A GROUP of defiant pensioners will today tell council bosses they will not be moved after they received letters threatening them with eviction from their homes.

Residents of The Graylings sheltered housing scheme in Southampton have been invited to a meeting today about plans to “reallocate”

them to new homes so their eight ground-floor flats can be “remodelled” for elderly people suffering from dementia.

The seven affected residents, aged 63 to 97, who have various medical conditions, have enlisted the help of solicitor Yvonne Hossack, who fought the council over its closure of the Whitehaven Lodge and Birch Lawn care homes.

She warned the stress of moving could cut life expectancy for residents.

Southampton City Council wants to move them as part of a £1.5m refurbishment of the 45 flat scheme in Regents Park Road, Shirley. They will be offered financial compensation running into thousands of pounds.

Jane Hersee, 63, who has lived in the block for six years, said: “It’s already causing stress and strain on their medical conditions. It’s disgraceful. We are not moving.”

Hazel Rayner, 97, a former sales assistant who moved to The Graylings four years ago, said: “I expected to live here for the rest of my life. It’s disgusting that people should be taken out of their homes.

We don’t want to move.”

Joan Vick, 83, who has lived in her flat for nearly 12 years, added: “It was a bombshell.

A total shock. None of us have slept properly.”

Local Labour councillors and candidates are supporting residents in their fight.

The council’s housing boss Councillor Peter Baillie said refurbishments works were needed to meet a growing demand for specialist dementia units in the city, and the courtyard layout of the ground floor of The Graylings was an ideal location.

He said works could not be carried out with the seven tenants still in the ground-floor flats.

Cllr Baillie said there would be enough empty flats to rehome them within The Graylings if they wished although not necessarily on the ground floor.

The works are expected to start in July and finish early next year.