But her grandson Gregory Piggott, 42, said he was disgusted to learn from the council’s housing department that the property had already been given to another family waiting for Mrs Leeson’s death.
He said: “It is difficult to put into words how strongly we as a family feel about this property. Just entering the house made you feel safe and at home regardless of where you lived or how long you had been away for.
“Our families have given so much to the country, having served in the Armed Forces.
“I have served as a Metropolitan Police officer and now work for the Home Office. We are asking for just one thing in return.”
Mr Piggott said the family was told by a housing officer that ‘it’s too late now anyway as the house was marked for disposal waiting for Mrs Leeson to die!’.
He added: “It’s disgusting. They’re supposed to be a local authority and this is how they’re speaking to people who have just lost their mum and grandmother.”
Raymond Leeson, who fought in the Second World War with the 2/7th Battalion Middlesex Regiment, and wife Audrey were offered the council house in 1949, when the first bricks were being laid, and moved in as soon as it was built two years later.
A spokesperson for Hillingdon Council said: “The tenancy for this property was in Mr Leeson’s name and when he died his wife succeeded to the tenancy.
“The Housing Act 1985 states a tenancy can only be succeeded to once so we are unable to automatically pass it to Mrs Leeson’s granddaughter.
“The needs of everyone on our housing list are considered on a case by case basis and this home will be let to a family in need in accordance with the council’s social housing allocation policy.”
But Mr Piggott, who also lives in West Drayton so he could be close to his grandmother, thinks the council has ignored the families’ plea and not taken into account their circumstances.
The family are now pressing Hillingdon Council for a written response and have written to MP Boris Johnson.
n FAMILY HOME: (Back from left) James Puckett, Matthew Leeson, Katherine Piggott, Natalie Puckett, Tony Piggott, Gregory Piggott; (from left) Daisy Puckett, Chloe Piggott, Dylan Puckett and Leo Puckett; (below) Audrey Leeson and Raymond