A MUM said she feels "useless" as mould has spread through her cold council house, forcing her family to sleep downstairs around the fire during winter.

Leoni Long, 36, has pleaded with Wiltshire Council to fix the dampness in her three-bedroom house at Weeping Ash, Fovant, for the past year.

The mum-of-four is worried about the declining health of her children and the family spent Christmas Eve huddling around their only source of warmth - the living room fire.

Mould has spread through her children's rooms, the family bathroom, living room and kitchen skirting boards.

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Salisbury Journal: Leoni Long said she feels unheard” because “nothing has happened” to resolve the problem.Leoni Long said she feels unheard” because “nothing has happened” to resolve the problem. (Image: Newsquest)

Wiltshire Council advised her to clean the condensation from her windows, put on her heating and air out the property to tackle the issue.

But turning on the four storage heaters would cost Miss Long £20 a day, the same price as three days' worth of electricity to cook for her children and clean their clothes and she can't afford both.

"The children have been ill all winter with coughs and colds. They are my main priority and I would love for them to grow up in a house their friends can stay at," she said.

Miss Long claimed that a council-contracted surveyor told her the mould on her son's ceiling was caused by him "breathing too much CO2 on the top bunk".

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Salisbury Journal: Mould patches have formed above where her son sleeps.Mould patches have formed above where her son sleeps. (Image: Newsquest)

Admitting she feels "depressed all the time" from battling the seemingly never-ending problem, Miss Long added: "It's embarrassing because it makes me look like a dirty person.

"I feel useless not being able to provide a nice cosy warm home for my family, it’s one of the things as a mother I should be able to do.

"I wake up to puddles of water on the windows. It's exhausting."

Miss Long believes the cause of the problem is a lack of working insulation in the building and said Wiltshire Council has offered to redecorate the mould patches before addressing the root cause of the issue.

Salisbury Journal: Condensation builds up on the windows every day during winter.Condensation builds up on the windows every day during winter. (Image: Newsquest)

The family moved to Fovant in July 2021 as part of a mutual exchange so that Miss Long could be closer to her parents in Tisbury after her dad's health declined.

Upon arrival, Miss Long found the house in a mess with doors missing, screwdriver stab marks in the backdoor and boxes of dog faeces in her pantry. Her children could not move in for one week while she deep-cleaned the property.

Problems arose in the winter but Miss Long brushed it off as “normal” and kept cleaning away the damp patches but realised there was a deeper problem the following year when the mould aggressively returned.

Salisbury Journal: Miss Long's belongings have slowly been destroyed by the mould.Miss Long's belongings have slowly been destroyed by the mould. (Image: Newsquest)

Councillor Phil Alford, cabinet member for housing, said: “We are aware of the issues with condensation, damp and mould at a property in Weeping Ash, Fovant.

“A survey was carried out by our officers at the end of November, as such works to upgrade the loft insulation, cleaning and redecorating are planned to commence later this month.

“A further survey to tackle a potential rising damp issue has also taken place and any necessary work will be scheduled once the report is received. Finally, the property is on the programme for the cavity wall insulation later in 2024.

“We sincerely hope that these works will much improve the situation for this family, in the meantime we have been keeping them updated throughout and will look at other ways in which we can provide support over the coming months.”