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Mother-of-11 not moving to mansion

A jobless mother-of-11 will not be moving into a newly built "mansion" provided by a council, it has emerged.

Heather Frost, 37, will not be moving from her current home in Churchdown, near Gloucester, to a purpose-built six-bedroom house in Tewkesbury, housing association Severn Valley Housing confirmed.

The housing association, which is building the large house at a development in Northway, said the property does not meet the "needs" of the grandmother-of-two, who has not worked for years.

In a statement, it said: "We'd like to stress that despite the media coverage around this property, at no point has this home been allocated to any particular family. We are currently working with Tewkesbury Borough Council through the allocations process to identify households with suitable needs.

"As part of this process we can confirm that the Frosts will not be moving into this property and we are currently looking at other options for the family. All tenants who move into these properties will be issued with 12-month starter tenancies followed by fixed-term tenancies, which allow us to continually assess household needs against property size and affordability."

Ms Frost, who is currently living in two houses knocked together, and her large family hit the headlines earlier this year when it was claimed she was moving to the new development at Northway. At the time, she said she would "love to go out to work" and was planning on setting up a business until she fell ill with cancer two years ago.

"I'd love to come off benefits and support my children myself but there is help out there to help families," she said. She maintained she had never demanded a new home for her nine daughters, two sons and grandchildren, but "understood" why some people might be angry.

"I am grateful to the council for giving me the two houses in the first place because we were in private accommodation owned by the church and they had to sell the properties off, and without them we would have been stuck," she said.

"I understand that totally but I didn't beg or put a gun to someone's head to get any help. My house that I am in at the moment is temporary accommodation, so I have to move out of it eventually. The council bought the plot of land and that was their plans then to build a house big enough for a six-bedroom house to be put there."

In February, Robert Oxley, from the TaxPayers' Alliance, criticised the decision to spend "so much time and taxpayers' money on one custom-built mansion". On Thursday he said: "This utter farce has wasted taxpayers' money and exposed deep flaws in our broken welfare system. The council has spent a fortune building a home that most of us could only dream of living in. Benefits are there to help vulnerable people, not fund a lifestyle that taxpayers couldn't afford themselves."

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