PARLIAMENTARY election candidate for Wiltshire Dr Brian Mathew is celebrating after claiming victory over a council change of policy so that military personnel in the county could be placed on the housing list.

Wiltshire Council changed its housing policy in December, will prioritise those most in need, including military personnel.

Mr Mathew said he contacted the council to tell them that service personnel are entitled to register their parental home in Wiltshire as their main address irrespective of where they are serving and they responded by changing their policy.

However the council said that the policy was changed following a consultation and that Mr Mathew did not have an influence in its decision.

A Wiltshire Council spokesperson said: “Following a full consultation Wiltshire Council is introducing a new housing allocations policy intended to meet the needs of Wiltshire residents in the coming years and focus on those in the highest need of help with their housing.

“We have many thousands of people on the housing register with no housing needs. We recently wrote to these people to explain that our new policy aims to manage client expectations better by not registering those who are unlikely to be re-housed through Homes4Wiltshire, and to encourage clients currently in Bronze band (those classed as having the lowest housing need) to look at the alternative options available to them.”

Mr Mathew said that the council had reversed its previous discriminatory policy of denying residential qualification to the military personnel who are based outside the county, when their family home is in Wiltshire.

He said:“I believe Wiltshire Council were wrong on their understanding of the regulations. Service personnel of Wiltshire families are entitled to register their family home as their main home.”

“While I am delighted that this victory has been won, it was entirely wrong that the families of military personnel who face enough worry about their loved ones should have additional anxiety created by Conservative run Wiltshire Council’s unfair and incorrect housing policy.”

To apply for homes visit or call 0300 456 0104.