Siblings from Sutton’s Clockhouse area are under threat of imminent eviction from their family home of nearly 60 years after confusion over the tenancy meant they could no longer reside there.

They have called for Sutton Council, their landlord, to show discretion considering their long history of community service in the isolated Sutton enclave.

Barry Killick, 60, and Ann Skilton, 59, have lived in Clockhouse for most of their lives, and most of that time was spent at 15 Lloyd Avenue.

Your Local Guardian: Barry and Ann's parents moved into 15 Lloyd Avenue in 1969Barry and Ann's parents moved into 15 Lloyd Avenue in 1969

Their parents moved into the council property in 1969, with Barry and Ann spending most of their youth there. 

However, the passing of their parents in the years following and their absence on the tenancy agreement has since thrown Barry and Ann into a precarious situation.

The local democracy reporting service (LDRS) caught up with Barry earlier this week, who spoke of his frustration over a nearly two-year-long ordeal he and his sister have faced.

He said: “The family moved into this property when I was about five years old. It was my mum, dad, brother and sister. It was a joint tenancy between my mum and my dad.

“At some time in the 1980s they exercised the right to buy and bought from the council, the council then found some inherent fault in it and had to offer by law to buy it back.

“My mum and dad had to sell it back and the money they made on buying it and selling it back in such a short space of time was like a lottery win for them.

“My sister then moved back into the property following her marriage break up in 2008, and my dad died later in 2012. Within six days, my mum was asked to sign a new tenancy agreement which put the property into her name.

“I moved back in 2013 following a marriage break up, I’ve been back here for 11 years.

Your Local Guardian: The Clockhouse Kings Coronation party, organised by Barry, attracted round 400 people Credit: Barry KillickThe Clockhouse Kings Coronation party, organised by Barry, attracted round 400 people Credit: Barry Killick

"Unfortunately, my mum died in 2022, and shortly after that, we were contacted by the housing department saying we would have to move out of the property. 

“Since then we’ve gone through our MP, the Housing Ombudsman, and appealed to the council but it’s all fallen on deaf ears.”

Barry and Ann are concerned that their mother, Jackie, was made to sign a successor agreement by the council during a time when she was vulnerable and unaware of the consequences of her decision.

A succession of tenancy can happen after the original tenancy holder dies, however, for most councils this can only occur once. 

According to Barry, Ann was living at the house when Jackie signed the tenancy agreement.

He believes that because Jackie was a joint tenant with her late husband, Ann’s signing of the tenancy would mean she would act as the sole successor. 

They believe this scenario would have allowed them to both live at the property until Ann decides to move or passes away.

Your Local Guardian: Ann Skilton and her late mother Jackie, who was a joint tenant of the 15 Lloyd Avenue address Credit: Barry KillickAnn Skilton and her late mother Jackie, who was a joint tenant of the 15 Lloyd Avenue address Credit: Barry Killick

Instead, the pair are now facing an eviction hearing against Sutton Council next Friday (May 3).

Barry added: “If the hearing goes against us next Friday then we’ve been told that the likelihood is that we will have a fortnight to vacate the property, and we have 55 years of stuff in the house so how that’s even going to be possible I don’t know.

"Especially because we have nowhere else to go.”

Barry also told the LDRS how a discretionary tenancy could offer a lifeline if their concerns over succession prove ineffective.

Discretionary succession can be granted where there is no statutory or contractual right.

The discretion lies with the local authority, who must act fairly in their decision to grant or deny the tenancy.

They must also publish their reasons for doing so and can challenged on public law and human rights grounds.

News of the sibling’s precarious position has shocked many in Clockhouse, who feel the council has mistreated the siblings.

A friend of the siblings, Ramona Langlais, spoke to the LDRS about her concerns over their situation and vital role in the community.

She told the LDRS: “The issue we have is why was the successor agreement not explained, their mother was in a vulnerable state. She definitely wouldn’t have willingly gone yes I’ll sign this over and know that when I die my kids are not going to have a home.

“Barry is literally the pinnacle of our community. So many things have happened because of him, he’s the one that galvanizes everyone.”

Barry has been responsible for organising several community events during his lifetime spent living in Clockhouse.

Most of these events have revolved around his beloved Jack and Jill pub, which Barry said was “synonymous with Clockhouse” for him.

Barry told the LDRS that this seemed important to because of the isolated location of the Clockhouse area on the almost rural outskirts of Croydon and Reigate & Banstead. 

Barry joked: “We always refer to ourselves as the forgotten outpost of Sutton.”

One of the many events organised by Barry and Ann was the late Queen’s Jubilee and King’s Coronation party, which attracted nearly 400 people.

Ramona said: “A lot of people around there had never met each other before that, but because of him people have bonded and gelled.

“Barry was also instrumental in supporting the efforts to keep our local community pub, the Jack and Jill, open which was purchased by developers and was due for demolition; he organised and submitted an Asset of Community Value to the council. 

“The pub is now undergoing a change of ownership and renovations are taking place but, when it reopens, Barry will resume the very popular fundraising events in the pub such as raffles, race nights, games nights, etc in support of two charities, the local Ryan Neuro Therapy Centre at The Mount and a brain tumor charity dear to the heart of a resident.

“Clockhouse residents feel that this community is an ‘outpost’ of Sutton Borough and we often feel forgotten and quite insular, but he has succeeded in bringing us all together and he is not just another resident..he is very important to all of us. 

“He will be devastated if he has to leave but we, as a community will also be devastated and will feel his loss greatly. He is not ‘just another resident’ and he is irreplaceable.”

This sentiment was shared by Elliot Colburn, MP for Carshalton and Wallington, who worked with Barry during the campaign to save the pub.

He told the LDRS: “Barry is a community champion in Clockhouse, which makes his treatment all the more worrying. 

“It’s also counterproductive when the council would have to rehome the family anyway. It’s not too late for the council to do the right thing and give him the peace of mind that he can stay in the home he’s lived in for over half a century."

Sutton Council was approached for comment but failed to respond in time for publication.