Council’s house swap U-turn puts young family in ‘limbo’

Sabrina Wales, 28, and Gareth Nosworthy, 31, with Caiden, six, Archie, four and Hunter, 15 weeks.
Sabrina Wales, 28, and Gareth Nosworthy, 31, with Caiden, six, Archie, four and Hunter, 15 weeks.

Moving house normally marks an exciting new phase for a family – but a council U-turn has left a Wick couple and their children in ‘limbo’.

When Sabrina Wales and Gareth Nosworthy’s growing family became too small for their council house in Whitelea Road, Wick, Arun District Council set up a swap with a woman who lived in Trinity Way, Littlehampton.

They had already started packing up boxes of belongings when Arun then sent a letter to say the deal was off. Now Sabrina, 28, fears it will affect her children – particularly her son Caiden, six.

She said: “We have been feeling like we have been in limbo for the past year.”

The former carer for adults with learning disabilities has been fighting for an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder diagnosis for the six-year-old.

She said their house was no longer suitable because of several incidents involving Caiden and their stairlift, which would also have to be removed to install stair gates when Hunter, 15 weeks, is old enough to crawl.

Due to other worrying incidents, Sabrina said Caiden needs his own bedroom in a bigger house. She said: “Every day has been a nightmare.

“He has a lot going on in his little head and his emotions come out as aggression.”

In a letter sent by Arun, it cites the other tenant not needing the disabled facilities as the reason it ended the swap. But Sabrina said if they stay, the council would have to take out the stairlift and reinstall it when they eventually left, calling it a waste of money.

She could not understand why Arun set up the swap to then call it off: “They are blaming each other but no-one is taking account of their muck-up.”

Sabrina left work after her pregnancy with Archie, four, left her with chronic pain from a misaligned pelvis.

While she is registered disabled, she said she did not need a council house with disabled facilities.

An Arun spokesman said: “Arun District council does not comment on the specific details of individual cases but can confirm

that we are aware of Ms Wales’s circumstances. 

“The Council will always assess each situation on its individual merits. During that process information may come to light that would mean the housing needs differ from those initially stated.

“We are working closely with the resident to facilitate a suitable solution that meets her needs.”